Unexpected health problems that could bother you in later years (Part II)

By June 15, 2021 Health & Nutrition

Sourced with thanks from eatthis.com

As you age health issues abound. That is something everyone knows. But most of the focus is diseases that are high profile and have high awareness among seniors like hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems etc. However, there are any number of unexpected health problems that can start bothering you after the age of 50. Some of them you may have heard of or experienced and a number of them may come as a surprise. Check out the article below, adapted from the original, in which the author shares a long list of such health problems with feedback from medical specialists. The information provided may help you to be better prepared to accept and deal with such health problems. This is Part 2 of the two-part series. Team RetyrSmart

Unexpected health problems that could bother you in later years (Part II)

You Have More Nasal Secretions

Vasomotor rhinitis is a condition that gets more common with advancing age. Patients with this problem tend to get nasal congestion and a runny nose which can be unpleasant. The main mechanism causing the problem relates to an imbalance between the part of the nervous system that control nasal secretions. These are the sympathetic (‘fight or flight’) nervous system and the parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) nervous system.

Recommendation: Ipratropium nasal sprays are commonly used to treat this condition. This medication is an ‘anticholinergic drug’ which inhibits the parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) nervous system. There are also surgical treatments that target the vidian nerve and its branches within the nose. This nerve brings parasympathetic nerve fibres into the nose and targeting it nerve can decrease the ability of the nose to create the secretions and congested feeling that bother patients.

You Have Tendonitis

Tendonitis is more common once we hit your 50s as the tendon loses its flexibility. The tendon becomes inflamed, and can cause chronic pain and inflammation. This is most common in arms and legs, and can become worse after repetitive motion activities.

Recommendation: Regular stretching and avoiding overuse can help prevent future problems.

You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive motion injuries such as from typing become more common as we age, and carpal tunnel syndrome is no different.  The carpal tunnel is the region where the nerves travel through your wrist towards your fingers, and scar tissue builds up causing nerve compression.

Recommendation: This chronic condition can be treated with chiropractic care, massage therapy, and therapeutic ultrasound treatments, and early detection usually results in a better outcome. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse pad will also help.

You Might Get a Thyroid Disorder

As you age, you become more susceptible to developing thyroid disorders. Signs of hypothyroidism include feeling cold when other people do not; constipation; muscle weakness; and weight gain, among others.

Recommendation: Seeing as this is the gland that regulates your hormones and ensures that your body is functioning at its optimum, regularly getting checks on your thyroid health is imperative after 50. Both an underactive and overactive thyroid can lead to chronic problems later in life.

You’ve Got a Prostate Issue

As a condition, this isn’t surprising. But it’s always surprising when it happens to you! More than three million men have prostate cancer, affecting the small gland that produces seminal fluid.

Recommendation: The PSA is a blood test designed to detect early prostate cancer in men, and it is falling under increasing scrutiny. A growing consensus suggests that it’s usually not necessary, but considerable disagreement persists.  My take on this subject is that men should not routinely get this test, especially if they are younger than 50 or older than 74. If, however, one is between those ages, one should talk with his doctor about the risks and benefits of the test, and your risk factors, such as being African-American or having a strong family history of this disease.

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You Might Have a Nutritional Deficiency

For people over 50, they must understand that with age we all absorb and digest food much more poorly. We already know that all adults are not getting enough nutrients in their diets. This accelerates because of the body’s decreasing ability to absorb much needed vitamins, minerals and nutrients, like magnesium.

Recommendation: Fill your diet with lean proteins, healthy fats and plenty of fibre. Adults over 50 must take high quality supplements, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Also, if you are on any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, these interfere even more with nutrient absorption and digestion.

Your Brain Slows

So speed it up! Take up other intellectual and physical pursuits that require discipline and rigor to keep body, mind and spirit in growth mode. It is rare to see older doctors stop everything and simply watch TV. They stay active in all areas of life and even do very tough things like marathons and like me learning a foreign language.

