Everyone is going to age- that is a fact.
But will all parts of the body age at the same time? Moreover, will two individuals age at the same rate? If not- why? All fascinating questions. And for the longest time, answers to them were speculative at best. Fortunately, with recent advancements in medical science, that is no longer the case.
Here, the health professionals at East Side Aesthetics bring all you need to know about the topic. Read on to learn more.
What Are The Signs of Aging?
Before we delve deeper into the science behind aging, it’s important to recognize the different signs of aging- which aren’t always clear.
Here is a list, based on different body parts:
- Heart: Owing to fatty deposits and narrowing of blood vessels, your heart has to work harder over time. This can lead to signs such as hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Bones, muscles, and joints: Bones tend to get weaker- and sometimes shorter- with age. Similarly, muscles and joints may lose their strength and flexibility.
- Digestive system: Digestion slows down, and swallowing becomes harder.
- Urinary system: Kidneys become less efficient, while on some occasions, you may experience urinary incontinence.
- Central nervous system: Cognition slows down, and your memory won’t be what it used to be. Your reflexes may also not be as sharp.
- Eyes: Vision impairment is common, particularly in poorly lit conditions. As are conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma
- Ears: Reduced hearing
- Hair, skin, and nails: Wrinkles, fine lines, grey hair, and brittle nails are telltale signs of aging.
Will All Body Parts Age at the Same time?
The short answer- No!
Studies show different body tissues age at differing rates. So you may have the metabolism of a teenager but the joint health of a 60-year-old. Or you may have the immune system of a young adult but the memory of an 80-year-old. You get the gist.
The next obvious question then becomes- why does this happen? Scientists believe the answer lies in your genes. Your personal aging molecules and pathways are different from the person next to you. Additionally, these molecules also differ for varying body systems. So you likely have a different aging mechanism for your heart than for your brain.
What Part of Your Body Will Age First?
It depends. Although aging is mainly genetic, it is also influenced by external factors- primarily the environment. Your occupation, too, plays an important role. For instance, if you are a laborer, your joints will be the first to show signs of aging since they are subject to the greatest stress.
In general, though, the face is often the first part of your body to show signs of aging. Think about it- your skin begins to wrinkle, and fine lines appear before you notice anything else. Unsurprisingly, this is also why internet searches for dermal fillers in Bellevue are at all-time highs.
Yes, this may also be because your face is something you look at regularly. But the reality is that your face is constantly exposed to the external environment, including dirt, bacteria, and harmful radiation from the sun. These factors significantly speed up the aging process.
Is Age by Bodypart Measurable?
Measuring the age of each body part is possible, but it isn’t exactly easy. It requires a detailed study of your genome (genetic makeup) and laboratory testing for different markers. Then using a series of complex computations comparing your body part health to those considered normal, a reasonably accurate estimate emerges.
Crucially, these measurements can be made in relatively young and healthy individuals too. This allows healthcare experts to identify the most important system to target for a healthier and longer life.
So What Can You Do About it?
It’s often said, ‘knowledge is power.’ But we disagree. Knowledge is only power if you can act upon it. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do with the information presented thus far.
As alluded to earlier, although aging is mainly genetic, the external environment plays a key role. So, in theory, by following healthy lifestyle practices, we should be able to reverse the signs of aging- to an extent. And this is precisely what the data shows!
For example, a study measured hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) in a population, which is a marker that estimates how well your body metabolizes glucose. This value tends to rise with age (lower values indicate better performance). The research reported lower HbA1c levels in individuals with a comparatively healthier lifestyle and lower weight despite being the same age.
What’s more, the same study showed that by making certain lifestyle changes, patients were able to lower their HbA1c levels.
In other words, while aging may be genetic, it does not mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, you can not only delay the aging process but also reverse it with a few simple tweaks.