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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: deborah on December 15, 2018, 03:18:20 PM

Title: How do people age?
Post by: deborah on December 15, 2018, 03:18:20 PM
I am trying to find out at what ages I should expect to deteriorate. And in what ways.

For instance, suddenly, about the time I turned 50, I needed to have reading glasses. I didn't think it would be sudden like that, and on looking things up, and talking to others, I found that this is pretty standard. Everyone else seemed to be as surprised as me when their eyesight suddenly deteriorated at 50. It was almost as if it is a 50th birthday present. It would be nice to know if there are other things that happen like that.

I am in the midst of working out a ten year plan, and I thought it would be useful if I knew this, so I have reasonable objectives. Maybe I need to include deterioration aids as part of the plan!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: big_owl on December 15, 2018, 03:51:13 PM
Wow, this is a new one.  Well if my experience is anything like yours:

1. Expect to start losing hair in your mid-30s.  This seems to be hereditary more than anything else, and you may be female so maybe it's not a concern

2. Expect degenerative disk disease, FAI impingement, prostatitis, or any sort of other degenerative disease to start to rear its head in your late 30s.  Hopefully for your sake that doesn't happen.  If they do, expect to reach your out of pocket max for healthcare on any given year.  Of course this sort of stuff never happens to mustachians...I must've done something wrong along the way...

You seem to be older than me and without these sorts of problems.  Count your lucky stars and live a healthy lifestyle if that's the case.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Cranky on December 15, 2018, 04:08:59 PM
I think women have different issues than men, and I think it really, really depends on both heredity and the decisions you e made in your earlier years.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: wenchsenior on December 15, 2018, 04:32:39 PM
I think you might have some problems getting useful answers just b/c there are a lot of younger people on the board.  If you are at 50 with no major health issues so far, I envy you. At 47, I have multiple chronic conditions and the vast majority weren't really something I (or my parents) could have 'planned' for.  Some started when I was young; those all seem to be hereditary or possibly due to preemie birth.  The rest started suddenly the year I turned 40, which was pretty much when my family/older friends told me to expect my body to start notably deteriorating lol.  Boy, were they right about that! Those issues mostly seem to be autoimmune in nature...again not something I either expected or could plan for.

Of the 'regular' stuff that happened to my body with age, and the bodies of my healthier friends near my age, yes...need for reading glasses tends to happen suddenly between 40 and 50.  A lot of my friends/family went on cholesterol meds during this decade.  Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in quite a few people I know during this decade.  Tendons/ligaments/back start to give regular trouble, get injured easily, and take much longer to heal.  A LOT of people in my family and in my social circle developed thyroid problems at this age, as well.  Usually hypothyroid disease, but also hyperthyroid, or thyroid cancer.  (However, that might be b/c we are in a thyroid 'hot-spot' location; several doctors I've talked to suspect environmental contaminants in the area are causing abnormally high rates of thyroid problems here). Women usually enter peri-menopause in their 40s, and some enter actual menopause.  How much trouble they have with it (mood, weight gain, headaches, insomnia, etc) seems to depend on how sensitive they are to hormones in general.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: secondcor521 on December 15, 2018, 05:40:44 PM
I don't know how likely things are, but I would encourage you to also consider the things you can do to minimize the risks.

I am not a doctor and am not giving health advice, but I am trying to do the following things myself, which are all common suggestions out there:

1.  Weight-lift three times per week.
2.  Aerobic exercise 45 minutes six times per week.
3.  Adequate sleep.
4.  Minimize stress.
5.  "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" - Pollan.
6.  Maintain healthy friendships and relationships.
7.  See your doctor once a year for checkups.
8.  Brush and floss daily.

Statistically it seems like people start dying in their 50s and 60s from cancer and heart disease.  Look up what might kill you statistically, then look at the major risk factors for those diseases, then look at how to mitigate those risk factors.  It seems like it could be a lot, but the risk factors and mitigations overlap a lot - i.e., things that help lower cancer risk also often help lower heart disease risk, and risks of other things like type 2 diabetes.

On the early-retirement.org board, several posters in their 60s and 70s have had high dental expenses (crowns, root canals, bridges, extractions, etc.).  Seems to be something worth noting.

I do pretty well on everything on the list except #5, which I need to improve on.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: wenchsenior on December 15, 2018, 06:21:01 PM
I don't know how likely things are, but I would encourage you to also consider the things you can do to minimize the risks.

I am not a doctor and am not giving health advice, but I am trying to do the following things myself, which are all common suggestions out there:

1.  Weight-lift three times per week.
2.  Aerobic exercise 45 minutes six times per week.
3.  Adequate sleep.
4.  Minimize stress.
5.  "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" - Pollan.
6.  Maintain healthy friendships and relationships.
7.  See your doctor once a year for checkups.
8.  Brush and floss daily.

Statistically it seems like people start dying in their 50s and 60s from cancer and heart disease.  Look up what might kill you statistically, then look at the major risk factors for those diseases, then look at how to mitigate those risk factors.  It seems like it could be a lot, but the risk factors and mitigations overlap a lot - i.e., things that help lower cancer risk also often help lower heart disease risk, and risks of other things like type 2 diabetes.

On the early-retirement.org board, several posters in their 60s and 70s have had high dental expenses (crowns, root canals, bridges, extractions, etc.).  Seems to be something worth noting.

I do pretty well on everything on the list except #5, which I need to improve on.

This is an excellent point.  Medicare doesn't cover dental work, and it is an ongoing cost.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: austin944 on December 15, 2018, 09:33:41 PM

If you exercise, expect to face more pain as you enter your 50s.  The pain has prevented me from exercising as much as I'd like.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: koshtra on December 15, 2018, 10:41:45 PM
My eyesight did the same thing, took a dive around fifty. (I'm sixty now.) My hearing took a similar dive a couple years ago: I wear hearing aids now, which help a lot. You want to get hearing aids as soon as your hearing starts to fade -- if you don't, your auditory processing skills dwindle, and that doesn't seem very reversible.

On the other hand, I used to have a lot of back and knee trouble in my thirties and forties, and they almost never trouble me now. I walk a couple miles a day and lift five or six days a week. I'm in much better shape than when I was younger.

Typical boy trouble: enlarged prostate. Have to get up to pee once or twice a night.

So far, though, I like being sixty a lot more than I liked being thirty. I think eyesight is possibly the most predictable degeneration: the others have a lot more variability.

I started noticing cognitive declines about twenty years ago, but they've been very mild and slow-moving. I used to be able to do a lot of complicated math in my head which I have to write out now. That's a bummer. But at least I can still do it. Learning foreign languages was easier then than it is now, too -- I acquire vocabulary slower, at probably half the rate I did when I was twenty.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Pizzabrewer on December 15, 2018, 11:01:44 PM
I never had any arthritis until about a year ago, at age 57.  Now both elbows have mild to moderate discomfort, and there's some minor issues in a few fingers. 

I had an MRI on my left knee earlier this year.  The doc said the arthritis was advanced and I'll probably need a knee replacement sometime in the future.  That was a surprise as I've never had pain in my knees.

Not fun.  In my mind I'm still 26 but the body says otherwise.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on December 16, 2018, 03:27:30 AM
Iíve found as I get older Iím losing my eyesight, stamina and memory. The memory one is the worst. I canít remember names, second guess words Iím spelling and sometimes will lose track of thoughts when talking. It feels like Flowers for Algernon. So bizarre. Iím hoping itís not early signs of dementia or Alzheimerís. Iíve talked to older people who say, weíll, thatís just getting older. Freaky.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: ROF Expat on December 16, 2018, 04:28:05 AM
I am trying to find out at what ages I should expect to deteriorate. And in what ways.

