Tags: aging | risk factors

11 Symptoms That Everyone Over Age 50 Should Pay Attention To

Sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth (Korn Vitthayanukarun/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 July 2019 08:21 AM

Health issues that we once shrugged off become increasingly difficult to ignore as we age. By the time we hit 50, inevitably some issues come to the forefront.

While certain aches and pain are normal, there are symptoms that could indicate a serious underlying health issue. It is important to pay attention to these, to go for regular check-ups, and to speak openly with your doctor.

With many illnesses, prevention and early detection could save your life. Not sure if it is all in your head? Best Life consulted with the medical experts to establish a list of symptoms that no one over 50 should ignore. Here are 11 of those:

  1. Changes in memory. We tend to see forgetfulness as part of the aging process, but short-term memory loss could also suggest that there is deterioration of the temporal or frontal lobes of the brain. This could be a warning sign of dementia or even a brain tumor.
  2. Disrupted sleep. Research has found that people in their 50s who battle to fall asleep or wake frequently during the night were more at risk of Alzheimer's disease. This is because disrupted sleep can cause an increased level of tau protein.
  3. Shrinking. It might not be in your imagination — you may actually be shrinking. If this is the case, it could be a sign that your bones are soft and you are at risk of fractures. Shrinking "is related to osteoporosis or osteopenia and can be a sign that your bones are very soft and thus susceptible to dangerous fragility fractures," explained Dr. Anthony Kouri, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center. "A large amount of shrinking comes from the gradual collapse of the bony spinal vertebrae."
  4. Sensitive teeth. While some people are just naturally sensitive to heat and cold, if tooth sensitivity is becoming disruptive it may indicate an underlying issue like gum disease.
  5. Pain in the upper abdomen. You should never ignore any sharp pain in the stomach but if it is occurring in the upper parts of the abdomen, you may have gallstones, which could lead to various other health issues.
  6. Swollen glands. In many instances, tenderness on the sides of your neck where your glands are is no cause for alarm. If it persists, this could be a sign of a more serious condition like lupus, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or even certain cancers.
  7. Loss of vision. Most of us will experience some loss of vision as we age but if it is sudden, this may be a symptom of something much more severe, like a brain tumor.
  8. Changes in speech. When the temporal or parietal lobes of the brain, which are related to speech function, deteriorate or are compressed by a tumor, it will show up as changes in speech, slurring, and gibberish. If you or someone else notices a change in your speech, it is best to seek professional help.
  9. Difficulty walking. If the way you walk has changed and it is not related to any specific pain or injury, it is best not to ignore this one. Changes in gait and difficulty walking is a warning sign of multiple sclerosis (MS), which can arise as late-onset MS in people over 50.
  10. Changes in personality. While we all tend to become a bit grouchy as we age, notable changes in personality could indicate changes in the brain. "Patients [with tumors in the frontal lobe where executive functions reside] present with a change in behavior including disinhibition presenting as risky behaviors, or apathy and doing less than they normally would," said Dr. Santosh Kesari, a neuro-oncologist and neuroscientist in Santa Monica, California. "Patients may not be as effective at their job or home functions."
  11. Shortness of breath. If you are experiencing shortness of breath that is not exercise-related, it could be a symptom of a serious underlying condition like blood clots in the lungs or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Health issues that we once shrugged off become increasingly difficult to ignore as we age. By the time we hit 50, inevitably some issues come to the forefront.
aging, risk factors
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 08:21 AM
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