Monthly Archives

January 2024

10 Stomach Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

By Health & Wellness

Everyone has stomach issues from time to time, and occasional digestive discomfort is not usually something to worry about. That said, doctors note that there are a few gastrointestinal symptoms you shouldn’t write off, because they could signal something serious.

“I’ve seen many cases where patients have waited way too long before seeking medical attention,” says Christine Lee, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Here are 10 symptoms you should never ignore and what they may mean.

1. Prolonged diarrhea

Diarrhea can be a symptom of a number of things — from a food allergy to a bacterial infection. It can also be a warning sign of COVID-19, appearing before more well-known symptoms such as cough or fever, says Brennan Spiegel, M.D., director of health services research for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Studies show that as many as half of COVID-19 patients have gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and about 15 to 20 percent have only GI symptoms. Diarrhea is the most frequently reported GI symptom, followed by nausea/vomiting and abdominal pain.

If you have diarrhea, nausea/vomiting or abdominal pain that lasts more than a day, “don’t wait for a cough or shortness of breath to get tested for COVID,” Spiegel says. If your test is positive, you could be eligible for highly effective antiviral treatments that can help keep mild symptoms from progressing to more serious ones. New research shows these treatments may also lower a person’s risk for developing long COVID.

If it’s not COVID-19, prolonged diarrhea could signal another type of infection or an underlying condition like ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Blood in your stool

Whether bright red, maroon or black, seeing blood in the toilet can be frightening. Fortunately, it’s usually not a symptom of anything life-threatening, says Nicholas E. Anthony, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. The most common causes are hemorrhoids and anal fissures (tears in the lining of the anus). But blood in your stool can also be one of the first symptoms of colon cancer, especially if accompanied by a change in your bowel habits or the shape of your stool. Since colon cancer is more common among those over age 50, it’s especially important for older adults to see a doctor without delay. Other possible causes of bleeding are colon polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and diverticulosis.

To read about eight other symptoms of abdominal disease you shouldn’t ignore, from AARP, CLICK HERE.

Understanding Seniors’ Concerns of Rising Inflation Prices

By Health & Wellness
Older Americans on fixed incomes are among the hardest hit by the rising inflation that has gripped the economy. Costs are surging in all areas, including food, housing, transportation, medical care, prescription drugs, construction, and home maintenance. After a lifetime of hard work and raising children, many older adults are now worried about how they will manage daily expenses and enjoy their retirement during the highest inflation rate in 40 years.

We’ll look at the effects of inflation prices, the economic areas of primary concern, how older adults make adjustments (some positive, some potentially damaging) to combat today’s higher cost of living, and how senior living communities can provide the stability and support to help aging adults navigate the challenges they face through rising inflation. Plus, look at appealing options for carefree and comfortable retirement.

Impact of Rising Inflation on Seniors

Financial stress can negatively impact one’s physical health and emotional well-being. Even for those who have planned for retirement, it can be challenging to maintain that preferred way of life due to the extraordinary costs of inflation that are happening now.

For older adults, the most concerning factors are:

• Food insecurity and rising food prices
• Heating costs
• Rising healthcare costs
• Rising costs of prescription drugs
• Home repair costs

Additionally, transportation costs, whether through car ownership, using public transportation, or ride-shares, more seniors may opt to “just stay home,” adding to isolation and the negative factors related to it, such as depression. We’ll explore the impacts of inflation below.

Food Costs & Grocery Prices Rising

Food costs and grocery prices are rising faster than inflation, putting a strain on those with fixed incomes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for food at home increased 3.7% over the year ending September 2023. This means that the food prices have increased by over 3 times the overall inflation rate.

Seniors on a tight budget are particularly affected by grocery inflation. They may have difficulty affording healthy foods or have to cut back on their food intake. This can lead to food insecurity and malnutrition, which can seriously impact health and well-being.

Here are some specific ways that rising food and grocery prices affect the aging population on a tight budget:

1. Having to choose between buying food and paying for other essential expenses like housing, healthcare, or transportation.
2. Purchasing less food or skipping meals altogether.
3. Opting to buy lower-quality food, or cheap junk food to get by.

To read more about the impact of rising inflation costs on seniors, from Life Care Services, an LCS Company, CLICK HERE.