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Is Dementia Preventable?

Inflammatory Diet Linked to Unhealthy Brain Aging and Dementia

According to Dr. Yian Gu of Columbia University and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain in New York City, you can reduce your risk of dementia.

At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London this month Dr Gu presented a study linking an inflammatory diet to dementia.

Inflammatory markers on blood tests were linked to diets low in Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamins B5 and B2.

Dr. Gu suggests that an inflammatory diet “is bad for both the brain and cognition”.

Here at medAge and in the Anti-Aging Medicine world, this link has been strongly known and witnessed for decades.  We teach our patients how to follow a delicious and anti-inflammatory diet for good brain health, heart health, skin health and feeling amazingly energetic!

We can help you reduce your risk for dementia and feel great at the same time.  Call medAge today 828-684-1212

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medAge PERFORMANCE PERSPECTIVE: Heart Rate Variability, HRV, is a Window into How Stress Affects Your Nervous System

HRV is a method of measuring and assessing the effect of stress on your body.

Heart rate variability is measured by using an ECG Biosensor. An ECG, also known as an electrocardiogram, monitors a heart’s electrical and muscular functions. When attached to a person, an ECG biosensor is able to record electrical impulses that originate in the heart. The information collected from these electrical impulses—along with help from biometric algorithms—provides measurable, actionable data and insight on a person’s overall health and wellness.

So When it Comes to HRV, What Are We Actually Measuring? When measuring your heart rate variability, we’re determining the biopotential that is generated by the electrical signals controlling the contraction and expansion of the chambers of the heart. In doing so, we’re analyzing the variations in the amount of time between your heartbeats when you’re at rest, as well as your heart’s ability to speed up and slow down to effectively meet the physical demands of your body. A higher HRV indicates that a person is fit and healthy, while a lower HRV may indicate that you are fatigued or under stress. Regularly measuring your HRV over time helps us gain a clearer picture of your overall physical and mental health, as well as the impact stress, is having on your body.

What Are the Benefits of Measuring Your Heart Rate Variability? Regularly measuring your HRV has a number of benefits, especially if you’re an athlete. That’s because it can help you better understand when your body needs to recover, and when you’re ready to train again. This is important because as any athlete (or physician, for that matter) will tell you, you don’t make progress when you’re training—you make progress while recovering.

So, if an athlete measures their HRV and it is high, it means it’s an ideal time to train—they’re well rested, not suffering from stress, and their body is ready to benefit from time in the gym. On the flip side of this, if the same athlete measures their HRV and finds it to be low, they’ll know that their body is in recovery mode, and the smart thing to do is to relax and rest until they’re ready to go again.

A recent study has shown that—beyond helping discover the optimal time to train—heart rate variability monitoring is also a useful tool for determining whether or not an athlete is overtraining. This is valuable information as it can provide an athlete with an even clearer picture of when they should hit the gym for the most gains. At the same time, it can help them avoid injury by foregoing training and instead focusing on recovery when need be.

HRV Isn’t Just For Athletes. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to find benefit in measuring your heart rate variability. In fact, you don’t need to be an athlete at all! That’s because HRV monitoring can also be used to track stress levels and mental well-being in anyone. Consider that unchecked stress can impact everything from your weight to blood pressure to your sleeping patterns, even causing headaches. Measuring HRV can let you know when your body is experiencing stress, allowing you to develop a plan around your recovery and activity times—ensuring you’re taking on challenging tasks when your body and brain are ready.

Understanding when and why your body needs to rest and when it’s ready for activity is useful for everyone. Whether you’re a world-class athlete or an everyday man or woman, HRV monitoring gives you the tools you need to improve your own personal physical and mental wellbeing.

Thanks to NeuroSky Biosensors for the blog material here.  Our medAge Team is testing professional athletes with NeuroSky technology to help them train, recover and perform with optimal precision and results.

Call us today to find out how you can benefit too!  828-684-1212

To your Optimal Health and Performance!  Dr Laura, Scott and Trina

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Improve Your Health with Stress Management

Stop.  Breath.  Be…

Studies have shown that we can reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease and even change our brains with a simple, daily practice called meditation.  In our high stress, hectic lives with our list of “things to do”, finding time to practice meditation can be a challenge for some.

