Common Diseases Caused by Aging
Aging is inevitable, but in order to stay healthy for as long as possible, it is important to know the tell-tale signs of aging and understand how diseases associated with aging can be treated and prevented.
What Is Aging?
Throughout our lives, our cells die and regenerate themselves several times in a process called apoptosis. For some cells, such as colon cells and skin cells, this process of cell death happens hundreds of times over the course of a lifetime. However, as we age, cells grow back at a slower rate, and over time cease growing back at all.
When cells cannot grow back, this can begin to affect the associated organs. When organs experience cell death, they do not function as well. Over time, the loss of functioning in one organ can lead to the same result in other organs.
These changes to our bodies and organs are gradual and inevitable, but there are things that we can do to maintain a healthy body and mind, regardless of our age.
Most Common Diseases Associated with Aging
- Alzheimer’s Disease – This is a disease caused by the shrinking of the brain and the death of brain cells. Typical symptoms include memory loss and a decline in the ability to think. Dementia is the most common type of Alzheimer’s. The most common cases of Alzheimer’s occur within patients over 60 years old. Medical research has not yet found a cure for the disease, but early diagnosis can significantly improve the quality of life by providing medication that can lessen symptoms and help patients maintain brain health.
- Cancer – Cancer can affect multiple areas of the body and can be caused by a plethora of different factors including family history, age, diet, and the environment. Cancer is characterized by abnormal cells growing and dividing rapidly in the body. Cancer can develop at any age, but the odds are increased exponentially for those over 45. Depending on the stage of cancer, treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, medication, and hormone therapy.
- Kidney Disease – A condition when the kidneys cannot filter blood to the body the way they should. Often caused by age, diabetes, or high blood pressure. People 65 and older are more prone to develop kidney disease. Treatment depends on the stage of development, but includes things like calcium and Vitamin D supplements, dialysis, or kidney replacement.
- Parkinson’s Disease – This disease forms when nerve cells in the brain begin to die causing a lack of dopamine. This can cause impaired movement such as shaking or tremors. Age is the biggest risk factor for Parkinson’s, with those over 60 being the most at-risk group. Treatment varies by case, but typical treatment may involve medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes.
- Sarcopenia – A degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass most commonly caused by aging or lack of physical activity. One in three people over 60 has sarcopenia. Treatment involves physical activity and a change in diet.
While age is a critical factor in disease development, there are ways you can reduce the risk of these conditions. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are proven ways to increase cell life and help organs function for longer.
Recent medical research has also shown promising results from Klotho, a naturally produced protein found in the kidneys. Klotho can not only help with kidney function but has been shown to assist in the prevention of multiple diseases associated with aging. Research and recent statistics showcase the promising future of Klotho as an age prevention treatment.