Anemia in Older Adults

Anemia is a condition that occurs when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells (hemoglobin).  Hemoglobin is the part of the cell that that binds oxygen.  If your hemoglobin is low, the cells in your body will not receive enough oxygen.

Although anemia can happen at any age, this condition is extremely common in adults 60 years and older. In fact, it is estimated that about 10% of older adults living independent lives over the age of 65 have anemia.

Since anemia is usually caused by poor nutrition or other medical issues, such as receiving chemotherapy, vitamin deficiency, or internal bleeding, older adults are at greater risk of developing the condition.

Common symptoms of anemia are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Becoming paler (which is often first seen by checking inside the lower lids)
  • Lower blood pressure (especially if the anemia is caused by bleeding)

If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms of anemia, your physician can perform a simple complete blood count (CBC) test to determine your overall health and detect a wide range of blood disorders including anemia.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center offers medical testing to diagnose testing.  If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is There a Benefit to Wearing a Fitness Tracker?

Generally speaking, if you are inactive your risk of  experiencing obesity, low energy, diabetes and hypertension is higher.  To combat these health issues, you can incorporate a brisk walk or run into your weekly activity.  The addition of this type of movement to your day may prevent or, in some cases, reverse health issues.

One of the ways some are finding it beneficial to keep track of their activity level is by wearing a “fitness tracker.”  Surprisingly, one of the first reports you may receive from your tracker is that you are not as active as you thought you were.

Most fitness trackers are a good way of monitoring your steps, calories, distance travelled, caloric intake, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.  They can be viewed as your “conscience” for personal accountability and motivation for a relatively low cost.

Some of the benefits of a fitness tracker include:

  • Encouraging physical activity – If you check your tracker and see that you are behind in your steps for the day, you may “step” up your game a bit and take a walk.
  • Measuring your heart rate – This feature can give you hard data on the effort you exert while doing a particular workout and/or task. It can give you a hint on the condition of your cardiovascular system by allowing you to see just how quickly your heart rate increases.
  • Providing insights on your sleep patterns – Sleep has a definite influence on your overall health. Fitness trackers that log sleep activity can help you address whatever is lacking in your sleep cycles.
  • Encouraging healthy eating – Fitness trackers can come equipped with apps that help you track your food and may help with weight loss.
  • Promoting interaction – Some fitness trackers allow the user to interact with other users, create group challenges and receive rewards for meeting goals.

There really isn’t a downside to tracking your activity, unless you take your fitness tracker off and it remains lost at the bottom of a drawer.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.