In the medical field, three important changes are happening that contribute to our projected lifespan. For the first time in human history, our bodies are becoming increasingly resistant to cancer (with the most concerning examples being in lung, breast and colon cancer); we’re also healthier than ever, and our bodies are looking a little older as a result.
The third, and most tricky, change is what some call the “ageist revolution,” in which notions of the self-identity of an individual are shifting for the better. What was once seen as tragic, gothic and dramatic (you know, by young people) now seems more normal, fun and spontaneous. With the rapid pace of technological advances, most everyone (heck, all of us) experiences extreme highs and lows more regularly than ever before.
But what do all these changes mean for a greater long-term life expectancy?
These three changes have a lot to do with it. But, as you may expect, what happens to me will never mean that for you.
Even though I can’t understand why anyone is overweight, my kid sister will have to deal with a “perfect storm” of constant health issues, a complication from giving birth that will happen repeatedly in her lifetime, numerous contusions and abrasions from pregnancy and cervical cysts, cysts and infections from birth to seven years old. So it doesn’t matter that our mother and she want the exact same thing for our own kids — she is the one who gets the disease.
People with Type 1 diabetes, often diagnosed at birth and without diagnosis or therapy until adolescence, endure lifelong and severe complications, as well as long-term disability. Adolescents who develop Type 2 diabetes often say they didn’t know they were healthy, so it’s impossible to measure how impactful this is. It isn’t just a vicious cycle in which disease damages the body and sets up an autoimmune cycle; rather, diabetes is a serious health condition that children who get it grow up with, have immediate effects on their ability to study, parent and grow up to lead a happy and healthy life.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated for its immediate effects and diabetes is classified as adult onset. So the only option is for the child to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment before it completely affects his or her life.
A new way of approaching hemophilia is to raise the quality of blood and not quantity, by developing a passive blood-thinning medication and making real, realistic research concerning reducing a person’s blood-thinning burden. This will also hopefully slow the pace at which they go blind from blood clots.
It is obvious that one can’t escape the long-term health consequences of disease once they’re already sick. But, with each case of a human becoming ageist, the scope of people’s affections widens.
How is it that in these four separate diseases, biological changes are able to contribute to length of life and also accompany old age?
Many good things can occur in your own life, but unlike the physical changes that occur with the lifetime of your body, there are no biological warnings. You’ll feel old all of the time. You just have to adapt to that.
You have an endless amount of stages to go through in life and each one will feel different. Your story will change and you’ll have to adapt with that, as well.
Much of the science behind aging is now kept secret. The science behind the genetic ages of the human race, for example, has never been published in medical journals. However, things are changing and if you peruse the net for articles that have been published about aging and world-ending viruses, there is one writing that deserves your attention. It’s called “A Memento Mori” by Brian Oldaker. It’s a history of our bodies over 400 years and places humans in the age of evolution to evolve past all the ageism — and its most modern manifestation of an ageist revolution — that has existed in our history.
So, find something that you love doing and are passionate about, put in the time and the effort. When you’re older, you’ll appreciate the things you loved and missed the most when you die. And that, at its core, is a wonderful place to be.
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