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AGING/AGEING

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AGING/AGEING

Aging is something we all do but understand very little about. Sure, it’s easy to make a list of all the changes that come with age. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. And during the aging process, 70% of people will need some form of long-term care as they experience age-related changes.

The truth is that there is no “normal aging”. Or at least not a rigid set of events that always happens. The aging process is complicated, confusing, and different for everybody.Aging is a decline of biological functions, e.g., “progressive loss of function accompanied by decreasing fertility and increasing mortality with advancing age” .

In other words, aging is the impact of time on the human body, and it occurs on multiple levels:

*Cellular aging. Cells age based on the number of times they have replicated. A cell can replicate about 50 times before the genetic material is no longer able to be copied accurately, which is due to shortened telomeres. The more damage done to cells by free radicals and other factors, the more cells need to replicate.

*Hormonal aging. Hormones play a huge factor in aging, especially during childhood growth and adolescent maturity. Hormone levels fluctuate through life. Puberty brings acne and larger pores. As we get older, hormonal changes lead to dry skin and menopause.

*Accumulated damage. Accumulated damage is all external. Exposure to toxins, the sun, harmful foods, pollution, and smoke take a toll on the body. Over time, these external factors can lead to tissue damage and the body falls behind in its ability to maintain and repair cells, tissues, and organs.

*Metabolically aging. As you go about your day, your cells are constantly turning food into energy, which produces byproducts that can be harmful. The process of metabolizing and creating energy results in damage to the body over time. Some believe that slowing down the metabolic process through practices such as calorie restriction may slow aging in humans.

When a person becomes old can be answered in different ways:

*Chronologic age: Chronologic age is based solely on the passage of time. It is a person’s age in years. Chronologic age has limited significance in terms of health. Nonetheless, the likelihood of developing a health problem increases as people age, and it is health problems, rather than normal aging, that are the primary cause of functional loss during old age. Because chronologic age helps predict many health problems, it has some legal and financial uses.

*Biologic age: Biologic age refers to changes in the body that commonly occur as people age. Because these changes affect some people sooner than others, some people are biologically old at 65, and others not until a decade or more later. However, most noticeable differences in apparent age among people of similar chronologic age are caused by lifestyle, habit, and subtle effects of disease rather than by differences in actual aging.

*Psychologic age: Psychologic age is based on how people act and feel. For example, an 80-year-old who works, plans, looks forward to future events, and participates in many activities is considered psychologically young.

Most people do not need the expertise of a geriatrician (a doctor who specializes in the care of older people) until they are 70, 75, or even 80 years old.

Here are the most common signs of aging;

*Sagging skin

*Dull skin

*Thin skin

*Easily bruised skin

*Wrinkles on the face

*Wounds take longer time to heal

*Dry skin

Common effects of aging includes;

*Muscles generally lose strength there by leading to arthritis.

*Hearing and vision changes

*Cataract and refractive errors

*The heart muscles

*Slower metabolism rate.

*Age spots

Common effects of aging includes;

*Muscles generally lose strength there by leading to arthritis.

*Hearing and vision changes

*Cataract and refractive errors

*The heart muscles

*Slower metabolism rate.

The solution to aging can not be said as it is an inevitable occurance so long as

one is alive.Here are some routines that could help through the process of aging;

*Exercise

*Less sleep

*Seek medical advice

*Eat well

*Don’t smoke or consume alcohol

*Socialize

*Rest well.

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