Mission: To educate and improve the experience of aging for mature adults and their caregivers.

Are You At Risk for Celiac’s Disease?

This disease is characterized by inflammation in the small intestine and may manifest as diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, and fatigue.  For quite some time, I have been having high CRP scores and when my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I found out that she had to get it from a first line parent.  A blood test or endoscopy can determine if you have this condition.

Gluten intolerance from wheat is the cause of Celiac.  Individuals with this disease are instructed to avoid wheat, rye and barley.  Sometimes, oats may cause problems as well.  Cross-contamination is a problem for Celiac individuals.  This results when their food is prepared in the same cookware or on the same counters as others eating wheat.  If untreated, severe inflammation can cause malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, fatigue, infertility and learning disabilities.  If your doctor is not familiar with the disease, visit angastroenterologist and seek guidance from a nutritionist who will plan a safe diet for you.

People with Celiac must become very good at reading labels for everything including supplements, medications, lotions, and ingredients in dressings, condiments and more.  Eating in a restaurant can become a nightmare because they do not understand the allergy and cross-contamination is a real possibility.  Left untreated, patients are at a greater risk for heart attack, strokes and immune problems.  It is safest to eat whole foods – not packaged foods.

Fatigue in Aging Adults

Fatigue is an issue for middle to older adults.  It can be caused by depression, immobility and lack of conditioning, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and other chronic illnesses such as COPD and heart failure.  A person with Fibromyalgiamay experience severe muscle pain after performing some intensive task. Toxic fluids build up on the muscles and no amount of pain medications will relieve the discomfort.  In Chronic Fatigue, after an event of severe fatigue, the patient experiences weakness, pain and flu-like symptoms putting them out of commission for several days.  Many alternative therapies have been found to help manage these conditions like essential oils, acupuncture, massage, laser therapy and ultrasound therapy.
As individuals age, they may experience more fatigue from depression or decreased muscle conditioning.  Eventually, they may experience frailty where they are unable to carry out activities of daily living.  Frailty is defined as involving a weight loss of up to 10 lbs in a year; self-reported exhaustion, low grip strength, slow walking speed, and low physical activity.  Females are more likely to develop frailty (up to 6.9% of older adult population).  If frailty is suspected, visit your doctor or geriatrician to explore ways to increase quality of life.  They may recommend exercise, amino acid supplementation and more.

Be a Cheerleader!

Aging adults are often given subtle messages that they are taking up space on the planet and that they are not contributing anything.  That is not true for many older adults who contribute in their communities, churches and in their family’s lives.  When they have a physical setback or lose someone close to them, they may suffer depression.  Be there to encourage them. Don’t allow this to go on for long.  Get them involved in activities and events.  Marshall friends to come visit. Men, especially, have a difficult time when a spouse dies.  They are less likely to seek help when help is needed.
As a Geriatric Care Manager, I observed that no matter how good the care, if an older adult’s spirits were not high, they did not thrive.  As a caregiver, you have the opportunity to be their morale booster!  Encourage them to seek out friends with whom to spend time.  Develop an uplifting mantra to remind them to take the high road.  Then when your head hits the pillow every night, you can rest assured that you have made a difference.

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