Ageing Archives

Common Elder Illnesses

As people age, our bodies naturally deteriorate. This is a normal part of life, and everyone should prepare for the eventuality that they will have a medical issue at some point in life, varying from inconsequential to severe. Below is a list of common elder illnesses that most elderly will have to face at some point in their lives. Each of these illnesses have a variety of care methods and impact on the elder’s life.

Cancer

Cancer is the medical issue that everyone hopes to avoid, but many people have to deal with anyway. Cancer is a mutation of the cells that causes unhealthy tumors to grow and can eventually take over the body, causing death. Depending on where the cancer is located, cancer treatments vary. For gut-related cancers, an ostomy is sometimes necessary to protect the body. In these cases it’s really important to secure the ostomy supplies. Common treatments for cancer include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and hormone shots that deter the growth of cancer cells.  Cancer can have a huge impact on an elder’s life. Many cancer patients must give up normal routines until cancer treatments are completed because the treatments are hard on the body.

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is the dreaded disease of the brain that causes memory loss. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, which makes this disease one of the worst that any elder can face. Side effects of Alzheimer’s can include wandering, memory loss, and even hallucinations. Since Alzheimer’s is a deterioration of the mind, treatment for the disease includes increased medical care, increased care giving, and the eventual need for constant medical attention and care.

Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a disease of the nerves that causes the body to shake uncontrollably. There are varying degrees of Parkinson’s disease ranging from slight tremors to severe shaking that makes it impossible to function normally. Usually a doctor will prescribe a medication to help reduce the tremors so an elder can lead a more normal life. Occasionally, surgery is preformed to improve the condition. If Parkinson’s disease is severe, an elder may require hospitalization or constant nursing care to function.

Hearing loss

Hearing loss affects nearly all elderly. Hearing loss ranges in severity from mild hearing loss to complete loss of hearing. Luckily, there are many implants and medical procedures that can help elders hear well throughout their lives. A variety of implants and procedures are available for each specific type of hearing loss. The biggest change to an elder’s life with hearing loss is the need to keep the ear piece tuned in so they can communicate with the rest of the world. In severe cases, it may be necessary for an elder to stop driving because of hearing loss.

Heart disease

Heart disease is a problem that occurs due to poor diet in earlier years. Heart disease can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, and a variety of other heart-related problems. In general, with careful monitoring and diet changes it is possible to manage heart disease. Most doctors will prescribe medications that will help keep the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attacks down. As long as an elder leads a healthy lifestyle and takes his or her medications, there is little disruption to daily life due to this health issue.

Caring for the elderly is a daunting task, but with the right tools and training, anyone can do it. If your loved ones suffer from any of the above health problems, you can provide excellent care by speaking with the elder’s doctor and following any instructions that the doctor gives you for helping the elder in your life. With modern medical science, caring for the elderly is easier and better than ever, which greatly improves the quality of life for elders in their declining years.

By contributing author Richard O.

Do Plants Hold The Keys To Immortality?

Pando, a single colony of trees that stems from one root system, has been in existence for 80,000 years, dating back to the time when our ancestors all still lived in Africa. You may be surprised by this; however, this is not the only tree colony that has stood the test of time well beyond average human life expectancy.

It has been theorized that plant life may hold the key to immortality and could help humans look and feel younger, or perhaps even live longer. Humans already use plant stem cells in anti-aging creams and burn ointments; but do plants really hold the secret to eternal life?

The Facts

Clonal trees, such as the Pando, have been alive since before humans existed; in fact, some believe trees such as these have lived since the dawn of Earth. But how? The key to this may lie within the structure and longevity of plant cells.

Plant cells differ from animal cells primarily because they are protected by cell walls. Plant cells also have embryonic cells, or seeds, that can last without being pollinated for hundreds of years. Both of these traits allow plants to live much longer than the oldest human. That said, often, a single plant doesn’t necessarily live thousands of years, but clones itself before it dies.

Making a Copy

Karen Micallef, the marketing director at the Michigan Center for Advanced Dentistry, has a particular plant that has been around for generations.

“It was my grandmother’s,” she said. “It had been replanted several times before being passed down to my mother, and then to me.”

Although Micallef’s plant may be identical to the one her grandmother passed down, technically, it’s not the same plant; it’s a clone. Unfortunately, there is no such evidence supporting that plants are quite literally “immortal.” Every living thing eventually expires; however the fact that many plants can be replanted and plant species can regrow from a cutting or another seed makes them scientifically amazing; as most living things cannot duplicate exact replicas of themselves.

Although Micallef’s plant may not be the exact same plant passed down by her grandmother; it is genetically identical, which represents a sort of immortality to her.

“It makes me think of my grandmother,” she said. “It used to be my great-grandmother’s plant, but I didn’t really know her. So more than anything, looking at it triggers memories of my grandmother and being in her sun room as a kid. It always makes me think of her.”

Karen’s grandmother has been immortalized in her mind because of the plant that had been passed down to her; and if she continues to cultivate it, the plant will be passed down to her children, continuing a tradition that has lasted for generations. In the end, although it’s not clear if plants somehow hold the secret to promoting human longevity; they clearly have the power to affect the way we feel.

Shanna Laub writes for Off-Topic Media. Special thanks to Karen Micallef, Marketing Director at The Michigan Center for Advanced Dentistry, a dental practice in the Detroit area that offers services such as cosmetic dentistry. Karen can be reached using the following contact information:

The Michigan Center for Advanced Dentistry
42010 Grand River Ave.
Novi, MI 48375
248-380-9330

Seven Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut water is the purest liquid second only to water itself. It has many health benefits and uses that you probably did not know about.

coconut water

Many persons have gone to the Caribbean , the Pacific Islands , Florida , Hawaii , South America or Southern Asia and have tasted some very refreshing coconut water. The palm trees you have become accustomed to while on vacation are very potent sources of coconut water that has many health benefits and uses that you probably did not know about.

