Aging can be a progressive decline in mental and physical ability, accompanied by an increase in susceptibility to chronic disease. Humankind has long sought ways to slow or retard the aging process. Given the vast number of aging baby boomers in our society, the relevance of anti-aging medicine looms ever larger. Are the effects of aging inevitable? Taken in the broadest and most positive light, anti-aging medicine is an extension of preventive health care.
Anti-aging medicine incorporates the realms of biochemistry, biology and physiology, and utilizes elements from the fields of sports medicine, molecular genetics, nutrition and mind/body medicine. Hormone levels begin to decrease by the mid-thirties, and hormone replacement therapy is a popular, though controversial anti-aging technique, specifically human growth hormone (HGH), DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and melatonin. Oxidative stress reduction is another technique: Natural metabolic processes as well as environmental toxins lead to the formation of free radicals, electrically unstable molecules that damage DNA and protein; antioxidant formulas are prescribed to combat free radicals, creating a healthier balance between free radical production and antioxidant defense. Other primary natural tools against aging are rest, exercise, and stress control techniques. Plastic surgery is the surgical arm of the field of anti-aging medicine.
- Anti-oxidant vitamins have few negative side effects and have shown a wide range of health benefits.
- 10 million American women are undergoing estrogen replacement therapy—a form of "anti-aging" therapy that is widely accepted and substantially effective.
- Emphasizes tried and true approaches such as good nutrition and exercise.
- Metabolic typing is also useful—the process of profiling an individual’s unique metabolism in order to prescribe maximally effective supplementation and other treatments.
- Magic elixirs do not exist. There is not much science behind much so-called anti-aging medicine. There has been no dramatic new breakthrough in anti-aging medicine. Most drugs and approaches have been in clinical practice for at least 10 to 30 years.
- The Institute on Aging of the National Institute of Health urges caution in the use of "anti-aging" hormone supplements.
- All substances should be taken only under the guidance of a physician who is properly grounded in traditional medicine.
- Beware of anti-aging organizations with specific products to sell. "Immunity boosters" and "glandulars" may be without known therapeutic benefits.
- ok for current scientific information in peer-reviewed journals. Currently, anti-aging is not a recognized medical specialty, so beware of self-designated experts or organizations.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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