Last Updated: 15th December, 2020
Ageing (Senescence) or Aging (follow variations in spelling.) represents the process of getting older. The word particularly the case refers to humans, several animals, including fungi, while perennial plants, bacteria, and some specific animals, for instance, are theoretically biologically eternal.
Senescence is the cycle whereby the cells cease dividing irrevocably and attain a state of detainment of irreversible growth even without apoptosis. Senescence may be associated with damage to unrepatriated DNA and perhaps other cellular strains. Senescence as well as biological ageing is the hollowing out of mechanical properties. The term senescence may correspond to either the cellular senescence or perhaps the whole organism’s senescence.
Ageing (Senescence) is determined by your genes and influenced by various environmental factors such as diet, exercise, microbes, pollutants, etc. This is why two people of the similar age might differ in their physical characteristics and psychological state.
Moreover, gender on top interprets a key role. Ageing (senescence) affects all physiological processes in the body over time, but the major changes start to occur in your 30s and 40s leading to slow, irreversible changes in the functioning of the organs.
Right from the day we are born, we age every momentous day. However, it is mostly correlated with graying of the hair or sagging of the skin. In reality, ageing (senescence) is a complex process that introduces a lot of changes in the physical, psychological and social well being of a person. Let’s comprehend how our age affects our health (in the long run) and how it impacts our lives.
Physiological Changes That Occurs With Ageing (Senescence)
1. Ageing And Heart
The cardiac output (in simple terms, is the amount of blood pumped by the heart in a minute) decreases at a rate of around 1 percent per year after you hit 30. The rate might be more elevated in people with pre-existing heart disease. It is believed that the cardiac output of an 80-year-old person is around 50% of that of a 20-year-old individual. Moreover, blood pressure (BP) and the risk of heart attack increases linearly with age in all individuals.
Advice: If you are at risk of heart disease or are planning to keep your heart healthy, ensure you experience an active lifestyle by working out regularly or at least walking every day. If you are at risk of heart disease or are planning to keep your heart healthy, ensure you experience an active lifestyle by working out regularly or at least walking every day.
2. Ageing And Kidneys
This wouldn’t merely improve blood circulation and reports your heart healthy but also lowers your risk of heart disease. There is a decrease in glomerular filtration rate (the rate at which fluids are filtered through the glomeruli, filtering units of the kidneys) and blood flow to the kidneys with age. The activity of the renin-angiotensin system and nitric oxide system (which play a key role in blood pressure management) also decrease with age.
In fact, it is reported that the number of glomeruli per kidney decreases from 1,000,000 units in 40 years to 700,000 units at 65 years of age. This age-related impairment can also up the risk of kidney disease in elderly.
Advice: This wouldn’t merely improve blood circulation and reports your heart healthy but also lowers your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, do not hold/resist the urge to pass urine.
3. Ageing (Senescence) Of Bladder And Colon
Urinary incontinence has been found in 17% men and 23 % women older than 65 years. This is because the capacity of the bladder decreases with age from about 500 to 600 ml for people younger than 65 years of age to 250 to 600 ml for those older than 65 years of age. It is equally identified that with age, there is a decrease in intestinal motility. And because of the longer stool transit time and greater stool dehydration, there is an increased risk of constipation.
Advice: Do not self-medicate and constantly consult your doctor before obtaining any medications. This is because laxative abuse (used for constipation) is one of the typical causes of diarrhea in the elderly.
4. Ageing And Liver
It is reported that the liver decreases in weight, which is around 20% of its initial weight after the age of 50. Thanks to the large reserve capacity of the liver, this is not reflected in the clinical tests. As a result, liver function tests do not indicate a significant decrease in the liver function with age. However, with age, the ability of the liver to metabolize a substantial number of drugs decreases.
Advice: Say NO to alcohol because most liver-related deaths in India occur due to alcohol abuse. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to excess fat in liver cells (fatty liver), inflamed liver and damaged liver cells (alcoholic hepatitis) and permanent scarring or complete liver damage (liver cirrhosis).
5. Ageing And Endocrine system
Ageing (senescence) is accompanied by an increase in glucose intolerance and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Increasing age results in a progressive deterioration in the number and the function of insulin producing beta cells. This, in turn, affects the ability of these cells to respond to changes in glucose level in the body. It is also reported that impairment of glucose tolerance develops extensively after 60 years of age and can be associated with weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle.
Advice: Given the current lifestyle and eating habits, diabetes is equally seen in younger people. Hence, getting periodic tests and checkups undertaken plays a critical part in knowing and managing diabetes.
6. Ageing And Bone Density/Health
Just like any other part of the body, there is a decrease in bone density and bone mass with age. After the age of 40, your bone mass declines at the rate of about 10% for women and 5% for men and men every 10 years. By this calculation, you may end up losing 30-50% of your mass when you reach your eighties and nineties. Moreover, due to hormonal changes in women, principally during menopause, they become more susceptible to develop osteoporosis with age, as compared to men.
Advice: With advancing age, the body may not be competent to replenish its stores of some vitamins and minerals naturally. Accordingly, in addition to consuming a nutritious diet, older adults may need supplements like calcium and Vitamin D to help maintain bone health.
7. Ageing And Skin
Our skin tends to lose its tone and elasticity as we age, leading to sagging and wrinkling. Moreover, the principal functions of the skin like protection, excretion, secretion, absorption, thermoregulation, etc. are equally affected by the structural changes with age. It is reported that after median age, most of these functions are impaired by as much as 50-60%.
It is reported that after median age, most of these functions are impaired by as much as 50-60%. In addition to this, certain environmental factors like exposure to the sun can also accelerate the ageing (senescence) of the skin.
Advice: Most cleansers rip off natural oils from the skin which require you to use a moisturizer to preserve the skin hydrated. So no matter what type of skin you have, such as oily, acne-prone, dry or dehydrated one, you still need to use a moisturizer to preserve the skin nourished and hydrated.