February 3, Mumbai: A change in daily routine activities, extensive life changes and indigestion problems is the normal feature in the lives of people in their post-retirement years. These are also years when health ailments like blood pressure, diabetes, piles and gastrointestinal problems become common afflictions. Inclusion of green vegetables and fiber-rich diet, drinking more warm water and regular health monitoring can help senior citizens lead a healthy existence, stated Dr Manmohan M. Kamat, General Surgeon, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital (NSSH) at a Live360@60 session on general surgical problems among the elderly.
Commenting on length on the different illnesses occurring commonly in old age and their related treatments, Dr Kamat said, “Constipation, which can be termed as difficulty in passing stools for two days, is a regular feature in old age. An inordinate change in bowel movements need to be brought to medical attention immediately as it can be a precursor to life-threatening diseases like cancer. Senior citizens also find themselves largely affected by piles in which an increased pressure to pass stools can lead to more exertion on blood vessels, leading to bleeding. It can be treated through injections or surgeries when the problem assumes severe proportions. However, one needs to refer to medically accredited doctors for undergoing surgeries and not go to so-called piles clinics which are mass advertised and which indulge in callous treatment techniques not adhering to scientific manner.“
Commonly occurring and minute complications like a change in bladder of bowel movements, unusual bleeding or discharge, thickening or occurrence of lump in breast or other body parts, indigestion or difficulty in swallowing, constantly nagging cough or hoarseness of voice can be warning signals for cancer and need to be monitored vigilantly, retorted Dr. Kamat.
The enlargement of the prostate gland is also a commonly occurring problem amongst elderly males. A large prostate can lead to problems in passing of urine and this in turn can be an invite to diseases like cancer. The extent of malignancy in the prostate can be determined through the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. The rise in the prostate can also be diagnosed through tests like Sonography. Other commonly occurring old-age maladies are hyperacidity and hernia.
The session by Dr. Kamat was followed by display of self-defense techniques by black-belt taekwondo expert Parvez Khan for senior citizens. The techniques harped on the use of simple self-defense measures when caught in adverse situations. When accosted by a person wanting to cause bodily harm, one can use a pepper-spray or walking-stick to thwart the attack or focus torch-light directly on the eyes of the attacker, numbing his alertness. One should also observe simple precautions like not accepting food or drinks from strangers as they may be spiked, installation of CCTV cameras in housing societies, not wearing heavy and valuable jewelry while going out. The whole self-defense session lay emphasis on the fact that forewarned is forearmed and a keen presence and alertness of mind is necessary to handle critical situations.