Unfortunately, it is impossible to stop the running of time. We’re getting old. Modern gerontology claims that this process begins at the age of 23-25. But, knowing what changes occur in the body, it is possible to significantly slow down the age-related manifestations and even in old age to lead an active lifestyle.
Theory of aging. Aging mechanisms are complex and variable. To date, biologists do not have a common opinion about the cause and mechanism of aging. There are a number of theories, partly alternative, partly confirming each other. The main ones are Denham Harman’s free radical theory (Harman, 1956, 1998), according to which aging occurs as a result of free radical damage to proteins, cell membrane lipids, and DNA;
Leonard Hayflick’s theory of cellular aging (Hayflick 1961, 1998) – there is evidence that human fibroblasts can divide only a limited number of times (50 ± 10);
the telomeric theory of A. M. Olovnikov (1971) defines the so-called “heiflick limit” – the limit shortening of the terminal processes of chromosomes, which excludes further division;
the Elevator theory of aging by V. M. Dilman (1958) suggests that in the body, there are biological clocks that count the allotted time of life from birth to death. This watch is at a certain point and trigger the destructive processes in the body.
Thomas Kirkwood’s theory of disposable catfish (1977) States that aging occurs as a result of the accumulation of damage in cells and tissues;
Szillard’s “aging by mistake” theory (1954) suggests that radiation causes numerous mutations in the DNA molecule and initiates certain aging symptoms, such as gray hair or cancerous tumors;
bjorksten’s cross-linking theory (1968) is similar to the free radical theory, but the role of aggressive substances is played by sugars that react chemically with proteins and “cross-link” them together, which leads to rigidity of tissues, including skin, vascular walls, and lungs;
the apoptosis theory of V. p. Skulachev (1997) States that more cells die in the body than are born, and the dying functional cells are replaced by connective tissue;
V. V. Frolkis ‘ adaptive-regulatory theory (1960) is based on the widely accepted idea that old age and death are genetically programmed.
Perhaps all theories have a right to exist, and there is no single mechanism of aging, but a set of processes that are accompanied by similar symptoms. One of the leading causes of aging is hormonal changes, which in turn trigger cascading mechanisms of clinical changes in appearance. Ensuring the normal functioning of the human body is engaged in a complex of hormones-FSH, LH, TSH, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, etc., which are involved in all processes of the body’s life. Changes in the hormonal background can be the result of many reasons, ranging from stress to age. Of course, one of the determining factors is the metabolism-the consumption of high-calorie foods, reduced physical activity, constant stressful situations, lack of sleep, etc.All this often leads to the fact that energy consumption exceeds its costs, as a result – increases body weight. Increase in body weight, i.e. the growth of adipose tissue, which is now considered as one of the endocrine organs, in turn, leads to sometimes irreversible hormonal changes, manifested by severe somatic pathology, for example, the development of diabetes. The functioning of the female body is determined primarily by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which provide both the ability to reproduce and affect the state of the nervous, cardiovascular and genitourinary systems, skin turgor, hair growth, distribution of subcutaneous fat, blood lipid spectrum and bone remodeling processes. Estrogens are steroid hormones that are synthesized through the aromatization of androgens by a specific process consisting of three stages of hydroxylation. Progesterone is a steroid produced in the adrenal glands, sex glands, and placenta, and is a precursor in the formation of estrogens, androgens, and adrenocorticoid hormones. The secretion of estrogen and progesterone is controlled by two hormones known as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). During the normal menstrual cycle, LH and FSH are produced by the pituitary gland. The ovaries respond by releasing estrogen and progesterone, which in turn affect the pituitary gland. Thus, there is a self-regulating cycle called the “ovarian-pituitary axis”.
Age-related hormonal changes with age, any woman inevitably has involutive changes in the ovaries and, accordingly, the hormonal background changes. These changes are based on a sharp decrease in estrogen production with a simultaneous increase in the secretion of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones (LH and FSH) and a drop in neurotransmitter levels (norepinephrine and dopamine). The skin, as a hormone-dependent organ, responds to the slightest fluctuations in the level of hormone production. These changes are clearly staged. Early symptoms include vasomotor and emotional-vegetative disorders. The decrease in the level of progesterone affects the metabolic processes. Its deficiency leads to a slowdown in metabolism, and, as a result, to an increase in body weight. The skin in this period reduced the cell proliferation rate of the nucleation layer, thickens the epidermis, reduces the production of hydrolipidic mantle, disturbed organization of the lipid layers of the stratum corneum. Protein fibers of the dermis, as a result of glycosylation, become RegID, the process of their catabolism and, accordingly, regeneration slows down. Microcirculation disorders are characterized by stretching of the vascular walls, a drop in the tone of the smooth muscles of the vascular wall and desolation of the top of the vascular tree – the capillary network. Dystonia of the facial muscles begins to appear. Clinically, we can observe the deformation of the face oval – sagging muscles of the lower third and hypertonicity in the upper third-the formation of epidermal wrinkles of the forehead, interbrowth and paraorbital area. The skin becomes drier, loses elasticity and tone, and the complexion deteriorates. Mid-term changes are characterized by urogenital disorders, sexual dysfunction, and changes in the skin appendages due to a decrease in estrogen levels. During this period, the above-described manifestations of aging progress. Aggravation of microcirculatory disorders leads to the formation of rosacea and telangiectasias. Atrophy of small sebaceous glands and hair follicles begins, dystrophic processes occur in the connective tissue, the level of acidic mucopolysaccharides decreases in the dermis, which leads to dehydration of the skin. The number of rows of cells in the stratum corneum decreases, the cytoplasm of keratinocytes is uneven, their shape and size are changed. The hypodermic layer in the zygomatic area is reduced and it grows in the lower third of the face. Clinically determined skin peeling, the appearance of senile spots and senile keratosis, dermal wrinkles are formed, the skin becomes flabby and sagging. Late hormonal disorders are manifested by cardiovascular diseases, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. An imbalance of hormones leads to so-called “relative hyperandrogenism”. During this period, the skin can be observed the cellular and tissue atypia, smoothed dermoepidermal connection, reducing the number of cells, increasing the viscosity of the ground substance of the dermis and increased transepidermal water outflow, the degeneration of the protein fibers, reducing the number of active melanocytes in the background of their local proliferation. The appearance of a woman is characterized by flabby and sagging skin with a change in the oval of the face, hyperkinetic wrinkles of the upper third of the face and the perioral area, drooping of the upper eyelid, the formation of dark circles under the eyes, fatty palpebral hernias, multiple senile lentigo and age-related hypertrichosis. Involutional osteoporosis, characteristic of menopause, can occur in the area of the zygomatic bones and is characterized by flattening of the middle third of the face. As a result of age-related hormonal changes, the ratio of fat and muscle tissue changes significantly. Also, with age, the synthesis of thyroid hormones decreases, which can also contribute to weight gain. Hypoderma, previously evenly distributed throughout the body, grows and redistributes. This results in a high risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, etc ..
Prevention. In the prevention of aging, various chemical and medicinal products are used – antioxidants, biogenic stimulants, immunotropic agents, vitamins and trace elements. Biological methods such as calorie restriction, enterosorption, optimization of the level of motor activity, acupuncture and Eastern psychotechnics have been widely used. Recommended foods that are rich in fiber but low in fat, as well as complex carbohydrates (such as cereals). Special attention is paid to compliance with the drinking regime. The administration of appropriate medications and the use of techniques is strictly individualized and is carried out only after a detailed diagnostic examination. A healthy lifestyle is also important – giving up bad habits (use of stimulants and drugs), minimizing stress, and maintaining a reasonable daily routine.