Thai king suffers health problems: official statement

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Thai king suffers health problems: official statement

Fri, Jul 13 04:20 AM EDT

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, experienced health problems overnight including bleeding in the brain but his heartbeat and blood pressure were now normal, an official statement said on Friday.

The king is revered by many of his subjects and his health is of particular concern because he is seen as a unifying figure in a country that has suffered often violent political upheaval in the past seven years.

Later on Friday, the Constitutional Court is due to make a ruling on proposals to amend the constitution that have divided opinion and could lead to another bout of unrest.

The king has been in hospital for almost three years but his health has improved in recent months, allowing him to make a trip to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya in May.

The palace said a trip out of Bangkok scheduled for Sunday had been canceled.

In a rare statement on his health, the Bureau of the Royal Household said that on Thursday night the king had experienced intermittent twitching of his right hand and his heartbeat had increased slightly.

A brain X-ray had revealed “minute subdural bleeding in the left frontal area”, it said in what it called an unofficial translation. “After medication was given intravenously last night, the seizure disappeared.”

“This morning the doctors reported that His Majesty had normal movement of his right hand. His Majesty’s heartbeat and blood pressure are normal,” it added.

The king’s doctors had asked him to halt royal activities for a period of time, it concluded.

(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Writing by Alan Raybould, Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

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