Aging and Chronic Diseases

Aging and Chronic Diseases

AGING AND CHRONIC DISEASES 6

Agingand Chronic Diseases

Agingand Chronic Diseases

Acutediseases are onset and sudden health conditions that affect humanbeings on short durations. These diseases mostly occur and resolvewithout necessarily having the patient taking any medicalintervention. However, they can persist if the patient has lowimmunity or has biological conditional that facilitate occurrence ofthe acute illnesses. Good examples of common acute diseases includecommon cold and cough. In regard to older people, acute diseases tendto persist because of defective immunity that comes with older age(Lesson 2, 2015).Aspeople age, the old age comes along with a significant reduction inbody immunity (Rowe&amp Khan 1998).

Onthe other hand, chronic diseases are serious illnesses that form inthe body over a long period of time. This period of time is sometimesmore than three months. Unlike the acute diseases, chronic illnessesrequire medical attention and treatment for the patient to recover(Lesson 2, 2015).Thesediseases are treated with prescription and in most cases may needserious medical interventions depending on the extent of the illness.Good examples of chronic illness are diabetes and heart diseases. Inregard to old age, chronic diseases from a greater percentage ofdiseases that affect the old people (Lesson 2, 2015).Thesediseases require long term care or management as some may bepermanent such as diabetes.

Chronicconditions and old age

HeartDiseases

Thereare various symptoms of heart diseases depending on the type of heartcondition causing the illness. Among the symptoms include shortnessof breath, feeling weak and general dizziness. In addition, patientsof heart diseases complain of nausea, some vomiting, chest pains,chest discomforts and throat discomforts (Poon et al, 2003). Anothersymptom is an irregular heart rhythm, which is referred to as anarrhythmia.

Therisk factors for heart diseases are diverse, but age and nutritionare the most determinant. One of the risk factors is age, where oldpeople have a higher risk of getting heart diseases than the youngones. This is because aging is associated with changes in thephysiological structures of the vascular walls and vessels. Othersignificant risk factors are nutritional in nature in the form ofpoor diet. Eating of fatty foods and junk meals is among the factorsthat lead to excessive cholesterol in the body, which form acholesterol blockage in the heart’s blood vessels (Poon et al,2003). Other risk factors include alcoholism, tobacco, gender,pollution and physical inactivity.

Thetreatment for the heart diseases involves medical interventions thatseek to manage the condition rather than heal them. The initialtreatment by the doctor is aimed at controlling the heart rate. Inthe cases where medicine is not adequate, doctors also use surgicalprocedures that depend on the extent of the damage done to the heart.At the same time, lifestyle changes are part of the treatment aspatients are advised to take low fat foods and balanced diets.

Theheart disease has possible consequences on the day to day operationsof the old people. First, they are restricted in the type of the dayto day activities that they engage. Depending on the condition oftheir heart condition, they are not allowed to carry out hardexercise, walk long distances of engaging in tiresome activities(Poon et al, 2003). Their diet is also restricted as they are limitedon fatty foods, which they may desire to take. In addition, themedication for the heart disease may affect their health, but helpsthem in the greater good of their health.

Arthritis

Arthritisis one of the common old age diseases in the world, and has uniquesymptoms. One of the symptoms is muscle and joint pains which persistover time as the arthritis becomes more chronic. Another severesymptom is stiffness of joints and inability to walk or movecomfortably (Poon et al, 2003). This limits the movement of a personand causes pain when overworked. Other symptoms include weight loss,muscle weakness and general tiredness, partial or completedisability, fatigue and lack of sleep.

Oldage and aging is one of the most determinant risk factors. Asobserved over time, the risk of having arthritis increases with age,and the condition is more prevalent among the elderly population. Inaddition, nutrition is cited as another risk factor as the diseaseaffects people with poor diets. Other risk factors include gender,obesity and overweight, occupation and joint infections.

Arthritishas no known treatment that cures the disease. However, the treatmentthat is available is for the management of the disease. Themedication provided to arthritis patients is aimed at reducing theeffect of the symptoms and have healthy joints (Poon et al, 2003). Insome cases, joint replacement procedures are done where physiciansseek to erode arthritis in a specific joint.

Inregards to aging, arthritis has severe consequences that affect theelderly on a daily basis. Arthritis reduces their mobility because ofthe stiffness of the joints and muscles. Arthritis also increasestheir daily pains due to the persistent joint pains (Poon et al,2003). At the same time, arthritis affects the comfort of the livesof the elderly by curtailing their sleep, weight loss and bodyfatigue. More severely, arthritis may shorten the lives of theelderly by causing disability in the extreme cases of the disease.

References

Rowe,J.W., &amp Khan, R.L. (1998). SuccessfulAging.Michigan: University of Michigan

Lecture2, 2015, BiologicalAging: Maintaining Functional Abilities and Managing Chronic Illness.ClassNotes,2015Pearson Education, Inc,2/17/2015

Poon,L., &nbspGueldner, S.H., &amp Sprouse, B.M. (2003).Successful Aging and Adaptation with Chronic Diseases. NewYork: Springer Publishing Company