ANTI-AGING MEDICINE—FOR LIVING LONGER AND BETTER
“Well, sign me up!” That may be your first response to learning about Anti-Aging or Longevity Medicine, a phrase now being heard on talk shows and written about in popular magazines. Is it a new surgical technique or a magic pill? Oh, if only it were that simple!
Longevity Medicine describes a paradigm shift in the way some holistic doctors are approaching their patients. There are numerous differences from conventional “preventive” medicine. The first big difference is the amount of time spent getting to know the patient. In regular medicine, there may only be 8 to 15 minutes to review the entire history and medications and perform an exam. In Anti-Aging Medicine, the first visit may last 1 to 2 hours and follow-ups up to one hour, based upon the patient’s choice. Longer consultations are
necessary to gather a very thorough history, and to allow time to explain concepts which are important in an individual patient’s case.
Longevity Medicine also differs in testing and analysis. The usual blood, urine, and X-ray tests can be performed, but the Anti-Aging physician can also order a whole new battery of recently developed tests that can diagnose problems decades before the traditional tests.
For example, if you go to your regular doctor for your yearly physical and say, “My only complaint is that I feel tired a lot and don’t think as clearly as I used to,” then it’s not uncommon for the kind doctor to reply, “Well, Mrs. Jones, the blood, urine, X-ray, and EKG say you are okay. It’s probable you are just getting a little older. You aren’t 30 years old anymore. Are you depressed? Perhaps you could try an anti-depressant.”
And if you asked, “How could I live a healthy, long life?” the doctor would say all the right things like eat healthy and exercise. These are excellent suggestions, but you could reasonably ask, “What would be a healthy diet for me as an individual?” And, “Why don’t I have the energy to exercise?”
Now let’s ask the same question and imagine that you are asking an Anti-Aging or Longevity doctor. What would he say or do, and how is his approach different? “Mrs. Jones, I see you are 57 and you want me to address your fatigue and your desire to live well, not just longer.” After a 1 to 2 hour complete life history and physical examination, he would order—beyond the usual panel—an extensive testing panel to begin the diagnosis process. Let’s jump ahead to when they sit down to review the report of what he found.
“Mrs. Jones, let me tell you briefly all we found, but then we’ll want to educate you about each of the individual aspects. We did a saliva hormone panel that shows you’re estrogen dominant. This puts you at risk for breast cancer. The low progesterone may explain the breast tenderness, insomnia, and edema you checked on your symptom response form. Your testosterone was very low and may be why your libido is low. The DHEA and cortisol levels are low and your fatigue may be from adrenal insufficiency.
“We also found from our allergy testing that you reacted strongly to molds, dust, 3 foods, and ragweed, and even felt exhausted when one of them was tested, so this is a big clue!
“We performed the Cardio Ion Panel and after reviewing the levels of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, we found numerous imbalances that if not corrected, will eventually lead to disease. Your test showed evidence of cell membrane damage and DNA damage and high oxidative stress (“body rust”). This shows that your body is wearing down but you just can’t see it. This can come from the trans fats, pesticides, plasticizers, and other toxic chemicals in our diet, and we’ll want to inform you of possible sources of these toxins.
“The cutting edge cardiovascular markers show you have inflammation in your arteries. I know your cholesterol is normal but your HS CRP tells us there is a problem. Your homocysteine, fibrinogen, LPa and plaque test also indicate we should intervene now.
“The toxic metals test reveals high levels of aluminum and mercury. These could be why your memory is slipping and your blood pressure is rising. Other tests indicate you aren’t absorbing your nutrients and your level of the anti-cancer mineral selenium is very low, as well as your levels of magnesium and calcium.
“We found these things on your laboratory tests, but the important thing, Mrs. Jones, is to help you to know what to do with this information.”
Armed with a clear-cut report card of her body’s systems, Mrs. Jones is able to know what needs addressing in her individual case and can confidently take steps to correct her problems. Longevity Medicine can genuinely boost her quality of life—in ways she can feel long before she’s old!
If you would like more information about Longevity Medicine as practiced at The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, please call our Center at (843) 572-1600.
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