Monday, December 25, 2017

Dehydration in the elderly people

Dehydration means abnormal loss of body water. In other words, it is deficit of total body water when water loss or excessive exercise or disease like diarrhea and cholera or  excessive weather temperature exceeds water intake  .Water loss from 5% to 8% may cause fatigue and dizziness. When there is loss of body water more than 10%, physical and mental deterioration associated with thirst  can take place.
The most common types of dehydration is based on serium levels .Hiptonic or hypernatremics  primarily  refer as  loss of water and isotonic or isonatraemic refer as electrolytes. Out of the three types, the most common type of dehydration is isotonic dehydration.Dehydration in the severe stage in the elderly people may be fatal and serious. They  are at higher risks when they do not drink plenty of water or sweat severely.
The main symptoms of dehydration are thirst, headache, general discomfort and neurological problems like headache,  loss of appetite, less urination, confusion , tiredness, purple finger nails and seizures. The symptoms gradually get severe with greater water loss. Thirsty diminishes with the increase of age over 50 years. In fine, it can be told that elderly people suffer from dehydration in larger numbers. The main symptoms of dehydration are thirst, headache, general discomfort, loss of appetite, decreased urine flow , mental confusion, tiredness, purple finger nails, and seizures. Dehydration and hypovolemia may occur in the same person simultaneously .In fine, thirst, sleepiness, urinary tract infections ,dry mouth, dry tongue, headache, difficulty in  urine flow, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, pain in  arms and legs , dry skin, fever, irritation, constipation ,etc are its prominent symptoms .In severe cases, the main symptoms are confusion, irritability, lethargy, fainting, low urine output, severe   muscle contractions in arms, legs, stomach and back, low blood pressure, heart failure ,etc.
The causes of dehydration are hot and humid weather, habitation at high altitudes,old age, infant age, childhood and old age suffering from chronic illness .Thirst and  inadequate access to free water due to excessive water loss cause dehydration . Sensible loss of water like osmotic dieresis, sweating ,vomiting , diarrhea and water loss caused through skin and respiratory tract are also its causes. The main causes of this problem are: (a) impaired thirst due to insensible respiratory losses, fluid loss due to urinary losses in hyperglycemia and transient hypernatremia caused by severe exercise, and (b) Sodium excess, hypertonic sodium intake without proper water intake. In elderly people, blunted response to thirst and insufficient and non free access to water in case of water losses are principal causes of  this problem.
The principal symptoms for dehydration are:
·         Thirst
·         Headache
·         Weakness
·         Dizziness
·         Sleepiness
·         Urinary tract infections
·         Fever
·         Irritation
·         Constipation
·         Dark yellow urination
·         Dry skin, etc.
 The main treatment of dehydration includes drinking of sufficient water and stopping loss of fluid. Solid foods are responsible for fluid loss when there is vomiting, and diarrhea. Concentration and frequent urination can ensure normal dehydration status. Sometimes, replenishment of necessary water and electrolytes can ensure normal state of hydration. Non drinking of fresh water can worsen this condition. Dehydration associated with fainting, unconsciousness or other severe conditions ,quick treatment should be ensured by taking oral or intravenous water into the body.
Thirst is the main cause of dehydration. Exercising  ,warm weather or decreased thirst response, additional water may be necessary for preventing dehydration .Normal water loss takes place while in rest and water loss through the lungs as water vapor. Moreover, additional water loss takes place through kidney urination and diarrhea.
Water loss may increase remarkably in warm or humid weather. Sodium is lost when there is loss of large amount of water. Total loss of sodium reaches 10% of total body stores due to exercising and sweating .Majority of people can tolerate these losses since there is inclusion of sodium in drinks. Sodium intake possesses little or no risk so long as the fluids are hypotonic. Severity in dehydration needs urgent medical treatment .Drinking excess water and staying away from bright sunrays should be ensured. Always one bottle of water or juice should be kept in hand and  regularly used.

