In old age, there is a slowdown in metabolic processes and vitality begins to be depleted. This leads to the development of age-related diseases. Diseases of old age are a natural phenomenon. Environmental factors can only be a trigger and lead to an earlier or later onset of old age. Therefore, we’ll tell you about the most common diseases of old age.
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Diseases of the cardiovascular system
Heart disease is one of the most common diseases in old age. Atherosclerosis can cause the development of CHD, heart attacks, and cerebral vascular thrombosis.
People under the age of 60 have arterial hypertension. Older adults with a severe form of hypertension do not live long enough. Unsteadiness of gait, headache, tinnitus, and weakness are the main symptoms. Sometimes this disease develops into a hypertensive crisis.
Heart failure can be related to sclerotic changes in the heart and its vessels. It’s expressed by general malaise, rapid fatigability, decreased visual acuity, disorders of the motor apparatus, and dementia.
Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease
Memory loss is one of the most common age-related diseases. It begins as short-term memory loss and then becomes worse until a person loses the ability to care for themselves. Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of older people worldwide. Although much research is being done on memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, there is still no cure for these problems. The best way to prevent memory loss as you get older is to stay physically and mentally active.
It is a condition when a person begins to experience hand tremors at rest and slowness of movement and has a blank and expressionless face. Normal toxic proteins produced in the body by various processes attack vulnerable old nerve fiber cells called neurons. Treatment can only slow the progression of this disease.
A cataract is a thickening of the crystalline lens making it difficult to see. The crystalline lens is needed to focus light onto the sensitive part of the eye called the retina. The vision problems accompany cataracts and can greatly affect the quality of life. It increases the risk of falls and accidents due to visual impairment.
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
As the body ages, bones begin to lose their elasticity and strength, and levels of essential micronutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and fluoride, decrease. Bones become too fragile and osteoporosis develops.
This disease can affect any bone in the body but affecting the bones of the spine and thigh bones is the most dangerous. As a result, any fall can cause a fracture.
Women more often suffer from osteoporosis than men.
According to statistics, every fourth woman aged 60 and over has signs of osteoporosis. This is explained by hormonal changes in the body after menopause.
Chronic arterial disease is associated with the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels. As a result of the formation of atheromatous plaques, the walls of blood vessels become deformed, narrowed, or even overgrown. Possible symptoms of atherosclerosis include headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, shortness of breath, and pain behind the chest.
The average age of cancer diagnosis is 64.5 years. People over the age of 60 are diagnosed with 70% of cancer cases. Malignant neoplasms in old age are caused by the accumulation of molecular abnormalities for years. Environmental factors, such as radiation, ultraviolet light, and carcinogens have a greater influence on tumor development than genetic predisposition.
It is a chronic progressive disease causing a decrease in bone density. It’s diagnosed in about 33% of women and 25% of men over the age of 50. Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures, especially femoral neck fractures (they can occur from even minimal disposal).
Type 2 diabetes
This dangerous disease is considered a non-infectious epidemic of the 21st century. It’s diagnosed at the age of 35-40 years. Risk factors include unhealthy diet, poor ecology, and a sedentary lifestyle but the main one is excessive body weight, observed in 80% of patients. Excessive thirst, dry mouth, and frequent urination are the symptoms of diabetes.
Preventive maintenance of diseases
There’s nothing to do about the genes you inherit from your parents but you can minimize the risk of painful old age and disability. For the prevention of diseases, do the following:
- quit smoking;
- quit drinking alcohol;
- eat a healthy diet;
- maintain a healthy weight;
- avoid direct sunlight;
- stay physically active;
- avoid stress.
It’s important to take care of your health. Visit your doctor regularly to avoid serious problems and catch diseases in their early stages.