Aging is Aging, Right?

Conventional thinking has programmed us to expect aging and debilitating symptoms as an inevitable gloom, slowly penetrating our lives from middle age onward.

That’s not necessarily true. Research and time-tested therapies prove differently. In the last decade, studies have redefined “healthy” as “living with the energy and vitality of someone years younger.” Achieving that level of health adds life to your years.

Facing Facts.

Hormones start to drop by 1% to 3% each year, beginning around age 30. Factored out, that calculates to a 20% drop by age 40, 30-40% drop by age 50 and a 50-80% drop by age 80.

Both men and women rely on a critical balance of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), cortisol and melatonin. Each hormone has a specific job – yet overlaps the others to create a balanced environment for better health.

Testosterone, for example, improves libido and energy levels, enhances a sense of well-being, strengthens bones, builds muscle and promotes muscle tone, brain function, and heart health.

Estrogen helps protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and incontinence, as well as enhancing libido, skin tone, emotional well-being, cognitive acuity, sensory function, and digestion.

Progesterone is a powerful modulator of immunity and essential for preventing anxiety, irritability, and agitation as well as for maintaining good sleep.

DHEA works closely with cortisol to protect against stress, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s, as well as preventing wrinkles and dry eyes, increasing libido, upping energy levels, boosting memory and immunity.

Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure, increases energy and influences metabolism, as well as helps your body cope with stress and infection.

Melatonin not only induces sleep but is critical for setting the circadian rhythms of all of your other hormones as they cycle throughout the day.

As years pass, diminished hormone levels contribute to a litany of symptoms and a slow, steady deterioration in our health; diminished libido, waning energy, decreased lean muscle and increased body fat, weakened bones and osteoporosis, reduction in skin tone elasticity, memory lapses, cardiovascular concerns, sleeplessness, irritability and mood swings, among several others. The relationship between these symptoms and hormone levels is undeniable.

Outwardly, a middle-aged man may have increased abdominal fat and reduced lean muscle mass – hallmarks of hormone imbalance. He no longer looks or feels virile, as his sexual functions fade. As a result, self-esteem begins to suffer.

The story isn’t that different for women. In fact, both genders suffer when hormone imbalances develop, which results in physical and emotional stress.

In addition to impacting personal life, hormone imbalances and their effects encroach on job performance and productivity. The culture of the 21st century is fast-paced and stressful. When the demand for high performers in the business environment collides with poor nutrition, reduced exercise and overly prescribed antidepressants (coupled with plummeting hormone levels), people spend their health to gain wealth.

That’s why savvy employers champion a corporate culture, which fosters better health and subsequently improves productivity.

How does all of this connect with having diminished hormone levels? Hormones perceptibly alter physical, sexual and cognitive functions, often with psychological complications. Until recently, doctors accepted these changes as “growing old,” forcing patients to endure unnecessary decline.

We now realize delaying premature disabilities is feasible, since the body’s hormone receptors don’t lose their ability to respond to hormone messages. These receptors are waiting to be filled. Restoring hormonal balance with hormone optimization and healthier lifestyle choices really can turn the tide.