Signs of Aging: An Overview
Women start to experience unique changes before and after menopause. Menopause itself is a sign of aging in women and typically occurs between the age of 45 and 55. After women enter menopause, skin elasticity begins to decrease and women are more prone to osteoporosis. During menopause, the hormone estrogen decreases and there is a direct link between lower estrogen levels and osteoporosis in women. As menopause sets in, some women notice more signs of aging including weight gain and fatigue.
Another sign of aging for women is changes in hair color and slight memory loss. Before menopause starts, many women start to feel the effects of the hormonal changes that occur as age progresses. These symptoms include hair loss, headaches, irritability and water retention. Women are also alerted to menopause because they start to experience hot flashes and begin notice other significant changes in their reproductive system. Some women interpret menopause as an intense sign of aging as well as a loss because they are no longer able to bear children. Because of that, along with the effects of hormonal changes, some psychological symptoms such as depression are present during and after menopause.
Other signs of aging, for both genders, include decreased sex drive and changes in taste buds. A unique sign of aging is the decreased ability to taste foods that are salty and bitter. Our sweet and sour taste buds are much less affected by age. Most genders experience an overall decrease in vitality and vigor, especially when paired with an unhealthy diet. As aging occurs, some individuals become less active because of a decreased energy level or because of joint pain. Doctors, however, stress that the less active we become will only increase the aging process. That’s why some people feel the effects of aging being reduced or even slightly reversed by adding an age-appropriate exercise routine to their lifestyle.
Since aging begins and continues inside of us, often without external symptoms, it is important to have regular checkups with your doctor. The cardiovascular system, for example, can begin to age without any obvious symptoms until a problem arises. Some people experience hypertension as they age due to the blood vessels constricting and the loss of elasticity in them. Both men and women can experience urinary tract conditions because the bladder often weakens and the kidney’s can become less efficient.
The signs of aging can be more progressive for some than others. It’s important to remember to include a healthy diet, plenty of water and as much exercise as you are able to do to prolong good health and vitality throughout the years of aging.
A majority of seniors report having the same aging problems. We summarize them here in our article the 10 Most Common Aging Problems.