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May 27, 2014

You Might Be Aging Too Fast If….

We live in a fast paced society. We want everything fast – fast food, fast cars, fast internet connections; some even speed date now. What about fast aging? Does anybody want to age fast?  I doubt it.  And, despite your efforts to delay aging how can you tell if you’re being successful in that quest? How can you tell if you’re aging too fast? Click here, though, if you want to age faster and die younger.

Aging Too Fast?

Some signs you might be aging too fast – some humorous and some rather depressing.

  • Someone you meet for the first time asks, “Have any crystal meth you can spare?” If you have not seen people on crystal meth look at these pictures.
  • At your 35th high school reunion people say you look a lot like today’s Mick Jagger, Nick Nolte or Keith Richards (guys) or Melanie Griffith, Kirstie Alley, Kathleen Turner (gals). Of course, if they mix you up for the wrong sex all together then you are really not aging well.
  • You’ve “fallen down and can’t get up”. Not a good sign regardless of age. Totally preventable unless someone has a neurmuscular disorder.
  • You’re a woman and your upper arms and thighs are flabby enough you wonder if you could fly if you flapped them fast enough.
  • You’re a guy and find yourself growing hair where you once had none, and are losing it in the places you once did.
  • You were once a desirable fox and now a despite cougar.
  • A good night’s sleep is preferable to sex.

How Should We Age?

Signs of aging occur at various stages of life. Here are landmark signs you can use to gauge whether or not you’re “aging on target”.

Age 30: Men and women both see a decline in testosterone and with that comes a decline in muscle mass that progresses as we age further. Resistance or strength training can offset this some. Nice thing though is your testosterone can be replaced making this sign of aging largely preventable. In women, progesterone usually begins to decline in the mid-30s sometimes leading to anxiety, sleep disorders, headaches, and more. Progesterone, too, can be replaced. But, first you have to be aware that it might be low. Most doctors won’t check progesterone levels unless you ask.

Age 35: Ah, you get those first tell-tale signs of aging on your face – crow’s feet – the result of smiling and/or squinting and resulting from the breakdown of collagen.  I have bad crow’s feet which I attribute from 40 years of wearing gas permeable rigid contact lenses. Constantly tugging on the corners of the eyes to remove lenses with a natural tendency to squint from using them has done me in.

If your crow’s feet are from squinting wearing large enough sunglasses can help along with sunscreen. Maintaining sex hormone levels optimum will keep collagen production going delaying the signs crow’s feet. More here on crow’s feet. I’m not sure I’d tell you to quit smiling, though. No, never quit smiling!

Age 45: Age spots begin to reveal themselves – usually on the back of the hands – and are the result of sun exposure. So sunscreen is a major preventer of this aging sign. Go here for more on age spots. Eating more fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants can help prevent age spots.

Age 65: Joint pain, but not just any joint pain. We’re talking about joint pain that occurs to hips and knees with or right after exercise. Most of us will experience some joint before 65, but it usually improves once we get moving. Supplements like glucosamine/chondroitin do help some individuals. At the very least, they may slow the progression of arthritic pain. As they are reasonably affordable I think they are worth trying.

Age 69: “Can you hear my now?” Yep, our hearing deteriorates past a critical threshold. Don’t try to compare your hearing to teenagers as you may get a false sense that your hearing is actually good. My hearing apparently is much better than my teenage sons who like the TV very loud – they must be experiencing early hearing loss from being nurtured on iPods using earbuds. If you find yourself needing hearing aids before age 69 then you are aging too fast.

So if you are experiencing any of these landmark signs of aging before their time then you are aging too fast.

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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