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Patients

Dear Patient,

Anti-Aging medicine is an advanced scientifically based specialty focused on early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age related dysfunction and diseases. 

The anti-aging model promotes a healthy and prolonged human lifespan.

With that said, think back to your twenties.  You felt great and full of energy, right? Generally, people in their twenties have the ideal levels of body chemistry and hormones.  As we age those essential chemicals and hormones begin to deplete and get out of balance.  Coupled with not so ideal lifestyle choices, these depletions in our bodies lead to fatigue,

Essentially, anti-aging medicine practice strives towards balancing all of the above.  This may include bio-identical hormone therapy, vitamins, supplements, nutritional guidance for a proper diet and exercise. 

 

Understanding Hormones

Most hormones are produced by a group of glands known collectively as the endocrine system. Even though these glands are located in various parts of the body, they are considered one system because of their similar functions and relationship to each other.

Hormones are extremely potent substances. It takes only a minute amount to initiate an action. Hormones are secreted into the bloodstream by the glands. From there, they travel to all parts of the body. But only the cells sensitive to that hormone—called the target tissue--will respond to the chemical signal the hormone carries. Traveling through the blood, hormones enter cells through “receptor” sites, much as a key unlocks a door. Once inside, they get to work, flipping the switches that govern growth, development, and mental and physical functions throughout life. All that changes when your hormones become unbalanced due to physical and emotional stress or the effects of aging. Signals do not reach the right place at the right time. Sometimes cell functions shut down completely. In other cases, cells are over stimulated. All this chaos causes unpleasant symptoms, at the very least. In severe situations, these imbalances can lead to chronic disorders or disease.

Most hormones cannot be stored in the cells of the body. Therefore, they must be made and released into the blood at the precise time they are needed. To maintain the intricate systems in which hormones operate, the body must constantly fine-tune hormone release to keep levels within proper limits. This balance is accomplished through an intricate series of positive and negative feedback mechanisms. For example, an overproduction of one hormone usually prompts the release of one or more complementary hormones in an effort to restore balance. Because of the complexity of these interactions, a hormonal issue rarely stems from only one type of hormone. More often, the problem involves a series of hormones. In addition, a disruption in the balance of hormones produced by one gland or set of glands can cause other gland systems to malfunction.

 

Hormone Balance: The Key to Health

You've probably heard more about hormones and hormonal imbalances recently - as researchers have become more aware of evidence showing this may be the root cause of many chronic health issues you could be experiencing.

Your hormones should exist in harmony with each other. When levels of each hormone are in the right proportions, body systems are stable. When balance is lost, hormone deficiencies and excesses can cause chronic symptoms and disorders, and raise risks for disease.

A whole host of symptoms may signify an imbalance:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Weight Gain
  • Irritability
  • Infertiliy
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Depression

The symptoms of hormonal shifts occuring in our bodies can be very strong and can even make you feel out of control at times.

If you have tried to figure out what is happening or perhaps treated your symptoms in ways that don't seem to work, testing your hormones may be the first step to feeling better.

Saliva and blood spot testing reliably identify hormone imbalances. Hormones exist in harmony with each other – partners in a delicate balancing act. When levels of each hormone are in the right proportions, body systems are stable. When balance is lost, hormone deficiencies and excesses can become toxic to the body causing unwanted symptoms, disorders and disease.

 

Hormones 101

Most hormones are produced by a group of glands known collectively as the endocrine system. Even though these glands are located in various parts of the body, they are considered one system because of their similar functions and relationship to each other.

Adrenal
Epinephrine: Increase heart rate and blood pressure; raises blood glucose; initiates "fight or flight" stress response. Norepinephrine: Raises blood pressure. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Converts to testosterone ans estrogens in the body. Aldosterone: Regulates sodium and mineral balance; controls blood pressure. Cortisol: Mobilizes stress and immune system responses; regulates carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism; calms inflammation. Progesterone: Supports thyroid receptor function; works with other hormones.

Hypothsalamus
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH): Controls absorption of watrer from the kidneys into the blood. Oxytocin (OXT): Stimulates contractions of the uterus. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH): Stimulates release of ACTH from pituitary gland. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH): Stimulates release of TSH from the pituitary gland. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH): Stimulates release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland.

Kidney

Most people have 2 kidneys that filter blood and remove wastes. The kidneys secrete the following hormones. Erythropoietin: Regulates red blood cell production. Renin: Regulates blood pressure. Calcitriol (active Vitamin D): Active in bone health and antioxidant. Prostaglandins: Include multiple immune, muscular, and blood effects.

Ovaries
Estrogens (Estradiol; Estrone; Estriol): Responsible for development and maintenance of female sex characteristics; stimulates maturation of eggs and building of uterine lining; helps maintain breasts, reproductive tissues, and skin; slows bone loss; aids nervous system transmission in brain. Progesterone: Checks overgrowth of uterine lining; prepares lining for implantation of fertilized egg; promotes growth and development of embryo necessary to maintain full-term pregnancy; increases bone growth; normalize sodium and water balance; balances estrogens; aids thyroid hormone function; increases fat metabolism; supports the health of brain cells. Testosterone: Helps preserve lean body mass, bone density, and skin elasticity; regulates sex drive; produced in smaller amounts in women.

