Stress, anxiety, insomnia, lack of energy, migraines, overweight, mood swings … These are situations that affect the vast majority of the population, to a greater or lesser extent. And, unfortunately, they usually get worse as we age.
The solution is not always easy, especially since having a good diagnosis is complicated. The good news is that today, thanks to science, it is possible to respond to virtually any concern that assaults us. How? With the call anti-aging medicine or anti-aging medicine.
To know more about this new concept that was born a few years ago in the United States under the name of "age-management", we have gone to Neolife, one of the pioneer clinics in Spain in antiaging medicine. With a lot of questions in our heads, we start with the basics and it's knowing what exactly is anti-aging medicine and what can he do for us?
"Anti-aging medicine aims, on the one hand, to extend the life expectancy of a person and, on the other, reach advanced ages with better health, without pathologies and, above all, without limitations", Explains Alfonso Galán, one of the doctors who integrate Neolife, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the Autonomous University of Madrid and specialized in Family and Community Medicine at the University Hospital La Paz.
"Lengthening life is the idea, but what we want is give good years to that life", Continues the expert. Today we know that there are many studies with failures, with interests that determine the conclusions, with results based only on observation … "Therefore, all doctors should recycle and stop to think and see things with a critical sense," says Gallant. "Many specialists have got into anti-aging medicine because we thought that we should not only treat a disease afterwards, once it manifests itself (after a stroke, a heart attack …) We work so that this infarction never occurs and if it had already occurred , that does not happen again. Our objective is to see and adequately treat the risk factors that have led to that heart attack (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, poor eating habits …) "
For this, it is necessary to have a comprehensive knowledge of the patient, that he will arrive at a first appointment of one hour in which he is asked about "symptoms, history of illness, family history … and about a series of axes of his life: rest, exercise, nutrition, sexual life, vitality, stress … Then we ask him about his goals; there are people who simply want to have more strength, more vitality, another who wants to lose 10 kilos, another who wants to better take the ailments of menopause, and others who simply want to get better at old age … "the doctor tells us.
With age, obviously, we all suffer a deterioration of health, but "many of the variables that cause you to have this deterioration are modifiable. Some require the patient's effort, such as nutrition and exercise, and others come from the doctor: it is the specialist who has to work actively to improve them with hormonal therapies, supplementation, medication, etc. Traditional medicine has a hard time responding to these things, "adds the expert.
What most certainly captures the attention of anyone who enters the door of Neolife is that each patient is unique and there is no generic treatment. "Here we make a custom-made suit" with a very comprehensive and very individualized approach. In the first consultation, the patient already knows what we offer and how we work. Of course, we need to start from a minimum clinical analysis to know how that person physically is ".
That is why different check-ups are carried out, ranging from a biomarker analysis and a physical examination with body composition tests, to a head-to-pelvic CT scan, through a brain resonance, an echocardiogram, a cancer risk study … " Patient study can be as complex as we want, but we do it individually for each person according to the medical information we have and according to their concerns. "
After the tests, the patient arrives at the second consultation and comes out knowing "how we work, what the follow-up sequence will be like and the beginning of treatment".
"People are very surprised when we give them the proofs", explains Alfonso Galán, "they say to you: 'I thought I was fine', and really many times it is not that they are bad, but that we we look at things from another perspective. We rely on all the scientific literature to look at the same parameters of conventional medicine with other eyes. Where traditional medicine says that a value in a particular range is fine, we know that it can be optimized to avoid certain diseases. On the other hand, we also see other parameters than conventional ones, to have as much information as possible for diagnosis and treatment. "
The vast majority of people can actually benefit from this anti-aging medicine, because the idea is that you feel good on a day-to-day basis and get "young" to old age. The more prepared we are, the better we will arrive. "We have young women of 31-32 years who notice less energy than before, who want to find better, who come for a sexual issue such as pain during relationships; we also have men who feel that they no longer perform as they did when they were young, that they do not gain the same muscle … Of course many women with menopause also come, with more or less hot flashes and more or less mood swings, older people who do not want to be a burden for their children … The profiles are very varied, "says the doctor.
The medicine of the 4 P
They call it that because Antiaging medicine is a preventive, predictive, proactive and personalized measure. "We could add one more P, which would be pleasant", for the pleasure and well-being it brings.
In any case, and whatever the problem, we always review 4 important ways regarding treatment: nutrition, exercise, supplementation and hormonal treatment.
We already know how important it is to take care of food and exercise. "There are people who think they eat very well and do things very well and yet we have found many men between 35-50 with osteopenia, that is, with a lower bone density of bone, because we all have a vitamin D deficiency and calcium is not being deposited in the bones. They think that by doing a bike or running they will not have a problem, but they are sports without a load, which is what you would need to deposit calcium in your bones. If we see this case, for example, we would introduce vitamin D and some force or load exercise. If this man had a risk of breaking his hip in 15 years because that osteopenia was going to become osteoporosis, we managed to stop that happening, "explains Galán.
As for food, "carbohydrates can make glycated hemoglobin rise, a fact that indicates that blood sugar in the last 2-3 months has been rising. We know that this will end in prediabetes and eventually in diabetes, so we are already seeing that person can not take so many carbohydrates, "explains Galán.
In this sense, "in analytics we look at many parameters related to insulin resistance and much of the hormones or supplements we prescribe improve that resistance. We also look at the body composition and the OMA index, which relates blood glucose to insulin, which also tells us if there is insulin resistance and what we should do. Depending on the degree you have, we do one thing or another. For example, when the person loses visceral fat their resistance will improve, and with the hormonal treatment will also improve. There are also supplements like saffron that can help or drugs like metformin, which is a very common drug that diabetics have taken all their lives, but now we know that not only is it very good for insulin resistance, but it is probably the first antiaging drug that exists. This is because metformin activates autophagy processes, that is, they release you from waste substances inside the cell to prevent that cell from aging and dying. In fact, sometimes we give it to people with totally normal levels of sugar as an antiaging drug, "concludes the doctor.
"We can not decide how old we are, but how to do it", this is the slogan of this clinic that promises to give us a new life (NeoLife) or, at least, a healthy life to enjoy it fully.
Undoubtedly, one of the best investments that can be made today. Because … what better than investing in oneself?