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Aging Gracefully – A Gynecologist’s Perspective

By Anna M. Cabeca

Aging, maintaining and restoring our youthfulness is absolutely one of my favorite topics!  Not only is this on the minds of my patients, but also my friends and family. Time speeds by each day and I look around me and see those amazing people that are aging so beautifully with vitality and earned lines of wisdom.  My travels around the world exposed me to many people of different cultures and I learned several ways to approach life, despite the tragedies which we may experience, in positivity, to gain vitality and combat illness.  Over the course of my travels and with continued medical study there are a few key practices which on a daily basis benefit our health.  From my blissfully sleep deprived state thanks to my amazing 4th child,  we are brought to our topic today, Aging Gracefully, which comes down to simply preventative medicine and putting control of our health into our own hands beginning with my top 12 pearls.

Water - drink 1/2 your body weight in water (ex. 150 lbs = 75 oz)
Exercise - 4 - 5 x per week with burst type for cardio and weights
Proper Diet and Nutrition - my favorite is a mediterranean style diet
Trust in Divine
Pure Air / Deep Breath
Rest and Meditation
Temperance and Tolerance
Hormone Balance
Detoxification and minimize inflammation

Each of these can be a lecture itself.

Optimal aging is in each of our control.  My philosophy is that we each have a purpose to fulfill and in order to do so we need optimal health.  We have within ourselves the power to heal, boost our immune system, improve our strength, and reach our goals. Through making good choices we can enjoy a quality of life we have worked hard for. Proper nutrition, physical activity, hormonal balance, and emotional health all help to prevent disease and reduce cellular damage.  Cellular damage causes degenerative changes, oxidative stress, inflammation and hormone imbalances, all of which lead to memory loss, fatigue, anxiety, depression, infertility, decreased libido, impotence, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and the list goes on.  

I recommend beginning with a detoxifying, alkalinizing and cleansing diet to give our bodies a break from the chemicals and hormones we are exposed.  Our hormones are metabolized predominantly in our liver so cleansing/detoxifying periodically is essential to good health.  Providing the essential building blocks from nutrient support through our diet, vitamins, nutrients, herbs, greens, omega's, and protein.  I tell patients if you can pick it, peel it, fish it, hunt it, milk it, grow it, then, for the most part, you can eat it.  

For women and men, balancing hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA, is vital.  When hormones need to be replaced, I recommend bio-identical hormones.  Bio-identical hormones are hormones that are structurally the same as the ones our body produces.  Our body can then perceive these as friendly hormones and metabolize them as they would our own.  Here I must emphasize that hormones in balance are good, hormone imbalance is bad.  And whether we get them from our own bodies production or from other sources such as hormone supplements, birth control pills, xenoestrogens in food, pesticides, herbicides, etc. we should know how our body removes or detoxifies them.  There are tests that can evaluate that.  We look at a 2/16 hydroxyestrone ratio in the urine.  If a persons ratio is greater than two pre-menopausally, studies have shown they have a 40% lower risk of breast cancer.  If a persons ratio is less than two, they have a higher risk of breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.  This ratio can be improved by eating more cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and ground flax seeds, omega'3s, soy isoflavones such as edemame, miso and tempeh.  There is more information on my website regarding this and other testing options for hormone balance.

Healthful aging does not come in a pill.  It comes from a positive attitude, gratitude and love for ourselves, God, and others.  It comes from giving, sharing and caring, each in our own way.  Go back to the basic 12 and believe you are worth the time and energy it takes.  Start making healthful changes slowly and persistently.  You are worth it!

Dr. Anna M. Cabeca  is a board certified Gynecologist & Obstetrician and Diplomat in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine with an integrative medicine practice in Georgia.  

Visit Dr. Cabeca Expert's profile to read more about her. 

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary McGuire wrote Apr 24, 2009
    • I like the 12 steps.  Quite often stress is a choice, the chase after what society says we must have or look or be doing constantly.  I quit coloring my hair after surviving a major health crisis. My gray hair is now my badge of survival.  I detox and eat organic as much as possible (not brussel sprouts,cauliflowers, edame, I just can’t get those past my mouth).  I have worked with seniors who inspire me by their attitude.  I would add one step, get involved with different ages from old to young, the old will lead you in the aging process, the young will keep you from becoming frozen in body and attitude.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Moodydee wrote Apr 30, 2009
    • Christ discusses about "keeping your youth" key verse: "obey your parents." happy

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