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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:49 pm
Throughout life, your body goes through a number of changes that can affect you both physically and mentally. Some of these changes are natural and irreversible, but being aware of them can enable you to make adjustments to promote a more satisfying lifestyle. As you age, you can expect a decline in your ability to hear, see, smell, and taste. Your skin will become wrinkled and spotted with pigmentation, and you will experience an increase in body fat and a reduction in your body size. At about 35, your bone-mass will begin to decrease, causing your bones to become weaker, more porous, and prone to fractures. If you're a post-menopausal woman, this loss of bone-mass is likely to accelerate, which can lead to a condition known as 'brittle bone disease', or osteoporosis (oss-tee-oh-poh-ROE-sis). Your resting heartbeat stays about the same throughout your life, but as you get older, it pumps less blood and takes longer to return to its normal rate after exercise. However, the dramatic conditions of heart attack and stroke are generally caused by conditions like atherosclerosis (ath-uh-roe-skluh-ROE-sis) or hypertension (hi-per-TEN-shun), which can be largely controlled with diet and exercise. Although senility caused by diseases such as Alzheimer's (ALTS-hy-merz) is more prevalent in older people, a decline in your mental abilities isn't a necessary consequence of aging. For more information about these and other disorders associated with aging, consult your doctor.
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