should not be taken for granted in the elderly. Especially if

they themselves complain about it. It isn't normal for them.

Sometimes they will describe “spells” of weakness. This is an

important clue. Check the pulse immediately. Count for 30 beats

at least. Are there missing beats? There should not be! Missing

two beats in a row certainly can produce a weak or “sinking”

spell. The brain and body need every pulse of blood sent out

right on time.

Check into caffeine use first. Take it all away. Caffeine

speeds up the heart; then the overworked heart has to “take time

out” for itself by missing a beat. Don't switch to decafs because

this introduces solvents and new problems. If no other natural

beverages appeal, serve hot water with cream and cinnamon.

After stopping caffeine use ask: Is the pulse too slow or too fast?

The pulse should be between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

If it is lower than 60, a medicine may be at fault. Ask the

clinical doctor about it immediately. A slow pulse could certainly

bring about weakness. A young athlete may have a slow

pulse legitimately, due to having a very strong efficient heart, but

your elderly person does not fit this category. The cause must be


If the pulse is quite high, over 100 perhaps, this will wear the

heart out much sooner than necessary. Ask why it is beating so

fast? A probable answer is that it is so weak that it has to beat

faster to keep up with its job of circulating the blood. What is

making the heart so weak?

Do you have any questions?

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