7 MOST COMMON FACTORS THAT ACCELERATE AGEING

I had a conversation with a friend few days ago, he told me how he ran to the mirror just to look himself up, after meeting an old friend. I am guessing you would probably take a look at the mirror too, after reading this post.Today, in a simple manner without too much medical jargons, I will be discussing the above theme.Ageing is inevitable, and a natural process. However, there are things that can make one age faster than expected.To start with, how do you know if someone is ageing? 

FEATURES OF AGEING

It is important for you to know that ageing affects all the systems of the body, but I will mention some common signs  to look out for:

° Wrinkles° Dry and sagging skin° Easy fatigability/tiredness° Reduced immunity° Joint changes and pains° Hair loss° Forgetfulness° Chronic ailments (hypertension, diabetes)
Factors that accelerate ageing can be divided into modifiable (the ones that we can control) and non-modifiable(the ones we cannot control).                       

NON MODIFIABLE FACTORS OF AGEING

Genetics: American Academy of Dermatology called this ‘intrinsic,’ this is because we do not have control over this factor. It is largely responsible for premature ageing. For example, Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome and Werner syndrome. These are rare conditions, and I won’t be focusing on the non modifiable factors so that I do not bore you. Instead, my focus will be on the modifiable factors.


MODIFIABLE FACTORS OF AGEING

These are the factors that we have control over. Hence, knowing about them will greatly help in slowing down ageing. 

1. STATE OF MIND: The happier you are, the younger you will look. Sadness and worry accelerate ageing, and as well lead to different forms of illnesses, such as, hypertension and depression, just to name a few.

2. SMOKING: This can cause lung diseases like; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reduce oxygen circulation in the body and cancer of the lips, mouth and esophagus.

3. ALCOHOL: Excessive alcohol intake leads to depletion of vitamins, dehydration and production of free radicals, which are capable of damaging the cells and body tissues. Consequently, it accelerates ageing. In the United Kingdom (UK), men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, no more than three units in any one day and have at least two alcohol-free days a week. This is according to patient.info

4. SUN EXPOSURE: It is true that the sun helps in the process of vitamin D production, which is important for the development of bones. However, exposure to the sun for more than twenty minutes is not recommended. This is to prevent the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays (UV) on the skin.


5. DIET:  People are what they eat. Refined foods, high fatty foods and refined sugar accelerate ageing. Foods that slow down ageing are; fruits and vegetables. Also, balanced diet is equally important. Kindly note, my next post will be focusing on NUTRITION IN THE ELDERLY (what food is beneficial to them, meals to avoid in some chronic ailments of the older persons, and a lot more).

6. STRESS: Undoubtedly, stress is  part of life, but when it is beyond one’s level of adaption, it can cause so much health damage, and it makes people age faster than expected. Any level of stress that you cannot cope with should be discussed with health experts.

7. MEDICATIONS: I know you will be surprised, but really medications such as corticosteroids can make people age faster, depress immunity and cause other health problems. In addition, medications like angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and diuretics can increase the photosensitivity of the body to sun. These are just few among many, therefore, undue exposure to the sun should be avoided. I will advise that people should avoid self medication


 WAYS OF PREVENTING MODIFIABLE FACTORS OF AGEING

  • Use moisturising cream, it prevents and protects your skin from dryness.
  • Avoid undue exposure to the sun.
  • Use sunscreen for face and neck, but you must ensure that the sunscreen lotion protects against UVA(aging) and UVB(burning) rays. If you are going under the sun,an umbrella will not be a bad idea too.
  • If you drink too much alcohol vitamin B1(thiamine) might be of great benefit to you.
  • If you smoke, drink, or probably battling with any chronic ailments. The use of vitamins A,C and E will help improve your immunity and mop up free radicals from the body systems, these group of vitamins are regarded as antioxidants.
  • Adequate water intake, drink about 2.7litres and 3.7litres of fluid daily for women and men respectively. This is inclusive of water from food and beverages. It will undoubtedly help to improve your health, makes you look younger than helps with skin elasticity.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetable intake, these contain high levels of vitamins and other  nutrients needed to stay younger and healthier.
  • Exercise, it helps to promote blood circulation and keeps the body weight in check. Hence, with exercise, one can slow down the process of ageing.
  • Adequate sleep, this will allow your body to take a break from continuous stress, help in regeneration process of worn out cells and tissues of the body.


OLDER ADULTS/SENIOR CITIZENS                      

Admittedly, this group of people are already aged. Nonetheless, if we keep to the above rules while taking care of them, they will live longer and healthier. Always remember, ageing is not an infirmity. Ageing is a blessing!In my next post, I will be discussing NUTRITION IN ELDERLY.

#Seniorcitizens #Olderpersons #Elderlycare #Elderlyhealth #Health #Geriatrics #Factors that accelerate ageing #WHO


AUTHOR

My name is Adesuyi Adesina, the founder and ceo of Ganat Healthcare Initiative. I am passionate about the care and health of older persons in our society. Senior citizens deserve good elderly care homes and better healthcare services.dradesina@ganathealthcare.com

34 replies
    • Bayo Lawal
      Bayo Lawal says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this basic truth. Your observation are basic facts responsible for accelerating ageing. But my question is how do you educate people to reduce the intake of alcohol for example when majority claim that the frequent intake of alcohol makes them happier and reduces their burden. Remember that one your reasons for accelerating ageing is when people are not happy. Thank you

      Reply
      • Adesina
        Adesina says:

        Thank you for your comment and question sir. In curtailing excessive intake of alcohol, it starts with health education, which is part of what this post is about. Secondly, we need to offer alternative activities, such as, sports and recreational activities to such people. Give them something in replacement of what you are taking away from them. Lastly, there could be underlying issues to their alcohol abuse, this also need to be addressed.
        Thank you sir.

        Reply
  1. Atanang
    Atanang says:

    Thanks so much for your concern about the elderly. I will be grateful to have more of information.
    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Oluwafolakemi
    Oluwafolakemi says:

    Thank you so much for this write Doc, I sure would make some personal adjustments .Please kindly include nutrition for ages 40 up not only the senior citizens.
    Thank you, keep up the good work..

    Reply
  3. Engr AFOLABI Waheed
    Engr AFOLABI Waheed says:

    This is highly educative.
    Thanks for the good initiative.
    God bless our elders
    Thanks Doctor Adesina
    We all appreciate this from you
    Stayblessed sir

    Reply
  4. Adeleke Tolulope E
    Adeleke Tolulope E says:

    Muah! Lovely development, greater height my dear Amiable Dr.
    If you need research study findings related to the nutritional status of the elderly in Nigeria, I think I have a relevant information as my final year project is on that aspect.

    Reply
    • Adesina
      Adesina says:

      Thank you Tolulope, I will do well to contact you on the research study. It will be of great benefit. I appreciate your kind gesture.

      Reply
  5. Engr Fowora
    Engr Fowora says:

    Thanks for sharing the salient health tips, especially water, stress and sleep. I find that having a good balance of them really do world of good in context of aging gracefully.

    Good work as always Doc.

    Reply

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