Defying age well

HORMONES & MEDICINES

Defying age well

In all probability, you would have come across the term anti-ageing numerous times – guised in the form of lotions, creams or spa treatments, offering miraculous cures to the many problems of the ageing bodies. The word is literally all over the place, but what does it really mean? ‘Anti-ageing treatment’ is about maintaining one’s youth in the form of beauty and health. This implies that one has to take care one’s internal and external facets.

What about the ‘medical’ part? Anti-ageing treatment is a scientific and medical (allopathic) approach to maintaining one’s health and beauty. It’s just not about ‘anti-wrinkle creams’. Anti-ageing medicine is a holistic approach to treat the person’s body and mind, preventing and treating illnesses.

Traditional allopathic medicine has been limited to health repair and not care. However, anti-ageing medicine is a revolutionary approach to traditional allopathic medicine. It uses conventional medical and scientific tools along with knowledge, while integrating good lifestyle practices. Lifestyle factors include nutritious diets, physical exercise and stress management, to create a holistic, preventive and therapeutic approach to overall wellbeing.

Holistic approach

Anti-ageing treatment also incorporates aesthetic medicine for the external body. It attempts to understand and treat common ailments, ranging from superficial ageing appearance to weight gain, to irritable conditions concerning women such as menstruation, fertility, menopause, life-threatening diseases such as heart ailments and osteoporosis. Anti-ageing treatment also aims to treat conditions such as andropause, secondary erectile dysfunction and low libido affecting men.

Nevertheless, we still end up buying creams and lotions, which promote anti-ageing. Beauty of our youth comes from within, which means it’s important for us to look ‘inside’ our bodies. Furthermore, the fountain of youth is our hormones - chemical substances produced by special parts of the body called glands. Flowing through the blood into various body parts, these hormones act as managers optimising the appearance and functions of our body.

Replacing the hormones prevents the external and internal changes in our body, which is termed as ageing; they allow us to maintain the glory of our youth.

Major hormones include insulin, thyroid, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, melatonin and the growth hormone (somatotropin). Hormones have many functions in our body. For example - a deficiency of the thyroid hormone can result in thinning hair, dry and wrinkled skin, slow growing and brittle nails, sluggish metabolism, low energy, weight gain, constipation as well as cholesterol imbalances.

As we age, our glands start producing smaller quantities of hormones, resulting in changes in our internal bodily functions as well as our external appearance. Each of these hormones contributes to our internal wellbeing and external appearance. Replacing the hormones allow us to maintain our beauty and health.  But isn’t this Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)? Doesn’t HRT cause stroke, cancer and heart disease? Yes, animal-sourced HRT does cause health problems.

However, what we are looking for is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). These hormones are derived from plants, altered to be identical to those produced by our bodies. Also, these hormones are ‘recognised’ and can be used safely by our bodies. Although a word of caution - BHRT can be administered only by a qualified anti-ageing doctor, and is available by prescription only.

Footnotes

Anti-ageing medical treatment is the process of prevention, detection and cure of age-related diseases. It is gaining tremendous popularity worldwide, being looked upon as an upcoming stream of medicine. Living longer, healthier and happier lives – that is exactly what anti-ageing treatment can help us do.

n Anti-ageing works from the inside-out. Ageing has a lot to do with a person’s diet, exercise, attitude towards life, hormone levels in the body, the amount of stress one experiences and the like. With the use of anti-ageing therapy, the process of ageing can definitely be slowed down. It’s a myth that our hormones decline because we age; in reality we age because our hormones decline.

n Anti-ageing medicine has six basic pillars which include nutrition, physical exercise, stress reduction, BHRT, advanced technology and aesthetics. With the combination of these, along with the right balance of hormones in the body, we can slow down ageing to a great extent.

n The initial step of anti-ageing therapy is to ascertain the lifestyle and health needs of an individual. Fourteen major ageing indicators in your mind and body are checked by specialists. Based on the outcome of these tests, an anti-ageing programme is constructed around the lifestyle and needs of a particular
individual.

(The author is a clinical nutritionist and wellness consultant)

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