Doctor insights on:
Why Do Elderly People Often Get Hypernatremia
Water depletion: Great question, one that many in the med field don't quite understand. Hypernatremia (high blood sodium level) is a water dehydration state. Hyponatremia is a water excess ('intoxicated' state--it takes a mental disorder to drink so much water that it lowers serum sodium). When elderly don't drink enough water, are on a diuretic, gets a fever or uti, they easily get water depleted, hypernatremic. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Wear & tear: Time takes its toll on our minds & bodies. Not everyone will develop infirmities or impairments but odds are not in your favor unless you eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep & choose your parents wisely. That last bit is my attempt to add luck to list of things that we can't control. ...Read more
Dementia: Too wide to describe here, but u can google the word & get full description of causes of cognitive deficits. Summary is that there are either genetic such as fragile x syndrome, fixed such as brain injury, slowly progressive such as infection, a feature of other conditions such as parkinson's disease, or rapidly progressive dementias such as organ failure. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Hyperventilation: Some individuals are chronic hyperventilators. It's hard to know what percentage of the population this involves. They frequently go undiagnosed. There are others who hyperventilate only when under stress. It's hard to know percentages. But some of the conditions that can be triggered or exacerbated by hyperventilation include anxiety and panic attacks, migraine, raynaud's ; some GI symptoms. ...Read more
Many reasons: They may have underlying lung disease which is made worse by an infection or other trigger, or they may have an overwhelming other problem such as a heart attack, stroke, sepsis, major trauma or a variety of other things. Bottom line, there is a failure to oxygenate, or failure to ventilate, or both. Treatment and prognosis depends on all of the above. Hope this helps! ...Read more
Kwashiorkor: Kwashiorkor is a disease found in severely malnourished patients. It is due to a severe lack of protein. Lack of protein which binds fluid in the blood is then free to invade gravitationally into the tissue, particularly to the lower abdomen. Think of pictures of severely malnourished children in countries with famine: they commonly have severely protruding stomachs: lack of protein. ...Read more
Skin breakdown. : When a sick or frail patient lays in one position for a long time and cannot move the pressure over bony prominences ( hip, tailbone, etc ) can crush and kill the skin in between the bone and the bed. Bad ones can even kill off the muscle. This dead tissue can become infected and spread to the rest of the system ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Encephalopathy: I think what you are asking about is uremic encephalopathy which develops as patients begin to experience renal failure. This is not necessarily due to a kidney infection, nor do all kidney infections result in this condition. The buildup of various substances that would normally be regulated by the kidney leads to symptoms. ...Read more
Many Reasons: Very young children can get congenital kidney diseases that are caused by various gene defects (usually hereditary). One of the most common types of genetic kidney disease is polycystic kidney disease. Also young people can get glomerulonephritis, which is usually not inherited, but occasionally in rare cases there are genetic causes. These conditions cause abnormal deposits in the kidneys. ...Read more
Why do some people (mainly old people) get delirium when they have a UTI? How does that happen? Why?
Out of balance: You hate to think of it this way, but when we get old the body (and mind) can become very frail. Many older folk have shrinkage of brain tissue/ some elements of cognitive decline whether it is recognized or not. Add a UTI to that and u can really throw your patient for a loop. With younger folk u rarely see this unless very severe-like sepsis. Once UTI is well treated, expect patient to recover. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Good question: While i'd like to think most physicians act professionally, i know all do not. Some are overworked and over stressed, some feel entitled to act unprofessionally. In any case there is no excuse for bad behavior. If it happens, politely call him/her on it. ...Read more
Several reasons: Gangrene is tissue death. Generally the cause is due to poor or disrupted blood supply due to cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries) or infection. Blood clots are also a cause. Gangrene can also be caused by external sources such as severe burns, both chemical and thermal (heat and cold (frostbite)). Certain conditions like diabetes, kidney failure, high cholesterol will increase risk. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
More than youths: Elderly, compared with young people, have additional risk for ulcers: 1) higher incidence of helicobacter pylori; 2) greater sensitivity to nsaid's; 3) underlying co-morbidities with associated increased risk of "stress gastritis;" 4) poly-pharmacy (they take more drugs that can hurt the gut including cardio-prophylactic aspirin); 5) greater likelihood of past ulcers; more. ...Read more
Immune system quirks: The same reason only 1/200 people with untreated strep A get rheumatic fever or only 5% of those who were infected by poliovirus developed paralysis. When the bodies immune system creates antibodies to an invading germ, that antibody sometimes gets confused and attacks human tissues as well. There are some human tissue patterns that are more susceptible than others but we can't predict it ...Read moreSee 3 more doctor answers
Does not exist : Despite the popular belief that it does, helped by numerous self-help books and websites, there is no disease entity called "adrenal fatigue". The Endocrine Society has a statement on it and the Hormone Foundation has information at www.hormone.org. Adrenal insufficiency is a real disorder and can be life threatening if not treated. In the US, it is most commonly autoimmune in nature. ...Read moreSee 4 more doctor answers
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