Article from the Huffington Post
Sure we’ve known all along getting older means heading down a path of graying hair, a couple of wrinkles here and there, and maybe losing the youthful physique we once had. We can come to terms with that. But it’s not OK to be feeling the effects of aging before our time.
Here are five signs that you’re aging faster than you should be — and what could be causing it.
You’re more forgetful than usual
You might joke about having a “senior moment” when you forget where you parked your car or miss a doctor’s appointment, but make sure you’re aware if it becomes more serious. No, this doesn’t mean you need to panic if you’ve been a little more forgetful than you used to be. Increased forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, as the brain undergoes changes around the time we turn 50.
But if you start to forget how to do things you normally are able to, don’t feel interested in things you once enjoyed, or if your family members are increasingly concerned about your memory, it might be time to go see a doctor to determine if it could be something more serious.
In the meantime, take steps to keep your memory sharp. Make sure to get plenty of exercise, find new hobbies and interests, and use to-do-lists or other memory aids to help you remember commitments.
It’s estimated that two in five older adults experience some sort of age-related digestive issue each year. Constipation is one of the frontrunners. We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable bloating, pain, and discomfort that accompanies being irregular.
Constipation can be caused by a number of factors, including not getting enough exercise (which many older adults don’t), a number of medications, lack of fiber in your diet, or even certain medical conditions, including diabetes.
Counter this by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, along with plenty of whole grains. Also, keep an eye on how much water you’re drinking. Not having enough fluids can also contribute to constipation.
Dull, uneven skin tone
If you’ve noticed your skin has lost its usual luster and glow, don’t write it off. It’s true that cell turnover slows down with age, meaning a buildup of skin cells that lead to an uneven, dull appearance.
While you may be busy banishing your wrinkles, tone shouldn’t be ignored. A 2006 study found that women with uneven skin tone were perceived to be older than they really were. Plus, a duller than usual complexion could be a sign of kidney problems. Yikes.
Dermatologists recommend exfoliation, either through products like scrubs, microdermabrasion treatments, or by using products containing glycolic acid, all of which can help slough off layers of dead skin cells, revealing more glowing skin underneath. As always, check with your doctor to see what works best for you.
You might write off your red eyes as a result of not getting enough rest or even sitting at your computer all day. But red eyes can also be caused by arthritis, which causes irritating inflammation throughout your body, including the whites of your eyes. Around one in four rheumatoid arthritis sufferers will deal with eye problems at some point.
So if you have red, dry eyes, and also aching in your joints, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor. Remember, early treatment is critical in relieving arthritis symptoms.
Do you wake up every morning with a parched mouth and a dry, even sore throat? If it happens regularly, it could be due to a number of problems, beyond just dehydration. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications, but can also be due to lifestyle factors like smoking, or because of conditions like autoimmune diseases.
But another common and little-known cause could be sleep apnea. If you’ve been told you snore several nights a week (loudly), feel sleepy or even doze off during the day, or have a history of high blood pressure, consider seeing a doctor for a diagnosis.