Changes With Aging

During the middle and later years, fat tends to accumulate in the lower abdomen and near the hips, even when total body weight is stable. This accumulation, together with weakening of the abdominal muscles, often produces a potbelly. Occasionally a person notes this change with alarm and interprets it as fluid or evidence of disease.

Old age may blunt the manifestations of acute abdominal disease. Pain may be less severe, fever is often less pronounced, and signs of peritoneal inflammation, such as muscular guarding and rebound tenderness (p. 335), may be diminished or even absent.

Common or Concerning Symptoms

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Urinary and Renal Disorders

Indigestion or anorexia

■ Suprapubic pain

■ Nausea, vomiting, or

Dysuria, urgency, or frequency

hematemesis

■ Hesitancy, decreased stream in

■ Abdominal pain

males

■ Dysphagia and/or odynophagia

■ Polyuria or nocturia

■ Change in bowel function

Urinary incontinence

Constipation or diarrhea

■ Hematuria

■ Jaundice

■ Kidney or flank pain

Fire Up Your Core

Fire Up Your Core

If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”

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