For instance, suddenly, about the time I turned 50, I needed to have reading glasses. I didn't think it would be sudden like that, and on looking things up, and talking to others, I found that this is pretty standard. Everyone else seemed to be as surprised as me when their eyesight suddenly deteriorated at 50. It was almost as if it is a 50th birthday present. It would be nice to know if there are other things that happen like that.

I am in the midst of working out a ten year plan, and I thought it would be useful if I knew this, so I have reasonable objectives. Maybe I need to include deterioration aids as part of the plan!

I'm 55, and I think that a lot of the quality of life is based on genetics (which we can't control) and lifestyle (which we can).  How did your parents age?  Do you have older siblings?  What kind of health problems, if any, do they have?  If your parents and siblings were/are healthy, you should reasonably hope for (and work toward) the same situation.  If they weren't/aren't, you can take charge of your own health to try and do better. 

Planning on deteriorating health seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Instead of asking about what problems are "likely" to come over the next 10 years, I choose to focus on taking charge of my health to avoid them.  I see strong, healthy, spry mentally sharp 65-year-olds and I see broken down 65-year-olds with terrible quality of life.  I plan to be the former. 

So you're 50 years old.  Are you an athlete?  If not, maybe this is the year to become one.  If you already are, maybe you should set a goal of performing better at 51 than you do at 50.  Age is inevitable, and health will deteriorate, but you can slow and in some cases even reverse that deterioration.  I have been a pretty serious weight lifter for years.  I was stronger at 50 than I was at 30 and I plan to be stronger at 55 than I was at 50.  I like being strong, but I also want to maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible. 

I highly recommend reading  "The Barbell Prescription:  Strength Training for Life after 40" 

Good luck! 
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 16, 2018, 08:56:57 AM
I'm 47 and have had similar thoughts.  It would be nice to predict the future but unfortunately (or fortunately) we can't.  Seeing my inlaws get sick and pass away a few years ago and now seeing my own parents getting older has really made me think.


I was seriously ill in my 30s and, as a result, probably don't have a very long life expectancy.  I exercise and eat pretty well but there's only so much you can do.  A lot of it (as I learned through personal experience) is luck.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: frugaldrummer on December 16, 2018, 12:56:35 PM
Lifestyle has the biggest effect, genetics and bad luck though do happen.

I agree that looking at your family members may give you a clue although if your lifestyle is way healthier than theirs you may do better than them.

Loneliness is also a risk factor for health so don't forget to tend to your social ties.

I noticed that starting at age fifty you start to see people diverge in terms of aging - some age well and others don't, lifestyle catches up to them. Also cancer and heart disease start to raise their ugly heads. I'm 62 and in the last five years 3 personal acquaintances have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one with stage 4 breast cancer, and recently my boyfriend with stage 3 lung cancer (nonsmoker). All these people were diagnosed in their late 50's.  I've never known anyone with cancer before.

So make sure to clean up your lifestyle if it needs it, get all appropriate health screenings, exercise, don't drink much, sleep well, eat your vegetables. Spend time with friends and family.

On the other side of the coin - I'm 62, healthy, feel as vigorous as I did at 40 and don't feel limited in any way. I sure don't take it for granted though.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: deborah on December 16, 2018, 01:13:00 PM
Thanks for all the replies. When I looked into my family history, I had a lot of my ancestors (on all sides) live to a ripe old age, and one of my grandfather's siblings recently died at 105, so I think I have good genetics.

My parents are in their 90s and are in physical decline. They have never talked about when different things happened to them, and if I ask they say that they seem to have had arthritis (for example) forever. I visit them frequently - in fact my retirement sometimes seems like it is only the 7.5 hour drive to their place, staying a week and driving back for a week. Each year something happens that can cause me not to be at home for more than a week at a time for six months. But it is wonderful that I am retired, and can choose to do this. Life would be impossible if I was still working, not seeing them as much, and constantly worried about them.

We tend to assume that if we set up our habits correctly, we will live long and not get decrepit. My father has never set up these habits, and my mother has, yet they have both outlived most of their generation, and are both now using walkers. Mum is physically worse off than dad, yet she was the one who always walked, watched what she ate and had all the good habits. A cousin of mine (my age) died a year ago yet she did everything right. Medical advice says that we will live longer and better if we have these habits, as a population, but individuals will still be hit by curved balls.

I am reading a financial planning book that had a different take on planning than I have seen, and they were keen on people creating a 10 year plan, and working backwards toward their financial plan. I thought about it, and got a bit depressed (it doesn't help that I'm just back from visiting my parents).

In the next 10 years, my parents will almost certainly die - very, very few people in their 90s live 10 years. If they don't, they will be in a nursing home, which they hate the thought of. Here, you can be assessed, and get an appropriate level of home care which means that you don't have to go to a nursing home because someone comes to you - every day if you need it. The government brought that scheme in 2 years ago, and severely underestimated the numbers involved, but have progressively been funding more places. Yesterday they announced 50,000 more. Hopefully my parents will finally get one, since they have been waiting 2 years. Unfortunately for them, care outside the scheme is difficult to obtain, because all the care givers have been sucked into the scheme.

Each year, I have been giving myself a break by traveling overseas for at least 2 months, and leaving my parents to my brother (who visits them once a year) and my mother's siblings who are all still alive and visit regularly. It has been wonderful - I have visited amazing places. I don't visit my own country even though there are absolutely amazing things here that you can see nowhere else in the world, because I wouldn't get a break. Something would go wrong, and I'd feel obliged to sort it out. Looking at the 10 year plan, would I be able to roam freely, sleeping in the back of my car when I will feel free to do so?

And my life in my community has been on hold. I'm not in the groups I used to be in - it's difficult to do things when you know you might be disappearing at a moment's notice to sort out the latest emergency. And looking at a 10 year plan makes me realise that I may not be capable of doing the things I used to do when I was part of those groups. Part of the plan must be to reconnect in some way. But with the limited time I currently have, maybe I should connect to groups where I expect to be able to continue with them for a long time, and develop friendships. Where physical limitations are less of a problem.

Hence the question.

I was hoping there would be someone who could point me to a list of things that go wrong, and approximately when. I am really pleased that people are telling me their own experiences, it's all interesting stuff. Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Cranky on December 16, 2018, 01:31:08 PM
I don't think there's a set pattern of deterioration at set ages. Some people are in terrible health in their 30s or 40s. My in-laws and my mom were in terrific physical health until their late-80s. My dad died of a heart attack in his early 70s, with no real risk factors except that he had smoked - but his cholesterol and blood pressure were quite low.

The longer you live and are healthy, the better your odds are that you'll have another healthy 10 years.

My eyesight has been awful since I was 8, so the fact that it changed when I was in my 50s didn't really seem like a big deal. My teeth have always been crummy, but I've taken exceedingly good care of them, and the only ones I lost were the wisdom teeth I had out as a teenager.

I've got osteoarthritis in my knees, and my only risk factor for that is that I've done so much walking - they've just worn down.

But the longer you live, the greater are your odds of having something go wrong because ultimately, we're all gonna die.

