Even if we always age better and live longer thanks to various medical advances and better general hygiene in recent decades, the “body machine” clearly suffers from age due to certain failures. A better understanding of human physiology and the negative forces acting on the body makes it possible to act on prevention.
For example, exercising regularly helps prevent rheumatism and improves cardiovascular health. Not smoking protects lung health. Eating a healthy diet protects against high blood pressure, diabetes, vision loss, and cancer risk.
1. Less hair and dry, wrinkled skin
Due to a decrease in testosterone production, but also for genetic reasons, many men lose hair with age, especially on the top of the head. As melanin production decreases, hair turns white or gray.
Women can also lose their hair, but much less than men. The skin, over the years, also tends to be thinner, due to a decrease in the production of collagen and elastin. This leads to more infections, drier skin, and the formation of wrinkles.
2. Lower lung capacity
It decreases the number of alveoli of the capillary vessels at the level of the lung. This reduces oxygen consumption during inspiration. Breathing becomes more complicated, especially after exertion or in the mountains.
With age, the respiratory muscles also become less efficient. This increases the difficulties of the elderly to carry out activities and intense physical efforts. Also, immunity is lower with the decrease in the body’s defense mechanisms. Therefore, the lungs are more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections.
3. The liver shrinks in size and filters less well
From ages 20 to 90, the liver loses 20 to 40% volume. Secretory function is impaired and this translates in particular into difficulty metabolizing certain drugs. That is, eliminate them through the liver. Therefore, it is possible that the same dose of medicine that does not have side effects in a younger person could cause side effects in an older person. Like the lung, the liver becomes less resistant over the years. The turnover of liver cells is getting slower.
4. Less smell and more nose hairs
The coating at the level of the nostrils becomes thinner and drier, especially after the age of 50. One of the consequences of this change is the reduction in the perception of certain odors. Age also promotes the development of hair on the nose and sometimes on the ear flaps.
5. Hearing loss: “Huh? what are you saying? »
With age, we no longer hear certain high-pitched sounds. We know, for example, that very high-pitched sounds can only be heard by people in their 20s and not by people in their 40s or older. Little by little, over the years, we also hear the bass-less well. Also, there is an increased buildup of waxes which leads to hearing problems.
6. Dry mouth, taste disappears
It decreases the production of saliva, which causes more dryness in the mouth. The sensitivity of the taste buds to sweet and salty decreases with age. We can also see a recession of the gums due to the decrease in the muscle mass of the mouth.
7. Weak heart and high blood pressure
With age, the heart muscle naturally loses its strength. This mechanically reduces the pumping of blood. With the accumulation of fat, especially in the coronary arteries, the risk of myocardial infarction increases compared to younger individuals. The decrease in heart muscle also leads to hypertension. Another important cause of myocardial infarction, but also stroke. Keep in mind that the tendency to hypertrophy affects men more than women and that regular physical activity could slow down the process.
8. Pancreas down, diabetes risk up
The pancreas produces less insulin with age. This translates into a worse entry of sugar into the cells and a proven increased risk of diabetes (type 2).
9. Rheumatism: joint pain
The structure of cartilage tends to deteriorate with age. This can lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis, and in particular knee osteoarthritis. The hands and arms can also be affected by osteoarthritis, especially in women. Additionally, ligaments and tendons lose their elasticity over the years, increasing the risk of rupture and tearing (eg tendinitis).
10. Sexuality and sexual organs at half-staff
Men more often suffer from erectile dysfunction and also feel a decrease in desire, caused in particular by the drop in testosterone production. Other age-related causes, such as diabetes and hypertension, promote erectile dysfunction. In women, the drop in sex hormones at menopause usually causes vaginal dryness and decreased sexual desire, while in men the volume of the prostate tends to increase. This leads in particular to benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by pain and difficulty urinating. In women, the breasts become less firm due to the decrease in fibrous tissue.
11. Lazy eyes
We know that with age the lens becomes more rigid, which will progressively disturb vision. The risk of glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness, also increases with age. Certain disorders such as greater difficulty distinguishing close objects and colors also occur with the passing of the years. Similarly, it may be more difficult to see in the dark, adjust to the light, especially reflections, and regain normal vision after exposure to glare. Decreased visual acuity can also come from impaired tear ducts leading to dry eyes.
12. Brain: less blood, more forgetfulness
Blood flow in the brain decreases with age as does the number of cells such as neurons. From the age of 70, therefore, it is more common to suffer from memory problems. We also know that over the years the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases considerably. Some of the most common signs of brain impairment include decreased alertness, amnesia, and loss of concentration.
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