Meditation does not have to be a challenge to fit into even our busiest days.  It does not require any special equipment or a special place to practice.  Meditation can be practiced wherever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like.

The practice of meditation is really just the practice of continually redirecting your attention from the future (or the past) back to the present moment.  It does not mean stopping all thoughts…as a matter of fact, while you are alive and breathing, you will never stop your thoughts.  In a given day, it has been estimated that we have about 40,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day!  Therefore, the best that we can hope for is to slow down the thoughts.

A quick and easy exercise that can we can implement in our daily life is “Stop.  Breath.  Be.”

  1. Stop  Which means, taking a moment and deliberately stopping whatever activity is at hand.  Don’t go on to step 2 until you feel your body come to a complete stop and your thoughts have slowed down.  This may take several seconds.
  1. Breathe  Now, bring full attention to your breath.  Feel your breath enter your nose and follow it down into your lungs. Feel your lungs expand and your chest or abdomen rise has your lungs fill with air.  Hold it for a second then with full attention, feel the breath leave your lungs and exit your mouth.
  1. Be  At the end of each breath, take a moment to become aware of the stillness experienced in this practice.  Allow the sense of the present moment to radiate your being and stay with this feeling for as long as it lasts.

Stop, Breath, and Be can be practiced as frequently as you like to be able to experience the present moment. If you’d like help, I am available to coach and guide you–call me at 828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health and Happiness, Scott Griffith, PA-C medAge

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Not Enough Sleep May be Making you Fat!

The scientific evidence is clear–not enough sleep contributes to compromised brain function, mood disorders (especially depression), immune system dysfunction and poor overall health.  And now the National Diet and Nutrition Survey in the UK has published more evidence that lack of sleep leads to obesity and metabolic syndrome, epidemic in our society.

So how much sleep do we need? At least a third of Americans are sleep deprived. Current research indicates adults need 7-9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.  Children 6-12 years old need 9-12 hours and teenagers up to 18 need 8-10 hours in a 24 hour period.  And you can’t make up for lost sleep on the weekends!

Our medAge Team puts great emphasis on the importance of sleep. We have tools to help you get the hours you need and you’ll be amazed at how great you feel and function.

Call us to learn more 828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr Laura

ARTICLE: Longer sleep is associated with lower BMI and favorable metabolic profiles in UK adults: Findings from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey
Gregory D. M. Potter , Janet E. Cade, Laura J. Hardie
Published: July 27, 2017  Click here for the entire article 

Abstract

Ever more evidence associates short sleep with increased risk of metabolic diseases such as obesity, which may be related to a predisposition to non-homeostatic eating. Few studies have concurrently determined associations between sleep duration and objective measures of metabolic health as well as sleep duration and diet, however. We therefore analyzed associations between sleep duration, diet and metabolic health markers in UK adults, assessing associations between sleep duration and 1) adiposity, 2) selected metabolic health markers and 3) diet, using National Diet and Nutrition Survey data. Adults (n = 1,615, age 19–65 years, 57.1% female) completed questions about sleep duration and 3 to 4 days of food diaries. Blood pressure and waist circumference were recorded. Fasting blood lipids, glucose, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), thyroid hormones, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in a subset of participants. We used regression analyses to explore associations between sleep duration and outcomes. After adjustment for age, ethnicity, sex, smoking, and socioeconomic status, sleep duration was negatively associated with body mass index (-0.46 kg/m2 per hour, 95% CI -0.69 to -0.24 kg/m2, p < 0.001) and waist circumference (-0.9 cm per hour, 95% CI -1.5 to -0.3cm, p = 0.004), and positively associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.03 mmol/L per hour, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.05, p = 0.03). Sleep duration tended to be positively associated with free thyroxine levels and negatively associated with HbA1c and CRP (p = 0.09 to 0.10). Contrary to our hypothesis, sleep duration was not associated with any dietary measures (p ≥ 0.14). Together, our findings show that short-sleeping UK adults are more likely to have obesity, a disease with many comorbidities.

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Women are Dying Early Because of no Hormone Replacement Therapy? A study from Yale University School of Medicine

Could something good possibly have come from the flawed Women’s Health Initiative study?  When the WHI was halted in July 2002 due to early results showing an increase in stroke and heart disease, the media hype frightened doctors and patients alike.  The result: abrupt discontinuation of Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, all over the country.

