Andrei Sakharov, deputy head of the Center for Medical Prevention of the Ministry of Health of the Territory, talks about how to prolong life and what to do so that our relatives live as long and easier as possible.
– Human health depends on many factors: heredity, atmosphere, level and way of life. All this can affect the causes of illness, aging and even death, – said Andrei Sakharov. “Although old age cannot be avoided, it is possible to delay it. A healthy lifestyle and continuous scientific progress will prolong life. Let’s take a look at the most common health problems in adults and the elderly.
This is due to the natural aging of the physical function of the body. It becomes more vulnerable to various viruses and pathogenic bacteria.
Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases
This includes hyperlipidemia, hypertension, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, and dementia. Their main characteristics are a high incidence rate, a high incidence of disability, and a huge impact on the quality of life. High cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, smoking, overweight, stress are catalysts for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, in developed countries, the costs of treating diseases of the cardiovascular system and diseases of the cerebral vessels account for up to 10 percent of funds for health care.
Cardiac hypoxia (increased heart rate, feeling of pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, angina pectoris) and cerebral hypoxia (dizziness and ripples in the eyes, memory loss, loss of consciousness, general lethargy, loss of strength, numbness of the arms and legs).
Causes of hypoxia:
- environmental pollution;
- a decrease in oxygen in the air;
- biological processes of vascular aging, which lead to a decrease in the amount of oxygen, and a lack of oxygen creates the basis for the occurrence of diseases of the heart, liver, brain and kidneys of a person.
The body’s resistance to hypoxia is limited. If you exceed its stability limit, then this can lead to pathological changes in the body (the brain and heart are especially susceptible to this). Diseases of the vessels of the heart and brain lead to increased tissue hypoxia, therefore irreversible harm is caused to the body.
Persons of advanced age, mental workers, persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases are prone to hypoxia.
Diseases of the stomach and intestines
Patients suffering from such diseases not only experience physical pain, harmful substances accumulate in their bodies, and their immunity decreases.
According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 70 percent of those suffering from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are middle-aged and elderly people. The most common diseases are anorexia, flatulence, abdominal pain, gastric secretion disorders, and constipation.
In adulthood, organs age, physical functions become lower, this fully concerns the digestive system. Therefore, there is often a feeling of discomfort in the stomach and intestines.
Premature aging of the body also occurs due to excess weight, bad habits, and poor nutrition. Vitality gradually decreases, which slows down the process of synthesizing nutrients, tissues are poorly regenerated, and the functionality of internal organs and systems decreases. Aging of cells and tissues leads to the fact that they lose their qualities. For example, scientists have shown that the brain decreases in weight with old age, and the convolutions become thinner.
Warning: gastrointestinal diseases are the source of hundreds of other diseases! Malignant changes in the gastrointestinal tract are the secret enemy of the body. If you do not carry out timely and effective treatment of these diseases, then they can cause erosion of the gastric mucosa, ulcers and even cancer. Environmental factors, taking medications, drinking alcohol, strong tea, excessively cold, hot, spicy food, contaminated water, residues of pesticides and fertilizers – all this very seriously affects the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines.
Only an organism with a healthy intestine and stomach absorbs nutrients and at the same time safely releases harmful substances and toxins.
Respiratory diseases in the elderly also develop in a special way. The older the patient, the more difficult it is to recognize pneumonia, since the temperature does not rise, there are no stabbing pains in the chest area and chills. The clinical picture is presented by symptoms of a general nature: loss of appetite, malaise and weakness, apathy. Often, patients lose their orientation in space, they have other signs of intoxication. A prolonged course of pneumonia, and then its transition to a chronic form, can be facilitated by a decrease in immunity, the presence of chronic bronchitis (especially if a person smokes), and changes in the vessels in the lungs.
Sleep plays a very important role in people’s lives. Sleep is the physiological need of the body. Spending more than 5 days without sleep is fatal to humans. In old age, a full sleep is necessary, lasting at least 7-8 hours. The body needs this time to rest well and fully recuperate.
Unfortunately, sleep disturbance is very harmful for the elderly and becomes evident with age. Unhealthy sleep causes a lot of health problems: decreased immunity, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, headache, dizziness, lethargy, memory impairment, neurasthenia, depression, early aging.
If insomnia worries, taking sedatives and walking before bed will help.
Mental health disorder
The psyche in old age suffers greatly from the fact that people are limited in freedom of movement. They are worried about constant pain, as well as the fact that they are completely dependent on their relatives caring for them. Additional negativity brings the death of someone close to you, as well as disability or a sharp change in material and social status in connection with retirement.