Pancreas
Insulin: Enables cells to accept glucose; increase creation of proteins and storage of fat. Glucagon: Promotes release of stored glucose into bloodstream.

Parathyroid
Parathyroid hormone (PTH): Regulates calcium and phosphate levels in blood and bones.

Pineal
Secretes the hormone melatonin and helps set our circadian rhythm. The eyes see light, which translates into signals that reach the pineal gland, which turns off melatonin production. Melatonin helps regulate sleep, but is also thought to have antioxydant and anticancer effects.

Pituitary
Growth hormone (GH): Causes growth of bones and organs in childhood, improves muscle strength in adults, increases blood sugar levels, declines in mid-adulthood. Thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH): Regulates output of thyroid hormones by thyroid gland. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): Controls output of cortisol by adrenal glands. Prolactin: Stimulates milk production. Folicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): In women: stimulates growth of egg. In men: stimulates sperm growth. Luteinizing hormone (LH): In women: cause egg to mature and be released. In men: stimulates release of testosterone.

Testes
Testosterone: Promotes development and maintenance of male sex characteristics; helps preserve lean body mass, bone density, and skin elasticity; regulates sex drive. Inhibin: Works with testosterone to regulate sperm development.

Thymus
Thymosins: Promote development of t-lymphocyte cells important in the immune system. The thymus gland is large at birth but shrinks with age.

Thyroid
Thyroxine (T4): Regulates rate of metabolism; is essential for nomal growth. Triiodothyronine (T3): Similar function to T4; the more potent, active form of thyroid. Calcitonin: Regulates calcium levels in blood; builds bone strength.

Uterus
The uterus, cervix and ovaries work together, sharing much the same blood supply, to provide the body with hormonal support. When the uterus is removed with hysterectomy, the function of the ovaries is affected.

 

Understanding Vitamins

The human body depends on a balanced diet to acquire vitamins, as it cannot produce them on its own. Vitamins are essential for growth and development. To spot deficiencies ensure that an inpidual is absorbing the full spectrum of vitamins and determine if supplements are needed the Vitamin Profile is a powerful tool. The Vitamin Profile measures the following blood vitamin levels:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that can convert cartenoids into vitamin A. It is essential to the retina to form retinal a light absorbing molecule which allows for low-light and color vision. It also acts as a growth factor for skin and other cells and plays a role in supporting the functions of the immune system. The body converts vitamin A found in foods to retinol retinal and retinoic acid.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E refers to a family of fat soluble vitamins. These vitamins have antioxidant properties and work to fight the damage of free radicals including oxidative stress which has been shown to cause certain types of cancer as well as heart disease. In addition vitamin E is involved in immune function and supports healthy skin.

Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is the most well known member of the carotenoid family. It is also a pro vitamin A compound that the body can convert into active vitamin A to ward off deficiency. As an antioxidant it fights free radicals lowering the risk of certain cancers provides ant-aging benefits enhances the functions of the immune system promotes cell communication and supports reproductive health.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 commonly referred to as thiamin is part of the enzyme system that allows oxygen to convert sugar into usable energy. Additionally the vitamin provides nervous system support and aids in the process of creating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine used to relay messages between nerves and the muscles.

Vitamin B6

Another B-complex member is vitamin B6. It has one of the largest varieties of chemical forms. B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions in the body. It plays a role in the synthesis of essential molecules the processing of carbohydrates supports nervous system activity helps metabolize sulfur and methyl and prevents inflammation.

Vitamin B12 And Folate

Vitamin B12 is solely found in microorganisms. The vitamin depends on intrinsic factor a unique protein produced in the stomach to travel from the digestive tract to the rest of the body. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the formation of red blood cells the development of nerve cells cycling protein properly throughout the body and is involved in the processing of carbohydrates and fats. B12 content in foods depends on the animal's ability to store B12 after coming into contact with microorganisms. Folate known as folic acid is a B-complex vitamin. The body must use enzymes to chemically alter food sources of folate in order for it to be absorbed. In a healthy adult only 50-percent of folate ingested through food is absorbed by the body. Folic acid facilitates the complete formation of red blood cells aids in cell production especially in the skin provides nervous system support and works to prevent osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. It is extremely important during pregnancy and helps to prevent birth defects.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C known as ascorbic acid is a water-soluble nutrient. Vitamin C mainly acts as a protector in the body. It's an antioxidant that combats oxidative stress reduces the risk of cancer regenerates vitamin E supplies and improves the body's ability to absorb iron.

Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that also acts as a hormone. During its conversion in the body Vitamin D becomes 25-hydroxy vitamin D. The most accurate way to determine the level of vitamin D in the body is to test for 25-hydroxy vitamin D. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D changes in the kidney to the active form of vitamin D which helps to control the body's levels of calcium and phosphate helps to regulate insulin activity aids in preventing osteoporosis lowers the risks of a number of conditions bolsters the immune system supports cognitive function regulates blood pressure muscle composition and muscle function reduces the risk of inflammation and bacterial infections supports mood stability and helps to prevent chronic fatigue and certain cancers.