Aging In Women

Mar 21, 2012 No Comments by

Growing older is inevitable and changes take place in your body as this process happens, but aging before your time can be prevented….

There’s no single cause of aging and not everybody ages at the same rate. The exact reasons why people age are poorly understood. Although aging is control, by our genes, the rate at which we age is influenced by many factors, such as heredity, environment pollutants, UV sun exposure, alcohol, the type of food you eat, exercise, past illness, hormones, sleep and stress.

Some parts of the female body begin aging from 20 onward whereas other aging processes occur much later influenced, some beginning as late as 70. In this article, I will discuss how a woman’s body ages over time.
Throughout the article, I recommend a supplement, which is the one nutrient or herbal extract that, based on my experience, I believe to be the most beneficial for supporting the age-related issue being discussed.

Hormone And Reproductive System

Hormones are substances produced by the body that affect the way various organs or systems functions. With aging, some of these organs and system become less sensitive to controlling hormone. Furthermore, the amount of hormones that the body produces also declines over time.

  • The thyroid gland produces a weak throid hormone called T4. The cells of the body then convert T4 into a much more potent thyroid hormone called T3 which controls metabolic rate, muscle mass and energy levels. From the age of 20 onwards, the body converts less and less of the weaker T4 into potent T3. A decrease in T3 is associated with muscle and bone loss. However, laboratory tests normally only test T4, not T3, so they miss the declining T3 levels, showing normally thyroid function despite the metabolism slowing down. Suggested supplement for thyroid support: guggulipid herbal extract (250mg three times daily).
  • Insulin regulates blood sugar levels. With aging, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin and blood sugar levels may start to rise, especially after the age of 50. This condition is known as insulin resistance. If blood sugar levels rise too high, then damage to the kidneys, eyes and blood vessels can occur. Weight gain, strokes and heart attacks are also associated with elevated blood sugar. If left untreated, type II diabetes can develop, which may result in premature death. Suggested supplement for healthy blood sugar control: d-chiro-inositol (300mg twice daily).
  • Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, all produced by the ovaries, decline around the time of menopause (at about age 50). As a result, the vagina shortens and its wall become thinner, drier and its secretions become less in volume and more watery. External genital tissue also becomes thinner. Intercourse may become uncomfortable. Candida, yeast and bladder infections are also more common after menopause. Urine leakage may occur with aging due to a weakening of the pelvic muscles, causing the vagina, uterus or bladder to slip out of position. This is known as a prolapse. Luckily, most prolapses can be treated. In some women, the lack of estrogen at menopause causes hot flushes, insomnia, memory decline, mood disturbances and headaches. It also increases the risk of osteoporosis in older women. Although not a supplement, I suggested bioidentical estrogen, progestero and testosterone hormone replacement therapy, available on prescription only, and individualised based on the results of blood tests.

Skin And Hair

Changes to the skin are one of the most obvious signs of aging. Wrinkles and skin sagging accelerate after menopause due to the loss of skin-rejuvenating estrogen and progesterone hormones.
The darker your skin colour, the slower it will age. This is because the darker the skin pigments, the more you’re protected from the age accelerating damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.

With aging, the skin also becomes thinner and more pale due to a reduction in the number of pigment-containing cells. Large dark spots, called age or liver spot (although they have nothing to do with the liver), may develop in areas exposed to sunlight.
With aging, the outer skin also becomes thinner and the skin becomes more fragile. Just rubbing or pulling the skin can result in tearing or bruising. The healing of wounds takes about four times longer in elderly skin. Moisturising your skin helps it to heal faster.
The tiny capillaries that supply the skin with oxygen become more fragile with aging and this can lead to bruising and bleeding underneath the skin, known as senile purpurea.

From menopause onwards, the skin produces oil, often resulting in dryness and itching. You also produce less sweat cools you age. this may sound like a good thing, but since sweat cools you down when it evaporates, less sweat means you are more susceptible to becoming overheated or suffering heatstoke as you get older. Skin tags and warts are also more common in older skin. Women may loss significant amounts of hair after menopause. the hair becomes thinner over the entire head and the scalp may become visible. Some women may notice a loss of body hair, yet may gain coarse facial hair, notably around the lips on the chin. Suggested supplement for skin and hair: omega-3 krill oil capsules (1,000mg daily).

