Heart Health Tips for Older Adults

As a board-certified family physician practicing in the Henderson, Nevada, area, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter treats patients of all ages. Dr. Kevin Buckwalter draws on wide-ranging experience in treating and helping to prevent aging-related diseases.

Statistics show heart disease as the cause of death for 84 percent of individuals aged 65 and older. Heart disease risk increases as a patient ages, but there are actions one can take to reduce one’s risk. For example, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels make a patient more vulnerable to heart disease, so reducing these levels is key to mitigating risk. The same holds for patients with diabetes, whose proactive management of the condition makes them less at risk of heart attacks and other heart problems. Some patients require specialized medical interventions, such as angina treatment, depending on their medical histories.

Regardless of one’s individual medical risk, however, a number of lifestyle changes can make an older adult less likely to develop a heart condition. A diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but high in fruit and vegetable content, can improve heart health. Regular physical activity also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure while aiding individuals in maintaining the healthy weight that physicians recommend as critical for avoiding heart disease. Experts also advise patients to avoid smoking and minimize emotional stress, both of which can add to one’s risk of developing a heart condition.


Common Causes of Childhood Stomachaches

Dr. Kevin Buckwalter, a family physician in Nevada, treats patients of all ages. Dr. Kevin Buckwalter sees a number of pediatric patients and regularly addresses their everyday health concerns.

A common childhood complaint, stomachaches often mystify parents because of their wide range of causes. Abdominal pain can come from a virus, constipation, or a chronic condition. One of the most common causes is gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu. This virus, not actually influenza, typically brings on vomiting and diarrhea as well as pain across the belly area. More serious conditions such as appendicitis also present with vomiting; this particular condition is frequently characterized by acute pain in the lower right abdomen and tenderness when the child jumps or is jostled.

General pain without vomiting may be a result of gas building up in the child’s digestive system. Constipation may cause similar symptoms; both conditions are typically not serious and are manageable at home. If a child presents with chronic generalized belly pain, however, he or she may be showing signs of irritable bowel syndrome or a food intolerance. Other potential causes include reflux, ulcers, or simple digestive sensitivity; only a qualified pediatrician can make a definitive diagnosis.