Ages and Stages of Life: Changes and Challenges by Dr Karen Jensen

Friday March 01, 2019

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Ages and Stages of Life: Changes and Challenges


With every age and stage there are changes that often come with challenges and today it seems there are more health problems starting at younger and younger ages. Anxiety and depression are common in people of all ages but today teens are dubbed the most anxious generation and insomnia affects 45% of the world’s population. There is also an obesity epidemic in people of all ages, and there are too many youth who have high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke and memory decline is starting in people as young as 40.


Early puberty is on the rise – researcher have found that daughters of mothers with high levels of phthalates, triclosan, phenols, and parabens in their bodies during pregnancy entered puberty earlier than their peers. These chemicals are commonly found in a broad range of cosmetics, toothpaste, soaps, and other personal care products. Studies also report an alarming trend: declining fertility in women and men.


As the baby boomer generation ages, the population of those over 65 is increasing dramatically and creating an even greater need to understand some of the health issues affecting women and men in older ages. Aging is a biological process that promotes a host of different degenerative changes that result in loss of cellular function.  Some of the most common health concerns of the aging include: aging skin, sexuality, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, cognitive decline, muscle loss, fatigue, insomnia, mobility issues, fractures and mood disorders.

When we look at this list of potential changes with aging, the process seems rather daunting and one wonders where the term the ‘golden years’ even came from. However, preventive programs of diet and exercise and nutritional supplements that support cellular function are helpful in an effort to delay or reverse some of these changes of normal aging. Health at any age starts and ends with the food we eat so the younger we are when we start with a healthy food choices and lifestyle the better. BUT it is NEVER too late to start making changes.


What is going on?  What are we eating or not eating?


There are many different factors that can interfere with overall health and hormone balance at every age including our diet and lifestyle choices, and the influence of the many different stressors in our lives. Not all stress is bad of course, but sustained elevated levels of stress hormones are linked to common conditions such as fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and to serious health risks like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia.

Keep in mind this ‘villain’ called stress is not an inevitable cause of disease, but rather a controllable cause of disease.  However, to control stress and the stressors in our life and environment, we must first understand and recognize them. 

Most people recognize the everyday stressors such as mental emotional demands with work and family, and financial worries but many stressors are hidden from plain sight and we don’t recognize or immediately feel the effects of these other stressors including toxins in our foods and environment, electromagnetic radiation insults, or dramatic weather changes. The negative consequences arise when the number of stressors exceed the adaptive power of the body. It may not be the effect one a single stressor but accumulated stressors called the total body load principal.

One of the most important organs that help us adapt to these stressors are the adrenals glands. As a response to any perceived or real stressor, the adrenals release various stress hormones and even minute changes in the levels of hormones can have significant effect on the body and brain and eventually our health.


The adrenal gland is the most vulnerable organ in the endocrine system for toxins. Such disturbances can fundamentally affect the whole body and physiology and biochemistry. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2007

Text Box: The adrenal gland is the most vulnerable organ in the endocrine system for toxins. Such disturbances can fundamentally affect the whole body and physiology and biochemistry. Journal of Applied Toxicology 2007


One of the biggest stressors we are faced with today is the ever-increasing load of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis that affect the stress adaptive system If toxins in the world today were labelled as poison, we would have a much better chance of avoiding them and dodging the hidden chemicals chipping away at our health and hormone balance.  The problem is that toxins are hidden in everyday foods and water that look healthy and smell delicious and toxins are hidden in beauty products that look beautiful and smell heavenly.  Packaging can be very deceiving, but when it comes to toxins we have to look deeper.


Many of the common toxins are hormone disrupters causing an imbalance in hormone production among other things. A very vulnerable time for hormone balance is at puberty and middle age (over forty) when hormone balance is already changing and challenged.


Everything that we eat and are exposed to affects our health both inside and out.

All of us are living with some degree of environmental toxins in our bodies. Most people don’t experience signs and symptoms of toxicity until they reach middle age, usually around 40. Then various symptoms start to show up. Before the outbreak of serious disease, the body will often warn of a toxic overload with a number of possible symptoms: allergies, back pain, bowel problems, headaches, learning disorders, infertility, thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, insomnia, joint pain, mood changes, respiratory problems, sinus congestion, or skin eruptions.

States of health or disease are, at the heart, the organism’s success or failure at adapting to environmental challenges.” – René Dubos

 “Another major stressor today is the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that is all around us and we can’t see it and most people can’t feel it and may not recognize the influence these frequencies have on our overall well-being.

We live in the earth’s natural magnetic field and from the beginning we have been dependent on this environment. The earth’s magnetic frequency that supports life is 7.83-8 Hz. This frequency is essentially the earth’s heartbeat However, we have created a vast global network of man-made electromagnetic fields, and most of the modern technologies that we have come to rely on in our lives work on frequency ranges that are much higher frequency that the earths ranges. EMR in the radiofrequency range are used for cell phones, cordless phones, televisions, radio transmissions and other modern technology. The human body absorbs energy from devices that emit electromagnetic radiation into our body that strongly affect electrical organs like the heart and brain, but also most other cells. If the discordant frequency is constant enough or strong enough, it will eventually result in changes at the cellular level resulting in disease.


Hundreds of scientists from around the world have expressed serious concerns regarding exposure to EMR devices for years, even before the proposed 5G roll out. Many scientific publications have shown that EMR affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines – most of the guidelines were made over 18 years ago. Some of the increased risks from exposure include: increased cancer risk (brain, heart and other), increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, reproductive changes, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, infertility, delayed brain development or damage in children and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics 2019  confirms the negative effects  of EMR on brain development in young children.


BUT, we all love our devices and for the most part the world has become completely reliant on them for work and entertainment and more and these modern devices are here to stay.


The good news in all of this, is that at every age and stage of life we can become an active participant in our own well-being and that of our family. Choosing a healthy diet such as, or similar to, the Mediterranean diet and exercise, learning as much as we can about how to avoid some of the invisible stressors and doing all we can to moderate the mental and physical stress in our lives will go a long way in helping to prevent health challenges at each age.