Sadly, peri and post menopausal women went right back to their hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mental fog, and other debilitating symptoms.

 Now we have a new problem in medicine:  Estrogen Avoidance.  Since the mass exodus from Estrogen Therapy after 2002 many women are at risk for dying early.  It is apparent now that we need estrogen to keep our hearts, arteries and bones healthy.  The WHI study was flawed.  The wrong hormones were used–they were not bioidentical and led to side effects.

Look at the abstract below.  This data from Yale translates easily to nearly all peri and postmenopausal women, not just those with a history of hysterectomy.

Have a discussion with your doctor right away.  It is “a matter of considerable urgency.”  Protect yourself from an early death.  Bio-identical HRT properly prescribed and followed will improve your health and your wellbeing.

At medAge, we help patients achieve optimal health, including prescribing bioidentical HRT.  Call for a free phone consultation.  We are here to help you.    828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura

 

Am J Public Health. 2013 Sep;103(9):1583-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301295. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

The mortality toll of estrogen avoidance: an analysis of excess deaths among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years.

Sarrel PM1, Njike VYVinante VKatz DL.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. philip.sarrel@yale.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the effect of estrogen avoidance on mortality rates among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years.

METHODS: 

We derived a formula to relate the excess mortality among hysterectomized women aged 50 to 59 years assigned to placebo in the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial to the entire population of comparable women in the United States, incorporating the decline in estrogen use observed between 2002 and 2011.

RESULTS: 

Over a 10-year span, starting in 2002, a minimum of 18 601 and as many as 91 610 postmenopausal women died prematurely because of the avoidance of estrogen therapy (ET).

CONCLUSIONS: 

ET in younger postmenopausal women is associated with a decisive reduction in all-cause mortality, but estrogen use in this population is low and continuing to fall. Our data indicate an associated annual mortality toll in the thousands of women aged 50 to 59 years. Informed discussion between these women and their health care providers about the effects of ET is a matter of considerable urgency.

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Straight Talk From Trina

What Can “Poop” Tell You About Your Health?

 

It may sound silly but talking about poop is VERY IMPORTANT because bowel habits can tell us much about our overall health. And for those who know me and my frank way of speaking you know I am going to tell it like it is…

You Can Learn So Much About Your Health By Taking A Good, Hard Look At Your Poop!

Face it: We all poop but most of us don’t discuss it.  It’s a part of nature and it definitely should be a part of your daily routine. I advise you to not just wipe and flush but consider the process and take a look in the bowl before it goes down.  Here are 4 reasons why and what I urge you to consider:

#1 What Your Poop Looks Like There is nothing more important to a healthy poop then what your poop actually looks like.  Does it remind you of a snake—smooth and long?  Or is it tiny chunks that pool at the bottom of the toilet?

The appearance of your poop is a great indicator of your overall health.  There are 7 distinct types of poop, ranging from pebble-sized poops to completely liquid and foul smelling. It’s been determined that a healthy poop looks like a snake (long body)–soft and very smooth.  If your poop doesn’t look like a snake, then you may have some issues going on inside that need to be addressed.

#2 The Ease of Pooping Do you find it hard to poop?  Do you get the urge to go but when you do, it feels difficult and even painful?

Most people spend a good amount of time sitting on the toilet either waiting for it to happen, or straining hard.  In reality, however, a normal healthy poop should take only a few minutes and should glide easily with only the involuntary muscles of the colon doing the work.

Straining too hard could lead to tearing in the soft tissue around your anus (anal fissure), and can eventually lead to hemorrhoids.  Both conditions can be very painful.

#3 Did It ALL Come Out? It should all come out in one sitting. If you must return for multiple visits, consider being patient and allowing full evacuation.  If you are practicing patience yet still have to return, you may have poor digestive health.

#4 How Often Are You Pooping? Your colon contains toxins that, when not moving through properly, could make you sick, fat, and unhealthy.  Prolonged exposure to these toxins increases the risk of colon cancer.  For most people, one to three bowel movements a day is healthy.  Every other day may be considered normal for some but less frequently is definitely not a sign of good health.

If you’re noticing that you go days without pooping… or if it’s frequently runny… then you may have some issues to iron out with your digestive system.

