Recently, I had been conversing with my parents about my medical practice and the philosophy and science behind age management medicine.
My mother is actually pretty nutrition savvy and has read extensively over the years about nutritional supplementation, exercise, and healthy eating habits. They also have had the experience of aging a little longer than me and inherently have a leg up on me in that regard.
So needless to say, they have their own independent thoughts and opinions on the subject.
So when I tell my parents that I believe they should be able to live into their 90’s and even beyond they reply…why in the %@&* would we want to do that?!
They then delve into to the many maladies plaguing them now and express to me their sentiment about living into their 90’s. Well, much of their pessimism is part of their own special personality, but I can’t help but wonder what most people think about living into their 90’s or older.
Many of us have family or friends who have lived longer than the average age expectancy (77.7 years) and have some unpleasant remembrances of the decline in health they experienced in their older years.
I can recall my grandfather over the last ten years of his life suffering from hearing loss, dementia, incontinence, uncontrolled Diabetes, and eventually loss of muscle leading to a poor quality of life and social isolation.
Not all of us pass peacefully in the night after a long healthy life. I can’t help but wonder how my grandfather’s later years would have changed if he had incorporated some of the changes into his life I espouse as part of my practice.
I could never be certain he would have extended his life span…but I’m confident the changes we currently prescribe to our patients would have positively impacted his health span or the period in which he was active, working, and enjoying time with family and friends.
If my quality of life declines as it did with my grandfather, I would tend to agree with my parents with regard to living into the later years.
But there are many things we can do to extend these healthy vibrant years. I’m not just talking about a couple extra years here! I believe we can add decades of healthy living by consistently making some lifestyle changes, taking certain high grade supplements, and optimizing hormones when their decline begins.
First, let’s take a moment to think about the most common age related problems we can prevent that lead to early declines in quality of life and productivity.
1. Loss of muscle mass and strength
2. Loss of bone strength and density
3. Declining energy
4. Brain fog or declining cognitive function
5. Declines in capacity for exercise or exertion
6. Increased susceptibility to infection
7. Atherosclerosis or build up of plaque in the arteries
The above is a short list of problems many of us face as we age. The main point is that I believe all these are largely preventable or least can be delayed years and even decades.
But there are many things we can do to extend these healthy vibrant years. I’m not just talking about a couple extra years here! I believe we can add decades of healthy living by consistently making lifestyle changes, taking certain high grade supplements, and optimizing hormones when their decline begins.