I don't think you should stop doing things now because your parents might have an emergency, though. In your 50s, many of your peers are dealing with the same issues with *their* parents. They'll understand.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 16, 2018, 02:19:27 PM
My parents (who are divorced) both seemed to hit a wall at around age 80.  My mother is 79 and dad is 81.  Both seem to have major health issues now that limit them in way that they didn't 5-10 years ago. 
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Padonak on December 16, 2018, 02:27:25 PM
Ptf
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Cassie on December 16, 2018, 02:36:14 PM
I didnít have any health issues until I turned 50. Then I developed HPB, a too fast and erratic heartbeat and asthma. All this despite not being overweight and walking 8 miles a day.  Fortunately all are controlled with medications. I have had neck/back pain since age 40 because of a few car accidents. Now this year at 64 one knee hurts as well as the opposite hip. I read on Facebook that if you wake up and something doesnít hurt you think you are dead. That about sums it up. I lost 3 friends between 59-67 all from cancer.   
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: frugaldrummer on December 16, 2018, 05:20:31 PM
Not all health problems are avoidable but just to list a few that may be - if you know to look for them:

Hemochromatosis - a genetic condition that causes excess iron to accumulate in your body. Affects one in 200 people and most don't know they have it. Causes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, arthritis and other problems. Completely preventable by donating blood on a regular basis if caught early enough. Check iron saturation % and ferritin on blood tests.

B12 deficiency becomes more frequent with age and is highly likely by the time you are 80 or older. This can cause neurological and other problems. See the great book Coukd It Be B12? to learn more.

Macular degeneration - causes vision loss in older people, certain vitamin combos like Preservisikn can help ward it off as does eating your fruits and veggies.

Type 2 diabetes - the scourge of modern society, exercise and a Paleo type diet may reverse it in early stages.

Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity - may trigger other autoimmune diseases. One in 130 have full blown celiac disease, most don't know it. Many more are gluten sensitive.

Hypothyroidism - common and causes fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood prsssure. If you have it but still don't feel well after treatment take a look at the Stop the Thyroid Madness website.

Consider hormone replacement if indicated.







Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: koshtra on December 16, 2018, 06:35:37 PM
Worth reading are Nuland's How We Die and Gawande's Being Mortal. Neither text exactly addresses your question, but I found them both useful for thinking about & planning for the endgame.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: okits on December 16, 2018, 07:30:37 PM
Not applicable for OP deborah but I found, after having children (2) in my mid-30s, a few things that weren't the same after. 

Like vision: I have a harder time seeing small detail (e.g. is the belly button of the blueberry moldy or just pale?)  Aging, fatigue, or hormones?  NFI.  My optometrist says my prescription has changed very little during this time.

General pelvic condition.  From giving birth, hormones, or aging?  All three?

Cognitive stuff (focus/concentration, memory): aging?  Because I just devoted the majority of my time and attention to parenting (I have newly developed skills at that!)  No idea!

I'm sure there are other little things I am forgetting (ha, ha, ha).  But I really wonder if these are normal changes, going from the beginning of one's 30s to the end, or if having children really aged me.  Half and half?
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: happy on December 16, 2018, 07:57:17 PM
In general terms in the next 10 years I think you could count on some decline in physical function...which can be mitigated at least somewhat by regular exercise. And secondly some mild decrease in cognitive function, probably not really noticeable to anyone but you. Studies show for example that by 70 a substantial proportion of doctors have some mild slowdown in cognition that in theory might impede on their ability to practice..but we are talking about requiring a pretty high level of cognition. And thirdly recovery time for whatever starts to increase, from healing a minor cut, to stressful events or physical strain/injury.




Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: mxt0133 on December 16, 2018, 10:51:14 PM
That said, I have had wild health gains upon lifestyle changes (including from "right" things to "wrong" things), so I do believe in those. Even if I were to drop dead from my collection of "wrong things" this afternoon, the most recent decade of my life would still have been the most happy, comfortable, and vigorous. I'll take it!

Care to elaborate on the 'right' things to 'wrong' things that brought you health gains?
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on December 16, 2018, 11:06:36 PM
I am a big believer in epigenetics.  For example, by running and pushing my aerobic threshold, I am able to stay more lean and maintain better cardiovascular health than my forebears.  This foundation makes eating salads more sensible than donuts and Taco Bell.  Maybe I'll drop dead only a year or two later, but I expect to look and feel better than they did at the same advanced age.  I don't fault their choices or lifestyle though, they  fought in WWII and worked in offices where smoking at your desk was normal.

Great thread, I look forward to reading everyone's input!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Linea_Norway on December 17, 2018, 04:26:43 AM
Presuming you are a woman, you can get menopause around 50, including the pre-menopause phase before it that starts some years earlier.

I got memory issues last year, at 44 years old. Those were probably due to heavy stress over time.

I have a MIL who got an Alzheimer-related sickness at around the age of 70. But the early symptoms started much earlier, maybe 5-8 years earlier. She had a very unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, not exercising, overweight).

From a certain age, women get scanned for breast cancer, because the chance of getting that becomes bigger when you have passed 50.

I have personally had a form of non-aggressive skin cancer, starting at 43.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Unique User on December 17, 2018, 05:30:27 AM
Iíve found as I get older Iím losing my eyesight, stamina and memory. The memory one is the worst. I canít remember names, second guess words Iím spelling and sometimes will lose track of thoughts when talking. It feels like Flowers for Algernon. So bizarre. Iím hoping itís not early signs of dementia or Alzheimerís. Iíve talked to older people who say, weíll, thatís just getting older. Freaky.

@MrThatsDifferent - please go to a doctor as soon as you can and get a full blood workup including B12.   A few years ago I had an issue with stamina and memory exactly the way you describe.  It crept up slowly, but when I started having tingling in my fingers and toes also, I got scared.  It turned out I had a severe B12 deficiency which can mimic dementia.  B12 is not included on a standard blood workup so every year now, I request it.  Mine went far enough and long enough that some of the neurological damage is irreversible.   
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: DK on December 17, 2018, 05:40:11 AM
If you want to get a deep dive into the health/dying/longevity stuff, watch some youtubes on peter attia, and from his own website's interviews. very interesting stuff.

re: the Alzheimers posts, these could be helpful too, talk pretty in depth about it and latest research in the area.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq7uVZ_0D3U
https://peterattiamd.com/richardisaacson/

I'd agree with doing the 'right things' will help - but some of the commonly accepted wisdom isn't necessarily right, and there's a lot of nuance with what a person should be doing with where they are currently at, etc.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: OzzieandHarriet on December 19, 2018, 10:10:36 PM
I'm now 61 and I felt great through most of my 50s. I don't remember when I started needing bifocals/progressives -- sometime in the past decade. I went through menopause in my mid-50s and it wasn't bad. It was around that time that I started taking a med for high blood pressure.

The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.

This year I had a sudden onset of hyperthyroid, which was quite debilitating for about a month. There was no treatment for it other than taking ibuprofen but I had to get a lot of tests to make sure it wasn't cancer.

Now I'm having a weird problem with my ears, and it's bad because I'm a musician. It's not exactly tinnitus and it's not hearing loss. More trips to specialists.

The thing I've noticed most is when you have these types of problems and go to the doctor, they look at your age and seem to write it off to that.

My family is for the most part not particularly long-lived. Father died at 72, mother at 78, both of different types of cancer. They were quite healthy until they weren't - father's illness lasted a couple of years, mother's less than a year. I almost think that's better than lingering on for 20 more years with crappy quality of life and ending up in a nursing home, but maybe that's just me.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: wenchsenior on December 20, 2018, 08:55:05 AM
I'm now 61 and I felt great through most of my 50s. I don't remember when I started needing bifocals/progressives -- sometime in the past decade. I went through menopause in my mid-50s and it wasn't bad. It was around that time that I started taking a med for high blood pressure.

