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 with age from certain failures. A better understanding of human physiology and the negative forces at work in 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. Having a healthy diet protects against hypertension, diabetes, loss of sight and the risk of cancer.
1. Less hair and dry, wrinkled skin
Due to a decrease in testosterone production, but also for genetic reasons, many men lose their 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, with the passage of 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
The number of alveoli of the capillary vessels at the level of the lung decreases. This reduces oxygen uptake during inspiration. Breathing becomes more complicated, especially after an effort or in the mountains.
With age, the respiratory muscles are also less and less efficient. This increases the difficulties of the elderly to carry out intense physical efforts and activities. Likewise, immunity is lower with the decline of the body’s defense mechanisms. The lungs are thus more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections.
3. The liver shrinks in size and filters less well
From the age of 20 to 90, the liver loses a volume of 20 to 40%. The secretory function is impaired and this results in particular in the difficulty in metabolizing certain drugs. That is to say, to eliminate them by the liver. It is thus possible that the same dose of medication that has no side effects in a younger person can cause side effects in an older person. Just like the lung, the liver becomes less resistant over the years. The renewal of hepatic cells is increasingly slow.
4. Less sense of smell and more nose hair
The coating at the level of the nostrils becomes thinner and drier, especially from the age of 50. One of the consequences of this change is the reduction in the perception of certain smells. Age also promotes the development of hair in the nose and sometimes on the ear flaps.
5. Fading hearing: “Huh? what are you saying? »
With age, we no longer hear certain very high-pitched sounds. We know, for example, that very high-pitched sounds can only be heard by people aged 20 and not by those aged 40 or over. Gradually, over the years, we also hear the bass sounds less well. In addition, there is a greater accumulation of waxes leading to hearing problems.
6. Dry mouth, the taste goes away
Saliva production decreases, which leads to more dry mouth. The sensitivity of the taste buds to sweet and salty decreases with age. We can also see a retraction 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 blood pumping. With the accumulation of fat, especially in the coronary arteries, the risk of myocardial infarction is increased compared to younger individuals. Decreased heart muscle also leads to hypertension. Another important cause of myocardial infarction, but also stroke. Note that the tendency to hypertrophy affects men more than women and that the practice of regular physical activity could slow down the process.
8. Pancreas down, diabetes risk up
The pancreas produces less insulin with age. This results in a poorer entry of sugar into the cells and a proven increase in the risk of diabetes (type 2).
9. Rheumatism: pain in the joints
The structure of cartilage tends to deteriorate with age. This may result in an increased risk of osteoarthritis and in particular osteoarthritis of the knee. The hands and arms can also be affected by osteoarthritis, especially in women. In addition, ligaments and tendons lose their elasticity with the passage of years, which increases the risk of rupture and tearing (eg tendinitis).
10. Sexuality and sexual organs at half mast
The man, more frequently suffers from erectile dysfunction and he also feels a decrease in desire, caused in particular by the drop in the production of testosterone. Other age-related causes such as diabetes and hypertension promote erectile dysfunction. In women, the drop in sex hormones at menopause often leads to vaginal dryness and a decrease in sexual desire. 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 in urinating. In women, the breasts become less firm due to a decrease in fibrous tissue.
11. Lazy Eyes
We know that with age the lens becomes more rigid, which will gradually disturb vision. The risk of glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness, also increases with age. Certain disorders such as greater difficulty in distinguishing close objects and colors also occur over the years. Similarly, it may become more difficult to see in the dark, to adapt to light, especially reflections, and to regain normal vision after being exposed to dazzling light. The decrease in visual acuity can also come from the deterioration of the 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 like neurons. From the age of 70, it is therefore more common to suffer from memory problems. We also know that with the passage of years the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease increases sharply. Some of the most common signs of brain decline include decreased alertness, amnesia, and loss of concentration.
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