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Aging Symptoms

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 
Aging Symptoms
What is Aging?
Causes and Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Treatment

The body inevitably experiences deterioration over time. This affects all body processes in general. However, some people experience greater symptoms of a body process's deterioration than others, in single or multiple body processes. As always, both genetics and environmental conditions play a role. Let's take a look at common consequences of aging on different body processes and their potential causes.

Arteries and heart - greater strain on heart, higher blood pressure

  • heart becomes less efficient
  • blood vessels become less elastic
  • fatty deposits accumulate on the interiors of blood vessels

Body fat - more body fat accumulation

  • metabolic rate slows
  • increasing inactive lifestyle
  • gradual decline in muscle mass

Bones - easier to break or fracture bones

  • body produces less and less bone
  • tendency to lose more bone than we can replace
  • decrease in bone density (osteopenia, osteoporosis)

Bladder - urinary incontinence

  • hormonal changes
  • enlarged prostate gland
  • deterioration in bladder capacity (obesity and constipation)

Brain - memory difficulties, difficulties in coordinating our muscles for sports or other physical activities (e.g. balance), and reflexes slow down

  • brain cells (neurons) die

Digestive System - frequent constipation, body becomes less effective at breaking down, and therefore, absorbing nutrients from food

  • decreased production of enzymes
  • surface area of the intestines decreases which controls absoprtion

Hearing - hearing loss

  • nerves for hearing may become damaged
  • tiny hairs that line the interior of our ears may become damaged

Kidneys - less efficiency removing toxins from the blood

Lungs - lung capacity decreases

  • less physically active
  • smokers may have significant difficulties and greater strain on the lungs

Muscles - muscle mass may decline

  • decreasing hormones (e.g. testosterone)
  • decreased physical activity

Sight - vision decreases, greater difficulty dealing with glare, low-light situations (e.g. driving at night), and increased difficulty in seeing moving objects

  • thinning of the retina
  • lower production of tears from the tear glands (that lubricate the eye)
  • stiffening of the irises

Skin, nails, and hair - wrinkles or more frequent bruising

  • skin becomes less elastic
  • skin becomes more fragile
  • skin sweats less
  • hair becomes grey and less full
  • nails grow less

Teeth - weaken and darken

  • inattentive dental care
  • decreased production of saliva

As you get older, you may want to talk with your doctor about how to become more proactive in caring for your body. This way, you can prevent or reduce the likelihood of developing more serious complications of aging. To learn more about how your doctor will work with you to help diagnose common ailments due to aging and how you can request screening for healthy aging, read here for more information.

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Tags: Healthy Aging, prostate gland, complications, testosterone, bone density, hearing loss, Osteoporosis, absorbing, prostate, symptoms, affects, kidneys, smokers, hearing, muscles, bladder, Obesity, muscle, vision, glands
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