Sleep

As you get older, total sleep time tends to be shorter. Adolescent girls can easily sleep for 10 hours a night, whereas some elderly women get by with as little as five hours. This isn’t always by choice, however. The older you get, the harder it becomes to fall asleep and you wake up more often throughout the night, usually about 3-4 times each night in the older women. This may be related to drop-ping levels of estrogen, progesterone. Melatonin, an antioxidant sleep hormone produced by the brain, declines continuously from middle age onwards. You also dream less the older you get. Bear in mind that although alcohol may make you sleepy to start, it has the opposite effect later on. Alcohol can actually wake you up later in the night. Suggested supplement for sleep: melatonin (1.5-3mg at bedtime).

Brain

As you age, your brain loses nerve cells and waste products build up. Thoughts are conducted more slowly and reflexes slow down, which lead to problems with movement. Ability to recall memories may also become compromised.
The degree of brain aging varies significantly between people. Some show little brain aging, while other’s brains age more rapidly. Cigarette smoking and alcohol excess significantly accelerate brain aging.

Interestingly, age-related senility and severe memory loss aren’t part of normal aging, but can be caused by abnormal conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. A change in blood sugar levels is a commonly overlooked cause of difficulties with thinking and behaviour, so regular blood sugar monitoring is a good idea.

Preliminary research suggests that keeping physically fit with regular exercise, considerably slows brain aging, as do mental exercises like reading and solving crosswords. Suggested supplement for brain health: acetyl-L-carnitine arginate (350-700mg twice daily).

Body Shape

As you age, you may gain as much as 30% body fat, especially around the abdominal organs in the tummy area. This type of fat is one of the most dangerous since these fat cells secrete heart-damaging toxins into the blood stream. Lifestyle choices, such as diet,alcohol and exercise, can accelerate or slow down these changes.

After menopause, you’ll lose cells from your muscles, kidneys, liver and other organs, and your bone density will decrease. women gradually out on weight untill the age of 65. Thereafter, they begin to lose weight as a result of muscle loss.
You’ll also become shorter as you age. From the age of 40, women lose about one centimeter in height every 10 years. exercise, a healthy diet and preventing osteoporosis with bioidentical hormone replacement after menopause, combined with adequate calcium intake, can help minimise height loss.

Your body is also less able to store water as you age. therefore, you’re more likely to become dehydrated. So, make sure you drink adequate water, evenly portioned throughout the day. Suggested supplement to assist in reducing fat around abdominal organs: pantethine (300mg twice daily).

Hearing, Vision, Taste And Smell

Sharpness of hearing declines from about the age of 50 and approximately 30% of people over 65 have significant hearing deterioration. The parts of the inner ear responsible for balance also deteriorate over time.
Age-related eye deterioration can start as early as in your 30s and most people over the age of 55 require glasses, usually for reading purpose. The ability of the eyes to tolerate glare is reduced with age. Older people often also find driving at night impossible due to reduced night-time vision that occurs with aging. It’s easier to see warmer colours like red, orange and yellow than colder colours like green and blue. Red light also produces less glare than regular light bulbs. Therefore, a red nightlight in hallways or bathrooms make it easier to see than a regular nightlight for older people.

Over time, small particles known as floaters can accumulate in the liquid that fills the eyes. They can be annoying and are especially visible when looking towards light coloured backgrounds, such as when at the beach or looking at a bright blue sky. However, they’re generally harmless and don’t affect vision. Suggested supplement for eye health : lutein (200mg daily).

In women, the tongue’s taste bud start to decrease in numbers from about the age of 45, reducing the intensity of flavours. After the age of 60, one or more of the four taste sensations may be lost. If this occurs, then usually salty and sweet tastes go first, while bitter and sour tastes remain longer. Suggested supplement to enhance sense of taste: alpha lipoic acid (150-250mg daily).
The sense of smell usually lasts the longest, and if it does diminish, it’s usually after the age of 70.

Immune System

As you age, your immune system’s ability to fight infections is reduced, increasing your risk of becoming ill. Since the flu vaccine’s effectiveness depends on the immune system, flu vaccination becomes less effective the older you get. The ability of the immune system to detect and kill cancer cells explains why cancer is more common in older people. In later life, the immune system sometimes malfunctions and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis where the immune system attacks the joints of the body. Suggested supplement for immune system health: vitamin D3 (2,000 IU daily).

Although growing older is inevitable, aging before your time can be prevented though exercise, not smoking, eating healthily and appropriate nutraceutical supplementation. Also remember that excessive alcohol, stress and lack of sleep accelerate the aging process. Suggested supplement for anti-aging: resveratrol (100mg twice daily).


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