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    Cause and Effect of Aging on The Body

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    Aging is an unstoppable force, but that doesn’t prevent people from trying to combat it. It happens to everyone. Every second, the process of aging progresses further within the body. Time moves on, and with it, so does our age. The exact cause of aging in the body is a mystery; all that is known is that the cells in our body change, and the way they operate overtime evolves. As a result, we see the effects of aging begin to take place in our bodies. The effects of aging can be physical, mental, or a combination of the two. Skin begins to lose moisture causing it to sag and get wrinkly, functions of the brain begin to falter, and overall the body functions less effectively. It begins to become harder to remember simple things such as where you put your keys.

    The composition of the human body also changes at several points during a human’s lifetime. In the beginning, the changes are considered positive, however as time goes on, the effects are more severe and disastrous. Issues with the brain begin to arise, as well as diseases and an overall declining health. Aging in humans comes with several changes due to the developments that take place internally.

    Aging affects a person from the moment they’re born, and continues to affect them until they die. As people grow up, their brain grows and develops. Children learn to talk and their cognitive abilities expand. Their muscles become stronger, which allows them to gain increased mobility and use of their limbs. Many people like to think of the brain of a child as a little sponge; it absorbs new information and learns at a very accelerated rate when compared to the learning of an adult. When they get a little older, their brain develops even further, and gives them higher control over their actions, and their emotions.

    These changes could all be considered positive because they add to the quality of life for the individual and make living easier. Researchers from the University of Rochester say in their article “Understanding the Teen Brain” that the brain isn’t fully developed until a person is around the age of 25. Though the growth rate slows down when a child begins to reach adolescence, the brain is still making positive steps forward until a person reaches young adulthood.

    For older people, the results of aging aren’t as positive. After the age of 25, the brain is no longer growing. The brain can still grow and continue to form new connections after 25, but as you age, the amount you make will slowly decrease. Eventually when a person is much older, the amount of growing in your brain plateaus, then the brain slowly deteriorates. This deterioration can cause several issues such as an inability to recall long, or short term memories. If the deterioration becomes too severe, we being to see illnesses such as dementia. The rate of cells being produced slows down, and so does your body. This is why as we age, things that were easy and simple when we were young become hard, strenuous tasks. Bones and joints become stiff, making some daily tasks very painful.

    Our mobility gradually decreases, and for some people it becomes completely decapitating. Elder people often rely on wheelchairs to get them from place to place. Those without wheelchairs rely on canes to help sturdy themselves. The decreased mobility leaves some elders feeling trapped in their own bodies.

    Another issue aging brings up is disease and overall illness. Efraim Jual and Jeremy Barron state in their article “Age-Related Diseases and Clinical and Public Health Implications for the 85 Years and Older Population” that people over the age of 85 have higher risk of developing age-related diseases. These diseases include alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis. These illnesses and diseases are all considered normal parts of aging. The body is less adept to dealing with the onslaught of illness when you become older. Of course, very young children are less equipped to deal with illness as well, however their immune systems become stronger over time. When you age, it’s like your internal clock begins to go backwards and all of the strength you’ve build up in your lifetime dissipates. It all originates from different sections of the brain deteriorating, and the overall bodily health of the individual declining.

    Years of bad diets or lack of exercise also come into play when studying the effects of aging because they add to the downfall of a person’s health. It is important to treat your body right when you are young to help mitigate the negative effects when you are older. Other illnesses can develop as well. Vision loss increases with age, along with the loss of hearing. Jual and Barron also say in their article that unfortunately, “most 85 year olds with multiple chronic conditions will die within a few years.” Death is a direct result of aging. When all the cells in your body die, and your body can no longer carry out the most basic function of keeping your heart beating, death ensues. Overall, the brain and the body weaken as life progresses, until eventually it is too weak to carry on.

    Aging comes with even more devastating side-effects that alter the body itself and are physical. In the article “Body Composition Changes with Aging: The Cause or The Result of Alterations in Metabolic Rate and Macronutrient Oxidation?,” the authors Marie-Pierre St-Onge and Dympna Gallagher discuss the changes in the body as you mature. They say “in general, as individuals age, percent body fat increases and lean mass and bone mineral density decrease.” Bones become frail and brittle, meaning a fall could cause critical injuries or even end an elder’s life. The body takes longer to heal when you are older. Your body begins to store more fat due to the reduced metabolic rate, which means it is harder to stay at a healthy weight. Being above a healthy weight can also cause different diseases, which elders are already at a higher risk for.

    Another important factor that comes with aging, is the loss of regular bodily functions. As a person ages, it becomes harder for them to do simple tasks such as hold their hand steady or even control their own bladder. Basic motor skills become harder to maintain, and the lack of control becomes impossible prevent and difficult to manage. Many elders need to live in special and intensive care facilities, or stay under the watchful eye of family members because they are incapable of caring for themselves. Age causes the brain and other muscles becomes weaker and weaker, making it impossible for the person to control and maintain their own body.

    Aging also causes changes in your body’s overall composition. As discussed earlier, in adolescence, the changes are beneficial. Many of the changes after this time period are negative, and unfortunately they have permanent and unstoppable results. Whether it be your physical health, or your mental health, the overall fitness of the body declines as we enter late adulthood. There is nothing that can be done to stop or prevent aging, though many people have tried over the years. It is a natural, and necessary factor of life. Changes when we are young are welcomed with open arms, and changes when we are older are dreaded and overwhelmingly stressful. Aging is the direct cause of many of the major changes we see in our bodies over the span of our lives. The effects of aging on the body leave long-lasting and irreversible effects.

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    Cause and Effect of Aging on The Body. (2022, Nov 26). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/cause-and-effect-of-aging-on-the-body/

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