James J. Romano, MD
Aging is not a bad thing. Dr. Romano strongly subscribes to the fact that aging can be managed. As we live fuller and longer lives, we are becoming increasingly aware of this natural phenomenon.
The external signs of aging are all obvious to us, from the simplest fine wrinkle lines of a twenty-something-year-old to the crippling severe contractures that disable and prevent independent ambulation in an octogenarian. Awareness of aging comes from all around us, in the media, medical breakthroughs, and advances in skincare and plastic surgery.
Basically, aging is the byproduct of our body’s decreasing ability to quickly and efficiently repair and maintain itself. There is a never-ending struggle between the forces that contribute to deterioration and breakdown, and our body’s ability to identify, fortify, and combat these forces. Our comprehensive approach to anti-aging is focused on not only prolonging life, but also improving the quality and appearance of every aspect of your life and lifestyle.
Until very recently, anti-aging interventions had emphasized and utilized mostly supplements, skincare, and plastic surgery to combat the effects and appearance of aging. More extensive learning and emphasis on diet, lifestyle, and nutrition have expanded our knowledge tremendously. The combination of traditional and emerging methods in medicine, skincare, and nutrition begin the cycle of anti-aging. Exciting advances in the areas of hormonal therapy and clinical genetics will soon become available to complete the cycle of anti-aging therapies. Now, each level and category of the anti-aging cycle has become closely interactive and interdependent with the other levels.
|Plastic surgery plays a key role in this cycle:|
THE ANTI-AGING AND LONGEVITY RESOURCE CENTER
Our office provides an integrated algorithm approach to plastic surgery and anti-aging. We have thoroughly researched and provide the best medical-grade resources for the following:
- State-of-the-art medical-grade skincare with emphasis on anti-aging and maintenance, provided in the office by our dedicated highly skilled staff.
- Up-to-date information on supplements you should be taking.
- Information on diet and nutrition.
- Information on exercise and personal trainers.
- Testing blood, urine, and saliva for specific anti-aging biomarkers.
- Testing and information on hormone-replacement therapy.
- Periodic anti-aging seminars.
- Referrals and recommendations for physicians specialized in detoxification and anti-aging medicine.
It is no new news that we are living longer and healthier. It is for just these reasons that we are also demanding more—more energy, longer life, better lifestyle, and an appearance that complements our level of youthfulness and vitality. There is a dramatic increase in the number of people surviving past the age of 65, as this graph demonstrates. Be aware that not only are we living longer, but we are also living better and, for this reason, want more.
|Number or persons 65 and older|
THEORIES OF AGING
There are numerous theories of aging that basically distill down into these major categories:
1. The wear-and-tear theory
This may be the greatest source of aging, and the major contributor to the process. It is the abuse and overuse of the body that causes damage to the cells and organ systems. This is caused by the internal and external constant stresses on our cells and systems from our diet, lifestyle, and environment. It involves the damage to the proteins that affect DNA, hormones and enzymes. Our diet is our greatest stress.
2. The free-radical theory
Free radicals are waste products of cellular metabolism produced in our body that are otherwise normal. Diet, lifestyle, and environment can cause these to be produced in excessive amounts, thus causing repetitive and cumulative damage. There are many environmental pollutants that contain or stimulate the formation of these free radicals in our bodies. They are highly reactive and toxic to DNA of every cell and serve to deplete our nutrients and disable vital functions.
3. The gene-control-programming theory
Cells in our body have a programmed life expectancy and tend to stop the repair and maintenance function after a certain period of time. This process can worsen when pollutants and contaminants cause cross-linking of these genes, especially the ones that then disable the protein building blocks of the DNA, hormones, and enzymes.
4. The neuroendocrine theory
Hormone levels drop or the hormones produced are not as biologically active during aging. The endocrine glands become fatigued. This is where hormone replacement therapy is so helpful.
CLINICAL SIGNS OF AGING
There are numerous obvious and not-so-obvious signs of the aging process:
- Loss of hair and skin elasticity with resulting wrinkles, skin lesions, folds, pigmentation spots, and decreased moisture.
- Loss of energy, vitality, and endurance with easy fatigability.
- Loss of bone density and strength.
- Change in digestion and bowel habits. Intolerance of certain food types.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Inability to heal wounds or recover from injuries, easy bruisability and greater susceptibility to cancers.
- Change in concentration or mental abilities and mood.
- Decreased coordination and fine-motor skills.
- Decreased libido.
- Complete physical exam and medical history with special emphasis on your genetic history. People do not inherit disease; they inherit deficiencies.
- Antioxidant panels.
- Homocystein levels. This is a very specific marker for susceptibility to heart disease.
- Hormone testing includes growth hormone, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisone. These are tested in the blood, saliva, and urine.
- Oxidative stress panels. Biological markers such as hydroperoxidases and creatine.