We often associate aging with ill health and disability instead of embracing it as a natural process we will all experience and can positively embrace. It is said that most of the diseases we consider to be age-related are actually caused by lifestyle factors such as diet, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of exercise, distress, and genetic susceptibilities.
Stress is considered a major suppressor of the immune system which then results in chronic diseases. Loneliness among the elderly is a major stressor as they spend many hours without appropriate companionship. They also lack physical stimulation such exercise which is helpful in the prevention of disorders including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis, all of which contribute to accelerated ageing.
Free radicals in moderate amounts can save us from the effects of stress. They help to keep the immune system boosted, give us energy, and help carry oxygen through the bloodstream. However, when there are high numbers present in our system they perform the opposite functions, thus accelerating the ageing process and leaving us open to a range of diseases.
But all is not lost, while we can’t readily create ideal communities to help the elderly combat loneliness, we can use antioxidants to counter free radicals. These can be found in numerous fruits and vegetables. So we have it in our power to delay the ageing process by drinking plenty water, eating healthy, and supplementing our diet with antioxidants.
At A Glance
Causes: these are DNA damage, free-radical damage, poor digestions and detoxification, lack of exercise, elevated blood sugar levels, environmental toxins, poor diet and nutritional deficiencies, and genetics.
Treatment: stimulation from the use of hot bath alternated with cold ones; having a diet that includes yogurt and other fermented sour products, deeply coloured fruits and vegetables, and drinking plenty water whether or not you are thirsty.
Prevention: the client is advised to avoid red meats and processed foods; trans-fat which are in packaged foods; and food made with additives and preservatives.