Most people in our society believe that physical and mental decline are inevitable as we age. It is common to hear well meaning family, friends, and even physicians say that we’d “better get used to chronic pain, fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, etc. because you’re getting older”. (Pick your symptom to fill in the blank.) Anti-aging medicine is a medical specialty based on the fact that the physical and mental degeneration commonly attributed to aging is preventable and, in many cases, even reversible. With the help of a knowledgeable doctor, one can optimize their health through nutrition, exercise, detoxification, hormonal balancing, and other anti-aging therapies.
Drug companies, insurance companies, and conventional medicine often label the treatment of the broad category of imbalances attributed to “aging” an unnecessary luxury. This reasoning ignores the important role that quality of life plays in a person’s health. With the advances in integrative medicine it is possible for everyone to feel great long into their Golden Years.
Things that you can do to slow the aging process and improve your quality of life include:
• Remember that you are what you eat! Avoid tobacco, alcohol, soda, sugar, and hydrogenated oil. These substances strongly promote systemic inflammation and damage DNA. We are designed to eat fresh fruits and veggies, grass fed meats, raw nuts, and naturally occurring fats such as extra virgin olive and coconut oil.
• Move your body every day. Daily exercise is essential to health. Muscle contraction moves our immune cells through the lymphatic system. High intensity, low duration exercise has been shown to naturally increase growth hormone, testosterone, and other hormones that repair damaged tissue.
• Minimize stress. Chronic stress promotes the production of oxygen free radicals and excessive fight or flight hormones like adrenalin. It is important to take time every day for yourself to do activities that you enjoy. Get out of toxic relationships! Eat regular meals and take breaks at work.
• Sleep at least 8 hours per night! Adequate, restful sleep is absolutely essential for the production of human growth hormone, the substance our body uses to repair damaged tissues. If you are having trouble getting enough sleep, try blacking out your windows and removing electronic devices from your bedroom.
• Stay in tune with your body. If you notice symptom such as
chronic fatigue, weight gain, loss of sleep, low libido, hot flashes, or depression, realize that although most consider these to be the norm “for your age”, you can take an active role in preventing or erasing these symptoms from your reality. Visit an anti-aging specialist to discuss personalized treatments for optimizing your long-term health.
Dr. Javier Manrique is a Naturopathic Physician and board certified chelation therapist. He specializes in integrative medical therapies aimed at preventing and reversing age related disease and degeneration.