Preventing Aging: What Testing You Should Be Asking Your Doctor For

Transcript of Dr. Michael Grossman discuss the importance of getting regular check-ups with your doctor just so you are aware and updated about your health. You may view the YouTube video here.

 

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Welcome to the Age gracefully show with Dr Michael Grossman, the well known anti-aging stem cell and regenerative medicine specialist, bestselling author and founder of the OSI Wellness Clinic and Irvine, California. Each week he shares the latest information to help you look and feel your best so you age gracefully. And here's your host, Dr. Michael Grossman.

Hi, it's Dr. Michael Grossman here as specialist on anti-aging medicine and I've been practicing this exclusively for the last 11 years, and I've been a family doctor who practice nutritional approaches and natural medicine for 35 years prior. So I love doing what I do. And today I'm going to talk to you about what you should ask your medical doctor about how to reverse the aging process and maximize your health. This involves getting information so that you can fix and work on whatever is weakest in your own chain link of health. So I like to think of anti aging as a link in a chain,  many different links, and each link is critical because if one link in the chain breaks, then the whole chain is broken; doesn't matter how strong the other links are. So, it's very important when you think about staying youthful. You'll have to be able to strengthen all the links. Now, some of the links you may be really good at keeping strong and other ones not so good. You gotta work on the ones that you're not so good on, because that's where it's going to break. And that's what you're gonna lose your ability to stay youthful. So let's think about what these different links are and what kind of things you should be looking for and asking a doctor before so that you know which areas you need to work on.

So first we talked about hormones in the past. I'm not a specialist in hormone replacement therapy. They do a lot of replacement of hormones for men and women as we age. So for men, when you get to be 50, 60 years old, your hormones are much lower when they were 30 or 40. And you need to replace these hormones as you get older in order to stay youthful. There's been a lot of studies showing it really makes huge difference for men's health. So men, when they lose that hormones off testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone, you will lose your muscle strength, stamina, enthusiasm, brain clarity, your ability to sleep healthily, your libido, sexual functioning - things will diminish. So we want you to increase these hormones, usually by supplementation by your physician. They're going to give you either creams or injections or little pellets on the skin or sometimes tablets, depending upon which hormones we're replacing. For women, when women go into menopause, it's much quicker than men. So women, once they go to menopause anywhere between 40 and 55 years of age, on average, you can lose the hormones very dramatically in a short period of time. Six months. All of a sudden you feel old, you're getting hot flashes of being irritable, you're not sleeping, your moods are bad, your overall energy's down, your libido is down, your muscle stamina is down and you start losing bone strength. You want to replace these hormones again, like men, you can replace either cream or topical patches or tablets or injectables, little pellets, and you're going to feel so much better. But in order to know you need to be tested. Sometimes with your blood tests, sometimes we'll do saliva tests, sometimes we do 24 hour urine tests. They all have a value and depending on which hormones we're looking for; different approaches could be better. But you want to look for these hormones and measure them and get an idea of which ones you need to replace, and that's gonna make a huge difference in your longevity and your well being. So I encourage you to ask your doctor about this and pay attention to it.

Now you probably want to find a doctor who kind of is specializing in hormone replacement therapy. So that's one big area. So now let's look in another area what you need to be aware of in this chain link. So the second chain, we're going to be looking on second link in the chain. We want to look at your arteries. As you get older, you tend to clog arteries and get hardening of the arteries. So the first thing that happens as your arteries get older is that they lose their elasticity. They don't flex and open, spring open and close, and then your blood pressure gets higher and your arteries get thicker and they don't wiggle so much, and then they begin to clog. What we could measure before you get a heart attack or a stroke that, 'Gee, your arteries aren't so good. We need to pay attention.' You can check for cholesterol, but cholesterol doesn't correspond so well to whether your arteries are clogging or not. We do have cholesterol lowering medicine, the Statin drugs, which can be helpful to prevent clogging the arteries, but not so much because they lower cholesterol more but because they lower inflammation. And we're going to talk about that in just a a minute. But inflammation of the arteries is critical to prevent the clogging. Now to measure whether your arteries are getting clogged or hardened, we have a variety of approaches we can take.

