The Ultimate Preventative Medicine

033-001Conventional medicine has always held the belief that aging is inevitable and that the diseases of aging (heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and senility) are a part of the normal aging process.

Fortunately, there is an exciting revolution in science and medicine that identifies aging as a disease process.  The downward spiral of physical and mental decline that we accept as a natural consequence of growing older is becoming recognized as a disease that can be prevented and/or treated. This new evolution in medicine is a culmination of research efforts from distinguished research centers such as Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins.

In 1992 the National Institute of Aging (NIA), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC, began research aimed at improving the quality of life and maintaining health and vitality as aging occurs. The investigators have discovered that deficiencies of hormones (human growth hormone, sex hormones, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones) are associated with the signs and symptoms that accompany aging. Studies at seven major U.S. universities were launched to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of hormone replacement.

The NIA began to focus on various markers that would indicate who was at risk for these processes. The various “biomarkers” were used to determine the biological age of an individual. Some of the primary biomarkers were hormonal levels. The hormone levels are at a maximum early in life and deteriorate with age. Additional biomarkers are exercise tolerance, lung capacity, bone density, memory and reaction time, lean body mass, antioxidant potential, cardiovascular markers, and cancer markers.

The most effective solution of any disease process is prevention, and aging is no exception. Even though many of the diseases associated with aging can be slowed or even reversed in some instances, the earlier an anti-aging program is started the better. This will lead to increased longevity by preventing or slowing the diseases of aging and thereby significantly improving our quality of life in later years.

Age-Management Medicine is a medical specialty that uses advanced scientific technology for early detection, prevention and treatment of conditions associated with aging in order to extend healthy life. Physicians trained in this specialty typically practice as integrative or functional medicine practitioners. To learn more please visit The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

Shannon wants to know: What’s your strategy for healthy aging?

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