Aging is the natural phase that must occur to all over the course of life beyond human control. In other words Aging is called the loss of elasticity in the skin, blood vessels, and tendons.
It is also associated with the progressive decline in the functioning of organs such as the lungs, kidneys, and liver.
World Health Organization (Who) defines aging is a course of biological reality which starts at conception and ends with death with its own dimensions.
Increased dependency and physical disability results in old age. Generally the retirement age is 60 years and thus considered as the beginning of old age.
With the increasing of age brown or yellow blemishes (slightly raised spots) appear on the skin at any site. These are called seborrheic keratosis. In addition to these, due to overexposure to sun, small scaly patches (solar keratosis) on the backside of the hands and freckles appear in elderly people. Red pinpoint blemishes on the trunk called De Morgan’s spots are also witnessed.
What happens after age 40?
1. Tissue, and body organs like liver, kidneys and other organs start losing some their cells after the age of 40 years. This leads to the decline in muscle mass and causes weakness, disability and morbidity.
2. Height loss occurs. It is studied that people almost 1 cm of height is lost for every 10 years after age 40. After crossing 70 this loss becomes more rapid.
3. Complications related to obesity are more common after age 40.
4. Decreased physical activity, etc.
How does our body age quickly?
The premature onset of old age is accelerated old aging.
To know this, let’s go through what accelerated aging actually is.
Accelerated aging is the premature aging of our body.
What are the practical effects of Aging & Accelerated Aging?
There are mainly two effects for the organs in our body found for Aging.
- Natural Effects.
- Accelerated Effects.
Let’s see how these two types of aging are conceptualized organs such as skin, muscles, heart, blood circulation, brain and nervous system, lungs, joints, liver, senses, and so on.
Aging of Organs:
Natural aging of skin:
Skin gets sagged and wrinkled due to loss of elastic tissue. Blood capillaries are weakened and that causes skin to bruise more easily.
Accelerated Aging of Skin:
Aging of skin is accelerated because of exposure to sun, smoking etc.
Natural aging of muscles:
Muscle bulk and strength are lost.
Accelerated aging of muscles:
Lack of exercise and starvation accelerate the muscle’s aging.
Natural Aging of heart:
Heart becomes less efficient to pump. It causes the tolerance reduced to exercise.
Accelerated aging of heart:
Fatty diets and excessive use of alcohol and smoking accelerate the heart’s aging.
Natural aging of blood circulation:
Hardening of arteries occur. This causes poor blood circulation with high blood pressure.
Accelerated aging of blood circulation:
Poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking accelerate aging of circulation.
Natural Aging of brain and nervous system:
Memory and learning skills reduce due to loss of nerve cells. Responses become slower as nerves’ reaction time increases.
Loss of brain function leads to dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Dementia due to old age are of two types.
1. Alzheimer’s disease; 2. Parkinson’s disease.
Sudden devastation of a stroke is also common in old age.
- Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s is the most common disease associated with old age. The brain cortex becomes dry causing
It causes an overall misbalance, memory loss, changes in personality and behavioral depression, apathy, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, irritability and aggressiveness.
- Parkinson’s disease:
A degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination.
Accelerated aging of brain and nervous system:
Excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol cause brain and nervous systems’ aging accelerated.
Head injuries from sports & games such as boxing can also accelerate this type of aging.
Natural aging of lungs:
Breathing problems start because of loss of elasticity with age.
Accelerated aging of lungs:
Air pollution, smoking, and lack of exercise accelerate aging of lungs.
Natural aging of joints:
Reduction of height happen due to pressure on intervertebral discs. Mobility is also reduced as hip and knee joints wear.
Accelerated aging of joints:
Obesity and injuries to joints (athletic injuries) increase aging of joints.
Natural aging of liver:
Liver’s efficiency drops in processing toxic substances in the blood.
Accelerated aging of liver:
Virus infections and alcohol consumption accelerate liver’s aging.
Natural aging of senses:
Nerve cell production declines in old age. It mainly causes loss of activity and power in all senses like sight, hearing, taste etc.
Accelerated aging of senses:
Noise pollution and smoking increases aging of senses.
Measures to be taken to effectively combat aging and accelerated (premature) aging:
A multi-disciplinary approach with appropriate inputs from different disciplines of health, psychology, nutrition, sociology and social sciences is required to address the various problems faced by the elderly.
Research shows that lifestyle changes such as dietary, sexual habits and alcohol consumption can possibly increase life span.