How Aging Changes Your Body Inside and Out

When people talk about signs of aging, they’re often referring to changes in your skin, hair, and other externally visible parts of your body. But you should also know that aging can lead to a number of external, internal, and mental changes. 

With the United Nations declaring the next decade (2021-2030) as the Decade of Healthy Aging, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent many of the complications involved with aging. Our team at Monarque Health & Wellness in Ashland, Oregon, believes that with the right care, you can ensure that you age gracefully and healthfully. 

With this guide, find out how aging changes your body inside and out, and what you can do to lessen these effects.  

How does aging affect your body?

As you grow older, you’ll find that most parts of your body develop signs of aging as well. Externally, aging can affect your appearance, your musculoskeletal system, and your cardiovascular system, among other things.

Skin, hair, and nails

Aging doesn’t just affect your appearance, but many times, it’s the first thing you might notice. As you age, your skin, hair, and nails lose vital proteins, which can lead to noticeable changes. 

Your skin becomes thinner and less elastic, leading to drier skin, wrinkles and age spots. You may also bruise more often or develop age spots or skin tags. 

Similarly, you may find your hair and nails becoming more brittle. Your hair may thin or even fall out, especially if you have a family history of baldness. 

Bones, joints and muscles 

As you get older, your musculoskeletal system goes through changes as well. Your bones often become less dense and more brittle, meaning you may be more likely to experience fractures and breaks. Your muscles may weaken, and your joints could be increasingly likely to develop conditions such as osteoarthritis, leading to inflammation and pain. 

Heart and cardiovascular system

With heart disease being the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, it’s important to know how aging affects your heart and cardiovascular system. Your blood vessels may harden with age, leading to increased blood pressure and strain on your heat.

Other internal changes

Digestive system

Changes to your intestine as well as possible age-related medical conditions could lead to an increased risk of constipation.

Urinary system

Your bladder and pelvic floor muscles weaken, leading to an increased risk of incontinence.

Reproductive health

Menopause can lead to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other changes for women, while men may experience symptoms such as impotence or incontinence.

How does aging affect your mind?

While aging can cause changes to your body, it also affects your memory, cognition, and mood. Some of these are normal changes, such as finding it harder to learn something new, multitask, or remember names and appointments. 

It’s believed these changes in the brain occur due to a shrinkage in brain mass and reduced cortical density and neurotransmitter generation. However, your risk of important conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke increases with age as well. 

If you’re concerned about aging, our team at Monarque Health & Wellness can help you prevent age-related disease. To find out more, call 541-326-4777 or book an in-person appointment or virtual visit to get tips on aging gracefully. 

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