Before heart stops, many organs in the body stop functioning

Author : P. D.GUPTA

(Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India.)

Cell is a basic unit of life. We all grow from the  single cell which is formed from the fusion of egg and sperm cells. Those single cells give rise to trillions of cells. Fully grown human body contains about 10 14  cells That means 10 multiply by 10 for 14 times (10x10x10...14 times). These cells group in to organs and organs group together to form systems. All vital organs begin to lose some function as we age. Aging changes occur in all of the body's cells, tissues, and organs and these changes affect the functioning of all body systems before heart stops beating.


All cells experience changes with aging. They become larger and lose ability to divide and multiply. Among other changes, there is an increase in pigments and fatty substances inside the cell. Many cells lose their ability to function, or they begin to function abnormally. As aging continues, waste products build up in organs. Flexibility of the body organs is reduced; this makes the organs, blood vessels, and airways more rigid.  So many tissues have more trouble getting oxygen and nutrients and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. Not only this other organs are reduced in size and weight and become functionless. There is a concert in Ayurveda that every decade in our life we lose or reduced functioning of  at least one organ. Some tissues become lumpy (nodular) or more rigid. 

People’s body systems (cells, tissues and organs) age at different rates  Aging organs slowly lose function. Most people do not notice this loss immediately, because  rarely we need to use your organs to their fullest ability. Organs have a reserve ability to function beyond the usual needs. For example, the heart of a 20-year-old is capable of pumping about 10 times the amount of blood that is actually needed to keep the body alive. After age 30, an average of 1% of this reserve is lost each year. The biggest changes in organ reserve occur in the heart, lungs, and kidneys. The amount of reserve lost varies between people and between different organs in a single person. 

Aging is a slow process 

These changes appear slowly and over a long period. When an organ is worked harder than usual, it may not be able to increase function. Sudden heart failure or other problems can develop when the body is worked harder than usual. Things that produce an extra workload (body stressors) include the following: 



Significant life changes 

Sudden increased physical demands on the body, such as a change in activity or exposure to a higher altitude 

Loss of reserve also makes it harder to restore balance in the body.. Drugs are removed from the body by the kidneys and liver at a slower rate. Lower doses of medicines may be needed, and side effects become more common. Recovery from illnesses is seldom 100%, leading to more and more disability. 

Side effects of medicine can mimic the symptoms of many diseases, so it is easy to mistake a drug reaction for an illness. Some medicines have entirely different side effects in the elderly than in younger people. (The author has his own study and views)