Digestive System Diseases In The Elderly
As the human body ages the organs of the body also become more susceptible to ailments and disorders. The digestive system is one such organ system in the human body that is extremely prone to ailments with progression of age. It is believed that about forty percent of the elderly are affected by some disorder of the digestive system or the other.
While some of these diseases are easily curable, there are others that may call for thorough analysis and treatment. The presence of gallstones is quite common in the elderly. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse states that people above the age of 60 are most susceptible to gallstones. These minute masses are either found in the body as cholesterol stones or pigment stones. Treatment is essential as if the situation persists, it could result in the blockage of bile, swelling in the gallbladder, infections in the gallbladder, liver or pancreas, and in extreme cases the disease can also prove to be fatal.
The diverticular disease is known to affect individuals above the age of 70 years. This ailment is related to the decrease in muscle power as a result of which the large intestine develops bulging pouches leading to tenderness and pain. In majority of the cases, this disease does not produce any symptoms at all. If one is fortunate, the symptoms would show up in the form of digestive irregularities, abdominal pain, bleeding in the rectum, nausea, vomiting, bloating, fever or gas.
The incidence of colon cancer is reported to be the highest in the elderly. This disease may commence with the emergence of benign polyps that in due course of time tend to become malignant. Therefore, regular check ups are very important tools towards its prevention. The symptoms of colon cancer may be noticeable in the form of diarrhea and/or constipation, bleeding from the rectum, pain in the abdomen, fatigue, weakness or unusual weight loss.
More Articles :