Disorders in Geriatric Patients

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DISORDERS IN GERIATRIC PATIENTS

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A geriatric patientrefers to an older person who has an overall impaired function.Usually, there is no set age, but it must be more than 75 years andexperiencing one or more chronic illnesses in the form of physical orcognitive impairment. Older adults mainly struggle with reducedstrength, urinary incontinence, weight loss, dementia, depression,and gait abnormalities among others (Jackson, Jansen &amp Mangoni,2009). According to Martin, (1981), in most cases, older patients whosuffer a certain disorder may fail to show some of the traditionalsigns of the same illness that are demonstrated by younger people.This situation is described as atypical presentation.

The most commondisorders that affect older people include thyroid disease,autoimmune diseases, pulmonary embolism, and gastrointestinaldisease. This paper primarily focuses on a case study of an elderlypatient with an atypical presentation of thyroid disease and thediagnosis. John, aged 85 was reported to have symptoms that includedpalpitations, anorexia, congestive cardiac failure, and fatigue.Since the traditional or classical symptoms that are associated withthyroid diseases such as irritability, tremor, and nervousness wereabsent, he was initially diagnosed with the common aging problems(Pathy, 2006). At this point, it was not so clear whether or no hewas suffering from hyperthyroidism.

To overcome the atypical presentation, the clinician involved had tobe keener on the tiny changes that occurred in John’s conditionabout the baseline. Having a reliable caregiver and family informantwas also a credible strategy that was used to determine the actualillness. After some time of the close investigation and research onhis history of diseases, John was diagnosed with thyroid disease andthe proper treatment administered.

References

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Gaw, A. (2008). Clinical biochemistry: An illustrated color text.Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Jackson, S., Jansen, P., &amp Mangoni, A. (2009). Prescribing forelderly patients. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Martin, A. (1981). Problems in Geriatric Medicine. Dordrecht:Springer Netherlands.

Pathy, M. S. J. (2006). Principles and Practice of GeriatricMedicine. Chichester: John Wiley &amp Sons.

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