I am no longer a fresh-faced, young 27 year old graduate embarking on a career in health care. So I feel I can write about aging having done some of it for the last few decades.
After having worked with thousands of patients, I have discovered that aging, although it happens to all of us, doesn’t happen the same way for everyone. And our genes have less to do with aging than anything else. It’s surprising to me how much genetics are put forward as the most important factor in aging.
Aging is blamed for much of the suffering in our lives. The reason why aging is put forward for many health problems is because it happens at the same time as we lose our capacity to self-regulate.
Brain-body communication is the key for vital health and if it can be maintained and improved in one’s life, health can improve as we age. The common denominator for any disease or health problem is loss of self-regulation. I’m not saying it’s the one and only cause, but without self-regulation, the body has a more difficult time adapting to whatever stresses one is experiencing.
Why do we lose self-regulation? The body’s internal systems can be disrupted by things like:
- Injuries – especially head injuries
- Negative self-talk
- Engaging with life from a perceived place of powerlessness
- Eating sugar – sugar is not just the cause of type 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis, it has also been found to cause elevated blood cholesterol levels
- Environmental toxins – including prescription medication and xenoestrogens
Being healthy as we age is completely possible. In fact, with the advent of epigenetics, it is understandable how we can influence our bodies to get healthier and stronger in mind, body and spirit and how a diagnosis is not a guarantee.