Coconut water is the purest liquid second only to water itself. It is chock full of electrolytes, calcium, potassium, magnesium; everything that is good for you.

Coconut water is the liquid that is taken from unripe coconuts. If coconuts get ripe the liquid that is inside will harden and become a part of the white flesh of the coconut, which is used to make coconut milk. So, picking the coconut while it is unripe will ensure that the body gets all the benefits of coconut water.

Coconut Water Hydrates the Body
Coconut water is an isotonic solution which replaces the fluids and minerals that the body loses during physical activities. For this reason, many athletes and persons who work out regularly are encouraged to drink coconut water to replace all the minerals and fluid that they lose while working out. Even the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attest to the benefits of drinking coconut water when it fought for a patent in 2000 to market coconut water as the next big sports drinks.

Coconut Water Relieves Urinary Problems
If you consume coconut water on a regular basis it can reduce urinary problems. People who suffer from strangury, polyutra and other urinary ailments drink coconut water to relieve their symptoms

Coconut Water Kills Intestinal Worms
Drinking coconut water with one teaspoon of olive oil for three days will kill intestinal worms and clear the stomach of worms, which makes for better digestion.

Coconut Water Breaks up Kidney Stones
People who have kidney problems and are plagued by kidney stones should drink coconut water in addition to taking their medication.
Drinking coconut water regularly helps to break up kidney stones making them easier to push out.

Coconut Water is Used in Blood Transfusion
Coconut water is almost identical to blood plasma and this makes it easy to use for blood transfusion. In cases of emergency coconut water has been used as an intravenous hydration fluid instead of the standard IV fluid. During World War II many wounded soldiers were saved in the Pacific because of emergency transfusion using coconut water as plasma.


Coconut Water is an Antibacterial
Coconut water contains monolaurin, an antiviral, antibacterial and antiprozoal monoglyceride that is used to kill lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, Herpes, cytomegalovirus, flu and various pathogenic bacteria.

Coconut Water Controls Vomiting
Coconut water is great at reducing vomiting. People who have typhoid, malaria, fevers or other ailments that are known to induce vomiting drink coconut water to settle the stomach. As such, coconut water is also a good thing to drink during a hangover..

Green or unripe coconuts can be found in Asian and West Indian markets. All coconuts that they sell are closed up to keep coconut water from losing its nutrients. So, if you plan on buying a coconut, you can ask someone to chop the coconut open or you can open it yourself at home and drink it.

Source: Tommy Fassbender

The Secrets of Ageing

The Secrets of Ageing


Many years ago I watched a very captivating movie entitled “Lost Horizon”.

I remember vividly the beautiful scenes of a paradise called Shangri-La, where the inhabitants live in peace and tranquility, enjoy fresh air, clean water, and bountiful farms.

The most intriguing thing was, the people there hardly grew old !

How nice it would be if one can find the formula to immortality. The world’s top pharmaceutical companies will pay you millions of dollars to buy the formula.

Healthcare agencies all over the world would want you to work for them, at all costs.

In reality this is only a dream. In fact ageing-related problems are creating nightmares for many people, while medical professionals are researching for solutions and breakthroughs.

Scientists in Singapore have recently made an age-defying discovery ! They have discovered that the ageing process in certain organs in mice, such as the pancreas, liver and spleen, can be delayed by deactivating a molecule.

They found that the ageing process in the pancreas of the mice with the molecule deactivated  slowed down, compared with that of the wild mice.

The team of nine researchers have studied this for five years and found that the pancreas in a two-year-old mouse in which the molecule had been deactivated functioned like that of a three-month-old mouse. In human terms this roughly equates to a 60-year-old man having the pancreas of a 20-year-old man.

This means that diseases such as Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by inhibiting the molecule through medicine to prevent ageing in certain organs. It would take at least two years to find a treatment as more research is needed on humans.

A second team from the same agency in Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A’Star), is also working to unlock the secrets of normal ageing.

Dr Alan Colman, a stem-cell specialist from the agency has been studying Progeria, a very rare genetic condition, wherein symptoms resembling aspects of ageing are manifested at an early age. This premature ageing lead to heart problems, hardened arteries, and hair loss.

By manipulating Progeria patients’ skin cells to revert to stem cells, Dr Colman and his team hope to find out how the genetic condition affects the production of a mutant protein called progerin in these cells. Progerin is also found in healthy individuals as they age.

Dr Colman said at a recent symposium that it was a worthwhile study to see whether similarities existed between the rare disease and the normal ageing process.

In another separate study, scientists from Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet claimed to have identified the cause of premature ageing. They have linked the normal ageing process to problems with cell respiration. This is the process in which cells extract energy from the nutrients. The study showed that certain proteins become unstable and disintegrate, which in turn can impair cell respiration and cause premature ageing.

These cell respiration problems  affect the normal ageing process and may lead to many medical conditions, including diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and genetic diseases.

What causes ageing ? This is a mystery and no one knows for sure. However people are living longer because of better healthcare, improved living environment, availability of quality and cleaner food.

Scientists may soon unravel the secrets to ageing and the solutions to prevent it.

Will we find our Shangri-La ? Is this a good thing ? Will this lead to social, ethical and other problems ?

Your comments are welcome.