As we age, our bodies begin to change, and the hormones that govern these changes are an important part of this process. Hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, affect our bodies in a variety of ways, and the balance of these hormones can have a major effect on how we look, how we feel and how healthy we are. Let’s look at some of the ways that hormones and aging affect our bodies and health.
Weight and Metabolism
One of the most noticeable ways in which hormones and aging affect our bodies is weight gain. As we age, our hormone levels can begin to shift, causing our metabolism to slow down. The result is that we have to eat less and our body stores more fat, leading to weight gain. Additionally, our hormones can also dictate how our body distributes fat, with older women often carrying more weight in their midsection.
Another consequence of aging is that our muscle mass begins to decrease. This occurs because the hormone testosterone slowly decreases as we age, which causes our muscles to become weaker and not be able to rebuild and maintain strength as they once did. As a result, many aging individuals find themselves struggling to keep up with activities they could once do with ease due to muscle weakness.
Bone and Joint Health
Estrogen is an important hormone for bone health and joint function. As we age, our estrogen levels decrease, leading to weaker bones and a decreased ability to absorb calcium. This can lead to numerous bone and joint problems, such as osteoporosis and arthritis, which can cause pain and decrease mobility. Additionally, decreased estrogen levels in older women can lead to an increased risk of developing uterine, cervical, and breast cancer.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a popular treatment for those experiencing negative changes due to the hormonal changes caused by aging. HRT supplements the body’s naturally declining hormone levels and can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with aging, including decreased sex drive, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. Additionally, taking HRT can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, as well as potentially slowing the aging process and improving overall health.
Hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, play a major role in our bodies and how they age. As we age, our hormone levels can shift, causing our metabolisms to slow down and leading to weight gain, muscle loss, and other health issues. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a popular treatment for those suffering from the symptoms of aging and can help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers and potentially slowing the aging process.