Recommendation: “In my immersion French program out of 60 students there were 8 physicians,” she says. “We were all doing it to master something different and/or to pursue other challenging pursuits including volunteering in a place in which we would need to know another language.”

Your Skin Breaks Down

The natural aging process has a negative effect on our skin after 50. This is partly due to the fact that your body produces less collagen with age. Collagen is the protein that makes up nearly 75% of your skin’s overall proteins, increasing your skin’s elasticity and ability to renew. Without collagen your skin begins to look dull, fine lines appear, and your skin struggles to regenerate. Your skin provides your body with a natural defence barrier against harmful elements and external factors.

Recommendation: When your skin is weak, your whole body becomes susceptible to an array of health concerns. Increasing your intake of collagen through your diet, supplements, or skin care products can go a long way in restoring your skin’s health after 50.

You’ve Got a Sudden Cascade!

Many associate a normal part of aging with weight gain, difficulty sleeping, memory decline and constipation, and a host of other chronic conditions. What many don’t expect is to see several symptoms pop up all at once! The great news here is that precision approaches to medicine are proving these chronic health issues are not only preventable, most are reversible.

Recommendation: Explore precision medicine. Precision approaches to medicine using advanced functional testing and epigenetic testing is not only helping practitioners find and eliminate the root issues of these chronic issues it allows you to get an inside look to your body’s ‘operation manual. Understanding how your lifestyle choices, foods, and environmental toxins affect your body not only gives answers for reversing chronic disease, but it gives specific evidence of how you need to maintain your body to slow the aging process and optimize your performance.

You’re Hormone Levels Decrease

One surprising fact is that both men and women have decreases in their respective hormone levels—estrogen for women and testosterone for menIn essence both genders go through ‘menopause,’ which can cause loss of muscle mass and strength, sleep disruption, memory issues, mood swings, and weight gain. This process can actually begin as early as your 30s but it tends to accelerate after 40 and even more at 50.

Recommendation: You’ll find hormone therapies for both genders, but must discuss with a doctor, as the treatments must be personalized.

You Have GERD

GERD, aka gastroesophageal reflux disease, can lead to heartburn or acid reflux, and becomes more common after 50. One reason may shock you. Patients over 50 who have GERD may be surprised to find that the root cause is a hiatal hernia. an unexpected, but not terribly uncommon condition.

Recommendation: Diet and lifestyle changes are most frequently prescribed, but surgery is a possibility. If you’re experiencing symptoms, please discuss with your doctor.

Your Hearing Loss Can Spark Something Worse

Hearing loss is often an unanticipated condition, and on average, those with hearing trouble wait seven to ten years before seeking treatment, which can lead to many other life-altering conditions. Nearly 23% of people over the age of 50 and 50% of people over the age of 75 suffer. What people may not know is that numerous studies have shown links between hearing impairment and other conditions like depression, decreased balance and dementia. These risk factors increase substantially as hearing difficulty increases or is left untreated.

Recommendation: It is important to actively maintain hearing health by scheduling yearly hearing assessments at hearing health centres or during annual doctor appointments. If hearing loss is suspected, early intervention can be instrumental in preserving quality of life.

You Have an Overactive Bladder

Not a disease as much as a group of symptoms, an overactive bladder leads to the urgent need to urinate, or to urinate often.

Recommendation: Don’t be embarrassed to ask your doctor for help. As many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. It is not a normal part of aging. You and your healthcare provider should talk about what you want from treatment and about each option, including lifestyle changes; prescription medications; Bladder Botox; nerve stimulation and surgery.

You’ve Got a Hernia

A hiatal hernia is the result of laxity building in the connection between the top of the stomach and the diaphragm. It allows the stomach to slide into the chest, it can result from pressure brought on by obesity—but it is also related to the connective tissue loosening either because of age, obesity, or a connective tissue disorder. Such hernias tend to progress over time and most people do not seek endoscopy before age 50 unless they have symptoms they are trying to pursue. So age is not the cause of the hernia but it will often be discovered when the patient is older unless they were symptomatic with reflux.

Recommendation: The biggest preventative factor is to stay healthy and active, and to avoid obesity.

