Why Do We Grow Old?

Why Do We Grow Old?

The process of aging is an inevitable process. At any rate, the modern medicine has not invented yet a really effective tool of the prevention of aging. At the same time, it should be pointed out that the process of aging is quite controversial and views on the essence of aging vary consistently. On the one hand, there is a strong belief that aging is a natural process and people grow old and eventually die in terms of this natural process, i.e. aging eventually results in death of people. On the other hand, there is a view, according to which aging is rather an abstract concept that has little in common with medical science and people grew older and eventually die not in the result of their age but mainly in the result of other, objectively existing factors that cause the death of people, such as various diseases. In such a situation, it is important to find out why people do aging and whether this process determined by the age proper and, therefore, is irrevocable, or probably this process is caused by other factors, such as diseases, and, therefore, can be prevented or, at least, controlled.
First of all, it should be said that the views on aging varies because of the lack of the agreement on the essence of this process. To put it more precisely, on the one hand, it is possible to view the process of aging as an irrevocable process which is accompanied by a significant deterioration of the health of people and eventually results in their death. In such a context, people grow older simply because they are predetermined from the moment of their birth to grow older and eventually die. In this respect, findings of the modern medicine do not fully deny this concept, which regards aging as a natural process leading to the death of people from “age” or “natural causes”, the concepts which are denied by the official medicine since they are excluded from the ICD list (Hayflick and Moody, 2002). However, the contemporary medicine and science, especially research in the field of genetics, reveal the fact that the lifetime of human beings is limited genetically and, basically, the expectancy of human life should not exceed 120 years. In other words, it is possible to estimate that humans are condition to live for a definite period of life which they cannot physically exceed. Consequently, people are aging because this process is genetically or naturally predetermined.
At the same time, such a view on the process of aging evokes a strong opposition from the part of many specialists (Grey, 2002) since aging is accompanied by biological processes which influence the physiological state of an individual. In such a context, the process of aging cannot lead to the death of a person and, what is more, natural factors cannot influence the aging of a person. Instead, aging is considered to be the process that is determined by such factors as diseases and physiological changes that take place in the human organism. What is meant here is the fact that as an individual is aging his or her body is susceptible to changes leading to the aging and death of an individual. In this respect, it should be said that these changes really produce a determinant impact on the state of the health of people.
In such a situation, another question arises: whether these changes are natural, i.e. irrevocable, or provoked by factors that are not essential and can be prevented. In this respect, it should be said that many diseases that people acquire in the course of their life as they grow older are provoked by the lifestyle and habits of people. For instance, a sedative lifestyle can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases which, in their turn, can deteriorate consistently physiological state of an individual, limit his or her activity, and change his or her lifestyle completely. Or else, such habits as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to serious changes and deterioration of health of people, but these problems are provoked by factors, i.e. smoking and alcohol consumption, that are not natural but are rather the result of habits of people. In such a context, it is hardly possible to estimate that aging, which is accompanied by development of various diseases that eventually lead to the death of an individual, is a natural, irrevocable process. In stark contrast, various diseases can be cured while people can get rid of dangerous habits.
However, in conclusion, it should be said that the view on the process of aging as the process determined by factors that are provoked by diseases and lifestyle of people cannot really explain the outcome of the process of aging – death. If aging and, therefore, death were determined by diseases only, people could have lived for ever, but, in actuality, death is inevitable. This inevitability of death makes the position of supporters of the natural view on the process of aging, as the process naturally predetermined and inevitable, very strong.