Home > Uncategorized > Normal Physical Changes

Normal Physical Changes

Introduction

  • As people age, most people experience changes of their body functions in some way.
  • This result from changes in individual cells and in body organs. These changes may result in changes in function, appearance and thus the experience of aging
  • Some changes are obvious, for example, before age 50, most people begin to have trouble seeing close objects
  • Other changes are hardly noticeable, for example, most people learn that their kidneys have aged only if a disorder develops
  • Predicting how a particular person will age is difficult because each person ages at a different pace
  • Moreover, how well a person takes care of the body influences how the person ages
  • However, some changes are almost universal. Knowing what changes may be expected can help a person adjust to aging

Sign & Symptoms

  • For most people, the decline in organ function with age does not affect the body’s ability to function during normal daily activities
  • People usually notice the decline in organ function only when very demanding tasks are attempted or when a disorder develops
  • For example, the amount of blood pumped by the heart during vigorous exercise decreases as people age. Older people may notice this change only when they play tennis or jog but not when they take a walk. Similarly, they may notice changes in brain function only when they try to learn new information such as a new language
  • A noticeable decline in function is more likely to result from factors other than aging itself. The most common problem is a disorder. A disorder may cause pain or confusion, make movement more difficult or lead to depression

Prevention

  • Healthy aging can postpone and reduce the undesired effects of aging
  • The goals of healthy aging are maintaining physical and mental health, avoiding disorders and remaining active and independent
  • Certain healthy habits have been shown to reduce the risk of developing several disorders that commonly occur as people age
  • These habits include following a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and staying mentally active. Developing these habits is an important part of healthy aging
Last Review : 26 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Ho Bee Kiau
Reviewed : Dr. Ho Bee Kiau