So one approach is to measure the stiffness of the arteries or arterial stiffness is an easy way to measure it, so you could put a little sensor on your finger. I do it here in my office, where we look for stiffening of the arteries, and if the arteries are stiffened, we can tell right away after getting stiffened and if they are getting stiffened, that's the first sign that your arteries are getting clogged or will be getting clogged. The next thing we can do, we can measure the carotid arteries in the neck with an ultrasound and just take pictures and see all your arteries getting clogged, and we can tell the thickening of the arteries of getting thickened. The inner ligning with are getting thickened. That's a very early detection problem, not quite as early as the stiffening, but it's very early. We can also test for a CT scan of the coronary arteries- the arteries of the heart. And the CT scan is a X ray, which will tell us if you're having calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart- the coronary arteries. The calcium deposits are a signing orders of getting clogged, and it's an easy test and the arteries are getting clogged. You want to take action, and we can tell if they were just a little bit medium or a lot. Same with the ultrasound, we can tell if it's a little bit or if it's a medium or a lot. So the ultimate test would be some kind of a angiogram where they actually inject material into your arm, into your artery and you're growing. And then they look at the arteries and actually see a picture of how clogged they are, that usually what determines, do you need surgery or not.

But we can reverse clogging the arteries quite dramatically, with many natural means. We have prescription medicines. We also have natural things. So the things I like to use in a natural, we have nitric oxide supplements that are natural that can be very helpful during reverse the hardening of the arteries. We have aged colic, very great research on aged colic showing we can actually reverse hardening of the arteries. We have fish oil. There are many qualities of fish oil. Not all fish oil is the same. But when you get high quality fish oil, it's very helpful to stop that artery hardening process. So that's the second chain link.

Now, the next link in the chain, we going to look at inflammation, and what we find about inflammation is that inflammation is a major cause of disease, not just hardening of the arteries, but it causes cancer, arthritis, other autoimmune diseases. So much of aging actually relates to inflammation, which irritates things inside the body and creates the aging process. We can measure how much inflammmation you have in your body through a variety of testing. The easiest test is the C reactive protein, highly sensitive. This is a general, non specific measure of artery hardening, and if this measure was elevated, we need to take steps to reduce the hardening of the... to reduce the inflammation in the body, and so inflammation should reduce it. It's complicated. You need to go to a doctor who has a more holistic approach, an alternative medicine approach. So I do a lot of work in seeing, 'Why is your inflammation so high? Is it related to food allergies and balances in your gastrointestinal track? Is it related to the general food you're eating and a lack of certain antioxidants?' So we want to reduce the inflammation in your body. It's so important. It's not a simple thing, but you want to take care of that link in the chain.

Next link. We're going to look at prediabetes. In America today. It's a huge problem having diabetes, very big problem. But many of us don't realize that prediabetes is so easy to recognize and treat. It's more difficult to treat when you actually have diabetes and diabetes doesn't happen all at once. It's a slow process. Develop it little by little over period of years, and we can help diabetes. We can do so many things to help pre diabetes. We can prevent it from becoming a problem. When you have prediabetes, it takes 10 years to gradually increase the insulin levels, increase the oxidative stress in the body, and then you end up getting all kinds of problems. You get problems with your brain, with your vision, with your heart, your arteries and your heart arteries and the kidneys. You get kidney disease, you get clogging arteries in your legs and poor circulation, and you get nerve pain in your feet. All these things are late developments, and we can stop it and repair it before it becomes a problem. So how do you know if it's a problem? How do you know if you have this hardening? If you have this prediabetes? One test you can ask your doctor for is the hemoglobin a1C. When you have that test, this is an average blood sugar measurement over the last two months, and if your numbers are below 5.7, that's in the good range. If it's above six, that's in the early diabetes range, so you don't want to have below six. You'd like it to be below 5.7. We also commend your insulin levels so insulin levels go up when you have diabetes. So if you're fasting, we can see that your insulin level should be below a certain area so below five for fasting. Insulin is good. If it's above 20 you have diabetes. So in between five and 20 is pre diabetes. So we can repair and rejuvenate the body by dealing with these things.