The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.

This year I had a sudden onset of hyperthyroid, which was quite debilitating for about a month. There was no treatment for it other than taking ibuprofen but I had to get a lot of tests to make sure it wasn't cancer.

Now I'm having a weird problem with my ears, and it's bad because I'm a musician. It's not exactly tinnitus and it's not hearing loss. More trips to specialists.

The thing I've noticed most is when you have these types of problems and go to the doctor, they look at your age and seem to write it off to that.

My family is for the most part not particularly long-lived. Father died at 72, mother at 78, both of different types of cancer. They were quite healthy until they weren't - father's illness lasted a couple of years, mother's less than a year. I almost think that's better than lingering on for 20 more years with crappy quality of life and ending up in a nursing home, but maybe that's just me.

I assume you must have had a very brief 'flare' b/c there most certainly IS treatment for hyperthyroid.  I have Grave's (currently with normal thyroid hormones, but I'm monitored every 6 months), and my mother had it severely and came close to stroke or heart attack prior to treatment. Her sight was permanently damaged.  Please don't skip treatment if you have active hyperthyroid.  There are medications to suppress thyroid activity, or you can nuke or remove the thyroid and go on replacement thyroid hormones (which my mother did...it saved her life).
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: cats on December 20, 2018, 09:09:26 AM
Not applicable for OP deborah but I found, after having children (2) in my mid-30s, a few things that weren't the same after. 

Like vision: I have a harder time seeing small detail (e.g. is the belly button of the blueberry moldy or just pale?)  Aging, fatigue, or hormones?  NFI.  My optometrist says my prescription has changed very little during this time.

General pelvic condition.  From giving birth, hormones, or aging?  All three?

Cognitive stuff (focus/concentration, memory): aging?  Because I just devoted the majority of my time and attention to parenting (I have newly developed skills at that!)  No idea!

I'm sure there are other little things I am forgetting (ha, ha, ha).  But I really wonder if these are normal changes, going from the beginning of one's 30s to the end, or if having children really aged me.  Half and half?

FWIW, I had my first child at 33 and feel like there is a big difference in my health pre- and post- baby.

Pelvic stuff, for sure.  Despite doing pelvic floor exercises, planks, squats, etc etc etc....I still have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, and even if my kid let me, I don't know that I would ever be able to sleep in past 6AM.  I actually read that it's pretty standard for women to have to get up 1x/night to pee after age 40, even if they have not given birth.

Cognitive stuff also--I feel like I'm more absent minded now than I used to be...BUT I now also have another person's worth of stuff to keep track of so maybe that's it.

The big thing I noticed is that I have a MUCH harder time losing weight now.  It used to be that if I saw my weight creeping up, I could rein it back in with just a few days of really clean eating.  Now I can spend a month carefully counting calories and lose maybe 1 lb.  Realistically, I do think some of this is that it's hard to actually maintain "a few days of really clean eating" with both a FT job and a kid, but the fact that even when I've managed to get a good streak of healthy eating going, the scale barely budges....it's frustrating. This is one thing I am hoping FIRE will help with, as I always (even now!) seem to drop some weight when we go on vacations, without really trying.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 20, 2018, 09:28:44 AM
For the women with post-birth pelvic floor issues - I recommend pilates.  I had the same issues that you describe after two births but after 2 years of pilates no more issues.  People don't really talk about this but it's great for the pelvic floor amongst many other muscle groups. 
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: koshtra on December 20, 2018, 10:28:26 AM
A word about arthritis: even good doctors frequently diagnose any mild musculoskeletal pain as "arthritis" (meaning "osteoarthritis") even when any good physical therapist could rule it out in two minutes. They'll also say scary things about "bone on bone" (meaning "you can't fix this with exercise") about joints when it's totally untrue. I'm a big fan of the medical profession but this is one thing they just screw up, over and over, and it convinces people to stop exercising, which is generally a fucking disaster. For it to be arthritis there should be a reason to believe the joint is inflamed, and passive movement should hurt as much as active movement (that is, for instance, if your left elbow hurts, relaxing it and moving the hinge back and forth with your right hand also ought to hurt.)

Don't let someone convince you your joints are trashed when you've just got musculoskeletal discomfort, which comes in a zillion flavors, and much of which can be relieved by the appropriate doses of rest and exercise. Osteoarthritis sucks, and it will probably come for you eventually, but don't let ordinary discomforts immobilize you.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: OzzieandHarriet on December 20, 2018, 10:30:53 AM
I'm now 61 and I felt great through most of my 50s. I don't remember when I started needing bifocals/progressives -- sometime in the past decade. I went through menopause in my mid-50s and it wasn't bad. It was around that time that I started taking a med for high blood pressure.

The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.

This year I had a sudden onset of hyperthyroid, which was quite debilitating for about a month. There was no treatment for it other than taking ibuprofen but I had to get a lot of tests to make sure it wasn't cancer.

Now I'm having a weird problem with my ears, and it's bad because I'm a musician. It's not exactly tinnitus and it's not hearing loss. More trips to specialists.

The thing I've noticed most is when you have these types of problems and go to the doctor, they look at your age and seem to write it off to that.

My family is for the most part not particularly long-lived. Father died at 72, mother at 78, both of different types of cancer. They were quite healthy until they weren't - father's illness lasted a couple of years, mother's less than a year. I almost think that's better than lingering on for 20 more years with crappy quality of life and ending up in a nursing home, but maybe that's just me.

I assume you must have had a very brief 'flare' b/c there most certainly IS treatment for hyperthyroid.  I have Grave's (currently with normal thyroid hormones, but I'm monitored every 6 months), and my mother had it severely and came close to stroke or heart attack prior to treatment. Her sight was permanently damaged.  Please don't skip treatment if you have active hyperthyroid.  There are medications to suppress thyroid activity, or you can nuke or remove the thyroid and go on replacement thyroid hormones (which my mother did...it saved her life).

It was determined that it was thyroiditis, standard treatment for which is NSAID for pain. They did find a couple of nodes but said they didnít appear to be malignant.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: cats on December 20, 2018, 10:47:39 AM
For the women with post-birth pelvic floor issues - I recommend pilates.  I had the same issues that you describe after two births but after 2 years of pilates no more issues.  People don't really talk about this but it's great for the pelvic floor amongst many other muscle groups.

I actually do Pilates and started adding it consistently to my workout routine (3-5x/week) earlier this year.  I have seen huge increases in core strength, posture improvement, and also just generally feel in a better mood afterwards, so I will certainly continue it, but I still have to get up to pee at night!  Interesting that you mention 2 years--is that how long you have been doing it or how long it took to see real improvements in pelvic floor?  Perhaps I just need to keep at it for another year...
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: wenchsenior on December 20, 2018, 10:48:17 AM
I'm now 61 and I felt great through most of my 50s. I don't remember when I started needing bifocals/progressives -- sometime in the past decade. I went through menopause in my mid-50s and it wasn't bad. It was around that time that I started taking a med for high blood pressure.

The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.

This year I had a sudden onset of hyperthyroid, which was quite debilitating for about a month. There was no treatment for it other than taking ibuprofen but I had to get a lot of tests to make sure it wasn't cancer.

Now I'm having a weird problem with my ears, and it's bad because I'm a musician. It's not exactly tinnitus and it's not hearing loss. More trips to specialists.

The thing I've noticed most is when you have these types of problems and go to the doctor, they look at your age and seem to write it off to that.

