Many of you now reading this are over 40 and beginning to notice the signs of aging. You may have put on a few extra pounds, especially around the middle. You may notice that your energy is way down, stress is up and short term memory is declining (where did I leave those keys?) You may also have some trouble sleeping and can be a bit moody. Of course, it’s also concerning that your sex drive is not what it could be or should be. Some of you have also developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol and possibly even diabetes. You’re probably already on some pharmaceutical pills, but they’re not really helping you to feel better. So now what?
Well, really you have two choices. Number one - stick with the traditional medical approach. This means a yearly five minute exam with your doctor (or more likely the nurse practitioner), a couple of blood tests and possibly a few more pharmaceutical pills to control the numbers on your chart. The problem with this approach is that it’s not working (for you or your friends). Currently, Americans rank 27th in the world in longevity, even though we spend twice as much as any other country per capita on healthcare. In fact, the only thing that Americans rank #1 in, relative to health parameters, is obesity. We’re the fattest people on the planet. So, clearly there’s a connection between what we’re currently doing with our traditional medical care, our weight and our lack of longevity. So, what is your other choice?
Well, there is another approach and interestingly it started right here in Nevada 15 years ago. It’s called Age Management Medicine. In this approach, the patient is encouraged to first go through a full day medical workup and $2,000 worth of blood testing to determine exactly what’s going on metabolically, hormonally and physiologically. Then, the patient is assigned a specific age management program based on the results. The individualized program often includes changes in diet, changes in exercise and changes in vitamins. It may also involve adding supplements or bioidentical hormones, when clinically indicated. This preventive approach generally helps the patient to become thinner, more energetic and more sexual. Age management patients also sleep better, have better moods and, most importantly, they usually avoid disasters like heart attacks and strokes.
Of course, questions have been raised about the appropriateness of the age management medicine choice. After all, it does go against the current medical industry official guidelines. The use of bioidentical hormones has been particularly controversial. However, the medical literature over the last ten years supports the use and safety of appropriate bioidentical hormones, when clinically indicated. Also, remember that hormones are only a small part of age management medicine. The diet, exercise, vitamins and supplements also work to get you into the best shape of your life (goodbye belly, hello abs).
So then the question comes – what should you do now? Continue on the same standard course of pharmaceuticals, side effects and decreased longevity, or the new paradigm of preventive age management care. The choice is up to you. But remember, you can increase your health span – that is, the number of healthy years left on the planet. You can change your aging process. Just choose the right option.
Michael Resnick, MD, Cenegenics