Physicians trace a close relationship between physical and mental health. Somatic disorders in the elderly lead to depressive conditions. If a person is not removed from this state, then the disease will only progress.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find inappropriate treatment of the older generation. This can seriously undermine their psychosomatic state, and sometimes lead to depression and dementia. Therefore, doctors advise trying to give as much attention as possible to their elderly relatives. Sensitive caring will help them gain confidence in the future and a positive attitude towards future life. And the state should, in turn, take measures to protect the health of the elderly.
How to Maintain the Physical Health of Older People
It is no secret that a person ages throughout his life. You need to take care of your own body yourself. The health status of older people directly depends on what kind of life they led when they were young. Old age sets in prematurely, and in some cases death, if a person smoked a lot, took alcohol, ate inadequate and unbalanced food, and moved a little.
This negative background contributes to the development of many chronic diseases. In Europe, about 77 percent of all pathological conditions and about 86 percent of deaths are due to diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, oncology, chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract, and mental disorders. The situation is even more difficult in disadvantaged social strata.
The World Health Organization has introduced the latest standards for age determination:
- young people – up to 44 years old;
- people of mature age – from 45 to 59 years old;
- elderly people – from 60 to 74 years old;
- old people – from 75 to 90 years old;
- long-livers – 90 years and older.
The health tips for seniors are very simple. Remember that it is never too late to start leading a healthy lifestyle, eliminating bad habits. In this case, the threat of premature death will immediately drop to 50 percent, and the quality of life will significantly improve.
Studies have shown that older people who regularly exercise feasible physical activity are less susceptible to somatic diseases leading to early death from coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer.
In people with an active lifestyle, who are attentive to their body, the weight and level of cardiorespiratory and muscular conditions are close to ideal. And biomarkers in this case acquire a structure favorable for strengthening bone tissue and preventing heart disease, blood vessels and diabetes. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the risk of type 2 diabetes is minimized.
10 rules of longevity:
Keep your mind young. Studies show that if a person continues to work mentally, then the aging process in his body can slow down. Such people are less susceptible to senile dementia and, according to statistics, have a higher level of health. Therefore, read, be interested in news, learn something new, be creative, play chess – continue to develop as a person.
Think positively. You should not attract numerous diseases to yourself, look for symptoms of diseases and be afraid of old age. Everyone knows the expression “thought is material”, and in the case of diseases, there is the so-called placebo effect. It lies in the fact that if a person is convinced of something, then those changes in which he is sure begin to occur in his body, as a result of the power of thought alone. Therefore, if you think about diseases, be sure: you will think about them.
Stay physically active. It turns out that many diseases can be “run away” in the truest sense of the word. This will be a good workout for your cardiovascular system and prevention of heart attacks and strokes – the most formidable diseases in old age. Physical activity can be enhanced through walking, recreational walking and jogging, cycling, exercise therapy groups, swimming, and more.
Give up bad habits. They are risk factors for many dangerous diseases that are most common in old age.
See your doctor in time. If you notice any incomprehensible symptoms in yourself, do not delay the visit to the doctor. Many diseases are much easier to treat in the initial stages.
Control your illnesses. If you are prescribed treatment, do not ignore it, follow the medication regimen. Many nuances of diseases can only be known by a doctor, so do not self-medicate. Do not discontinue the prescribed drugs yourself – many of them have a withdrawal effect when the symptoms of the disease return in a more aggressive form. Monitor your blood pressure. With proper and constant control of the disease, the risk of consequences can be minimized.
Eat right. Digestive processes slow down with age, so a lot depends on nutrition. If you slag your intestines with harmful products, then immunity will decrease, puffiness under the eyes will appear, the skin color will change, and wrinkles will appear. In addition, overall well-being will also be reduced.
Therefore, your diet should contain more vegetables and cereals, which contain fiber and contribute to normal digestion and bowel cleansing. Choose healthy foods that are free from dyes, preservatives and additives. Remember also that metabolic rate slows down with age, so the calorie intake should be lower than in youth, otherwise it can lead to excess fat deposition. For people over 60, the daily calorie intake should be no more than 2300 calories for men and no more than 2100 calories for women.
Observe the daily routine. Your sleep should not be less than 7-8 hours a day. The body must rest and recuperate.
Take vitamins and dietary supplements specially formulated for the elderly, which are aimed specifically at age-related changes and can compensate for micronutrient deficiencies.
Be socially active. Communicate with family and friends, visit exhibitions, clubs of interest. Maintain your relevance – this is very important for mental health and mood.