Digestive health is vitally important.  The medAge Team is here to help you with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, SIBO, poor nutrition and other gut issues.  Call us at 828-684-1212

To Amazing Health and Happiness!  Trina Pistor, CpT, CNC, CIC  AKA #trinathetrainer

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Do I Need to Take Progesterone?

What your doctor may not be telling you!

Women have become aware of the importance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in preventing the bothersome symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats and decreased sex drive.  More women are now being educated on the importance of properly prescribed HRT for improvement in their overall health.  Properly prescribed are the key terms here!

Most women know that they need bio-identical estrogen therapy to help prevent osteoporosis, early dementia, cardiovascular disease, and prevent decline in their psychological wellbeing.  But not all women (or healthcare providers) are aware of the importance of adding bio-identical progesterone when prescribing estrogen replacement therapy.

There are healthcare providers who maintain the belief that not all women need progesterone as part of their HRT regimen, especially women with a history of hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).  These providers are under the misconception that progesterone is used in women (who have a uterus) only to reduce their risk of endometrial cancer.  So, according to them, if you don’t have a uterus, then you don’t need progesterone.

NOT TRUE!!

Study after study have shown that progesterone (not it’s evil twin progestin that is harmful to women) is needed to combat the potential health problems with giving estrogen alone (with or without a uterus!).  Studies have shown that women on estrogen alone, without progesterone, are at higher risk of breast cancer, strokes, dementia, ovarian cancer, and central nervous tumors.

Plus, adequate progesterone levels are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease.

Yours in Optimal Health,  Scott Griffith, PA-C medAge

Call the healthcare team at medAge for more information on how you can benefit from balanced HRT with progesterone and estrogen.  828-684-1212

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Important Scientific Facts About Testosterone

 

Testosterone is necessary in both men and women and may begin declining as early as age 30. Testosterone is responsible for sustaining libido, muscle mass and immunity. It protects against heart disease in both men and women plus the degeneration of muscle, bone, tendon and joints. It is a great mood enhancer and imparts a sense of well being.

The following are important scientific facts about how testosterone replacement is critical to good health as you age.

“Loss of testosterone causes loss of libido, energy, strength, sexual function, memory, cognition, muscle and bone. Testosterone replacement, as far as quality of life is concerned, is tremendous.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol.3 No.1:17-18

“Symptoms of low testosterone may occur due to decreased serum levels or reduced receptor site sensitivity. In spite of normal blood levels patients will still feel and function better when testosterone is prescribed.” Medical Crossfire 2001 Jan;Vol.3 No. 1:17-18.

“Testosterone replacement improves muscle mass and strength, libido, erectile function, bone density, memory, cognition, myocardial function. It is unconscionable for physicians not to treat men with testosterone.” Medical Crossfire 2001Jan;Vol. 3 No.1:47-50.

Sharma, R et al. Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men. Eur Heart J. 2015 Aug 6

“Low testosterone levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and carotid atherosclerosis.” Diabetes Care 2003 June;Vol. 36, No. 6: 20-30.

Basaria S et al. Effects of Testosterone Administration for 3 Years on Subclinical Atherosclerosis Progression  in Older Men with Low or Low-normal Testosterone Levels. JAMA.2015; 314(6):570-581

“Testosterone levels have nothing to do with causing prostate cancer.” Cancer 1999, July 15;88(2):312-5.

Shores Study:  1000 male veterans , > 40 years old with 4 years of testosterone replacement therapy.  Mortality was HALF for the treated group vs. control group.  p<.00001  Prostate cancer was reduced in the treated group vs. control group.     Shores MM et al. Testosterone Treatment and Mortality in Men with Low Testosterone Levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Apr

“None of the 12 longitudinal population based studies, such as the “Physician’s Health Study,” found any increased risk of prostate cancer in men with higher levels compared to men with lower levels of testosterone.” New England Journal of Medicine 2004;350:482-92.

“Low testosterone levels increase cardiovascular disease. High testosterone levels protect against cardiovascular disease.” Diabetes Metab 1995 Vol. 21:156-161.

Khaw KT. et al. Endogenous testosterone and mortality due to all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in men. Circulation. 2007;116:2694-2701

“Testosterone replacement in women significantly decreases carotid atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.” American Journal of Epidemiology 2002;155: 437-445

“Administration of testosterone to women eliminates hot flashes, lethargy, depression, incontinence, fibrocystic disease, migraine headaches, and poor libido. Testosterone also improves well-being, sexual desire, frequency and intensity of orgasm.” Consultant; 1999 August: 2006-07.

