Certain physical and mental changes are normal as you age. Even so, you may find yourself asking, “Am I just getting older, or should I be concerned about my health?” While it never hurts to call your physician when you’re concerned about an ailment, knowing what to expect as you get older will help ease your mind and reduce stress. It can also help you enjoy a healthier body and mind as you’ll be able to be more proactive at preventing or delaying these common signs of aging.
Taste Buds Decrease
You were born with nine thousand taste buds that work with your sense of smell to detect tastes. As you near 40 or 50, your taste buds decrease, and those that do remain shrink and lose mass. Beyond 60, you may begin to lose your sense of taste entirely or, at the very least, have a difficult time differentiating between sweet, salty, sour, and bitter foods.
Though the exact cause of this decline in the taste buds is not known, it likely has something to do with how frequently these sensory cells must regenerate. Normally, the tastes buds replace themselves every one to two weeks. With age, though, the taste buds may be less capable of regenerating and result in fewer taste buds and a dulled sense of taste.
The real concern, however, is the impact this change has on your nutrition. Many older individuals may find themselves eating less simply because food does not have the same draw it once did. There may not be a great deal you can do to offset, but you can pay close attention to what and how much you are eating and attempt to eat a balanced diet as much as possible.