Steps to deal with chronic ailments

The body's immune system plays a vital role in safeguarding us from most infections, but as we age our immune system also ages and gradually loses its ability to fight against infections.

High blood pressure, diabetes and heart and liver ailments put pressure on the weakened immune system of older people.

This makes it more difficult for them to deal with threats like Covid-19.

Dr Karthik Anantharaman, a director at India's largest e-pharmacy, Medlife, points out why people with chronic ailments must protect themselves with the right diet, exercise and medicines.

Diabetes If not kept in control, diabetes may make the elderly susceptible to high-risk infections.

High amounts of sugar in the body tend to release free radicals, which can damage blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that restricts free blood flow.

This may cause a stroke or damage the smaller blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Nerve damage could lead to numbness or loss of sensation.

Uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes also suppress the immunity-providing white blood cells.

Thyroid People who suffer from low thyroxine hormone levels are also at risk of falling prey to infections.

The thyroid gland is very important as it manages several vital body functions.

It has an impact on the pancreas, blood vessels, brain, digestive system, lungs, kidney, liver and heart.

Maintaining a normal level of thyroxine in the blood is critical to the functioning of multiple organ systems and the production of blood cells.

Liver and kidney Liver and kidney-related ailments also affect the immune system. People with liver or kidney problems can have a significantly weakened immune system due to the reduced production of blood cells by bone marrow. Certain medicines used to treat liver and kidney diseases reduce immunity as well.

Heart Heart patients typically have high blood pressure and cholesterol. They need to control their daily salt and fluid intake and ensure they take their medications on time.

Stress is a major factor in today's lifestyle. Heart patients cannot afford to become victims of stress.

Dos and Don'ts For all the above ailments, a combination of healthy food, exercise, medicines and tests will work wonders. These are enough to ensure a healthy body and strong immune system.

But common sense should also prevail. People with kidney complications must limit salt and fluid intake - which must be proportionate to the food consumed. Those with liver complications have to stay away from alcohol.

A diet rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc is the most effective way to increase the production of white blood cells and antibodies.

Chronic ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure don't just disappear. They have to be monitored daily and will only go away gradually.

For most chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high cholesterol, tests are prescribed at specific intervals. A blood sugar test is done at least twice a week, while a hypertensive patient must check his pressure at least once a day.

Sequential data is critical for a doctor to understand the problems of a patient.

Indo-Asian News Service

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