How Can we Combat the Effects of Aging?


combatting the effects of aging

As we age, we start feeling different in our bodies. Things tend to start breaking down and it can seem like an uphill battle to wellness. There’s no desire to increase our lifespan without an increase in wellness. The goal isn’t just to live longer, it’s to live healthier. We call this ‘health span’. Can we combat the effects of aging and increase our ‘health span’? To operate from the same page here, let’s start with some definitions.

Aging is referred to as the process of gradual physiological deterioration. 

Longevity is in reference to the lifespan. 

Wellness is just being disease-free.

Health span is different to the lifespan. The health span is the period of life free of major disease and disability. 

Everybody is going to have some degree of physiological deterioration as they age. This is an unavoidable part of life.  The questions are ‘how fast will the deterioration happen?’  ‘how aggressive will they come on?’ and ‘how will it impact quality of life?’

Generally, people are living longer, but suffering from one or multiple chronic diseases. Worldwide life expectancy is now up to an average of 73 years, six years longer than it was in 2000. But chronic diseases are also on the rise. It is estimated that nearly four in five older adults in the U.S. will be living with multiple medical conditions once they have reached their mid-sixties. Yikes!  That makes for a painful 13+/- years to live!

The goal would be to have less morbidity, or chronic conditions, as you get older, right? That’s definitely the ideal scenario. 

What are the Common Causes of Death in USA and Europe? 

  1. Cardiovascular disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Respiratory Disease
  4. Digestive Disease
  5. Dementia
  6. Liver Disease
  7. Diabetes
  8. Kidney Disease
  9. Parkinson’s Disease
  10. Suicide (major depressive disorder) 

Warning Signs of These Diseases

Cardiovascular Disease:Cancer:Lung disease:Dementia:Digestive Disease:
Shortness of breath
Chest tightness and pain
Numbness or coldness in the legs or arms 
Persistent fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Unusual lumps
Loss of appetite
Sores that don’t heal
Skin changes such as rash or skin reddening 
Chronic cough
Shortness of breath with little or no exertion
Laboured breathing
Chronic mucus production
Coughing up blood even if it’s a small amount
Cyanosis of nail beds or lips
Memory problems
Loss of ability to do everyday tasks
Dependence on others
Increased confusion
Reduced concentration and attention
Difficulty with planning and organising
Difficulty finding locations 
Abdominal pain
Change in bowel habits
Changes in stool colour
Blood in stool
Bloating and distension
Kidney Disease:Diabetes:Liver Disease:Parkinson’s Disease:Suicide (major depressive disorders):
Changes in urination frequency
Changes in urine colour or excess foaming
Swelling and oedema in legs and face
Muscle cramps
Itchy skin
Nausea and vomiting 
Frequent urination
Frequent thirst
Increased appetite
Sugar cravings
Cuts and bruises heal slowly
Dark urine colour
Abdominal pain and swelling
Loss of appetite
Swelling in legs and ankles
Nausea or vomiting
Tendency to bruise easily
Slowness of movement
Chronic constipation
Hip or shoulder stiffness
Softness of voice
Muscle tightness
Chronic depression
Sudden calmness
Withdrawing from others
Loss of concern with appearance or responsibilities
Threatening or discussing suicide 

How Can these Common Causes of Death be Influenced as we Age? 

As we age, it’s important to make sure to catch these diseases early with prevention. “Longevity medicine” is extending your lifespan, which includes “wellness medicine”, which is to be free from disease. Both of them together are increasing your health span; both quality and quantity. What we really want is to be without any kind of morbidity, without any symptoms, and without any chronic conditions. That should be everyone’s goal in life!

The Role of Geroscience

Geroscience is geriatric science. It’s the science of what happens in our body when we are aging. Geroscience helps understand how aging physiology can lead to disease comorbidity and how to develop effective clinical strategies. In the field of geroscience, the concept is that aging itself is a disease. And this is what the entire field of Geroscience is investigating. It is a field of research that has its own journals and its own departments at universities. They are looking at what is happening with the aging physiology that can lead to chronic diseases. Whether you get dementia or cancer or start getting CVD or arthritis, these conditions shouldn’t be considered as independent diseases as they all have to do with some initial cellular changes, which they call the ‘Hallmarks of Aging’.

Using geroscience and research, as a functional nutritionist I am able to help get to the root of those cellular changes and how they are expressing as symptoms in your body. I have the tools to address these issues, try to change the expression of these ‘hallmarks of aging’ to increase your health span. 

To read more about the “Hallmarks of Aging” and how Functional medicine and Functional nutrition can build your resiliency, click here to read more.

To connect with me on how we can address your symptoms and concerns as it pertains to aging, click here to set up a phone call.


