One of the most important things that you can do to ensure prosperity and health in later life is to do everything you can to reduce, and if possible, prevent the degenerative diseases associated with ageing.
Preventative medicine is devoted to detecting, preventing, treating and reversing the symptoms associated with ageing. It is less about extending life than it is about improving the quality of our lives, although it stands to reason that good health and adopting a holistic approach to fighting age is going to support longevity. The advent of preventative medicine has removed the inevitability of physical and mental decline associated with ageing.
Why does ageing occur?
There are lots of theories about ageing. One of the most popular and plausible theories relates to the hormone levels in the body. Medical professionals and researchers alike, believe that ageing occurs when the hormone levels in the body reduce. Conversely, when our hormones are at their highest levels, we have healthy bodies that are resilient, flexible and strong.
So it makes sense that we should do everything we can to increase our hormone levels and to get our bodies into great shape. You can detect deficiencies in hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormone in samples of blood, saliva or urine. Once detected they can be replaced by bio-identical (natural) hormones, which are hormones identical to those produced in the body.
The reduction in these hormones can have a debilitating effect on the way human beings function. For instance, a reduction in testosterone in men can lead to depression, lethargy and irritability. Low melatonin levels are responsible for insomnia and all of the physical and psychological problems that go with not getting enough sleep. The DHEA hormone is responsible for the health of other male and female hormones so a reduction in DHEA can have a detrimental knock on effect in the levels of those other hormones. Replacing these vital hormones can significantly enhance your quality of life.
Supplements, diet and exercise
Doctors practicing anti-ageing medicine are in agreement on the benefits of nutritional supplements, the need to get plenty of exercise and a well balanced, natural, anti ageing, healthy diet. There is nothing new or revolutionary in dietary advice that includes omega 3 fatty acids from cold water fish like salmon, and healthy organic foods with lots of vegetables and the right fruits. Avoid processed foods and any foods that are dense with additives, trans fats and sugar.
As we get older we need to get strength, endurance and flexibility from our exercise regimes. Exercise that includes both aerobic and strength exercises is not only fantastic for our physical wellbeing and keeping our bodies trim but also for our mental health.
Supplements often recommended by anti-ageing doctors include fish oil, indole-3 carbinol, acetyl-l carnitine, resveratrol and co-enzyme Q10. All of these supplements are great for the health and production of the DHEA hormones.
Anti-oxidants are also important because they fight the dangerous chemicals that build up in our body that play a major role in the ageing process. Important anti-oxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione.
There aren’t any health benefits associated with stress but there is much to be gained if you can reduce it. Meditation is great for relieving stress and so is getting plenty of rest. And we’ve already mentioned how great exercise is for our mental health and overall wellbeing.
A stressful lifestyle can lead us entice poor habits. If you’re time poor then your diet will suffer and if you need some relief then you might drink more than you should. The same applies to smoking and drug use. None of these are conducive to a healthy, anti-ageing lifestyle.
Dr Dobie has studied anti-ageing medicine in the United States and is board-certified with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).
Dr Peter Dobie takes a holistic approach to treating chronic illness, as well as providing preventive medical care. Dr Dobie has clinics in Bondi and Pymble and he treats a variety of complex and chronic illnesses.