There is a new field of medicine, which has examined the research of what causes illness, what causes aging, what causes the decline in physical and mental function. This field is called anti-aging medicine. Physicians practicing anti-aging medicine have begun to offer their patients individualized plans to slow and even reverse aging. Modern medicine will keep many of us alive until we are 100-plus but no one wants to get older with more disabilities. A longer lifespan would be desirable if we are strong and healthy. Approximately 50% of the population, over 85 years of age, have Alzheimer’s disease, and large percentages of the older population have type II diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Living longer with these types of disorders does not sound too appealing. We do not want you to be one of the people whose quality of life decreases because you are getting older. We now know, through the practices of anti-aging medicine, we can alter these dire predictions.
What is the difference between traditional medicine and anti-aging medicine? Traditional medicine predominately treats external symptoms, which primarily have internal causes. In traditional medicine there is some mention of prevention, some advice about diet but little discussion as to the most hormonally correct type of diet for the human species. There is also some discussion about exercise but what kind of exercise and how much is rarely discussed. Traditional medicine does make an effort towards controlling some risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as cholesterol, although there are more important risk factors that need to be evaluated. Unfortunately, more times than not, traditional medicine reacts to losses and crises in health. If you have a heart attack, use clot busters or surgical procedures. If you develop Alzheimer’s or senile dementia, try this medicine or that, even though it probably will not do anything. Anti-aging medicine, on the other hand, works to change the process of aging itself.
Is anti-aging medicine alternative medicine or integrative medicine? No! Anti-aging medicine is “medicine” which combines traditional principles with current medical and technological advances. Is anti-aging medicine the same as geriatric medicine? In a way, it is the opposite. Geriatric medicine helps people cope with the losses of aging, anti-aging medicine seeks to prevent and reverse the losses associated with aging.
This new specialty of medicine, created in 1993 by a small group of forward-thinking physicians, formed The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). The Academy now has more than 8,000 physician and scientific members, and is the fastest growing scientific society in the world today.
Is anti-aging just an expression of vanity; does it just mean looking younger? No. Anti-aging is the ultimate expression of preventive medicine. We want to maintain function on the highest level, prevent disease and maintain health. A side effect of anti-aging is that you will look younger with improved body composition (muscle to fat ratio) improved skin appearance and even possible reversal of hair loss and graying. The primary goal, however, is improved health and well being! The only way to slow or reverse aging is to slow, prevent or reverse the diseases of aging. The diseases of aging include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. If you ask anyone how they want to spend their life, no one will want to spend the latter portion in sickness, nursing homes or intensive care units.
Take the time to investigate anti-aging approaches.