  1. Aghali A, Koloko Ngassie ML, Pabelick CM, Prakash YS. Cellular Senescence in Aging Lungs and Diseases. Cells. 2022 May 29;11(11):1781. doi: 10.3390/cells11111781. PMID: 35681476; PMCID: PMC9179897.
  2. Ahima, R. Connecting obesity, aging and diabetes. Nat Med 15, 996–997 (2009).
  3. Aunan JR, Watson MM, Hagland HR, Søreide K. Molecular and biological hallmarks of ageing. Br J Surg. 2016 Jan;103(2):e29-46. doi: 10.1002/bjs.10053. PMID: 26771470.
  4. Bhaskaran K, Dos-Santos-Silva I, Leon DA, Douglas IJ, Smeeth L. Association of BMI with overall and cause-specific mortality: a population-based cohort study of 3.6 million adults in the UK. The Lancet, Diabetes & Endocrinology. Dec. 2018. Vol. 6. Issue 12. P 944-953.
  5. Bosco, N., Noti, M. The aging gut microbiome and its impact on host immunity. Genes Immun 22, 289–303 (2021).
  6. Bowdish DME. The Aging Lung: Is Lung Health Good Health for Older Adults? Chest. 2019 Feb;155(2):391-400. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Sep 22. PMID: 30253136.
  7. Brown G.C. Living too Long. Embo Report, 2015, Issue 16, p 137-141.
  8. C. Borras, M. Ingles, C. Mas-Bargues, M. Dromant, J. Sanz-Ros, A. Román-Domínguez, L. Gimeno-Mallench, J. Gambini, J. Viña,Centenarians: An excellent example of resilience for successful ageing, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, Volume 186, 2020, 111199, ISSN 0047-6374,
  9. Chang TI, Park H, Kim DW, Jeon EK, Rhee CM, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Kang EW, Kang SW, Han SH. Polypharmacy, hospitalization, and mortality risk: a nationwide cohort study. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 3;10(1):18964. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-75888-8. PMID: 33144598; PMCID: PMC7609640.
  10. Charles P. Lambert. Strength as a Predictor of Longevity: Compelling Evidence. J. Mens. Health 2022, 18(5), 113.
  11. DuGoff EH, Canudas-Romo V, Buttorff C, Leff B, Anderson GF. Multiple chronic conditions and life expectancy: a life table analysis. Med Care. 2014 Aug;52(8):688-94. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000166. PMID: 25023914. 
  12. Fane, M., Weeraratna, A.T. How the ageing microenvironment influences tumour progression. Nat Rev Cancer 20, 89–106 (2020).
  13. Fang Y, Gong AY, Haller ST, Dworkin LD, Liu Z, Gong R. The ageing kidney: Molecular mechanisms and clinical implications. Ageing Res Rev. 2020 Nov;63:101151. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2020.101151. Epub 2020 Aug 22. PMID: 32835891; PMCID: PMC7595250.
  14. Gellert C, Schöttker B, Brenner H. Smoking and all-cause mortality in older people: systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jun 11;172(11):837-44. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1397. PMID: 22688992.
  15. Gómez-Linton DR, Alavez S, Alarcón-Aguilar A, López-Diazguerrero NE, Konigsberg M, Pérez-Flores LJ. Some naturally occurring compounds that increase longevity and stress resistance in model organisms of aging. Biogerontology. 2019 Oct;20(5):583-603. doi: 10.1007/s10522-019-09817-2. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PMID: 31187283.
  16. Gu Q, Sable CM, Brooks-Wilson A, Murphy RA. Dietary patterns in the healthy oldest old in the healthy aging study and the Canadian longitudinal study of aging: a cohort study. BMC Geriatr. 2020 Mar 16;20(1):106. doi: 10.1186/s12877-020-01507-w. PMID: 32178631; PMCID: PMC7077120.
  17. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith T, Layton B,. Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A meta-analytic review. Plos Medicine. July 27, 2010.
  18. Hunt NJ, Kang SWS, Lockwood GP, Le Couteur DG, Cogger VC. Hallmarks of Aging in the Liver. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2019 Aug 7;17:1151-1161. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2019.07.021. PMID: 31462971; PMCID: PMC6709368.
  19. Jan Vijg, Cristina Montagna, Genome instability and aging: Cause or effect?, Translational Medicine of Aging, Volume 1, 2017, Pages 5-11, ISSN 2468-5011,
  20. Jiarong Lan, Yanyun Zhao, Feixia Dong, Ziyou Yan, Wenjie Zheng, Jinping Fan, Guoli Sun,Meta-analysis of the effect and safety of berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipemia and hypertension, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 161, 2015, Pages 69-81, ISSN 0378-8741,
  21. Kanasaki, K., Kitada, M. & Koya, D. Pathophysiology of the aging kidney and therapeutic interventions.Hypertens Res 35, 1121–1128 (2012).
  22. Labib AL-Musawe, Ana Paula Martins, Joao Filipe Raposo, Carla Torre, The association between polypharmacy and adverse health consequences in elderly type 2 diabetes mellitus patients; a systematic review and meta-analysis, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Volume 155, 2019, 107804, ISSN 0168-8227,