How do we deal with the prediabetes problem? Many different ways and a integrative medicine doctor, alternative medicine doctor has many natural ways of doing it. But even a traditional doctor can change your diet. Get you exercising. Have you lose weight. That is foundational, but we have a lot of different herbs that work really, really well. We have all kinds of nutrients, like poic acid and minerals, vanadyl sulfate, chromium - that can be very helpful for prediabetes. So there's a lot of things to do, and then you track your numbers, you watch and see how well you are. You know if you're doing enough by looking at the numbers, so those are all different links in the chain. Now, other links in the chain that we want to think about is sleep quality. So, sleeping well is critical to maintaining youthfulness. So if you don't sleep well, you don't feel rested in the mornings and you're feeling sleepy during the day, that's a big problem. We know that growth hormone is a real important part of sleeping well, where you dream. If you're not dreaming regularly, and if you're not sleeping deeply, it's a problem for your brain. Your brain is not going to be youthful. It's not going to rejuvenate. You need to be sleeping well on a regular basis. Growth hormone goes down as you get older, and we know that if you replace growth hormone or you use releasing factors, peptides that will release growth hormone, all of a sudden, a few weeks later, 'Oh, I'm dreaming again. I'm sleeping better again,' so that's one thing you could do. The other thing is, sleep apnea is a big problem; very, very big problem. We tend to, as we get older, lose the elasticity in the back of our throat, and then when we're sleeping, we try to breathe and we just can't get the air to go in and out and we wake ourselves up and take a big breath and then go back to sleep and we don't even know what's waking ourselves up. But we're not sleeping. We're not dreaming, probably. And then we feel sleepy during the day and not only do we feel good, but it raises our blood pressure. It causes a lot of problems with aging and with getting diseases and showed me no life scan. So this is a mechanical problem. You have to treat it mechanically. There's a lot of things to help sleep apnea. You have little devices that you put in your mouth from the dentist that moved your head forward. You have other things: you can wear a mask on your face, which has a positive pressure of CPAP, can be very helpful. And there's other things that can be done to help your throat to not close up as you're sleeping and these you have to see the surgeons and they can do different things. But you've got to take care of sleep apnea. It's not a psychological problem, it's physiological.

So next thing we'll think about is the quality of your relationships. This is a very critical link in the chain that many people don't pay attention to. The most important factor in measuring your longevity after the age of 50 is the quality of your personal relationships. So it's not just that it makes you feel good. It's critical to your health and well being. My wife and I run classes on marriage and we teach people how to have relationships that really bring fulfillment and you learn how to share and to appreciate each other. It's not just a psychological thing. It's really physiological. You've gotta have good relationships. My wife and I have written a book called, "The Marriage Map: The Road to Transforming Your Marriage from Ordeal to Adventure," and I encourage you to read the book. It's a fun read. It's a really delightful book, and it's not just fun, but it's really critical for your health and well being.

Next piece of the link is quality of your exercise. You got to exercise to stay youthful. As you get older, you tend to lose muscles and gain fat. So you look at someone who's an older person and they look slim and trim. But then when I measure their body fat, 'Woah, they got a lot of body fat.' They don't look fat, but they don't have muscle and have a lot of fat. Well, I weigh the same thing doc is when I was 25. Well, you may weigh the same thing, but you had muscle then, and now you've got mostly fat, and that's a problem. That's part of the aging process. And you don't want that because that makes you old and it shortens your life. You need to have muscle. So it's a lot of things that will help you with muscle things we talked about, like replacing the hormones. But you've got to exercise; you got to exercise; you got to find an exercise that you enjoy. Any kind of exercise is good, and you want to just do it regularly. Regularly, means at least three times a week, but preferably something most every day. And if you can't exercise for an hour, you exercise for half an hour, or 20 minutes or even 10 minutes. But you've got to exercise.

Now, there are certain exercises better than others. Yes, the best exercise for anti-aging is dancing. Dancing in a kind of ballroom dancing kind of thing where you actually have a partner and there's a certain specific flow to the dance where it's not just wiggling around. But you have to have certain steps, you have got to coordinate with your partner that keeps your brain occupied. Your brain is moving and thinking, 'What do I have to do next? And how does this work?' And so you're getting both the physical exercise and the brain exercise. We know that certain kind of things, like doing crossword puzzles, has a certain value to improving brain functioning. But nothing this is as good as ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing actually gives you 70% reduction in Alzheimer's and memory problems; whereas crossword puzzles may give you a reduction of like 40%. Regular exercise helps some, but not nearly as much as more dancing. But I encourage you to exercise whatever you like.

So then, of course, there's all kinds of things you can do that more specific, and we talk about that in our other Facebook live discussions and podcasts where as an anti-aging doctor, I do many specific things that focus on stem cell repair to your needs, your hips or your joints. Focuses on erectile dysfunction, focuses on brain dysfunction in general and skin aging problems. There's a lot of things to be done that are specific, but today we're just looking at the chain link and you want to work on it. And so you got to listen and figure out, 'What is my weakest on' that's the one you want to work on. So I encourage you to work on that. And you're welcome to go on our website: ocwellness.com website where we talk about all the things we do to stay youthful. And there's so many different things that you can see that you can do. And if you want to come to see me in my office, it's in Orange County next to the John Wayne Airport, you're welcome to come in. The phone number to call us is: 9492220232. So think about all these things figure out, which is the areas that are weakest and those are the ones I want you to pay attention to. So do that. I look forward to speaking to you again, but now I have a good night.

Thank you for watching the Age Gracefully Show with Dr Michael Grossman. Join us next week for another informative discussion to help you aged gracefully. Be sure to visit us at ocwellness.com.

 

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