The aging process in humans is a complex biochemical process which includes all the changes taking place socially, psychologically, and physically. The process of aging in the human body is inevitable and there are many signs of aging occurring both within and outside the human body. Aging, also known as senescence, is a process that every human being goes through, but the aging process in women slightly differs from that in men. As we age, there are a number of changes taking place in the various systems of the human body, which may, at times cause age-related problems and disorders.
Normal Aging Process in Humans
Normally, the process of aging in the human body starts at middle age around 45. The process and its effects depend on both, the genetic as well as environmental factors and hence, some of the aspects of the aging process may differ from person to person. To understand the human aging process better, try to understand the cellular changes that occur along with it. Aging causes some amount of reduction in the rate of human cell multiplication (cellular senescence) and also causes some of the cells to function inappropriately. It also interferes with the growth and development of the body tissues which leads to the development of various immune system-related disorders.
Effects of the Aging Process
As mentioned above, the human aging process has a number of effects on the different bodily systems and their functionality. As far as the cardiovascular system is concerned, aging causes restricted flow of blood in the lungs and also reduces the strength of the heartbeat. The digestive system will find it increasingly difficult to digest and break down fats and carbs, especially if the food is not chewed properly which is very common due to poor dentition. The ability of the immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies is substantially reduced which is what makes people over 45 more prone to illnesses and diseases.
Aging Process in Women
Women undergoing a normal aging process tend to go through some major physical as well as psychological changes. Most women tend to put on some weight with the onset of menopause and also acquire some wrinkles and fine lines as signs of aging. Their skin tends to lose all the natural moisture, becomes dry and starts loosening out. There is also a substantial decrease in bone mass, body mass, and muscle strength which makes them prone to a number of illnesses especially osteoporosis and arthritis. The process of aging in women also causes them to shrink or stoop due to loss of bone tissue from the vertebrae. Hormonal changes in aging women can bring about a lot of psychological and behavioral changes in them.
Aging Process in Men
Men too, go through a number of changes due to the process of aging, hormonal changes being the most important of all changes. This process of hormonal changes taking place in men is known as 'andropause' and can be identified by a marked change in the plasma levels of testosterone, melatonin, and dehydroepiandrosterone. These changes lead to a decrease in the levels of libido, muscle and body mass, bone strength, and also impotency in some males. Other changes that may be noticed in aging males include increased forgetfulness, insomnia, and irritability. However, the aging process in men is far easier than that in women and most men tend to age without facing any major physical-aging problems. Aging men tend to face mental problems like Alzheimer's disease and dementia and may also face prostate-related disorders and cardiovascular disorders.
Knowing and understanding more about the aging process will enable you to identify with the innumerable changes that take place when you age. It will also help you work on aging gracefully and lead a happy, healthy, and long life.