Anti Aging Medicine is not only about reversing the signs of aging, it also includes Functional medicine which is a new approach to heal and prevent disease that addresses all ages and conditions. Anti Aging Medicine has redefined medicine in the past few years with alternative treatments that have helped resolve many chronic conditions.
Here are 5 take home points about Anti Aging medicine I would like to share with you.
1- Optimal Health
Just because you are generally healthy per your last check up, it does not mean you are living to your full capability. Hormonal balance, Cardiovascular health, Brain function, and Nervous system all play key roles in your everyday life when it comes to energy and wellbeing. Conventional medicine measures your health in numbers in your labs. If they fall above or below a certain range, you will be assigned a diagnosis. In Functional medicine, doctors consider that if your numbers are offset, it is because there is an imbalance in your body. It could be as simple as a lack of a hormone, a nutrient, or sometimes a food intolerance or a parasite. In Anti Aging medicine we go by “optimal” lab numbers – number you should reach for your Optimal Health, and be best protected from illness. If you’re not reaching your optimal numbers, we have to assess why. We look at all the factors that could potentially create the imbalance in your biology, genetics, lifestyle, and even your mindset. We replace what is missing and take toxins away. Your body can then function as it should to make you less prone to infection or disease, to accelerate the healing process, and to make you feel well and energized.
2. Changing your Genes
Although your genetics determine many of your physical traits, it doesn’t mean your genes should dictate how healthy you will be and even how long you will live.
Even if your family genetics predispose you to certain conditions, especially risk factors for cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure and diabetes, you can prevent them. According to the new science of Epigenetics, you can actually change the expression of your genes if you adopt the lifestyle that is right for you, take the supplements you need, and balance your hormones.
Knowing your genetic profile is relevant, as certain mutations in your genes such as MTHFR can play a significant role in addressing treatment. That is also true for mental health. In families where Depression and Alzheimer disease prevail, focusing on optimizing brain function and mindfulness can prevent early memory loss.
3. How we Assess Your Biological age
Your Biological age is the one Anti aging medicine goes by to estimate how old you really are. Someone could appear to be forty years old (chronological age) but have the internal health of a seventy year old (biological age).
There are markers that are obtained in blood tests and other screening exams, that can tell how quickly you are growing old. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal was supporting the use of eighteen of those bio-markers to determine biological age. Among them are the Telomeres which are a piece of DNA present in each of the cells in your body. Studies have shown that the length of your telomeres is inversely proportional to your age; the longer your telomeres, the younger you are. Amazingly, studies have also shown that lifestyle, exercise, and relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing have the most significant impact on telomeres.
So if you live a hectic American life, eating an average american diet, you may age faster than you want to without knowing it. With foods being enhanced by preservatives, sprayed with pesticides and altered by GMOs, our population is more prone to Diabetes, Cardiovascular, and Autoimmune diseases which are all contributing to premature aging.
Switching to the diet and supplementation that is right for you will help you detoxify those unwanted harmful substances and slow down the aging process.
4. Food is the medicine but…
You can be eating the best organic vegan diet, take the highest grade supplements on the market, but what good are they if you don’t absorb them? Digestive health is one of the most important focus of Anti Aging medicine. Optimally, you want to convert each bite of food and each supplement you ingest into energy that your body can utilize. This can only happen if the foods get processed efficiently and the nutrients are actually delivered to the cells. Your digestive system is a fascinating factory that breaks down foods and extract what’s needed. When its function is disrupted, your cells become deprived and can’t function as well.
The bacteria that live in your gut also play a big role in helping you absorbing nutrients, but they can be destroyed by antibiotics. Whether you have been put on antibiotic medication or have absorbed the antibiotics the meat is treated with, you need to rebuild these colonies of bacteria in your gut.
The other reason why you wouldn’t be absorbing foods despite an intact digestive system is persistent stress. The brain primitive response to stress is the so called “fight and flight” response. That basically means that you perceive a danger or an emergency and your body is preparing to run away and fight! While this happens the digestive process is either put on hold or accelerated; in both cases, nutrient absorption is affected.
5. Redefining Stress
You have certainly heard that stress is responsible for many diseases, and that it can even kill you.
It is not stress itself that directly affects your health, it is how you experience stress and how resilient you are to it. In reasonable doses, stress can actually be stimulating and productive, and in that case it’s called “eustress”, good stress. It only becomes toxic when it is associated with a negative experience in your mind or in your emotions.
Working on your capacity to become resilient to stress is crucial in 21st century life. There are interventions that can make you less vulnerable to stress, such as supporting your adrenals, your thyroid, and taking a high grade multi vitamin. However the best way you can build resistance to stress is to have a better understanding and control of the connection between your body and your mind. There are tools and programs that we use at Evergreen Medicine that target brain health and mind control, and if used regularly can provide transforming results. Patients report feeling less fatigued, calmer, happier; they also have better blood pressure and weight control, less cravings, and better sleep quality.