Aging Is a State of Mind
Sep 02, 2019 07:42PM
● By Janet Lindsay
by Dr. Fred Harvey, MD
I’ve heard it said that age is just a state of mind. “But if that’s true, then why am I feeling so old?” you might ask yourself. Aging is a process that can either be swift and devastating or slow and graceful. I look at aging as an accrual of damage from imbalances in metabolism which can result in loss of organ reserve and present as symptoms of some dysfunction or disease.
In some cases, our genetic inheritance drives our aging. In most cases, however, we are the ones doing it to ourselves, intentionally or unintentionally. For example, cigarette smoking results in damage to collagen and elastin metabolism of the skin and increases the speed in which the skin ages to cause premature and severe wrinkling.
Cigarettes are an obvious source of body damage and thus accelerated aging, and so I bet that you do not smoke if you are reading this, but have you considered some less obvious targets? Many people have been sold a hormone replacement and supplementation paradigm of “better living” through modern chemistry by doctors who focus their practices on “anti-aging” medicine. Although in many instances, the client feels better initially, eventually they begin to deteriorate in vitality because hormones can become toxic in the patient when the underlying cause of hormone deficiency is not addressed.
The hormones treat the symptoms and numbers of lab values, but they do not fix the reasons for hormone imbalance which could range from sleep apnea to lack of zinc. I diagnosed a pituitary tumor in a patient who had been treated with testosterone for a low level that was not fully evaluated by the initial doctor. In the right individual, however, a hormone replacement can be the answer to a vibrant full life. This patient is one in whom we have diagnosed low hormone levels.
We have looked deeper for the cause with comprehensive history and targeted diagnostic testing. The results of the diagnostic evaluation will be used to formulate an individualized lifestyle and medicine program. The patient is then treated and evaluated regularly to assess the response and to assure their safety. Sometimes we find the non-hormonal therapies restore the hormone levels before we intervene, but when needed, they are highly effective.
Some of these lifestyle measures are necessary to implement and critical for success. These include stress reduction techniques. They are important due to the way hormones are related in the body. Excess cortisol production in stress imbalances the other hormones. Exercise is crucial to clear the system and reset many intracellular processes that boost energy. There is nothing like high-intensity interval training to boost my energy and mood! Eating organic is the other critical leg of the foundational health platform that reverses heart disease and prostate cancer and turns on your rejuvenation and vitality genes.
For more information or to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Fred Harvey, call The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine at 941-929-9355.