Diverticulitis in the elderly people

 Diverticulitis is a problem that causes pains. It is a problem caused in the colon. When there is no fiber to add to the stool, the work of the colon gets harder . In fine, small sacs formed in the intestine cause the pain. It is an elderly disease in which pouches are formed in the colon wall. This problem takes place when these pouches are inflamed or infected.
The actual cause of diverticulitis is uncertain. It can develop when it is  roughly guessed that bacteria goes in the large intestine.  Of course,no doctor can ensure the actual cause of this  problem. It occurs when small sacs or diverticuli  walls  develop  in the large  intestine which cause inflammation .The colon has no other alternative but  to work harder for pushing the stool forward  when there is no fiber to add bulk to the stool. In many cases, bacteria grown in the pouches causes inflammation or infection.
The sign and symptom of diverticulitis is frequent pain in the abdomen. It is the main symptom of this problem .The lower portion of the human body known as stomach and bowel  is attacked with pain. Its other symptoms include fever, chills, gastritis, diarrhea, nausea, constipation and vomiting. The most significant symptom  of diverticulitis  is  occasional pain in the left side of the abdomen when there is blockade in the intestine . Constipation and fever are common problems in diverticulitis also.

Risk factors
Elderly people are primarily attacked with this disease. It generally develops  with the increase of age. People eating diets poor in fiber are at higher risks of being attacked with this problem in large numbers. 
 Medical and complete physical examination of  the whole body help to diagnose this problem. Particular testing is highly necessary to ensure the problem. Some x-ray tests help to diagnose it  to some extent. The tests like colonoscopy and x-ray of the colon are very important ones in this regard. Many balloon like sacs develop in the large intestine partly in the lower portion. gastro- enterologists  or proctologists can conduct such tests.
 An x-ray can also help diagnose this problem .It is a barium enema inserted in the colon . X-rays are done to assess whether the sac is present along the colon wall or not.
Treatment of diverticulitis is mainly dependent   on complications .Diet change to low fiber diet, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-spasmodic drugs and oral antibiotics  are done effectively. When the case gets severe due to intestinal blockage or rupture ,oral antibiotic is effective. When there is fever, abdominal pain, localized abdominal pain lasting for longer period and stool in the blood serious treatment options become essential.
 In fine, treatment of diverticulitis depends on different complications. If necessary, dietary measures like taking low fiber diets and anti-inflammatory drugs and oral antibiotic.  Treatment   becomes essential when there is fever of more than 100*F, severe abdominal pain, bleeding in the stool, etc.
 Adding fiber to the diet, developing  regular bowel habits, avoiding  laxatives and pain killers, trying to prevent constipation, drinking sufficient water daily and undergoing regular exercise are preventive measures in this problem.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Atherosclerosis in the elderly people

Atherosclerosis means hardening of the arteries. It affects the medium and large arteries in the human body. Cholesterol, fatty substances and waste products in body cells, calcium and fibrin form plaques and clot the inner walls of the skin causing hard and narrow arteries.It affects blood flow and creates severe life-threatening complications causing blockade in blood flow through the arteries. It creates problems in normal oxygen flow to the heart, lungs and other areas of the body and chest pain, leg pain, neck pain, headache,  heart attack and death of muscle cells take place causing permanent heart damage and stroke.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Arthritis in the elderly people

Arthritis i.e.joint inflammation is a very common disease from which the old people suffer in almost large numbers.There are many health conditions that affect the joints and body muscles of the old people.Arthritis is of nearly 100 types of which Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common ones.There is an aching pain in the joints when it is rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Women are more affected in this disease.The joints, knees, and hips are usually affected by this type of arthritis.Rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammatory condition causing joint destruction, pain, and stiffness.This problem usually starts between the age of 45 to 65 years.

Dermatomyositis(DM) in the Elderly people

Dermatomyositis is one type of rare muscle inflammatory disease.It is to note that myopathy is a muscle disease and is known as myositis.Myositis is an inflammatory muscle disease.It mostly affects the muscles of the hips, thighs, upper arms, upper areas of the back, the shoulder and the neck.Nearly two times of women are affected by this disease than men.The majority number of people of the age of 50 years to 70 years and children of the age between 5 to 15 years are victims of this disease. Nearly two times of women/girls are affected by this disease than men/boys.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Osteoarthritis in the elderly people

Osteoarthritis is a joint problem in which there are stiffness and pain in the joints.  The causes of osteoarthritis are not completely known. Increase in body weight causes pressure on the knees and the hips and such increase in body weight increases the risk of causing osteoarthritis.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Conductive hearing loss in the elderly people

