Are Your Nerves Still Normal As You Age?

January 27, 2024

Our Bodies Change As We Age

Senior Couple

As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes, both physical and psychological. One aspect that often receives less attention but is equally important is the health of our nerves. The nervous system plays a crucial role in transmitting signals throughout the body, enabling us to move, think, and feel sensations. However, aging can affect the health and functioning of our nerves, leading to various issues and challenges.


One of the primary concerns with nerve health as we age is a condition known as neuropathy. Neuropathy refers to damage or disease of the nerves, often resulting in symptoms such as numbness, tingling, balance problems, burning or electrical pain, weakness, or feelings that your feet are too cold. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including diabetes, trauma, medications, autoimmune disease, spine problems, and many other issues. As we get older, the risk of developing neuropathy increases, with studies showing a higher prevalence among older adults.

Other Ways Changes To Nerve Function Affects The Body

Furthermore, age-related changes in nerve structure and function can contribute to decreased sensation and coordination, making individuals more prone to falls and injuries. This decline in nerve function can affect balance and proprioception, leading to difficulties with mobility and increasing the risk of accidents, particularly in older adults.

Moreover, the aging process can also impact the speed of nerve conduction, resulting in slower reflexes and responses. This slowing down of nerve transmission can affect various bodily functions, including digestion, bladder control, and even cognitive processing speed. Consequently, older individuals may experience difficulties with activities that require quick reactions or precise coordination.

Reducing Risk With Lifestyle

However, it’s essential to recognize that not all age-related changes in nerve function are negative. Some research suggests that older adults may develop compensatory mechanisms to maintain nerve health and function, albeit to a certain extent. Lifestyle factors such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and mental stimulation can all contribute to preserving nerve health and mitigating age-related decline.

New Approaches To Correction

While the drug approach (Gabapentin, Neurontin & Lyrica) is ineffective at stopping, reversing, or curing any neuropathy problems, advances in experimental procedures and treatments offer options for managing nerve-related conditions in older adults. Peripheral nerve rehabilitation therapy, nutritional interventions, and taking steps to preserve one’s circulation, can help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing nerve-related issues.

In conclusion, while aging inevitably brings about changes in nerve health and function, there are steps individuals can take to maintain optimal nerve health as they age. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, staying physically active, and seeking appropriate care when needed, it’s possible to mitigate the effects of aging on the nervous system and enjoy a fulfilling and independent life well into old age.

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