Advances in Anti-Aging Medicine
by Daniel LebowitzRecent advances in understanding the aging process have led to the ability to dramatically lower the likelihood of developing chronic diseases of aging. In some cases, these diseases can be stopped in their tracks—or even reversed. The ability to have enhanced quality of life as we age is also upon us. Aging no longer has to be a long, slow decline.
Scientists have developed an understanding of what makes the body age and how to communicate with the body. With these understandings, we can now tell the body to become a more youthful, energetic and invigorated version of itself—naturally. But how? Let’s look at some of the tools we have at our disposal.
Bioidentical hormone replacement. Through replacing the natural molecules of the hormones our bodies produce in abundance during our youth, we can experience youthful energy, sex drive, mental clarity, fitness, improved body composition, improved strength, better sleep and more.
Advanced nutritional testing and therapy. Each person has unique dietary needs and unique biochemistry. We now have the ability to test for micronutrient deficiencies at the intracellular level (not just in the blood). A customized program of diet and natural supplements can then be individualized for an individual’s needs.
Advanced lipid and insulin testing. Fifty percent of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels. Advanced lipid testing now allows us to look at the size and density of the cholesterol molecules, so we know which ones are more dangerous. Once risk level is determined, an appropriate course of action to reduce the risk of disease can be charted. Similar understanding of blood sugar, insulin and pre-diabetes testing is also often helpful in reversing metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
Detecting and reversing inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the common denominator of all the chronic diseases of aging, and we now have advanced laboratory testing and therapies for the detection and reversal of it. Combined with anti-inflammatory diets, we can use this information to reduce the incidence of heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, various cancers, diabetes, obesity and more.
Telomere testing and therapy. Telomeres—the end-caps on our DNA within our cells—shorten with each cell division as we age. When telomeres reach a critically short length, the cell can no longer effectively divide, which is one of the ways our cells and organs “wear out” over time. However, we have now developed the ability to test for short telomeres and lengthen them with medication, if necessary.
Platelet rich plasma. The platelets in our blood contain numerous growth factors, which coax the body to begin and sustain a “healing cascade”—leading to younger, healthier tissue formation at the region of interest. We can now isolate the platelets, activate them to release growth factors and re-inject them into areas in need of healing or rejuvenation. This is called “platelet rich plasma”, and its uses include facial and sexual rejuvenation, stress incontinence, hair restoration, musculoskeletal injuries and more.
Our knowledge of what to test for and capacity to coax our bodies to express a more youthful physiology has made great strides in anti-aging medicine. With the ability to extend our healthy lifespan and drastically reduce the chances of developing chronic diseases associated with aging, we no longer need to be content with getting older, sicker and weaker.
Daniel Lebowitz, M.D., is an anti-aging physician and chief medical officer of World Wellness Health Institute, in Bala Cynwyd. Connect with him at 610-228-0400, [email protected]com or WorldWellnessHealth.com. April 2015.