Common AilmentsThat Affect Seniors And How To Help Prevent Them
There are several age-related illnesses or ailments that many people are aware of, but not many people know that the majority of these illnesses or ailments can be prevented. Our bodies do become weaker as we age, but we can take certain preventative measures to ensure that our bodies will function properly in any stage of life.
Diabetes is a disease where the body doesn’t respond to or produce insulin like it’s supposed to. There are two different types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type I Diabetes is when the pancreas isn’t producing insulin properly. Type II Diabetes is when the body becomes resistant to insulin, and it is the most common type— especially among older adults.
Type II Diabetes is the type that can be prevented. A poor diet is usually the main cause of this type of diabetes, as well as an inactive lifestyle. Overeating and consuming unhealthy foods can contribute to Type II Diabetes, and being sedentary can worsen the condition. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity are two ways to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.
Hearing loss is very common among older individuals. Over 30% of senior citizens (individuals over the age of 65) develop some form of hearing loss. To prevent age-related hearing loss, the main thing to do is to protect your hearing. This means avoiding and reducing your exposure to loud noises. This can also be done to prevent further hearing loss.
Cardiovascular diseases are any conditions that affect the heart. This can include heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, and even stroke, which affects the brain. Stroke is also currently the number one cause of death for many Americans, and this risk increases with age. Fortunately, cardiovascular diseases can be prevented.
Eating healthy and staying active are good ways to prevent just about any disease, but there are more things you can do to prevent cardiovascular disease. For one, you can try and keep your stress under control. Stress can lead to a lot of other ailments, including high blood pressure, which also contributes to cardiovascular disease.
Similar to loss of hearing, loss of vision is also common among senior citizens, with macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma being some of the most prevalent types. Preventing eye disorders can be tough, since they are a result of aging. However, consuming foods rich in carotenoids (kiwi, spinach, honeydew melon, green beans, apples, grapes, corn, pumpkins, mangoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and celery) can help lower the risk of developing macular degeneration.
Cataracts, on the other hand, can be both prevented and corrected. The risk of developing cataracts at an older age is extremely higher than at a younger age, and exposure to ultraviolet light may be a cause. This is why it’s important to always protect your eyes from the sun. Cataracts can also be surgically removed and prevent sufferers from going blind.
Osteoporosis is a bone condition in which the bones become weaker and brittle and are more likely to fracture and break. We reach our maximum bone density in early to mid-adulthood, and it begins to slowly decrease afterwards. Weaker bones are associated with more senior falls, which are especially dangerous when suffering from osteoporosis. Falls are more common for seniors living alone but have also become an occurrence in nursing facilities as well.
A diet high in calcium and Vitamin D can help prevent and even slow down the progression of osteoporosis. Again, a healthy diet in general coupled with physical activity is also beneficial to combat this disease. Light activities such as yoga, pilates, walking, and stretching all are adequate forms of exercise. Regular exposure to sunlight is also effective at combating osteoporosis, as it is a natural source of Vitamin D.
Age-related illnesses or ailments are very common, but they don’t have to be. Aging doesn’t mean that you have to suffer due to an illness. Overall, a proper diet and adequate physical activity can prevent, reduce, and even correct some age-related illnesses.
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