Keep your body young with natural hormones

It's a sad fact that the rest of our bodies have not kept up with our brains. We're still living in bodies evolved 200,000 years ago for a hunting-gathering society while the society has evolved far beyond. In those days if you hadn't passed on your genes to the next generation and raised them to sexual maturity by the time you reached thirty then you were a failure. In either event, your usefulness in the grand scheme of things had become marginal and therefore there was no need to expend a lot of energy on maintenance. Thus in our fourth decade our DNA slowly begins to shut our bodies down. We begin to lose muscle mass and bone mass. Hormone levels begin to drop. Organ function deteriorates. We're over the hill.

In regenerative medicine we view aging as a slow genetic disease.

Disease - a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms

We can't cure aging. Yet. But there is a lot we can do to slow it down and ameliorate its effects. Your doctor probably tells you about some of these things at every visit - diet and exercise. But we can get a lot more aggressive than that. With modern biotechnology we can even improve, and even reverse some of the signs and symptoms of aging.

There are two ways to treat genetic disease, 1) genetic engineering - replace defective genes with good ones or turn back on genes that have been turned off in the aging process, or 2) replace the end products that defective or turned off genes are not producing or block the end products of aging genes that have been turned on. Medical science has made great advances on both these fronts during recent decades and we expect the progress to continue at an exponential pace. However, for practical purposes right now strategy #2 is far ahead of strategy #1.

A decrease in essential hormones is one of the hallmarks of aging. Our bodies just don't produce as much of them as they used to. Growth hormone, testosterone, thyroid hormone, estrogen, progesterone, vitamin D (it's really a hormone, not a vitamin) and many others are crucial to the regulation of body systems. As their levels decrease our bodies just don't work as well. Without testosterone, for instance, it's really hard to maintain muscle mass. Thyroid is essential for keeping up energy levels. These and millions of other hormonal effects are what keep us in top form every day. Without them we get forgetful, tired, fat, weak, etc.

But this is an area where we can do something. Fortunately the chemical structure of many hormones is well known and they can be synthesized in a form that we can take to replace our own lost hormones. Unfortunately this is an area fraught with controversy, as some people have abused these hormones and damaged their reputations, while drug companies have pushed the use of artificial hormones that caused more problems than they solved.

To be perfectly clear: 1) hormones are only healthy at physiologic levels - the levels you had in your body when you were in your late twenties. Anything above or below that is unhealthy and risky. 2) The only hormones which are safe for your body are the identical ones to what your own body produces – bio-identical hormones. It doesn't matter how they are made, but the chemical structure must be identical. Time after time we have seen that artificial hormones produced by drug companies by making small variations in the chemical structure can produce horrendous unwanted effects - mainly cancer.

On the other hand, many good studies have shown that the use of bio-identical hormones at physiologic levels can prevent cancer, heart attack, stroke, and many other diseases. Your body produces these hormones for a good reason. It needs them to maintain its defenses and to keep itself in good working order. You don’t stop needing them or need any less of them just because you turned 30.

It is not possible to guess what hormones you might need. Every body ages differently. You might be 64 years old and still have normal growth hormone levels, while your testosterone is low. Your 55 year old neighbor could have great testosterone levels, but be low on thyroid. You must get your hormone levels checked regularly just like your blood pressure. The basic tests are easy and relatively inexpensive. The hormones themselves are generic and also generally inexpensive (except for growth hormone, which is, in fact, rarely needed and in any case can be approached in other ways).

A physician can help you to determine whether your body is in a state of natural hormonal balance or whether supplementation is needed. You can schedule a full hormonal evaluation, which will include an extensive history, physical exam and laboratory analysis at Rejuvacare.   Schedule an initial consultation on the home page (the cost is $99) regarding a hormonal evaluation.

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