My family is for the most part not particularly long-lived. Father died at 72, mother at 78, both of different types of cancer. They were quite healthy until they weren't - father's illness lasted a couple of years, mother's less than a year. I almost think that's better than lingering on for 20 more years with crappy quality of life and ending up in a nursing home, but maybe that's just me.

I assume you must have had a very brief 'flare' b/c there most certainly IS treatment for hyperthyroid.  I have Grave's (currently with normal thyroid hormones, but I'm monitored every 6 months), and my mother had it severely and came close to stroke or heart attack prior to treatment. Her sight was permanently damaged.  Please don't skip treatment if you have active hyperthyroid.  There are medications to suppress thyroid activity, or you can nuke or remove the thyroid and go on replacement thyroid hormones (which my mother did...it saved her life).

It was determined that it was thyroiditis, standard treatment for which is NSAID for pain. They did find a couple of nodes but said they didnít appear to be malignant.

Gotcha. I've had that, as well.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Hula Hoop on December 20, 2018, 01:27:08 PM
Interesting that you mention 2 years--is that how long you have been doing it or how long it took to see real improvements in pelvic floor?  Perhaps I just need to keep at it for another year...

I've been doing it for more than 2 years.  I honestly can't remember when things improved but they did.  I still get up to pee during the night but (sorry if TMI) my issues were worse- I had moments when I couldn't make it to the bathroom to pee in time, especially after my second childbirth at age 40.  Not so nice. Now, no more issues.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: mm1970 on December 20, 2018, 01:28:21 PM
I think it varies a lot.  I'm in my late 40's, and this year finally gave up and got progressives so that I could read.  Made a huge difference.

I definitely have sleep issues and have to get up to pee at least 2x a night.  I have 1-2 stretches a month (3 days each), where my sleep sucks and I'm awake in the middle of the night for a few hours.  I take unisom daily to combat this.  Some of it is stress related - I just can't shut off my brain.  My doc recommended lots of exercise.  So I was running a lot this year, it helped.

I just don't recover from injury like I used to. I've been off running for 8 weeks due to injury.  I'm back to swimming a couple of days a week, but my shoulders get sore.  I have a few aches and pains (sore elbow, sore shoulders that "lock" sometimes, etc.)  I've found that when it comes to exercise now - I can't just go all out - it's less about PR's (more about "over 40 PRs) and more about just doing the most that I can do without injury.  This means that I'm more trying to stave off time.

I can't eat as many carbs and maintain my weight.

2 years ago I started having digestive issues, and it turns out wheat was the culprit.  So I don't eat it anymore.

So...many of my friends and relatives (also mostly female) started having digestive issues with wheat and/ or cheese as they aged (anywhere after 40).
I know several people who became more prone to injury.
Also common: less sleep, worse memories.  Really bad memory/ alzheimers/ dementia started on some as early as their 70s.  Some in their 90s.
Cancer.  One relative at 70, another at 66.

Lately I've had a really dry scalp.  I'm unsure if it's my age or two head lice treatments in two months (having young kids in elementary is the devil!)

Was having a convo with some coworkers just yesterday, in fact, where they noted that their parents insisted on walking a lot a being active, even if it hurt.  They believe that aided in longevity.  These days, there are things that I WANT to do, but my body fights me.  I ran a bunch of half marathons last year.  My body generally gets really unhappy and weary after 10 miles.  The last 3 suck.

So I try to look at people my age and older who are active and emulate that - to a point.  The honest truth is that we are all different.  My hips ache at 10 miles on a run.  I love hiking and trail running, but have a tendency to trip a lot - so I need to train myself to look down not "out".  I love swimming too, but once I hit 40 mins 2x a week, my shoulders will ache.  I enjoy lifting but certain exercises are aggravating my right elbow and my left shoulder.  I'm way more active than most my age, but not nearly as able to keep up with others.  I was talking to a guy at the gym this morning who is prob in his late 60s, early 80s.  He says "I don't run" and the other old guys say "you are on the treadmill!"  He said "but I plod along at 6 mph, nothing like her!"  I said "man, I just broke a 10 min mile for a 10k two months ago and I was STOKED!"

Joints.  The joints go.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: wenchsenior on December 20, 2018, 01:48:48 PM
I think it varies a lot.  I'm in my late 40's, and this year finally gave up and got progressives so that I could read.  Made a huge difference.



I just don't recover from injury like I used to. I've been off running for 8 weeks due to injury.  I'm back to swimming a couple of days a week, but my shoulders get sore.  I have a few aches and pains (sore elbow, sore shoulders that "lock" sometimes, etc.)  I've found that when it comes to exercise now - I can't just go all out - it's less about PR's (more about "over 40 PRs) and more about just doing the most that I can do without injury.  This means that I'm more trying to stave off time.


Re: Swimmer's shoulder.  I am also late 40s and used to get this even when I was young. Turns out I was taught an outdated freestyle that puts a lot of stress on shoulders. I was taught to keep a fairly flat body, reach toward the center-line of the body, enter water thumb down, and then do an 's-shaped' pull.  That is absolute hell on the shoulders and is not what is taught now.  It took 3 full months of intense concentration to retrain myself to the new freestyle (roll the body back and forth like you are on a spit, reach straight forward from the shoulder, enter with flat palm finger tips first, and pull straight down the side of the body with elbow slightly bent).  But boy was it worth it!  My middle aged shoulders don't hurt at ALL now, and I swim 30 minutes 3-5 times per week.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: caracarn on December 20, 2018, 01:56:59 PM
Interesting thread for sure.

In my late 40's and I started using basic readers for really small text this summer.  I felt it was the beginning of the end for my excellent eyesight.  My wife who had had glasses her whole life said I need to calm down, as eyes do not change that quickly and that if I made it this late in life without needing actual glasses it is likely that all I will need it over the counter readers.  I still have no issue for normal size text (10-12 point printed on paper) and can read much smaller fine, it is just once it gets below 8 or is on a non-white background.

I started losing my hair in high school and looked like your typical 60 year old with the halo of hair by the time I got out of college, so have had that change for decades and it has stayed the same, so guessing my hair will stick around where it is until the end.  Maybe not.  I shave it pretty short anyway, so not really something that has ever bothered me.  It's nice not being vain I guess.

Been focused on losing weight over the last few years and made some real progress in the last six months (down about 20 pounds from my heaviest and still pressing on) and that has helped with aches and pains.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Rimu05 on December 26, 2018, 01:41:13 PM
Damn, this thread has made me think I need to go back to Kenya after forty. I certainly hope I get the favorable genetics of my great grandparents. My family so far hasn't been prone to any diseases and those in the village seem to outlive those in the city. My great grandmother at 96 is genuinely healthier than a lot of people I have seen here in America in their fifties.

Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Cassie on December 26, 2018, 03:41:55 PM
I bet itís because they donít eat any processed food and grow what they eat.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: mspym on December 26, 2018, 07:04:06 PM
"Slowly over time and then all at once"
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on December 28, 2018, 03:31:02 AM
Everything declines. It's pretty simple. You won't have the sight, hearing or taste that you had at 20. You won't have the muscle mass, the ability to create muscle mass or the recovery time that you had at 20. Your joints won't be as flexible. Your healing will be substantially impacted. And that's if you're lucky.

