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Aging Information - Effects on Your Heart As You Age


It's inevitable, we are all going to age, there's no getting away from it. There's no staying young forever, however; it is always a good idea that we learn to understand the effects of aging, especially on our hearts. Aging does have an effect on our heart a long with factors that can modify or speed up aging and even lead to heart disease if not treated.

The first thing you should understand is the basics on how the heart works. The heart consists of two sides. The right side will pump your blood to your lungs so that it can get oxygen and then get rid of the carbon dioxide that is in your blood. While the left side of your heart will pump the blood to your body that has the oxygen in it.

The arteries are what the blood needs to flow through which then branches out and get even smaller via veins and tissue. They become small capillaries once in the tissues of the body. The capillaries and the blood there is where the oxygen and nutrients go into the tissue and then receive the carbon dioxide and other wastes that will be returned to the heart.

Aging can change a lot of things. One would be our natural pacemaker, this is what controls our heartbeat. Sometimes aging can make fibrous tissues and fat form and this can cause cell loss and may make the heart beat slower. The left side of the heart may increase somewhat in size or the hear wall may get thicker with age as well. This will change the amount of blood the chamber of the heart can hold and it may fill slower.

Age can also cause abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation which is a rapid irregular heartbeat, however; these things can also be caused by heart disease and not age. With age the cells of the heart will degenerate a little bit and the valves can get thicker and stiffer which can slow down the blood flow. Heart murmurs may appear due to this stiffness.

There are receptors in the heart called baroreceptors which help monitor our blood pressure and this sometimes will change and become less sensitive because of aging. This is why a lot of older people experience a rapid blood pressure dip when they get up quickly, which often causes them to be dizzy.

The aorta generally gets a little thicker with age as well as stiffer and becomes a little less flexible. This has to do with the changes in the blood vessel connective tissue in the wall. This can cause higher blood pressure and makes your heart work a lot harder.

Even your blood will slightly change as you get older. With age it is normal to see reduced body water which in turn means that there will be less fluid in the actual bloodstream so the volume of the blood will decrease. The red blood cells usually are reduced as well and this is why the older you get the easier it is to feel more fatigued.



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