“Higher testosterone levels increase cognition and memory.” Neurology 2005 Mar. 8; 64-5:866-71.

“Testosterone decreases cholesterol and raises HDL.” Atherosclerosis 1996 Mar;121(1): 35-43.

“Low testosterone levels are associated with higher cardiovascular risk. Testosterone supplementation reduces abdominal fat and improves insulin sensitivity. Testosterone lowers cholesterol also.” Diabetes Metab 2004 Feb;30(1):29-34

“Hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women and testosterone replacement in men reduce the degree of central obesity.” Obesity Review 2004 Nov; 5(4): 197-216.

“High doses of synthetic, anabolic steroids cause side effects. No such side effects have been observed using low doses of natural testosterone. Avoidance of supraphysiologic levels prevents any side effects.” Female Patient 2004 Nov; Vol.29: 40-45.

“Testosterone increases bone density in women. Testosterone protects against heart disease in women.” Journal of Reproductive Medicine 1999; 44(12):1012-20

“Low DHT (dihydrotestosterone) predicted a higher rate of cancer. Higher DHT levels were associated with a lower risk of cancer”. Brit.J.Urol 1990 Mar;77(3)443-37.

At medAge we are committed to keeping you informed with the latest scientific facts.  Call us–we can help you live a happier, healthier life! 828-684-1212

To Your Optimal Health! Dr. Laura

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We love our water bottle!

Here’s why

1) It doesn’t spill all over our faces

It has a narrow mouth which fits just right even while in the car or walking.  We all agree that when we drink from wider spouts we drink LESS because it tends to spill.  We can chug larger volumes with ours!

2) It’s the right size

Our medAgeTM water bottles hold over 32oz of fluid—we have to fill it less often. Filling it only 2-3 times a day is enough for most people.  Remember: drink half of your body weight in ounces every day! 

3) It has a screw on lid 

The medAgeTM Nalgene bottle has an attached screw on lid keeping the bottle tightly closed and spill free.  Even if it rolls around in your car or purse.

4) BPA free bottle 

Nalgene is BPA free! Make sure to keep your bottle out of the sun since ALL plastics, even BPA free, can leach into your water if they are heated.  Bonus tip: Since we’re talking about plastic—it’s ok to store food in plastic containers but when it comes time to heat it up, transfer to non-aluminum metal, glass or ceramic.  That way you avoid any potential plastic contamination.

To Your Optimal Health!  Dr. Laura

For more great tips on staying healthy call us at medAgeTM for a consultation.  Click here for more information on how the medAge Team can help you loose weight and feel great!

 828-684-1212

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Lets Talk about Hormones! Part 3

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HRT and Heart Disease: Recent Study Finds That Starting Hormone Therapy Early May Prevent Heart Disease

A new study from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides more evidence that starting hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) by the time of menopause may help reduce a women’s risk of heart disease rather than raise her risk as concluded by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, now regarded as a poorly designed study.

The study from NEJM enrolled 643 healthy women and divided them into two groups. The first group was less than six years post menopause and those in the second group were more than 10 years post menopause. Both groups were randomly given either a placebo or estradiol (the main estrogen women lose at menopause).

Over five years follow-up, significantly less progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries (a marker for heart disease) was found in the women who started HRT less than 6 years after menopause compared to those taking the placebo. The group of women who started HRT greater than 10 years after menopause showed no such benefit. Other studies have backed up this claim that post-menopausal women not on HRT are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Post-menopausal women have significantly greater volumes of fat around their hearts (a risk factor for heart disease) than their pre-menopausal counterparts, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study has shown for the first time.

This means that starting HRT within 6 years of menopause is heart protective! I believe women who are candidates should start HRT prior to menopause for the many other benefits it provides including breast health, bone density, memory, and more.

To Your Optimal Health,  Laura Ellis MD

At medAge® we prescribe bio-identical HRT and carefully monitor our patients according to proven scientific data. Topical, oral and implantable methods of delivery are customized for each patient. Call us today for a consultation. Get control of your health!

828-684-1212

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