You Have Vaginal Dryness

Different than dryness due to lack of sexual interest, “vaginal dryness” can happen to any woman but it’s “much more common after menopause. The North American Menopause Society and the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health refer to this combination of menopausal symptoms, which are brought on by a drop in the body’s estrogen production, as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).

Recommendation: Moisturizers and tablets can help; ask your doctor for sure. It’s not just a part of aging.

Essential tremor

Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder, causing involuntary shaking in different parts of the body, but most often affects the hands. ET can affect people at any age, but it is most common among those 50 years of age and older. Essential tremors usually occur when you move your hands, whereas Parkinson’s Disease tremors often occur when your hands are not moving.

Recommendation: Many people just live with them. Beta blockers or anti-seizure medication might help. Ask your doctor.

You Have Too Much Adrenaline

When it comes to aging, there is an issue that is completely off the radar. It is related to excess levels of adrenaline. It is a problem that is extremely common when you consider the millions of people that have problems with insomnia, ADHD, fibromyalgia, anxiety, addiction to drugs and alcohol, anger issues, plus many more conditions. All the above problems are caused by excess adrenaline and do not necessarily affect the life span. However, excess adrenaline is one of the primary factors that shortens the length of telomeres—the area at the end of chromosomes that actually determine how long we might live.

Recommendation: On the positive side, excess adrenaline is easy to manage simply by providing the brain with the two fuels it requires: glucose, which is best derived from vegetables since they are low-glycemic, and ketones, best derived from MCT or coconut oil. You should also reduce stress, and a transdermal cream may help, too. Ask your doctor.

Your Sleep is Hormonal

When you think about getting a good night’s sleep, you may not immediately think of hormones. Sleep and hormones are deeply interconnected. Your body produces hormones during restful sleep so that we can have optimal energy, immunity and natural drive. Yet, changes in hormone levels can affect our ability to sleep.

Recommendation: If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep disorder, difficulty falling and staying asleep and find yourself always tired when you wake up, it’s possible that hormone therapy can get your sleep patterns back on track.

You’re Severely Depressed

Whether you’ve had a history of depression or not, it could overtake you after 50 due to a few factors, including a possibly hormonal imbalance, the accumulation of stress or simply the crushing weight of a single hard truth: You’re aging.

Recommendation: Don’t face this alone, even if alone is how you feel. Life doesn’t have to be like this. Contact your doctor, who can recommend the perfect mental health professional.

Your Neglect Catches Up with You

What patients do to themselves in 30s and 40s will show in their 50s and after. Poor eating habits, a lack of sleep, high stress, and a lack of physical activity will begin to show damaging effects as a person ages.

Recommendation: Although some damage isn’t reversible, simple lifestyle changes can be easy and effective. Start with improving what you eat, how you sleep and exercise.

You Think Being Overweight is a Given

They call it “middle age” because our middles get fat—isn’t that the old joke? But in fact, although your metabolism slows, along with your energy, it’s still possible to be fit and trim at any age. You have to put the work in. The rewards—a longer life especially—make it worth it.

Recommendation: Work with your doctor, a nutritionist and a personal trainer to devise a personalized plan. If you eat the same things and exercise the same amount as you did in your thirties, you could potentially still gain weight. Women don’t want to hear that, but it is biology.

You Down with COPD (Yeah You Know Me)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a chronic inflammatory lung disease. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus production and wheezing. How’d you get this one? You may have been exposed to cigarette smoke or chemical fumes.

Recommendation: Make like Bill Clinton and don’t “inhale”—cigarette smoke or hazardous chemicals.

Your Lack of Sleep Could Lead to Alzheimer’s

There is growing evidence that sleep disturbance and the development of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are linked. Studies have found that sleep disruption can precede the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by years. Perhaps the most compelling evidence comes from a study in animals where sleep was shown to clear out of the toxic proteins that is responsible for Alzheimer’s.

Recommendation: More research is needed about the link, but there is no doubt that a better night’s sleep leads to better cognitive function. And to get through life at your healthiest.

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