Conductive hearing loss is a hearing problem. It causes blockage in the passing of sound waves through the outer ear, eardrum or middle ear to the inner ear. Normal hearing is of the range of 0 to 20 decibels while mild hearing loss ranges from 21 to 40 decibels, moderate hearing loss ranges from 41 to 55 decibels, moderately severe hearing loss ranges from 56 to 70 decibels, severe hearing loss ranges from 71 to 90 decibels and profound hearing loss is greater than 90 decibels.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Color blindness in the elderly people

Color blindness is a problem that causes trouble in viewing red, green and blue colors or combination of them.People suffering from color blindness can not differentiate among different colors.It is known as color vision problem also.Elderly people loose vision power and gradually fail to differentiate among different colors.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Colorectal cancer in the elderly people

We know that cancer is abnormal growth of cells that spread to other areas of the body. Colorectal cancer is also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer.It starts from the large intestine or the rectum.Liver and lungs are the most common sites of colorectal cancer. This problem is seen in elderly people from 50 years and above.This type of cancer has five stages as below:
 *Stage 0: Early stage of cancer in the innermost layer of the intestine;
 *Stage 1: Cancer in the inner layer of the colon;
 *Stage 2: Cancer that spreads in muscle wall of the colon;
 *Stage 3: Cancer that spreads to the lymph nodes;
 *Stage 4: Cancer that spreads to other organs of the body.
The cancer of the last stage is not a curable problem.Complications in this disease include colon blockage leading to bowel obstruction

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Atrial fibrillation in the Elderly people

Atrial fibrillation is a problem with irregular, rapid and abnormal heart beat increasing risks of stroke,heart disease, heart palpitation, fainting,short breathing,chest pain with risks of heart failure, dementia,etc.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Analplastic thyroid cancer in the elderly people

Analplastic thyroid cancer(ATC) is the most aggressive type of cancer.This type of cancer has poor forecast  and poor treatment facilities.Thyroid cancer  is of four categories namely Analplastic thyroid cancer,Papillary thyroid cancer,  Follicular thyroid cancer and Medullary thyroid cancer. Analplastic thyroid cancer can affect the elderly people of  65 years and above.Most people can survive for more than six months.Very few patients survive up to 5 to 6 years  in rare cases.This problem can develop after many years from radiation exposure. This type of cancer is inoperable.It is rare in younger people and children. Male people are more  attacked with this type of cancer than women. In course  of time,it develops in other areas of the body like bones,lungs and brain.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in the elderly people

The largest blood vessel in the human body is the aorta. It carries and circulates blood from the heart to all other areas of the body like chest, arms, legs, abdomen, etc. The aortic walls bulge out like a small balloon and create a position known as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).Abdominal Aortic  Aneurysm(AAA) is not a problem creator all the time but a broken or ruptured aneurysm may be life-threatening.In fine, the aorta is the main circulator of the blood stream and a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.
  Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms(AAA) are classified on the basis of size and speed of growth.The
 small or slow-growing Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is less than 5.5 centimeters and has lower risks of rupture which are considered by the physicians as safer than those with larger Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms larger than 5.5 centimeters are at higher risks of rupture leading to internal bleeding with other complications.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Paralysis in the elderly people

Paralysis is a body condition in which the muscle can not move freely. In this condition, feeling and sensation in the nerves and the spinal cord connected  with the human brain is lost.The spine  is made of 24 vertebrae.Paralysis is classified as localized paralysis (when any part of the body like hand or face) and generalized paralysis (when the large portion of the body is affected). There are some other sub-types of paralysis like monoplegia (when one limb is affected), hemiplegia (when one side of the body is affected), paraplegia (when both the legs and the pelvis of the body are affected) and quadriplegia ( when the legs and the arms are paralyzed).Permanent paralysis is the result of some serious injuries in the neck. Partial paralysis is caused when a man with some muscular sensation can move only one leg.And when he can not move his muscles due to complete loss of sensation, it is complete paralysis.Some harmful drugs,poisoning, accidents, infections, and tumors may cause paralysis also.Its mains causes are discussed below: