By Timothy Blend, MD –
Today’s healthcare challenges and tomorrow’s opportunity can only be met by those who search out deeper explanations of the body’s processes that generate health and disease. Life expectancy has increased due to advances in medical science. However, it has come with little progress towards quality of life or the length of disease-free years for the majority of the population.
Characteristics of Ideal Health
Aging has been a fact of life ever since it was created. Human beings go through various phases of life from childhood and youth to adulthood, with youth and early adulthood being the most envied from the perspective of health. Good health, strong muscles, an efficient immune system, a sharp memory and a healthy brain are characteristic of ideal youth.
Our hormones work at their peak capacity during these years. We can determine which of the major hormones need to be brought into balance. It may be one of the Estrogen molecules, Testosterone, Progesterone, DHEA, HGH (growth hormone), Thyroid, Cortisol or some combination of these.
The last component and every bit as significant as those hormones already mentioned are your Neurotransmitters, which are simply put, the brain hormones found primarily in your nervous system, easily measured with a urine test.
What is Age Management Medicine?
Aging has been defined as the progressive failing ability of the body’s own intrinsic and genetic powers to defend, maintain and repair itself in order to keep working efficiently. Age management medicine aims to maintain or achieve this optimum balance irrespective of chronological age. In other words, the focus is to maintain a healthy and biologically efficient body.
Generally, it has been believed that aging is an inherent, universal, progressive natural phenomenon, detrimental with no benefits except perhaps wisdom. In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in our perspective of the aging process. This change is based on firmly documented evidence in medical and scientific literature.
This new paradigm is based on the understanding that natural aging mechanisms frequently result in actual diseases. It is therefore concluded that altering the aging process may well bring about an improvement of an age related illness. Hormones have varying degrees of inherent anti-inflammatory and pro-oxidant activity which can help slow or inhibit some of these processes.
The Goal of Age Management Medicine
Age management medicine is an evolving branch of medicine with the goal of treating the underlying causes of aging with the aim of alleviating any age related ailments. Its goal is to extend the healthy lifespan of humans while maintaining youthful characteristics. The best way to avoid the early onset of age related disease is to allow us to treat you now and help maintain an optimal hormone balance. Conventional and alternative medical disciplines are used in an integrated approach to achieve the best possible result for the patient. It is a holistic discipline, seeing the patient as a whole and not as an isolated disease.
What Causes Aging?
Aging is a progressive failure of metabolic processes. Underlying this progressive failure are the three main biochemical processes involved in aging. These are oxidation, glycation and methylation. Other relevant processes are chronic inflammation and hormonal deregulation.
What Does an Age Management Program Entail?
- Enhance health through eating a Paleolithic-type diet.
- Enrich the body with optimum doses of proven antioxidants and nutraceuticals.
- Establish a personalized and consistent exercise regimen.
- Replace hormones to levels to those of 20-30 years old (thyroid, adrenal, sex and growth).
- Maintain proper Neurotransmitter levels.
The importance of the food we eat can be summarized by what Dr. Barry Sears said and I quote: “The food you eat is probably the most powerful drug you will encounter. But to use this drug correctly, you have to apply the hormonal rules about the food that haven’t changed in the past 40 million years and are unlikely to change anytime soon.”
Balancing insulin and glucagon activity is at the core of eating a hormonally correct diet. The hormonally correct diet contains 30-40% protein, 30-40% carbohydrates and 20-30% fat along with vitamins, minerals and drinking plenty of water which is filtered, mineralized and magnetized. Eating small meals every 4-5 hours and eating the proper ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fat at each meal or snack can mean a difference between illness and good health.
Eating proper food for one’s height, weight and body type and activity level is the foundation for a better quality of life and greater longevity.
Dr. Alex Lief, MD, Harvard Medical School has said and I quote: “Exercise is the closest thing we have to an anti-aging pill.” Regular physical activity has been a way of life for virtually every person who has reached the age of 100 years in sound condition. Exercise is medicine. If you think that smoking is not good, the following statement will enlighten. “Not exercising has the equivalent impact on your health as smoking one and one half packs of cigarettes a day.”
Nutraceutical supplements include various antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These include but are not limited to Vitamin A, C, E, mineral selenium, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Carnosine. Nutraceuticals specific to individual health needs are based on genetics, family history, environmental exposure, activity and other co-morbidities and should be recommended by an Anti-Aging physician or nutritionist.
First, we have to distinguish the synthetic hormones and bio identical hormones. The former differ in chemical structure from the later and should not be used in Age Management Medicine. Bio identical hormones are typically derived from Yams or Soy and have the same exact structure as the hormones we have in our bodies. Hence, they cannot be patented. They are available as injections, tablets, pellets and creams. The goal of hormone replacement therapy is to restore hormones to a level typically found in more youthful years. Again, it has to be done after complete evaluation and under the guidance of an Anti-Aging physician. Which hormones you need are based on your goals, current hormone levels and our expertise.
Through a highly regulated electro-chemical chain of events, the brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with both itself and other organs and tissues in the body. In this manner, information is transmitted, neuron to neuron, from one area of the brain or body to another. When this information eventually reaches its final destination, the message is translated into action, initiating or preventing a certain action in the target tissue. This can be anything from the contraction of a muscle, to a thought in our head, to a message to produce a specific hormone. Of course, this is a simplified description of the actual events. In reality, there is an intricate system of modulation and control in the transmission of electrical and chemical impulses in the brain.
Four Factors Affecting
Because the nervous system is always active, the process of neurotransmission depends on a constant and adequate supply of the various neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are required for proper brain and body function. Without them, our nervous systems would fail and we would lose the ability to think, feel, act, and function in a way that keeps our body healthy and our mind alive. Medical research has shown that many factors associated with today’s fast-paced lifestyle can be linked to imbalances in neurotransmitter and hormone levels. Of the many factors affecting neurotransmitter balance, four stand out as the most prevalent. These four include chronic stress whether physical or emotional, diet, neurotoxin exposure, and genetics.
Keep in mind that proper communication within the body is paramount to optimum function, and that many clinical conditions may result from miscommunication in the nervous system. This miscommunication in the nervous system has downstream effects on our immune system, endocrine system, and other important health-regulating systems within our bodies. These resultant imbalances can cause us to experience numerous challenges including, but not limited to, difficulty sleeping, feeling anxious, depressed or fatigued. We can experience a pain, migraines, PMS, a lack of focus or concentration or the opposite effect, we can be over focused and find it difficult to turn our thinking off.
Patient Case Studies
The following examples share actual patient health challenges and the protocols established to help each person achieve results and start to feel better. Every individual treatment plan was developed after testing (the majority of our testing requires simple urine, blood and saliva samples), thorough evaluation and consulting with Institute clinicians.
68 Year Old Female
Patient Concern: Insomnia & night sweats for 7 years, and a recent MRSA skin infection.
Protocol: Adrenal, hormonal and neurotransmitter evaluation resulted in a change in thyroid treatment to Armour and a targeted vitamin & amino acid therapy was started immediately. After 3 weeks she is sleeping better, her “first 6 hour sleep in years,” pain is dramatically better and her skin infection is clearing.
30 Year Old Female
Patient Concern: Severe PMS, poor sleep, fatigue and low libido.
Protocol: Adrenal, thyroid and female hormonal cycle evaluation led to thyroid optimization with Armour, and individualized vitamin and bio identical hormone therapy which yielded a quick response with better sleep, more energy and improvement in libido.
36 Year Old Athletic Male
Patient Concern: Weight gain, fatigue, low libido and low sperm count.
Protocol: Evaluation of male hormones, thyroid and adrenal function resulting in sequenced therapy for adrenal & thyroid optimization. In this particular case, HCG was successful in increasing his sperm count.
58 Year Old Male
Patient Concern: Heart Disease, fatigue and on multiple medications with various side effects (patient wanted to safely reduce the number of prescription medications he was taking).
Protocol: Patient was taken off his statin drug (after discussion with his cardiologist) and switched to red yeast rice along with mitochondrial support. In addition, chelation IV therapy was utilized to help with the regression of plaque in his coronary arteries.
28 Year Old Female
Patient Concern: Postpartum depression and anxiety.
Protocol: After complete adrenal, female sex hormone and neurotransmitter evaluation, her ineffective prescription antidepressant was stopped. IV vitamins, bio identical progesterone therapy and customized amino acid therapy were initiated. Dramatic improvement after 3 days of treatment and continues to remain physically and mentally healthy on no prescription medications.
The Blend Institute
Dr. Timothy Blend is the Medical Director of The Blend Institute which is a medical clinic and wellness center that practices a blend of medical specialties to help individuals achieve and maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Whether the goal is to maintain good health and prevent disease or reverse the ill effects of disease and restore good health, the Institute’s professional staff is dedicated to improving patient health.
The Blend Institute offers a science based health care approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological and structural balance.
To learn more about The Blend Institute or to schedule an appointment, please call 941-722-5600 or visit us online at www.blendinstitute.com.