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Signs Your Body Is Aging: What Are Your Growing Pains Telling You?
As we age, a whole lot of things start to change within our bodies. Our skin thins, our bones weaken, and our memories get worse. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to combat the signs your body is aging. Implement little life hack, such as changing your diet and adding supplements to supporting aches and pains through cutting-edge new therapies. Knowing what to look out for can help you formulate a care plan that makes your senior years as enjoyable as possible. Here’s how!
Combating Signs Your Body is Aging
Growing older shouldn’t be dreadful. It means you’ve accomplished some stuff, done some things, and are leaving a legacy in your path.
Aging allows you to see the fruits of your labors. You get to slow down a little, watch your family grow, and spend more time doing your hobbies.
Unfortunately, these little pleasures come with some roadblocks. When pain becomes chronic, it opens the door for disease development.
An analysis looking at the signs of aging and chronic disease found,
“The presence of daily pain also seems to be a risk factor for developing disability. In an observational study done in 11 European countries, 19% of those with daily pain developed disability during the following year, compared to only 14.9% of those without daily pain 1.”– Pain Medicine
So, when you experience the signs of aging, what do you do? Let’s discuss some ways to cope with these chronic pains.
One of the most common signs of aging is back pain. Your back and spine experience many age-related changes that can trigger pain and stiffness. These uncomfortable symptoms might be a result of spinal disk degeneration (osteoarthritis) and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
Over time, these conditions can cause you to feel constant pain and may prevent mobility. As surgery is likely not a preferred option, routine massage therapy or using a laser light therapy belt for a half-hour a day can help.
We all know that memory loss and mental fogginess often come with the territory of getting older. However, what causes this to happen? Well, as we age, our bodies produce fewer hormones and proteins that the brain uses to protect and repair brain cells 2.Additionally, older adults tend to experience decreased blood flow to the brain. In turn, our brain gets less oxygen 3. This inevitably leads to the deterioration of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is our part of the brain that retrieves and forms memories.There are a few simple things you can do to prevent cognitive decline. Try socializing more, work on brain-teasers, exercise regularly, and consume a diet with healthy fats.
You spend the early part of your life growing and the later part shrinking! In fact, research shows that women lose an average of three inches, and men drop an average of two inches by the time they turn 80 4. So, why does this happen?
Shortness is one of the signs your body is aging because the disks in the spine dehydrate, compress, and degenerate. These setbacks cause your disks to pull the spine downward. This motion causes the semblance of a hunched back. In worst-case scenarios, the vertebrae can collapse and fracture due to these conditions.
More Susceptible to Illness
One of the top signs your body is aging is that you get sick easier. We’re learning this is very evident with the present-day crisis surrounding COVID-19. Unfortunately, aging lowers your immunity. So, if you feel like you’ve gotten sick more often as you’ve gotten older, it’s not your imagination.
While the body uses experience (and age) to build up a strong defense against the bacteria and viruses with which it has come into contact, many more things happen in the body to weaken immune defenses as we get older 5.
Much of these hardships center around toxins in our environment, allergens in our food, and Mother Time all coming together.
Also, conditions common in older adults—such as diabetes and cancer—can contribute to a weaker immune system. So, if you notice yourself getting sicker, please speak to your physician. Work with them to boost your immune system naturally so you can have a better chance of fighting illnesses.
One of the most overlooked signs your body is aging is a reduction in sweat. Sure, nobody likes to sweat.
However, we need this autonomous process to help remove toxins from our bodies.
When we were younger, we moved and exercised a lot more, so our bodies needed more sweat to regulate temperature and keep us cool. As we age, the sweat glands (endocrine glands) in our underarms shrink 6.
Consequently, less sweat is produced. Women may experience this change more than men due to menopause.
Many of us are told we need a thick skin to deal with the negativity in this world. However, thicker skin also keeps us looker younger and more vibrant. Aging skin is a clear indicator of how long you’ve been on this earth. Seemingly, there’s nothing we can do about it.
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, two peptides our system uses to ensure that skin is protective, hydrated, and elastic. As a result, aging skin feels thin, dry, and less supple than it once did. Of course, this leads to the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
Don’t turn to cosmetics to fight against signs that your body is aging. Many beauty products are packed with synthetic ingredients that are harmful to your gut biome. Use vegetable and fruit oils for your skin to bring back vitality and enrich it with antioxidants. Also, drink bone broth to bring collagen and elastin back to your skin cells.