If I could suggest one things that younger folk should concentrate on, having seen a LOT of older folk and the problems they have, it's BALANCE. Do activities that promote good balance, activities that exercise the little support muscles around joints that gym activities don't touch. Things like tai chi or pilates. If you lose your balance, you lose your independence. Everything else can be managed. Not balance.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: koshtra on December 28, 2018, 01:23:09 PM
Everything declines. It's pretty simple. You won't have the sight, hearing or taste that you had at 20. You won't have the muscle mass, the ability to create muscle mass or the recovery time that you had at 20. Your joints won't be as flexible. Your healing will be substantially impacted. And that's if you're lucky.

If I could suggest one things that younger folk should concentrate on, having seen a LOT of older folk and the problems they have, it's BALANCE. Do activities that promote good balance, activities that exercise the little support muscles around joints that gym activities don't touch. Things like tai chi or pilates. If you lose your balance, you lose your independence. Everything else can be managed. Not balance.

+1

As the vestibular system decays, and reaction time slows, it's likely that you'll be farther overbalanced, by the time you realize it, than when you were younger, so you need (if anything) stronger little support muscles, and also as much general strength as you can hang on to. Once you have overbalanced, what will save you is being strong enough to catch yourself, or at least take a semi-controlled fall. I'm a big fan of free-weight or body-weight exercises (as opposed to gym machines). Strength does you a lot more good if you can twist and tweak it to meet unexpected challenges.

I make it a point to sit on the floor frequently, and I have rule that I have to sit on the floor to put on my socks & shoes (unless I'm up for the challenge of doing it while standing, which is actually kind of fun, and a good balance exercise in itself.) If you can't get down on to the floor and back up off it easily, you're looking at trouble. It's a lot easier to keep these capabilities than to get them back if you lose them. Stay friends with the floor!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: sonya on December 28, 2018, 02:29:27 PM
Looks like the consensus is being proactive, since you're never 100% what exactly is going to happen. Along those lines, may I recommend the Sonicare toothbrush....I use it twice a day, and spend extra time applying gently to my gums, and am told at the dentist's that I have no plaque and my gums are firm and healthy. (Mom lost ALL her teeth before age 70 due to horrible periodontal disease, and I know for sure I was headed in the same direction at a very young age.)

The basic Sonicare without bells and whistles costs about $25, and generic replacement heads can be bought on Amazon for about $6 apiece. Cheap and can have a huge impact on your health and quality of life.

I also avoid processed carbs, especially wheat, and my diabetes is easily kept under control this way. (Really hard during the holidays, though!)

Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: mozar on December 29, 2018, 04:22:18 PM
I remember Dick van Dyke who is 93 say that he goes up and down stairs regularly. He said that he sees older people try to go down sideways or at an angle to take off the pressure. He said one shouldn't do that.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Roadrunner53 on December 30, 2018, 05:24:53 AM
OzzieandHarriet What do you use: The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.

I have glaucoma and that requires 3 different eye drops to keep the pressure under control. Two are taken in the morning one hour apart from each other and 12 hour later that is repeated again. Then the third drop is used just before bed. On top of that, my eyes dry out and I have to put in OTC moisturizing drops during the day. UGH!

Keeping weigh off seems impossible.

Two grandparents lived into their earily 90's. My one grandfather lived to 110 years old and the other lived till around 65. The grandfather who lived till 110 worked very hard on a farm and they ate natural foods except for the salt cured hams being a bit salty, they ate good.

My father lived till almost 67, mother lived till age 79. Both were heavy duty cigarette smokers. That really ruined their health.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: OzzieandHarriet on December 30, 2018, 06:49:43 PM
OzzieandHarriet What do you use: The first thing that went really wrong was problems with my skin; I developed eczema a few years ago, for which there's no cure, and was itching everywhere. I found a maintenance treatment that is simple and effective but pretty expensive to do (costs around $50/month for topical stuff). I hate being tied to this, but it's preferable to itching all the time.[/b


The Dr. Aron regimen (do a search). Been using it for about a year and a half.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: MsPeacock on January 02, 2019, 11:12:13 AM
A word about arthritis: even good doctors frequently diagnose any mild musculoskeletal pain as "arthritis" (meaning "osteoarthritis") even when any good physical therapist could rule it out in two minutes. They'll also say scary things about "bone on bone" (meaning "you can't fix this with exercise") about joints when it's totally untrue. I'm a big fan of the medical profession but this is one thing they just screw up, over and over, and it convinces people to stop exercising, which is generally a fucking disaster. For it to be arthritis there should be a reason to believe the joint is inflamed, and passive movement should hurt as much as active movement (that is, for instance, if your left elbow hurts, relaxing it and moving the hinge back and forth with your right hand also ought to hurt.)

Don't let someone convince you your joints are trashed when you've just got musculoskeletal discomfort, which comes in a zillion flavors, and much of which can be relieved by the appropriate doses of rest and exercise. Osteoarthritis sucks, and it will probably come for you eventually, but don't let ordinary discomforts immobilize you.

So true - and research is increasingly showing that continued activity and exercise actually prevents loss of function, and decreases the risk of arthritis. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees in my teens (had surgery - I do have degeneration in my knees) and again surgery in my late 20s. Same thing. I've stayed active and my knees at this point - age 50 - are no worse than they were several decades ago. Avid runners are actually less likely to have joint problems that sedentary people. Yet people get told that they will "wear out" their joints w/ exercise.

As for OP - attend a high school reunion and you will realize that aging varies widely from person to person. Whatever your aging will look like depends on genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Even with the best of all those things, "bad luck" can intervene in the form of injury or catastrophic illness (e.g. cancer that "just happens" ). Some lucky folks with the best of those factors will live healthy and happily into their 80s and 90s and past the point where most people have become more "worn out" (for lack of a better term). You can make the end of your life as healthy and functional as possible by controlling the lifestyle (diet, exercise, etc.) factors to be as good as possible.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Daisy on January 02, 2019, 04:50:53 PM
This is not the thread I want to read as my 50th birthday approaches.

But now that I have posted here, it will keep appearing in my "replies to your posts" link. Great...
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: DreamFIRE on January 02, 2019, 07:19:31 PM
My distance vision actually improved as I neared 50, needing lower strength contact lenses year after year.  I did need to start using reading glasses over my contacts for the computer monitor and reading, so it wasn't all for the better.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 02, 2019, 07:32:20 PM
I'm in my early 40s and recently I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease and its attendant hypothyroidism, but apparently I've had that for a very long time, so I don't think that is age-related.  That has been easy enough to treat with synthroid and now my metabolism is much better, which helps with controlling weight and mood. I have exercised at least ten hours a week for years, which has improved my physical fitness to the point where I am frequently mistaken for someone younger than 30.

A lot of supposedly age-related infirmities are actually due to poor physical fitness, so if you get serious about eating right and exercising you can avoid a lot of problems. I was just reading about lifelong runners and skiers who are still in peak physical condition in their late 60s and early 70s. Yeah, there is a genetic component to stuff like that, but most people blame genetics for physical issues that they cause through inactivity and poor diet.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on January 02, 2019, 08:08:07 PM
I'm in my early 40s and recently I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease and its attendant hypothyroidism, but apparently I've had that for a very long time, so I don't think that is age-related.  That has been easy enough to treat with synthroid and now my metabolism is much better, which helps with controlling weight and mood. I have exercised at least ten hours a week for years, which has improved my physical fitness to the point where I am frequently mistaken for someone younger than 30.

A lot of supposedly age-related infirmities are actually due to poor physical fitness, so if you get serious about eating right and exercising you can avoid a lot of problems. I was just reading about lifelong runners and skiers who are still in peak physical condition in their late 60s and early 70s. Yeah, there is a genetic component to stuff like that, but most people blame genetics for physical issues that they cause through inactivity and poor diet.

