What causes people to feel tired in old age?
Ray Schilling, retired physician and cancer researcher
There are many causes why people may feel tired in old age. Below I am discussing the most common ones.
- With aging the blood vessels get more atheromatous deposits. This slows down the circulation to the key organs like the brain, the heart, the muscles, the kidneys and the liver. All of this in combination can make people feel tired in old age, because there is a lack of oxygen in these organs and nutrients are not delivered as efficiently as in younger age.
- Hormones get out of balance. Human growth hormone (HGH) is one of the hormones that drops to almost zero levels in old age. Yet this is one of the hormones that provides energy. Other hormones that are often low in older age are thyroid hormones. A T4, T3 and TSH level should be obtained from time to time. This will detect hypothyroidism. When this is diagnosed, replacement thyroid hormones should be given. In males a lack of testosterone and in females a lack of estrogen and/or progesterone can rob you of energy. Replacement with bioidentical hormones will restore your energy.
- A lack of exercise is often also the cause of a lack of energy in older age. If you exercise regularly this elevates your HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), which dissolves some of the plaque inside the arteries. This will improve circulation of the key organs and supply them with nutrients. Basically this reverses some of the processes described under point 1.
- Mental disease: Older people often lose good friends getting them into negative thought patterns and depression. It is important to spot depression in older people and treat it. Depression can be a source of a lack of energy. But when it is treated with counselling +/- medication this cause of tiredness can be treated.
We cannot stop the aging process. But we can look for causes of why people feel tired in old age. We can treat the causes that were identified and this will go a long way towards removing tiredness in old age.