August 28, 2016
What Is Aging?
We can talk about aging in many different ways. But first, what is aging? Some researchers say aging begins even before birth, some say it begins between 40 and 50 years. I was taught years ago that age 40 is when you body has exhausted the inherited capability to combat illness and it is a crucial time to pay attention to your nutritional needs. It was a time to rethink how you treat the body you were born with. But this was based on the immune system that was passed on through our mothers.
But this was a different time in history. The food that my mother ate was not contaminated with harmful pesticides, the water and soil contained the minerals and nutrients our bodies required. Now, a new born baby already has residue of contaminates in their system.
Just because we are a certain age, we do not have to sub come to “age related illnesses.” Dr. Jonathan Flacker, an internist in geriatrics at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said aging is simply not the same as an illness.
“A disease is something not normal that some people get but not everybody gets,” he said. “The implication is that aging is abnormal and something nature didn’t intend.”
If aging is considered as a disease, then, in an ideal condition and in principle, this could be fully treatable, and a disease-free state could be achieved. However, if aging is understood as a phenomenon occurring progressively in each and every individual surviving beyond certain duration of life, then aging cannot be considered as a disease.
Instead, interventions in aging require a health-oriented approach and the use of a positive language such as maintaining health, achieving healthy aging, and having active aging. Of course, optimal treatment and management of every disease, irrespective of age, is a social and moral imperative. But considering aging as a disease that happens to everybody is an oxymoron. This is according to Dr. S. Rattan, Dept of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University.
Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies have found a gold mine in convincing people that because you are of a certain age, you must be taking drugs to remain healthy.
My point in saying all this, is that even though aging is a natural progression towards an end of life, it does matter what you do to “be the best you can be” during your life span.
That is why I do what I do, why I encourage you to choose wisely when it comes to how you live and what you eat. Long life is not the only goal we should have, but good quality of life is the most important goal we should strive for.
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