I see far more people who have used and abused their bodies for decades, and are in for hip and knee replacement, OA and a hell of a lot of other joint issues. There may be some skiiers and runners going strong at 70, but there are way more that aren't. Similarly, there may be builders and construction workers going well at 60 but most have major shoulder and wrist issues. We're not machines. Our shit breaks down. You cannot run and ski at 50 like you did at 20 and expect not to have problems.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: WhiteTrashCash on January 03, 2019, 03:54:38 PM
I'm in my early 40s and recently I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease and its attendant hypothyroidism, but apparently I've had that for a very long time, so I don't think that is age-related.  That has been easy enough to treat with synthroid and now my metabolism is much better, which helps with controlling weight and mood. I have exercised at least ten hours a week for years, which has improved my physical fitness to the point where I am frequently mistaken for someone younger than 30.

A lot of supposedly age-related infirmities are actually due to poor physical fitness, so if you get serious about eating right and exercising you can avoid a lot of problems. I was just reading about lifelong runners and skiers who are still in peak physical condition in their late 60s and early 70s. Yeah, there is a genetic component to stuff like that, but most people blame genetics for physical issues that they cause through inactivity and poor diet.

I see far more people who have used and abused their bodies for decades, and are in for hip and knee replacement, OA and a hell of a lot of other joint issues. There may be some skiiers and runners going strong at 70, but there are way more that aren't. Similarly, there may be builders and construction workers going well at 60 but most have major shoulder and wrist issues. We're not machines. Our shit breaks down. You cannot run and ski at 50 like you did at 20 and expect not to have problems.

It's true that things break down with age, but the impact of aging on the body is vastly exaggerated by terribly poor diet and fitness in 21st century America. The lifespan of Americans has decreased over the past decade mostly due to sedentary lifestyles, really horrible diets, and increased drug abuse (alcohol, illegal drugs, opiates, etc.) Fitness-minded seniors have surprisingly young hearts and bodies. Check out this article: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/older-athletes-have-a-strikingly-young-fitness-age/ (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/older-athletes-have-a-strikingly-young-fitness-age/)

And this article: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/12/591513777/hearts-get-younger-even-at-middle-age-with-exercise (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/12/591513777/hearts-get-younger-even-at-middle-age-with-exercise)

The effects of aging don't have to be as drastic as a lot of people think they are. People can make good choices and live very well into their twilight years.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Samuel on January 03, 2019, 04:43:45 PM
It's true that things break down with age, but the impact of aging on the body is vastly exaggerated by terribly poor diet and fitness in 21st century America. The lifespan of Americans has decreased over the past decade mostly due to sedentary lifestyles, really horrible diets, and increased drug abuse (alcohol, illegal drugs, opiates, etc.)

Not exactly. American life expectancy dipped in 2015 and 2017 (and was essentially flat in 2016). The main drivers were increases in 1) suicide 2) drug overdose and 3) chronic liver disease, all primarily among men. Americans have been fat and lazy for a while now. What has recently changed is the level of despair in this country.

Which I point out not to undercut the emphasis on diet and exercise but to emphasize the importance of attending to mental health and emotional resiliency as we age.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on January 03, 2019, 05:42:26 PM
I'm in my early 40s and recently I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease and its attendant hypothyroidism, but apparently I've had that for a very long time, so I don't think that is age-related.  That has been easy enough to treat with synthroid and now my metabolism is much better, which helps with controlling weight and mood. I have exercised at least ten hours a week for years, which has improved my physical fitness to the point where I am frequently mistaken for someone younger than 30.

A lot of supposedly age-related infirmities are actually due to poor physical fitness, so if you get serious about eating right and exercising you can avoid a lot of problems. I was just reading about lifelong runners and skiers who are still in peak physical condition in their late 60s and early 70s. Yeah, there is a genetic component to stuff like that, but most people blame genetics for physical issues that they cause through inactivity and poor diet.

I see far more people who have used and abused their bodies for decades, and are in for hip and knee replacement, OA and a hell of a lot of other joint issues. There may be some skiiers and runners going strong at 70, but there are way more that aren't. Similarly, there may be builders and construction workers going well at 60 but most have major shoulder and wrist issues. We're not machines. Our shit breaks down. You cannot run and ski at 50 like you did at 20 and expect not to have problems.

It's true that things break down with age, but the impact of aging on the body is vastly exaggerated by terribly poor diet and fitness in 21st century America. The lifespan of Americans has decreased over the past decade mostly due to sedentary lifestyles, really horrible diets, and increased drug abuse (alcohol, illegal drugs, opiates, etc.) Fitness-minded seniors have surprisingly young hearts and bodies. Check out this article: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/older-athletes-have-a-strikingly-young-fitness-age/ (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/older-athletes-have-a-strikingly-young-fitness-age/)

And this article: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/12/591513777/hearts-get-younger-even-at-middle-age-with-exercise (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/12/591513777/hearts-get-younger-even-at-middle-age-with-exercise)

The effects of aging don't have to be as drastic as a lot of people think they are. People can make good choices and live very well into their twilight years.

Look, I don't want to suggest that general health and fitness are not extremely important, because they are. But even a well maintained body simply won't go into old age without issues. Take a look at animals, perhaps, if the human argument is hard for you to see. Even a fit, healthy and well looked after dog will have joint and organ issues as it ages. There's no escaping it - there's just minimising it. And hardout exercise isn't the answer - talk to any professional athlete or anyone who has lived with a physical job, hell, even anyone in hospo who stands all day! They will ALL have issues aggravated by the high levels of physical demand on their bodies. The average person with the average semi-healthy and semi-active lifestyle will have a decline in all senses, a decline in strength, a decline in joint health, declines in the operations of the organs, their ability to heal and recover will be greatly impacted (there are many medical procedures that wouldn't be done on an 80 year old simply because the recovery won't be good, even getting a blood test can be problematic because of extreme bruising) and they will have less energy overall. The majority of that is related to the aging process, impacted by genetics and to a smaller degree, lifestyle.

FYI, the stats for americans are bad, but they're also quite skewed. The average american weighs more than their parents but is also taller and with more muscle mass. The average american actually isn't a lardass, but there are some might lardasses around who bump out the stats. Your leading cause of death in age groups leading up to 45 ish, male or female, is unintentional injury. The age related diseases start to kick in right around middle age, and it's a race between cancer and heart disease. I'm willing to bet the same is true of most countries, give or take 6 or7 years.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Trifele on January 05, 2019, 05:59:33 AM
My distance vision actually improved as I neared 50, needing lower strength contact lenses year after year.  I did need to start using reading glasses over my contacts for the computer monitor and reading, so it wasn't all for the better.

+1 on the improving distance vision.  I'm 51 and got lower strength contact lenses this past year, and now suddenly I don't need to use reading glasses over my contacts any more.   This is the best my vision has been in my life.  One set of lower strength contacts now works for everything I do.  On a day where I wear my distance glasses instead of contacts, I can just take them off to read with my bare eyes. 

