Aged to Perfection: Men and Aging
- Posted on: Nov 14 2021
What is Aging?
As we learned in the post Over the Hill and Over the Moon: Women & Aging , aging is the process of getting older. When it comes to the human life span, there are three types of aging: psychological, social, and biological. Our psychological age refers to how we feel, act, or behave with no respect to our chronological age. Social age speaks of how our social skills compare to others our age. But when it comes to aging, most of us think primarily about its biological aspects.
In addition to chronological age, the biological age encompasses the processes of what takes place in the body as it matures. Scientifically speaking, biological aging looks at the changes in the cells and tissues that make up the body. Genetics, environmental stressors, as well as lifestyle all contribute to how the body ages biologically.
What is interesting, the changes we endure on a cellular and molecular level is referred to as damage. In other words, as we get older there is inevitable wear and tear on our bodies that leads to both decreases in mental and physical abilities as well.
Research shows that people live longer. In fact, between the years 2020 and 2050, it is expected that numbers for people over the age of 60 will triple. While the numbers of elderly are increasing, the question remains: are these people thriving or merely living?
“It matters not how long we live but how.” – Philip James Bailey
How Aging Changes Us
Some find the different changes the body and mind undergo as we age to be stressful and difficult to accept. The strength and stamina of individuals in our 20’s may seem so long ago and something to be mourned. Some of the changes to the body to expect are:
- The Bones: As we advance in age, our bones reduce in bone mass and become weaker. This predisposes us to falls that can cause serious injuries. Also, the healing process is impaired as we age due to a compromised immune system.
- Your Heart: With the aging process, the heart pumps blood at a lower rate and becomes slightly enlarged, and the heart’s walls may thicken as well.
- The Brain and Nervous System: As you advance in age, you will also experience changes in your reflexes and senses. Additionally, for some there may be a slight memory loss due to plaque and tangles that form and damage brain and nerve cells. Men who are overweight, diagnosed with diabetes, or have had a previous stroke are more likely to suffer cognitive impairment.
- The Digestive System: Our metabolism and digestion slow down as we get older because the digestive tract becomes firmer and rigid and does not contract normally to make food move to different processing stations in the gastrointestinal tract. This increases the risks of nausea, constipation, and stomach pain. The production of saliva and stomach acid slows down and can result in possible choking and food-borne illnesses because it’s harder for your body to dispose of harmful bacteria.
- Your Senses: As we age, the body does not react to stimuli as it once did because it takes much more energy and time to be stimulated. This renders a reduced sense of smell, taste, touch, and vision. Dulled senses increase the possibility of consuming bad or rotted food as well as a decrease in awareness of our surroundings.
- Your Teeth: As the enamel that protects the teeth from decay wears out, there is the risk for an increase in cavities and gum disease. If you are older and take medication, you can experience dry mouth, another contributor of gum disease.
- Your Skin: With aging, the skin begins to thicken, wrinkle, and lose its elasticity. This is particularly true for seniors who smoke.
- Your Sex Life: Because of the different declines in functioning, increases in medications, and increases in health concerns, men may experience erectile dysfunction.
Specific to men, research shows they have a shorter life expectancy and poorer overall health as they age compared to women. The two most common causes of death among chronic illnesses for men are heart disease and cancer. Older men are reported to experience “aging male syndrome.” Essentially, it’s when there is a decrease in testosterone, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, sleep disturbances, low libido, increased urination, emotional distress, and hair loss. Other symptoms already mentioned such as erectile dysfunction and bone loss, too are attributed to a decrease in testosterone.
What’s a Fella to Do?
When it comes to aging well, there are certain factors that seem to help. Men age better if they:
- Are not smokers
- Avoid drinking alcohol excessively
- Attend to their weight and diet
- Have access to an emotional support system
Because aging impacts different body systems, there is a variety of things we can do to improve our lives as we age. Here are some tips that can ease the aging process for you or the man in your life.
- Fight heart disease and high blood pressure – Beginning at age 60, there is a 75% increase in the risk of heart disease, it is important to monitor and manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels through proper nutrition and exercise. If you smoke, please stop!
- Keep your mind sharp – Because aging brings about a decline in cognitive functioning, memory, and reaction times, it is important to exercise the brain with mental activities, exercise, social interaction, and possibly owning a pet. Counseling can help with things like anxiety and depression. Depending on the need, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a possible treatment for some cognitive impairments. Dr. Thompson would love to discuss this with you.
- Monitor metabolism and sleep – Aging increases the chance of weight gain. It is important to monitor weight, report any changes in appetite and any digestive concerns. Improve your sleep hygiene by decreasing daytime naps, going to bed at the same time and engaging in physical activity.
- Know your testosterone levels – Low testosterone doesn’t impact all men, but it’s a good idea to know your levels. Be on the look out for symptoms of fatigue and low libido and report these to your medical provider. Desert Oasis Clinic may be able to treat any discovered concerns with its Bio-Identical Hormone and P-Shot® and Shockwave Therapy services.
- Take care of your skin – A decrease in elasticity can increase the occurrence of injury such as lesions and sunspots. Report any changes in texture, size, or color of lesions or sores. At Desert Oasis Clinic, we offer Lymphatic Stimulation to assist with the healing and improvement of skin disorders.
- Address prostate changes – Symptoms such as changes in urination, irritation and pain should be reported to your medical provider immediately.
Call Desert Clinic Today!
Please call Desert Clinic to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Thompson. At that appointment you will discuss your symptoms and possible natural and holistic treatment options that would best serve the cause of your symptoms. Please call today at 702-310-9350 to speak to our friendly staff and schedule an appointment.
Posted in: Health Tips