Elvis Presley's father thanks fans for letters and flowers following star's death
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Similar to many who found fame in the 60s and 70s, Elvis developed a drug addiction. The singer who became known as the King relied on a concoction of prescription drugs to get through daily life. But the extent of his health problems were not truly understood until after he had passed away.
At only 42 years of age, initially the cause of his death was reported as a heart attack.
During the autopsy it became clear that Elvis did in fact have multiple heart problems, including a strained aorta and atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition where arteries become clogged with fatty substances.
The singer’s incredibly unhealthy diet – consisting mostly of cheeseburgers – and chronic constipation inevitably contributed to these problems.
Repeated head trauma can cause an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that can then attack any organ in the body.
Conditions such as post-concussion syndrome can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
According to Practical Pain Management irrational and illogical behaviour can also occur after sustaining a heavy blow to the head.
In 1967 Elvis was victim to just that, knocking himself out after falling in a bathroom.
In addition to the head and heart problems, author Sally A Hoedel – lifelong Elvis fan, historian and journalism graduate – delved into his family history discovering more about his health.
In her book Elvis: Destined To Die Young, Sally revealed that Elvis suffered from diseases in nine of the 11 bodily systems.
In an exclusive interview with the Express.co.uk she continued to say that five of these diseases had been present from his birth.
Within the book Sally revealed that Elvis’ grandparents were first cousins.
Using this knowledge she states she was able to trace back every single one of his ailments which he suffered as a child including glaucoma, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
One of these problems was Elvis’ megacolon.
The colon is the longest part of the large intestine and when blocked causes a megacolon.
This can lead to constipation which the star was famously trying to rid when he passed away.
In an exclusive interview with Elvis’ cousin Annie Presley, it was revealed that as a toddler Elvis had needed help clearing his bowels.
The Presley family in general did not have a good track record for health.
Three of his uncles died of heart, kidney and liver issues in their 40a and early 50s.
Evidence from the official autopsy, medical professionals and Sally’s book all point to the same thing, that Elvis had serious health issues long before his death in 1977.
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