  23. Lang UE, Borgwardt S. Molecular mechanisms of depression: perspectives on new treatment strategies. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2013;31(6):761-77. doi: 10.1159/000350094. Epub 2013 May 31. PMID: 23735822.
  24. Leelakanok N, Holcombe AL, Lund BC, Gu X, Schweizer ML. Association between polypharmacy and death: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2017 Nov-Dec;57(6):729-738.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2017.06.002. Epub 2017 Aug 5. PMID: 28784299.
  25. NIH, National Institute on Aging. Geroscience: The intersection of basic aging biology, chronic disease, and health.
  26. O’Keefe EL, Torres-Acosta N, O’Keefe JH, Lavie CJ. Training for Longevity: The Reverse J-Curve for Exercise. Mo Med. 2020 Jul-Aug;117(4):355-361. PMID: 32848273; PMCID: PMC7431070.
  27. Parkinson’s Disease
  28. Prüss-Ustün, A., Vickers, C., Haefliger, P. et al. Knowns and unknowns on burden of disease due to chemicals: a systematic review. Environ Health10, 9 (2011).
  29. Roland Schmitt, Anette Melk, Molecular mechanisms of renal aging, Kidney International, Volume 92, Issue 3, 2017, Pages 569-579, ISSN 0085-2538,
  30. Santoro A, Zhao J, Wu L, Carru C, Biagi E, Franceschi C. Microbiomes other than the gut: inflammaging and age-related diseases. Semin Immunopathol. 2020 Oct;42(5):589-605. doi: 10.1007/s00281-020-00814-z. Epub 2020 Sep 30. PMID: 32997224; PMCID: PMC7666274.
  31. Schellnegger M, Lin AC, Hammer N, Kamolz LP. Physical Activity on Telomere Length as a Biomarker for Aging: A Systematic Review. Sports Med Open. 2022 Sep 4;8(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s40798-022-00503-1. PMID: 36057868; PMCID: PMC9441412.
  32. Shiba K, Kubzansky LD, Williams DR, VanderWeele TJ, Kim ES. Associations Between Purpose in Life and Mortality by SES. Am J Prev Med. 2021 Aug;61(2):e53-e61. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.02.011. Epub 2021 May 18. PMID: 34020851; PMCID: PMC8319073.
  33. Trajano GS, Blazevich AJ. Static Stretching Reduces Motoneuron Excitability: The Potential Role of Neuromodulation. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2021 Apr 1;49(2):126-132. doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000243. PMID: 33720914; PMCID: PMC7967995.
  34. Ungvari Z, Tarantini S, Donato, A, Galvan V and Csiszar A. Mechanisms of Vascular Aging – Circulation Research September 14, 2018. Vo. 123, Issue 7.,cells%2C%20exacerbating%20vascular%20aging%20processes.
  35. Watson A, Chen YC and Peter K. Vascular aging and Vascular Disease Have much in Common. AHA Journals. Aug. 22, Vol 42, issue 8.,in%20vascular%20diseases%20as%20well.
  36. Wei W, Zhao H, Wang A, Sui M, Liang K, Deng H, Ma Y, Zhang Y, Zhang H, Guan Y. A clinical study on the short-term effect of berberine in comparison to metformin on the metabolic characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Jan;166(1):99-105. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0616. Epub 2011 Oct 21. PMID: 22019891.
  37. William Giblin, David B. Lombard, Chapter 3 – Sirtuins, Healthspan, and Longevity in Mammals, Editor(s): Matt R. Kaeberlein, George M. Martin, Handbook of the Biology of Aging (Eighth Edition), Academic Press, 2016, Pages 83-132, ISBN 9780124115965,
  38. Wood A, Kaptoge S, Butterworth A, Willeit P, Warnakula S, Bolton T et al. Risk Thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participan data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies. The Lancet. April 14, 2018, Vol. 391, Issue 10129, p1513-1523.
  39. Xu J, Wan CS, Ktoris K, Reijnierse EM, Maier AB. Sarcopenia Is Associated with Mortality in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Gerontology. 2022;68(4):361-376. doi: 10.1159/000517099. Epub 2021 Jul 27. PMID: 34315158.
  40. Yang BY, Fan S, Thiering E, Seissler J, Nowak D, Dong GH, Heinrich J. Ambient air pollution and diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Res. 2020 Jan;180:108817. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108817. Epub 2019 Oct 12. PMID: 31627156.
  41. Zeng Y, Shen K. Resilience significantly contributes to exceptional longevity. Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2010;2010:525693. doi: 10.1155/2010/525693. Epub 2010 Dec 6. PMID: 21197075; PMCID: PMC3004383.
  42. Zhu M, Liu X, Liu W, Lu Y, Cheng J, Chen Y. β cell aging and age-related diabetes. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Mar 3;13(5):7691-7706. doi: 10.18632/aging.202593. Epub 2021 Mar 3. PMID: 33686020; PMCID: PMC7993693.
Share this post

Meet Linda

The older Linda gets, the longer she applies holistic strategies of diet and lifestyle and the better she feels! Learn more about her story.

More Articles