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What your wrinkles might be telling you about your health

-Jun 6, LUMITY LIFE, Health -

Woman with grey hair and wrinkles

It’s perfectly normal for wrinkles to appear on our skin as we age. Laughter lines, frown lines, eye creases – these familiar marks are all a sign of life progressing. But some people seem to age faster than others, judging by their skin.

Why is this? Well, aside from the differences in people’s facial expressions and the all-important genetics, some people’s excess wrinkles can be sign that their body isn’t functioning quite as well as it could be. If the outside of your body is aging faster, it’s likely the inside is too. This is why looking after your body from the inside out, and keeping your systems functioning optimally, is so important. And as a recent study has shown, we’d be wise to treat some wrinkles as a external indicator that it could be time to clean your lifestyle habits up now.

Facial wrinkles could be a sign of…

What do forehead wrinkles mean?

Do you have deep wrinkles on your forehead? According to a recent study reported in Medical News Today, these wrinkles could be an early sign of atherosclerosis – hardened arteries which can progress to heart disease. The study looked at 3,000 adults aged 32 to 62 for 60 years and discovered that those with deep forehead wrinkles were a staggering ten times more likely to die from heart disease than those without the wrinkles.

How to protect yourself

You can reduce your risk of getting heart disease by eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, giving up smoking and by controlling your blood cholesterol and sugar levels. Your doctor can carry out a series of tests if they feel you are at risk from this condition.

RELATED: The longevity diet – how to eat yourself healthy

Wrinkles can be a sign of high blood sugar

Did you know that wrinkles can be a sign of excess sugar in our blood? Scientists have found that people with high blood glucose look an average of two years older due to wrinkles. The sugar attaches to collagen in the skin, making the collagen more brittle and damaged, which causes wrinkles.

How to protect yourself

Cut down on the amount of sugar you eat, as well as starchy carbohydrates, and increase your fibre intake. Drinking more water and taking regular exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels too. Always see your doctor if you are concerned about your blood sugar levels, who will need to assess you for diabetes.

Wrinkles and blood pressure – the link

A study in 2013 by Unilever and the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands revealed that women with fewer wrinkles had lower blood pressure. Conversely, those with more facial wrinkles and sagging skin are more likely to have high blood pressure and be at risk of cardiovascular disease.

How to protect yourself

Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure. Reduce your salt intake, stick to healthy limits with alcohol and eat more fruit and vegetables to keep your body packed full of nutrients. Try to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Always consult your doctor regarding your blood pressure to have a full assessment.

MORE: What you need to know about your heart health

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Wrinkles as a sign of osteoporosis

Increased wrinkles can surprisingly be linked to low bone density, which can be a sign of osteoporosis. A study looked at 114 menopausal women in their late 40s and early 50s, looking at the firmness of their facial skin and those with more wrinkles were found to have lower bone density

How to protect yourself

Firstly, see your doctor to have your bone density checked and to establish if you need treatment. If you are at risk of developing osteoporosis, the NHS website suggests you take regular exercise and eat food rich in calcium and vitamin D as part of a healthy diet. A daily supplement such as Lumity which contains vitamin D is great for your bone health.

Wrinkles are often a sign of excess stress

Do you know a person who worries or stresses a lot? Do they have deep forehead wrinkles or lines between the eyebrows? Chances are they do. Stress is bad for our bodies for a multitude of reasons. It can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, plus decrease your immunity, leaving you susceptible to illness and disease. If you have these types of wrinkles, it’s time to assess your lifestyle – and if that’s hard to do ou could ask a friend or family member if you seem overly stressed.

How to protect yourself                  

First you need to recognise the signs of stress to determine if you are suffering from it. Are you irritable, overwhelmed or anxious and are you overly tired and sleeping badly? These are just a few symptoms of stress. It can be a good idea to talk to your doctor, but there are many things you can try at home to help address the situation too. These involve relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises and time-management techniques. Dedicate more time to yourself and share your thoughts with friends. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also great for coping with stress.

If you’d like some tips for making exercise a habit, we’ve put together a list. And, if you’re thinking of kicking alcohol for a month, did you know how healthy it is for your heart?

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