Frequent Bathroom Trips
Urinary problems are common among older adults because the bladder becomes less elastic with age. On top of that, the bladder is a muscle. Unfortunately, muscles tend to lose strength over time.A weaker bladder may make it harder to fully empty when you go to the bathroom. As a result, it may cause loose bladder control (urinary incontinence).
An excellent way to gain strength in your bladder is to practice Kegel exercises. These slight movements exercise the pelvic floor muscles. Performing Kegels help strengthen bladder muscles, lowering the chance of incidents.
Depending on your health, and which stage of aging you’re in, you may be gaining or losing weight for seemingly no reason. Older people tend to gain weight because their metabolism slows down.
An analysis of metabolism during aging noted,
“The basal metabolic rate decreases almost linearly with age…The volume of skeletal musculature decreases and the percentage of fat tissue increases with age. It is shown that the decrease in muscle mass relative to total body may be wholly responsible for the age-related decreases in basal metabolic rate. Energy consumption by physical activity also decreases with atrophic changes of skeletal muscle. Thus, energy requirement in the elderly decreases 7.”– Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi.
You might also not feel well enough to exercise like you once did. This sedentary lifestyle will make it harder to burn off calories, resulting in an accumulation of fat tissue around the gut.
On the flip side, weight loss occurs in people with conditions common among older adults, such as depression, cancer, and dementia. Long-term use of certain medications may also lead to weight loss.
Have you noticed that your gums appear to be pulling back more from your teeth with every passing year? Are cavities becoming more frequent? These are some of the less talked about signs your body is aging.
Dental problems happen for many reasons. Some seem innocent enough, such as years of aggressive brushing. Otherwise, dental problems may indicate the development of periodontal disease (gum disease).
Another thing that happens when you get older is that your mouth dries out. With less moisture in the mouth, your teeth and gums are more vulnerable to decay and infection. Therefore, it is more important than ever to practice good dental hygiene in old age.
Hearing and Sight Problems
Unfortunately, our senses dwindle in old age, causing difficulty seeing and hearing. Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually over one’s lifetime due to decades of loud noises, excessive earwax buildup, and genetics.
Certain health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, also play a role in hearing loss 8. All of these signs your body is aging is bad for your mental health. When your brain doesn’t hear specific frequencies frequently, it can lead to brain atrophy 9. In turn, you become at-risk of developing dementia.
Eyesight also suffers from aging. You may experience common issues, such as presbyopia (the loss of ability to see close objects or read small print), floaters, and dry eyes.
Embracing Life While Showing Signs Your Body is Aging
Sure, there are some less-than-ideal things that happen when we add more years to the logbook, but there’s a trade-off to getting older. For all the bad, we also get a whole lot of good in the form of wisdom. Though we all have things we wish we knew when we were young (or things we wish we took more seriously), when it comes to health, it’s never too late to begin practicing good habits.
Fight off the signs your body is aging. Join the Thryve Gut Health Program to learn insights about your health, including your metabolism score. Make sure you practice a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and proper diet will help stave off many signs of aging so you can enjoy these years to their fullest!
Click Here To View Resources
- 1 Gibson, Stephen J., et al. “Prevalence and Relevance of Pain in Older Persons.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 12 Apr. 2012, academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/13/suppl_2/S23/1847844.
- 2 Timmerman, K. L., & Volpi, E. (2008). Amino acid metabolism and regulatory effects in aging. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 11(1), 45–49. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e3282f2a592.
- 3 “Age-Related Memory Loss.” HelpGuide.org, 12 Mar. 2020, www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/age-related-memory-loss.htm.
- 4 Sagon, Candy. “Are You Getting Shorter? What Height Loss Says About Your Health.” Blogs, 28 Aug. 2014, blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/are-you-getting-shorter-what-height-loss-says-about-your-health.
- 5 Cicetti, Fred. “Aging Lowers Your Immunity.” LiveScience, Purch, 30 May 2013, www.livescience.com/35908-aging-lowers-your-immunity.html.
- 6 van den Beld, A. W., Kaufman, J. M., Zillikens, M. C., Lamberts, S., Egan, J. M., & van der Lely, A. J. (2018). The physiology of endocrine systems with ageing. The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology, 6(8), 647–658. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30026-3.
- 7 Shimokata, H, and F Kuzuya. “Aging, Basal Metabolic Rate, and Nutrition.” Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Geriatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 1993, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8361073.
- 8 “Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20 Nov. 2018, www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults#causes.
- 9 Lin, F. R., & Albert, M. (2014). Hearing loss and dementia – who is listening?. Aging & mental health, 18(6), 671–673. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2014.915924.