I have a clinic in Torrevieja, a seaside town on the coast of the Mediterranean sea in Spain and for those of you who don’t know the town, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. Torrevieja is a melting pot of Northern Europeans. It is where Europeans come to retire in mass. It is rated the healthiest place to live in Europe due to its surrounding salt lakes. It is a beautiful and peaceful town, and people come to Torrevieja seeking a quiet, peaceful, adventurous and healthier life. Most people retire to Torrevieja to enjoy the peace, relax by the sea and soak in the sun. They retire here to play golf, learn a new language, make new friends, and travel. They retire here dreaming of having an adventurous and healthy life.
However, this dream quickly fades away for many due to unforeseen health problems.
I know this for a fact from the thousands of retired and older people I have seen in my clinic in the past years. And I know their stories. My patients come from all over Europe, but their health stories are the same.
Many people on medications start taking those medications just before or soon after their retirement. They start taking medicines for high blood pressure, for an irregular heartbeat, for high cholesterol or prostate problems. They take anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Then more medications are added. Aspirin to thin the blood, and a stomach protector to protect the stomach from the harmful effects of those medications. And then the doses of these medications are increased, or more of the same type added. Then a second or third blood pressure medication is added. A stronger form of stomach protector is prescribed.
And at this point, most people start to suffer from the nasty side effects of these medications. Most people realise that they are more tired than they have ever been and can barely pursue any form of physical activity. Their joints hurt more than ever. Their memory becomes unreliable and dizzy spells set in. In general, their health starts to go down downhill very quickly.
The reality, however, is that most of the health problems in people over 60 are caused by one specific problem.
This specific and deadly problem that I talk about is the narrowing of the arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis.