必 ‘Parents’ health checklist’

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Tomorrow, the five-day Lunar New Year holiday begins. Holidays are not the same as before in the aftermath of Corona 19, but everyone’s hearts are excited during the golden holiday.

At this time of year each year, everyone makes plans for the Lunar New Year holiday. You have to visit your parents and take your turn, but this year too, as the Omicron pandemic became a reality, it wasn’t easy. The ‘funny’ slogan, “The disobedient is coming”, is recalled again.

These days, the world has become a world where people can communicate whenever they want, such as through video calls. It would be nice to see each other face-to-face even for a moment and check your health and current situation, but borrowing the power of civilization is one way to do it. Here’s a health checklist for parents to watch out for. When you’re ready, grab your phone and press the video call.

Hypertension, more than half of the Korean hypertensive population are over 65 years of age

Although high blood pressure is directly life-threatening, it significantly reduces the quality of life, even if it is not life-threatening. High blood pressure accounts for 50% of all cerebrovascular diseases, 30% to 35% of heart diseases such as angina pectoris and myocardial infarction, and 10% to 15% of renal failure. Arteriosclerosis, in which the arteries harden, is the same.

In particular, high blood pressure should be more careful in winter, when the cold wind blows and the temperature difference between days is severe. As the temperature drops, blood vessels constrict to prevent heat loss. Even in healthy people, blood pressure rises by 0.2 to 0.3 mmHg for every 1 degree Celsius drop in temperature. This is especially important for the elderly or skinny people. It is recommended that systolic blood pressure of 140 to 150 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg is the target for controlling blood pressure in the elderly.

Lee Dong-jae, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Catholic University of Korea Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “The proportion of the elderly is so high that more than half of the population with high blood pressure in Korea is people aged 65 and over. Therefore, it is important to regularly check blood pressure and prevent risk factors.”

Diabetes mellitus more than doubles among people aged 65 and over

Diabetes mellitus is the sixth most common disease in Korea. Diabetes mellitus is scary because of its complications rather than itself. Diabetic complications such as foot necrosis, retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary artery disease can appear throughout the body, and once they occur, it is difficult to reverse and can even lead to death.

Although the cause of diabetes is not yet exact, it is known that genetic factors and environmental factors such as obesity, age, diet, lack of exercise, hormone secretion, stress, and drug use act in a complex way. In particular, the prevalence of diabetes in the population aged 65 years and older doubles.

Kim Eun-sook, a professor of endocrinology at Catholic University of Korea Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “As we do not say that wearing glasses is a treatment, diabetes should also be accepted as a concept of lifelong management. It could be that you have advanced diabetes.”

Even small shocks such as osteoporosis and coughing can lead to fractures

As the nickname ‘silent bone thief’ suggests, osteoporosis is difficult to detect unless it is accompanied by complications such as fractures. Without realizing it, there are many cases of people who lose height due to a compression fracture of the spine, or visit a hospital for lower back pain. In severe cases, even a small shock such as coughing can easily lead to a fracture. It occurs more quickly and more frequently in women.

In order to prevent osteoporosis, it is important to have a bone density test through regular check-ups. In addition, through a balanced diet, consume adequate milk and protein, and avoid alcohol and tobacco. Exercise is also important. Weight-bearing exercises and walking exercises that do not put excessive strain on the joints are good.

Professor Han Je-ho of the Department of Endocrinology at Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital said, “Parents tend to accept osteoporosis, which causes weakened bones and bending of the back as a natural phenomenon of aging. is important,” he emphasized.

Spinal stenosis, pain in the lower extremities, repeated sitting and standing while walking

As the wrinkles on the face increase with age, the spine and intervertebral discs (discs) also undergo degenerative changes. When the spine or its surrounding ligaments undergo severe degenerative changes, the spinal canal through which the spinal nerves pass is narrowed and spinal stenosis occurs.

The symptom is leg pain that gets worse when walking. It is difficult to walk due to pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the lower extremities under the buttocks, where the nerves compressed in the stenosis area pass. At this time, bending the back or sitting down relieves the pain, so it is also called ‘skeleton grandmother’s disease’.

Choi Doo-yong, a professor of spinal neurosurgery at Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital Brain Hospital, said, “The symptoms of spinal stenosis appear gradually, but they either dismiss it as a natural phenomenon or visit the hospital only after the disease has progressed considerably with the thought that ‘it will be cured soon’.” If the hook is abnormal, it is necessary to visit a hospital in the early stage of the disease and receive appropriate treatment.”

If knee pain and swelling persist, degenerative arthritis is suspected.

The knee joint supports 3 to 4 times your body weight when walking on flat ground and 5 to 6 times your body weight when going downhill. Aging weakens the knee joint itself. The elasticity of the muscles and ligaments that support the knee joint decreases, and the shock-absorbing function of the articular cartilage and meniscus decreases. Also, the lubrication of the joint fluid is weakened.

Osteoarthritis mainly causes pain in the medial knee, where the leg touches. At first, pain occurs in postures such as walking, going up and down stairs, or on both legs, but as the disease progresses, the pain persists regardless of the posture. The pain worsens when resting or sleeping, and in severe cases, it can interfere with daily walking.

Roh No-young, an orthopedic surgeon at Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “If parents suddenly feel severe pain when going up and down stairs, or if they constantly complain of swelling or pain around the knee in daily life, it is good to suspect degenerative arthritis and seek medical attention.” said

If the pain in the groin area persists for 1 to 2 weeks, it is suspected of hip joint disease.

The hip joint (hip joint) is the place where the thigh bone and pelvic bone meet. It must always withstand a strong force equal to 1.5 to 3 times its body weight. The load is 4 times that of walking, 5 times of jogging, and 8 times of the weight of going up and down stairs.

A typical example of hip joint disease is primary hip osteoarthritis, which is caused by repeated use and aging. When osteoarthritis occurs, both the thighbone and the acetabulum are damaged, and no treatment can stop the progression. Every time I take a step, I feel a tingling sensation, and in severe cases, even when I am still, I suffer from severe pain that interferes with my daily life and makes it impossible to move.

Jeon Sang-hyeon, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “If the pain that extends to the groin (groin, between the two legs), buttocks, or thighs lasts for more than 1 to 2 weeks, you may have hip joint disease.”

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