The Relationship Between Inflammation and Aging
Everything seems to get harder as we age. It is harder to get around and we have more concerns when it comes to deciding just what our bodies can take at that time. Sadly, we can end up with a more visceral sense that we’re wearing out than we’d like. Why, though? Age could be a gradual wearing out, yes, but why does it have to involve being sore and pained regularly? There are clear biological reasons when it comes down to it. Age changes us on many levels. We have to deal with the consequences of a lifetime of hobbies and habits. These inevitably mean we’ve all been hard on our bodies in one way or another. Inflammation becomes particularly common in the areas we’ve been hardest on. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how aging and inflammation are connected.
An important point to note is that our bodies are almost constantly repairing themselves. This is because different things damage our body on levels we don’t even notice. The act of living, so to speak, is hard on your body. Sun damage, wear, and tear, and even outright illness all take their toll on the body. Sleep is vital to our health because our body uses that time to, in essence, perform intensive repairs when our body isn’t moving so that there is a lot of energy available for the task. This works out quite well for us for a lot of our lives, but our body can only keep up for so long. Repairing gets less effective over time as the processes don’t get access to all the materials they need consistently. There is a small gap between the damage and the repairs that we don’t notice at first, but it eventually begins to catch up. That’s where the trouble starts.
A Natural Response
Let’s be clear about one thing, inflammation is all courtesy of your body. It is a response of your body to a type of damage or a particular invasion. Think of it as a complex form of defense that tries to simultaneously eliminate what is giving it trouble while eliminating the damage and asking the rest of the body for repairs. You need inflammation as it is part of what keeps you healthy even if it isn’t the most comfortable experience in most cases. Aging begins to make this into a problem, though. Remember that part about how our bodies have more difficulty keeping up with proper repairs as we age? That lowers the overall threshold for an inflammatory response. It makes it more likely that our body will react immediately with recognizable inflammation instead of simply dealing with the issue without us noticing.
Age and Health
The sad fact is that age really is our body wearing out. It doesn’t matter how good the care we gave it was as there are upper limits to how well our body can keep things going. Fortunate genetics and a good lifestyle can give us a bonus, but we all feel age eventually. This is due in no small part to the lower threshold for inflammation in the body as we age. Think of all the rougher things you’ve done to your body over your life. Hiking is a healthy habit, but the shocks to your ankles and knees from rougher descents will start adding up. We all know sun damage adds up and causes visible wrinkles, but it also makes the skin more sensitive and prone to, you guessed it, inflammation in response to various products and environments. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy our lives, though.
Age and inflammation are linked simply because our bodies can’t keep up with life eventually. You could isolate yourself and do nothing beyond that to take care of your body, but age would still catch up to you eventually. That means we all need to work on embracing what different stages of our life mean to all of us. Enjoy life for what it is at every age and even inflammation won’t take away the beauty in life.