Is aging simply a disease with a cure?
We get old, we wrinkle, some get fat, some get thin, our bodies change their distribution of fat vs. lean material. Problems such as osteoporosis, thinning skin, and reduced immune function develop. Just routine aging, the normal long deterioration of a healthy body, right?
Wrong! If the symptoms of aging were to present themselves in a person under forty years of age, a medical crisis for the individual would be declared into which time and limitless resources would pour. So why is forty the magic number? Is a lifetime of experience and contribution to society meaningless to the point that we can simply brush aside valuable human beings to die of old age?
We have to get older, time must march on; however, the human body does not have to deteriorate with the endless list of degenerative symptoms that we so readily tell our parents and their peers to accept as a part of life. We are, in essence, telling them to get comfortable with the idea that they have a disease that will kill them.
Aging is a disease with a simple pattern: Beneficial hormones decrease and unwanted enzymes increase. These in turn cause a plethora of symptoms such as menopause, andropause, weight gain, osteoporosis, wrinkling of the skin, baldness and so forth. These changes also give way to other secondary symptoms such as diabetes, cancers and so on.
By systematically elevating human hormones to youthful levels while restricting the activities or production of disruptive enzymes in the aging person, not only can life be extended, but the quality of life can be improved as well. There is no magic bullet or a single pill that will turn say, George Burns into Justin Bieber, but there are some therapies that can permit our aging population to extend their lives and their enjoyment of those lives, free from the ailments that would normally afflict them.
Some of these therapies include, but are not limited to Human Growth Hormone therapy, Melatonin, aromatase inhibitors, DHT blockers, antioxidants, caloric restriction, diet and exercise. Beyond these, there are gene and stem cell therapies that are being developed based upon the work of Dr. Micheal West.
This humble article is by no means intended to be a comprehensive piece of work on aging, but rather, an introduction to the subject which I will explore expound upon in upcomming articles. As politicians in Washington argue over whether or not to raise the debt cieling, the rest of us should concern ourselves with raising the quality of life cieling. There is no single mechanism in the human body that dictates when a human being MUST die of old age or age related illness. Science has removed most of these genetic excuses for shortened lifespans.