Attitudes Towards Aging Often Affect Health

Among the myriad of wonderful ideas available to caregivers for coping with the care of a loved one, some strategies that can influence the attitude of care recipients are often neglected. On strategy, simply put, is cultivating a more positive attitude towards aging. This can have a profound effect on the health of a care recipient.

Many elderly buy into the notion that they themselves are no longer useful and are a burden to others. As a result, the aging make little attempt to keep themselves healthy and active. After all, they are getting closer to the end of their lives and have no desire to try new things or to challenge themselves or to eat or exercise properly.

There is a great deal of research that demonstrates aging individuals can learn, retain memory and be actively involved in business and their community. A lack of physical exercise, social involvement and mental stimulation in older Americans often leads to deterioration of minds and their bodies. The older person’s negative attitude towards aging becomes self-fulfilling.

Many studies show older people who are physically active have less joint pain, lower blood pressure, less depression, fewer heart attacks and a lower incidence of cancer. Proper nutrition also has the same affect on the aging process; it delays the progression of debilitating illness or disability. Recent research even suggest that weight loss and exercise can reverse the severity of diabetes.

Lack of social stimulation can also lead to poor mental health. Having an interest in something not only stimulates an older person’s mind but also creates a better mental attitude which results often in better health. There is empirical evidence that using one’s brain may prevent dementia in older age.

Common Types of Arthritis

Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) [1]

As cartilage wears away, bone begins to rub against bone. This can cause pain, swelling and stiffness. Risk Factors include weight gain, excessive weight, family history, previous injury, and old age.

Inflammatory Arthritis [1]

Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis are two examples of inflammatory arthritis. When the immune system mistakenly attacks a joint, inflammation and joint erosion develop which may lead to complications with internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body. Smoking is a strong risk factor.

Infectious Arthritis [1]

This unique type of inflammatory arthritis is caused when bacteria, virus or fungus enter the joint and triggering inflammation. Food poisoning, some sexually transmitted diseases, and Hepatitis C can cause Infectious Arthritis.

Metabolic Arthritis [1]

Uric acid is commonly formed in the body to break down purines, found in cells and foods. Having excessive levels of uric acid can cause needle-like crystals in the join, which can result in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain or gout.

Arthritis Symptoms Checklist

Arthritis.com provides a symptom checklist to help you and your doctor determine if arthritis could be the cause of your symptoms. Visit: arthritis.com/arthritis_symptoms_checklist

What can I do to manage arthritis? [2]

Ways to help manage arthritis include staying moderately active (strengthening muscles around your joints) with rest between activities, hot and cold therapies, eating a healthy balance diet, maintaining a healthy weight, improving sleep habits, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. If you think a medication is causing painful side effects in your joints make sure you discuss it with a professional.

When Should I See A Doctor? [2]

If joint pain persists, going to the doctor for a diagnosis and getting treatment is recommended. Many people can develop significant joint and other serious issues if arthritis is not treated over an extended period of time. Visiting your doctor may also help determine whether you have other diseases similar to arthritis such as:

Lyme Disease, which not only gives you Arthritis but may in fact cause heart, brain, and nerve problems. [3]

Lupus, which does not cause erosive, deforming arthritis. Symptoms rather tend to be milder overall. [4]

Reiter’s Syndrome, also known as reactive arthritis. It can last from three months to a year, in cases, longer. [4]

Reactive arthritis, which affects a few larger joints usually only on one side of the body. Inflammation of tendons, ligaments and muscles can happen as well. This can cause inflammation of other parts of the body such as eyes, head, skin, and mouth. [4]

Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition in the muscles and soft tissue. [5]

Pseudogout, a sudden with swelling and intense pain most common in the knees (flares can last for weeks or months). [5]

Chikungunya, a virus spread by mosquitoes. One can experience high fever, joint pain, and rashes. Though the rash lasts up to 10 days, joint pain can last up to a year or more. [5]

Still’s Disease, which starts with a salmon-colored rash, high fever, joint pain can occurring after weeks of the initial symptoms. In those younger than 16, it is called Systemic-onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. This can appear in both adults and children. [5]

Summary

Arthritis is a disease that affects millions but with the right treatment, plenty of rest and a balanced diet, arthritis doesn’t have to ruin plans or stop you from doing what you want to do. Going to your doctor and diagnosing arthritis early can limit damage and give you many years of happy, healthy activity.

References

[1] arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc

[2] arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/early-arthritis-treatment.php

[3] webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/arthritis-lyme-disease

[4] everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis-pictures/health-condtions-that-mimic-rheumatoid-arthritis.aspx#02

[5] healthcentral.com/slideshows/conditions-that-mimic-rheumatoid-arthritis/#slide=6

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Attitudes Towards Aging Often Affect Health