Subscribe to Homoeopathy For All magazine. 12 years ~ 5 years ~ 2 years ~ 1 year. Online payment by credit card / debit card.
Article index | Tell-a-friend

Age Related Changes

Dr. Rajiv Sood

It is difficult to answer the question that why do we grow old? According to a popular theory, free radicals damage cells, tissues and organs progressively and as we age the body's ability to neutralize such damages wanes. The various changes that take place in the tissues and the organs of the body with growing age occur gradually. Each organ goes through degeneration making the body more susceptible to diseases.


The progressive changes that may take place in the human body vary from person to person-they may remain unchanged in some elderly individuals whereas in others they are so severe that they leave them incapacitated.

Though the effects of ageing cannot be controlled but their effect can be minimised by adopting a healthy lifestyle-regular exercise, diet control, no smoking and no alcohol and most importantly maintaining a positive attitude towards life.

Therapies such as Yoga, meditation, ayurveda and homoeopathy have a great deal to offer in minimising or reducing the effects of ageing. Sages of the ancient times experience good health all their lives because of their disciplined lives and devotion to practices such as yoga and meditation.

It is difficult to answer the question that why do we grow old? According to a popular theory, free radicals damage cells, tissues and organs progressively and as we age the body's ability to neutralize such damages wanes.

In this context, it is useful to bear in mind that anti-oxidants are natural substances that fight these harmful free radicals. Some recent studies have indicated that anti-oxidants may help prevent heart disease, some cancers, cataracts, and other ailments that are more common among older people. Among the antioxidants available in food are vitamins C and E and beta-carotene which is why most experts recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Presently, research is being conducted to test the anti-ageing effects of human growth hormones, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), and other hormones, such as testosterone and oestrogen. However, it's too early to ascertain whether or not any of these hormones will be effective. The fact remains that there is still no known drug, pill, or treatment that has been proven to reverse the ageing process or to extend life. However, the good news is that there is solid evidence to prove that adopting a healthy lifestyle can both lengthen and improve the quality of an individual's later years.

The various changes that take place in the tissues and the organs of the body with growing age occur gradually. Each organ goes through degeneration making the body more susceptible to diseases.

Respiratory Changes
These include kyphosis, rib decalcification (reduced transverse thoracic diameter) and calcification of costal cartilages with resulting increasing chest wall rigidity. There is additionally a fall in the alveolar surface area by 4% per decade after age 30. The alveoli flatten and shallow out reducing gas exchange area. The alveolar ducts enlarge and the alveolar walls thin and contain fewer capillaries. The pulmonary artery branches have increased wall thickness and radius.

A reduction in the FEV1 of approximately 32 ml/year in males and 25 ml/year in females. This reduction in the FEV1 is greater than the FVC reduction and therefore the ratio FEV1/FVC% decreases. The residual volume increases, total lung capacity is unchanged but both the anatomical and physiological dead space increase. Lung elastic recoil falls and airway collapse occur more frequently in lower zones, lung perfusion remains predominantly basal resulting in ventilation-perfusion mismatch.

Respiratory symptoms are common in the elderly although the presentation of respiratory disease may be very different from that in younger subjects. Cough is often considered to be "normal". Cough may be classified either as "acute" (less than 2 weeks duration) and usually due to infection, asthma, pulmonary oedema or embolism or foreign body aspiration. If cough persists longer than two weeks it is considered to be chronic with causes such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, neoplasia, tuberculosis, interstitial disease and bronchiectasis, being likely.

Chest pain is a common presenting symptom despite an increased pain threshold in the elderly. The likely diagnosis will be respiratory, cardiac or chest wall pain. Breathlessness is highly subjective and often difficult to quantify. Cardiac causes of breathlessness include pulmonary oedema secondary to ischaemic heart disease, valvular disease, hypertension or cardiomyopathy. Respiratory causes include asthma, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia or tuberculosis.

Page [1] [2] >>


 

 

T E L L - A - F R I E N D
 
Tell A Friend
*Message to friend
(You may change or add to this message)
:
*Your name :
*Your country :
*Your E-mail address :
Your webpage :
*Friend 1 - E-mail address :
Friend 2 - E-mail address :
Friend 3 - E-mail address :
Friend 4 - E-mail address :
Friend 5 - E-mail address :
     
    By submitting your data you accept our terms.
*Mandatory