Growing old can be daunting for many. From wrinkles to grey hairs, our body undergoes a lot of changes as we age. And with it comes a long list of health issues. But just because you’re not young anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a healthy life.
In celebration of World Sr. Citizens Day, we take a look at the 7 most common elderly health issues and how you can prevent them.
Arthritis – This inflammation of the joints affects over 10 million Indians every year. Arthritis can refer to any of over 100 different types of joint diseases that cause pain and stiffness in the joints.
Keep your joints healthy and strong with plenty of physical exercises, maintain a healthy weight and follow a diet rich in Vitamin C. Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, ginger and turmeric.
Heart Disease – Increasing risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the chances of developing a heart disease or stroke. The heart muscles are bound to tire as we age.
For a healthy heart, manage your stress levels, avoid smoking, limit your alcohol intake and be physically active. Make sure to check your family history for cardiac issues and monitor your BP and cholesterol on a regular basis.
Cancer – Every year, there are over 7 lac new cases of cancer in India. While most cases of cancer are out of our control, there are plenty of situations where poor lifestyle habits have led to cancer.
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent cancer. Avoid smoking, excess exposure to the sun and alcohol. Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Get a health checkup regularly to monitor your health.
Osteoporosis – Ageing causes the bones to shrink and muscles to lose strength and flexibility. With osteoporosis, the body is not able to absorb and replace the bone tissue, leading to reduced mass and weak bones.
A regular intake of calcium and Vitamin D is essential for strong bones. Weight-bearing exercises like walking and jogging can also promote healthy bones.
Diabetes – Older people are more susceptible to Diabetes due to an increase in insulin resistance and reduced pancreatic islet function. If left unchecked, diabetes can affect nearly all the major organs of the body.
Health checkups at the right time can help detect Diabetes at an early stage. The sooner that you identify your risk for diabetes, the sooner you can make lifestyle changes and keep your diabetes under control.
Periodontist – As we age, cavities become more difficult to prevent. But most dental issues are not because of age, it’s due to neglect. Periodontist starts as gingivitis, which can be prevented early on by brushing twice every day and a regular visit to the dentist.
Remember that diabetics are more likely to develop oral infections and need to monitor their oral health.
Alzheimer’s – AD is a form of dementia where the memory loss persists and worsens as people age. In the case of Alzheimer’s, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in mental function.
While there is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s, it’s important to practice regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, get quality sleep and have an active social life in order to reduce the risks.
Remeber, age is just a number and not nearly as important as health.. If your’e in good health, you can enjoy things well into your 80’s!
Happy World Senior Citizen Day!
Author: Manju Athilat
Manju is our resident content writer. With a masters degree in biomedical engineering and a passion for healthcare, she authors content with a focus on living a healthy lifestyle and practicing preventive health.