falls and the elderly: the numbers are both staggering and growing

DEADLY FALLS AMONG THE ELDERLY
POPULATION ARE SKYROCKETING

Antidepressants have long been recognized as a contributory factor to falls.  From a study mentioned below
The May 11 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Deaths from Falls Among Persons Aged 65 Years or Older — United States, 2007–2016) came to some scary conclusions. “Deaths from unintentional injuries are the seventh leading cause of death among older adults, and falls account for the largest percentage of those deaths. Approximately one in four U.S. residents aged 65 years or older report falling each year, and fall-related emergency department visits are estimated at approximately 3 million per year. In 2016, a total of 29,668 U.S. residents 65 or older died as the result of a fall, compared with 18,334 deaths in 2007.”  That’s a 38% increase folks.  But what’s really crazy is that when you go back and look at a 2010 study in BMJ’s Injury Prevention (Recent Increases in Fatal and Non-Fatal Injury Among People Aged 65 years and Over in the USA) you see an almost identical pattern (HERE).  “The reported rate of fatal falls for people aged 65 years and over increased by 42% during 2000-2006.”  This is nothing short of shocking.

While the CDC’s article said that males have more fatal falls than females, specifically mentioning ladders and drinking as prime culprits (along with the BRILLIANT ASSESSMENT that falls are “consistent with advancing age“), there are any number of others that I can think of right off the bat that are probably far more important and relevant.  Instead of talking about these specifically, let’s take a moment to discuss some simple things that people might be able to do help prevent falls in either themselves or loved ones.

  • CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR:  While this sounds odd on the surface, it’s number one for a reason.  You pick a chronic health condition (which are almost universally connected to falls in the elderly) and I’ll show you several studies tying it back to BLOOD SUGAR (HERE and HERE are examples).  One of the things we know for sure is that ketogenic diets (HFLC) have great propensity to positively affect the sort of health issues that are most heavily associated with falls — namely neurological problems (HERE and HERE).  BTW, this approach is automatically going to help control both INSULIN and WEIGHT, which are also factors in falls.  And although it’s not specifically a sugar issue, this would be a great place to also mention that gluten is associated with a form of VERTIGO known as CEREBELLAR ATAXIA, which is heavily associated with, you guessed it, falls.

 

  • PRESCRIPTION MEDS: Do you think that the INSANE NUMBER of prescription meds the average geriatric patient is on might affect their incidence of falls?  A 2013 issue of Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety published a study called Drug-Related Falls in Older Patients: Implicated Drugs, Consequences, and Possible Prevention Strategies that concluded, “Falls are the leading cause of injuries among older adults, aged 65 years and older.  Several types of drugs have been associated with an increased fall risk.”  After mentioning that meds are a common cause of ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS (a problem universally underestimated by almost 2 orders of magnitude), they mentioned the biggest culprits; “psychotropic, cardiac and analgesic drugs, antihypertensive agents, diuretics, β blockers, sedatives and hypnotics, neuroleptics and antipsychotics, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, narcotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The use of antidepressants had the strongest association with falls.”  ANTIDEPRESSANTS?  Interesting.  And even more interesting, I learned that falls are not even considered to be an ADR with medication usage.

 

  • EXERCISE WISELY:  There are so many cool ways to exercise that both increase bone density and strength (HERE) and help with balance, one of my favorite being to add WHOLE BODY VIBRATION to whatever it is you are currently doing.  The great thing here is that in our current age of YouTube and Google, mountains of information are readily available at your fingertips.

 

  • DEAL WITH INFLAMMATION: No, I am not talking about taking more of the BIG FIVE here as they are all on the list above.  If you want to deal with underlying causes of sickness, disease, and disability (ARTHRITIS INCLUDED), you’ll have to effectively deal with the UNDERLYING SOURCES OF INFLAMMATION.  Although the previous bullets help get you started, you might be able to glean a few more helpful hints from THIS POST as well.

I realize that for many of you, it may seem like this is thinking too far outside the box.  That’s the point.  If you really want to regain your health and take your life back, DANGEROUS DRUGS aren’t going to be the cornerstone of your program.  In fact, synergistically, they might be doing more harm than good (drug interactions — HERE).  Oh, and if you have friends or loved ones who might be able to benefit, either send them a link or get it on their FACEBOOK feed (an easy way to help reach a lot of people is by liking, sharing or following).

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