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Inflammation and Your Health and Longevity

By Jan Nelson MSN, NP-C, ABAAHP

     Aging is a disease that cannot be completely eliminated, but like many chronic diseases, it can be controlled, prevented, and even reversed. This can be accomplished with inflammation control, good nutrition, and hormone optimization.

     Anti-aging medicine is all about lifestyle. We have, as a society become accustomed to good health coming from a pill or injection. Good health comes from nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. These lifestyle changes decrease inflammation, and inflammation is the source of everything bad. Anti-inflammation equals wellness.

     Inflammation in the body causes degenerative diseases which in turn trigger more inflammation, feeding a vicious cycle. Acute inflammation on the other hand saves your life. It is the body’s response to serious illness, injury, or stress.  Inflammation in these circumstances is a defense mechanism. In short, acute inflammation keeps us alive, but chronic inflammation slowly kills us.

     Along with lifestyle changes hormone optimization is the finishing touch to an anti-aging program. If hormone replacement is needed to correct deficiencies, a bio-identical hormone should be used and titrated to a youthful level.

     Adequate nutrition and calorie restriction has been the most consistently proven anti-aging intervention. Calorie restriction has been shown to dramatically decrease levels of inflammatory cytokines. However, very few of us could stick to an 800 calorie a day diet every day. Omega-3 can help turn off these cytokines making you healthier.

     CRP is a marker for inflammation, an elevated CRP is associated with everything bad from atherosclerosis to cancer. Improving cardiovascular fitness and utilizing the Mediterranean Diet are helpful in lowering inflammation and thus CRP.

     Aging itself causes inflammation, but hormones optimized correctly will decrease inflammation. Testosterone replacement for example, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, improves body composition, improves T2 diabetes, reduces risk of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and increases levels of the good cytokines. Bio-identical estrogen, DHEA and thyroid hormones, when optimized correctly all work to decrease inflammation.

     My goal as an anti-aging provider is to enable you to live longer and healthier lives through the reduction of inflammation. Helping you to make lifestyle changes to include nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and correctly optimized hormones, will help you to  achieve your desired results. Anti-inflammation equals wellness!

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