Whether it is an illness or an injury, most people believe that healing takes longer as we grow older. Although this is often seen as a mere belief of conventional wisdom, several scientific facts seem to back it up. It has been a known fact among medical professionals that young people heal faster than the older ones. Although studies have yet to be conducted as to why this is, several theories try to give a scientific approach to this common belief.
One of the first theories that aim to explain this one is that published in the journal Nature in 2014. It states that as a person gets older, there is a cellular pathway that is opened. As it starts to receive more signals, it allows certain parts of the body to heal faster than the others. The path is where the neurons deliver the message to the cells that they need to grow in number at an individual pace to help healing become faster. However, when this pathway receives more signals, it gets overloaded with information. Sometimes, data gets lost, and the cells don’t multiply in number as they should.
Another theory that tries to explain the healing process states that it takes time because the inflammatory responses of the body slow down as a person gets older. Did you know that the inflammation of the affected parts is the first sign of healing? It is when the white blood cells are released into the infected area to help clean and disinfect it. As soon as the inflammation subsides, it means that the healing is almost complete. However, it should be a cause for alarm when there is not enough inflammation. It says that the healing process is not as effective as it should be. It could mean that you have fewer cells that are doing too much work than they could handle.
And yet, there are also other elements that need to be considered to be able to understand why older people take longer to heal injuries than younger people. Hormones, chemicals, and proteins in the body could be less as a person gets older. Collagen plays a huge role in the regeneration of tissues in the body. But as a person ages, the body no longer produces as much collagen as it used to when it was younger. Thus the body becomes more susceptible to flesh wounds and cuts.
Older people also suffer from malabsorption problems which means their body is not able to absorb as many nutrients that the food that we eat. These vitamins and minerals could help the body heal. While there might not be specific studies that explain why older people treat longer than the young ones, it is always best to seek the advice of professionals on what can be done to help you deal with injuries. Different factors may come into play, and most of them are beyond one’s control. Start eating healthy and exercise daily to help the body deal with aging the best way possible.