An Introduction to Age Management Medicine
Dispelling The Myths of Age Management
Age Management & Disease Prevention The field of Age Management Medicine is fairly new to the medical world. Most people just assume it’s “Anti-Aging” Medicine, which has a sort of built-in connotation of vanity or the quest to live forever. There often ends up being an immediate reaction that it’s not “real” medicine, but a luxury reserved for the rich and famous or people who fear death – or simply fear looking old.
Clearing up the myths:
To start, I’d like to dispel the myth that Age Management is simply a “vanity” sort of medical field. A good place to begin is simply by defining Age Management Medicine. Age Management Medicine is a proactive, preventative approach to healthcare. It’s not simply testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, etc. It is a scientifically-based approach to aging focused on preservation of optimum human function and quality of life, making every effort to slow the process of degeneration of the body that comes with aging.
So Age Management Medicine is not about living to be 120 or 130 years old. It’s about helping you look, feel, and function as good as possible for a long as possible. It’s about enjoying a very high quality of life as you age, continuing to do what you love without becoming increasingly reliant on the care of others – which most of us fear.
The key difference between Age Management Medicine and most other medical specialties is that its approach is proactive. In most fields of traditional medicine, the medical community’s approach is: wait until you get sick, then prescribe treatment. Age Management’s interventions are intended to preserve for the highest quality of life for you for the longest period of time.
Is Age Management Just Prescribing Hormones?
Another myth is that Age Management just means prescribing hormones. While hormones (thyroid, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, melatonin) do play a key role in aging as well as in disease prevention, there are many other factors at play.
If you’re like most people, levels of key hormones begin to decline in your late 20s to early 30s (Note to women: this is way before menopause!). And some hormones, like melatonin, start to fall as early as your late teens. So a key component of Age Management is restoring the hormones that are declining as we age to levels that are associated with the highest quality of life and lowest incidence of bodily decline and degenerative diseases.
So in addition to prescribing hormones, we also do this by focusing on other key areas that affect hormone production or decline:
Nutrition: When you think about it, virtually every cell in your body gets its building blocks from what you eat. There are certain types of foods and patterns of eating that optimize hormone production and utilization.
Exercise: We make personalized exercise recommendations to optimize hormone production and your body’s use of key hormones to burn fat, preserve lean muscle mass, and prevent degeneration.
Lifestyle: Factors like stress and sleep play a key role in determining where your hormone levels are. Both poor sleep and chronic stress (mental and physical) increase the levels of fat-storing, disease progressing hormones (insulin, cortisol, etc.) and decrease the levels of fat-burning, disease preventing hormones (thyroid, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, etc.). We’ll help you optimize these areas of your life as well.
So What About Prescribing Hormones?
Even if you’re eating right, exercising right, and have a low stress lifestyle, you will experience a drop in key hormones as you get older. This is called age-related hormonal decline. Either the cells that produce hormones are dying off, or the enzymes that convert less active forms of hormones to their more active forms, are working less efficiently. This loss is what takes away the look and feel of being young and leaves you more susceptible to chronic degenerative disease. This is when individualized, targeted hormone therapy is used. Optimizing your hormone levels is key in increasing your quality of life and level of functioning as well as decreasing your risk of degeneration, decline, and disease.
The most common benefits of Age Management Medicine are:
- Increased energy and decreased fatigue
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Improved body composition and lower body fat
- Improved sleep
- Increased sex drive and performance
- Maintaining bone density and strength
- Maintaining healthy brain function and prevention of dementia
- Decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious ailments
- Increased overall feeling of well-being – you just feel better!
- Evaluation/Lifestyle Assessment
An in-depth evaluation reviewing your intake questionnaire, your current health concerns, goals as well as looking at your past medical history, family history, medications, and current lifestyle habits.
- Comprehensive Laboratory Testing
Comprehensive baseline laboratory testing determining your current health status, key hormone levels and specific disease risk markers.
- Analysis & Implementation
Your personalized, proactive treatment plan consisting of appropriate medications, nutritional recommendations, exercise recommendations, lifestyle management and any other appropriate medical interventions.
- Ongoing Support & Monitoring
Periodic lab testing and consultations to maintain gains and adjust treatment plan as needed. We continue to work with you to keep you looking and feeling your best.