Senior Chronic Conditions

At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we know that chronic conditions can be a burden, especially as our bodies age. For this reason, it is important to recognize the symptoms of senior chronic conditions and make an appointment with your doctor quickly. Below are some common senior chronic conditions to be aware of.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition that can lead to other complications like heart disease or stroke. Generally, poor diet or genetics can cause hypertension. In some cases, there are no symptoms, so it is extremely important to schedule annual checkups so your doctor can check your blood pressure and overall health. According to the American Heart Association, you may notice chest pain, irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact us online or call us at (574) 251-1200 to schedule your appointment.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that results in high blood sugar and can be dangerous if not cared for properly. Older adults are at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It is important to stay healthy by eating the right foods and getting regular exercise to combat diabetes. Some common symptoms are blurry vision, fatigue, weight gain or loss, frequent urination, and being thirsty or hungry more often. Importantly, if you notice any of these symptoms please contact Primary Care Partners of South Bend right away. Then, we can run diagnostic tests to determine whether you have diabetes and provide care for you after those tests. Call us at (574) 251-1200 or reach out to us online to schedule your appointment.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common chronic condition that causes stiff and painful joints. When you develop arthritis, cartilage becomes thinner and worn down, leaving bones to rub against each other. You may notice pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness to touch, warmth, and redness in your joints. Your doctor at Primary Care Partners of South Bend will assist you in a treatment plan which may include exercises, physical therapy, or medication.

Lung Disease

Lung disease, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a condition that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Those with COPD may experience shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and excess mucus. Usually, COPD is caused by long term smoking. If you are a smoker, it is important to quit smoking and be on the lookout for these symptoms as they can be a serious threat to your health. Those with asthma are also more at risk of developing COPD. For this reason, if you suspect that you have or are developing COPD, call Primary Care Partners of South Bend to schedule your appointment.

Parkinson’s Disease

Generally, Parkinson’s Disease is diagnosed in people over the age of 60. This chronic condition stems from the central nervous system that affects movement. Usually, genetics cause Parkinson’s disease. This disorder causes tremors, stiffness, or slowing of movement. The American Parkinson’s Association describes common symptoms as slowed movement, speech changes, impaired posture and balance, muscle stiffness, and the inability to write. It is extremely important to contact your doctor right away to diagnose and treat Parkinson’s if you notice these symptoms.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes bones to become weaker and easily break or fracture. This condition is most common in seniors. Therefore, it is extremely important to look out for symptoms before they worsen. Common symptoms are bones breaking easily, height loss, back pain, and a slouched posture. Treatment consists of diet modifications like adding more calcium to your everyday diet and taking supplements to strengthen your bones. If you feel that you may be developing osteoporosis, contact us online or call us at (574) 251-1200 to schedule an appointment.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition in the eye that can cause blindness. It is the leading cause of blindness in seniors over the age of 60. People with glaucoma may not notice any symptoms until the condition is severe because the effect is so gradual. Therefore, regular checkups and eye exams are very important for seniors. Most importantly, vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed, so it is extremely important to have regular eye appointments. If you feel that you are losing vision, or glaucoma runs in your family, Primary Care Partners of South Bend can refer you to specialists in the area who can diagnose and treat glaucoma.

Cardiovascular Disease

Keeping your heart healthy is extremely important. Due to the fact that heart failure and coronary artery disease can be detrimental to health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by staying active, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular screenings to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Symptoms to look out for are chest pain, shortness of breath, and numbness or weakness in your limbs. Importantly, if you notice any of these symptoms contact your doctor at Primary Care Partners of South Bend to schedule your appointment. Treatments may include lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, medication, or medical procedures. In addition, is also important to have annual checkups with your doctor to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys cannot filter blood the correct way. Those with diabetes or high blood pressure are more at risk for kidney disease. If your doctor suspects you may have kidney disease you will undergo blood and urine tests. Symptoms include fatigue, trouble sleeping, frequent urination, blood in your urine, foamy urine, swollen feet and ankles, and unusually itchy skin. Currently, there is no cure for kidney disease, but it is manageable. Primary Care Partners of South Bend will work with you to reduce complications and slow the progression of the disease.

In conclusion, it is important for seniors to be aware if they develop symptoms of a chronic condition. If you notice any symptoms of senior chronic conditions, call Primary Care Partners of South Bend at (574) 251-1200 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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