How to get older healthfully
Does getting older have to mean decline and chronic illness? Will you be condemned to taking packets of neatly organised pills throughout the day for the rest of your life?
Let’s define ageing first
Ageing is a gradual and continuous process of natural change that begins in early adulthood. While people do not become old or elderly at any specific age, 65 has traditionally been regarded as the beginning of old age. The reasons for this are historical, not biological.
We age in three ways: chronologically with the passage of time, biologically according to bodily changes, and psychologically depending on how people act and feel.
Interestingly, while our average life expectancy has increased a lot, our maximum life span has increased little if at all (maximum life span is a measure of the maximum amount of time one or more members of a population have been observed to survive between birth and death).
But what is normal and abnormal ageing?
Pure ageing is the changes that occur in almost everyone who lives long enough. It involves thing like the lens of the eye thickening so we become less able to focus on close objects. Something like diabetes, on the other hand, cannot be blamed on ageing. While blood sugar levels in older people can increase more after eating carbohydrates than they do in younger people, an increase that exceeds a certain level cannot be considered normal ageing.
Inflammation ages us significantly. It is often caused by behaviours such as a poor diet - including especially sugar and refined carbs - gut or digestive dysfunction and stress. In the Western world, most of us have gut problems due to diet, stress, drugs and chemical, and it is one of the major contributors to chronic or long-term disease.
I look at the body functionally, as a complex network of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows me to see deep into the functioning of the body.
I also believe the body has an innate ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of ageing. Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation. For example, I’ve seen plenty of people go from stiffness and joint pain one week to joint freedom and little pain in just two weeks, simply by changing their diet and supporting their digestion with targeted nutrition. Your body wants to achieve balance and constantly strives for it.
The main things you can do to be healthy as you get older are to
Eat a nutritious diet
Stay mentally active
Be proactive about your gut health
We are all genetically and biochemically unique. Because of this, Nutritional Therapy uses personalised nutrition to support each individual and not their dysfunction. It supports the body's normal healing mechanisms naturally, rather than attacking disease and its symptoms directly.
Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of vitality, both physical and mental. You don’t have to expect memory loss, dementia, heart disease, strokes and cancer as you get older if you take control of your health.