It's weird.  I think this is the only benefit of being born nearsighted, but it's a very nice unexpected gift to discover in my 50s.  Enjoying it while it lasts!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: BicycleB on January 05, 2019, 06:53:47 AM
One theme that emerged in thread was prevention. It is now emerging that there may be significant prevention to reduce risk of Alzheimer's - namely, by treating herpes. I hope this is considered in scope.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100515.htm

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00324/full

"the use of anti-herpetic medications in the treatment of HSV infections was associated with a reduced risk of dementia"
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323439535_Anti-herpetic_Medications_and_Reduced_Risk_of_Dementia_in_Patients_with_Herpes_Simplex_Virus_Infections-a_Nationwide_Population-Based_Cohort_Study_in_Taiwan

Fwiw, my personal plan for health care this year includes getting tested for HSV1 and, if I have it, presumably getting treated. A lot of my family members age by getting Alzheimer's that manifests in late 60s/early 70s... I would like to prevent this!
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Linea_Norway on January 10, 2019, 02:17:30 AM
One theme that emerged in thread was prevention. It is now emerging that there may be significant prevention to reduce risk of Alzheimer's - namely, by treating herpes. I hope this is considered in scope.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100515.htm

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00324/full

"the use of anti-herpetic medications in the treatment of HSV infections was associated with a reduced risk of dementia"
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323439535_Anti-herpetic_Medications_and_Reduced_Risk_of_Dementia_in_Patients_with_Herpes_Simplex_Virus_Infections-a_Nationwide_Population-Based_Cohort_Study_in_Taiwan

Fwiw, my personal plan for health care this year includes getting tested for HSV1 and, if I have it, presumably getting treated. A lot of my family members age by getting Alzheimer's that manifests in late 60s/early 70s... I would like to prevent this!

And is this something you can take, also if you don't have Herpes?
I guess that might become a thing the researchers find out later and might recommend.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: deborah on January 14, 2019, 05:47:19 PM
Worth reading are Nuland's How We Die and Gawande's Being Mortal. Neither text exactly addresses your question, but I found them both useful for thinking about & planning for the endgame.
These are an excellent suggestion. Thanks! I ordered both from my library and am currently reading ďBeing MortalĒ.

While I disagree with a number of the things he says (daughters who cared for their parents were rarely left anything, for instance, unlike his rosy eyed view), this talks about the normal progression in aging, and is making me think more about how to cope with the progressive decline in my parents (unfortunately, this is increasing, and Iím noticing new things every time I visit, even though I have been there three times since the middle of December).

ďHow we dieĒ will be next.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: LinneaH on January 15, 2019, 09:39:59 PM
Ptf and to reply at computer later
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: koshtra on January 16, 2019, 10:02:04 AM
While I disagree with a number of the things he says (daughters who cared for their parents were rarely left anything, for instance, unlike his rosy eyed view), this talks about the normal progression in aging, and is making me think more about how to cope with the progressive decline in my parents (unfortunately, this is increasing, and Iím noticing new things every time I visit, even though I have been there three times since the middle of December).

Heh. Yes, and Gawande seems only intermittently aware that not everyone makes the salary of a doctor at Yale-New Haven hospital :-) I really liked the succinctness though of "we prefer safety for our loved ones, and autonomy for ourselves" (or however exactly he puts it.)
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: DK on January 17, 2019, 07:51:03 AM
https://www.amazon.com/Longevity-Solution-Dr-Jason-Fung/dp/1628603798

looking forward to this one when it comes out.
Title: Re: How do people age?
Post by: Laura33 on January 17, 2019, 01:40:14 PM
The reality is that almost none of this stuff comes on "suddenly."  Every day when we use our bodies and minds, we are making hormones and moving muscles and bones and ligaments and tendons and firing neurons and all of that.  And if something is a little bit off, it maybe scrapes a teeny bit, or leaves some hormonal need just slightly undersatisfied.  And that accumulates over the course of your life, until at some point it reaches critical mass and you notice it.  Things that I have had "suddenly" go wrong between 40-50:

-- Eyesight:  all of a sudden I need reading glasses.  Except when I finally gave in, I realized my arms had been getting shorter and shorter for a while now; it was just so slow that I didn't notice it.
-- Joints:  I started having knee problems.  Turns out I don't walk "properly," and so my kneecap doesn't follow the right path and has worn down the cartilage and caused a lot of inflammation and pain.  And my rotator cuff:  turns out that when I hurt it in college, I really should have gone to a doctor, because now my lats and pecs have learned to compensate, and that has caused all sorts of other issues.  Oh, and best of all, my back:  I apparently have a curve in my back -- not scoliosis, just years of bad posture.  So now I can't run, because my back seizes up.
-- Hormone stuff:  menopause hits in ways that you might not even expect.  The change in those hormones in your body can affect other hormone levels and body processes, too.  In addition to the obvious/much-talked-about symptoms, over the past @2 years my blood pressure has shot up (from 90/60 to 110/75) and my cholesterol has suddenly spiked over 200.  Same diet (if not better), same exercise (if not more).
-- Teeth:  all of a sudden I had gingivitis and cracked a tooth and needed a crown.  Except the gingivitis was from decades of absolutely hating flossing, and the crown was because I have been grinding my teeth at night for years. 

IOW, you can probably guess for yourself where your problems may be.  Your 40s and 50s are when all your bad habits start to come home to roost.  So do what you can to take care of yourself:

-- Maintain flexibility and balance.  Yoga, stretching, whatever.  It sounds stupid, but I always put one shoe on while standing on the other leg, just to test my balance.
-- Maintain strength.  I was stunned when I couldn't do a cartwheel a few years ago -- I mean, I ran and did cartwheels and handstands and everything as a kid, but then I tried for the first time in years, and my arms couldn't hold me up.  When did that happen? 
-- Remember that your heart is a muscle too.  Get your heartrate up on a regular basis.
-- Eat better foods.  As the coach at my gym says, be a grownup, do it because you have to.
-- Go to the doctor and dentist regularly.  Many of the physical/hormonal changes come with no definable symptoms, so you will find out you have a problem only if they do a blood test.  And for the love of Pete, get mammograms and colonoscopies and all of those icky things we all love to avoid.
-- Recognize that you cannot recover as quickly any more.  This is far and away the hardest for me; when I get injured or sick, I hate waiting and waiting for things to get better and usually push things too quickly.  But when something goes wrong, your body needs rest to recover.  So suck it up and rest.  [I should note that my top goal at the gym this year is "no dumb-ass injuries"].
-- Continue to push yourself to try new things.  Just as our bodies calcify when we don't use them, our brains do the same thing when we do the same thing over and over and over.  Ruts are death.  Take a class, try something just because you know you'll be bad at it, fix a leaky faucet yourself, face down a fear, learn everything you can about an issue that interests you, etc. -- the "what" doesn't matter.

All of these things may or may not lengthen your life.  But they will certainly improve the quality of whatever time you have.

Finally, and less specifically: accept your limitations and focus on what you can do instead of what you can't.  This is the time of life where it is easy to get down on yourself, because when all these things start going wrong, you realize that you're not as [insert adjective here] as you used to be, and that things are only going to get worse, and from there it's just a hop-skip-and-a-jump to life-sucks-and-then-you-die.  Listen to me when I say:  that is all bullshit.  You can do more than you think you can.  You know that cartwheel I failed at?  Well, it sent me to CrossFit, and now I can lift more than I could in college.  I've been a lawyer for 25+ years and learned an entirely new area of law for my job.  My boss gave me a nameplate for my office that says "unfuckwithable."  Yeah, I've lost some things, but I've gained a lot more.  I am way more of a badass now than I ever was in my youth.

That is why you need to push yourself to try new things: because it forces you to realize that you are capable and strong.  And then maybe you'll spend less time on message boards fretting about all of the parade of horribles that are going to come your way as you get older.  ;-)