GROWING OLD

What- How- Why must be understood before you can consider the possible opportunities to ameliorate the inevitable.

WHAT: Aging is a process that starts at conception followed hopefully by birth, growth, puberty, youth adult, middle age, senility and death. The step between middle age 40 or so and senility 70+ is where a difference can be made. The finial step from senility to death will require further research into gene and stem cell therapy, which is currently being vehemently opposed by religious leaders up to and including our president. (I guess he has not considered his own mortality). The situation at this time in grim. There are like 50,000+ centenarians with only 50+ in the next decade and very few in the 120+ category. Well this certainly sets limits for us without new research our lifespan is short and defined.

HOW: The aging process is really a growth process. From embryo to fetus, to baby to young adult and on. It is a constant process driven by our endocrine system. Hormones are chemical messengers that make big changes in cell activity. They plan our growth, strength, and finally our obsolescence.

Hypothalamus: Regulates the other gland secretion rates.

Pituitary Gland: Determines growth hormone release rates.

Thyroid Gland: Regulates the metabolism, the cellular activity level in our bodies.

Parathyroid: Must do something important.

Pancreas: Produces insulin and glucagons.

Adrenal Glands: stimulant when active.

Testes: Testosterone

Ovaries: Progesterone and estrogen

In addition we must consider the thymus which regulates the immune system

The process of aging after 40 is a gradual shut down of this system.

WHY: The system is built to shut down about 15 years after the last birth. From evolution that makes a lot of sense. Why feed and house and use valuable assets of the community to maintain a person who is not producing offspring. This means the system starts closing down about 35 to 40 and reaches a noticeable impact by around 55 to 60 and this is just about what happens, look around you.

So here is the problem what can do about it?

Options:

Organ transplants might be considered. Difficult, dangerous, expensive, rejection, general incompatibility with your body.

Life style changes would be a lot less dangerous, cheaper, and relatively few side effects.

Supplements, the magic pill, everyone wants them so they do not have to go out and run. There is NONE. It is just hard work. I know no one wants to hear that. So do you want to trade some effort for a healthy body and a limited improvement in longevity? Maybe it is not worth it since you get the first 40 to 50 years free. Take it and get out of the way. But the next 20 years are in and out of the hospitals, reduced sex ability, incapacity of movement, you look like hell. But much more important, before you opt for the no effort route– think—I mean think—the brain— the brain. Even though you are willing to let yourself got to an early senility, again look around you, I will bet you are NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP MENTAL HEALTH. Now the rub, it takes a healthy body to maintain a healthy brain. Why? The brain needs a huge supply of blood. Those pipes going up are big. So if cannot even run up a hill how are you going to supply the blood to your brain as your pipes age and corrode? You are setting yourself up for all the dementia symptoms, plus stroke, lack of neuron transmitters, all of which opens the door for Alzheimer’s disease, etc. It is all over even if your body is still functioning.

There is an old adage that says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Well I think the ratio is lot greater. A little help to the immune system to prevent cancer is lot easier than all that surgery, radiation, kemo etc.

What can you do?

**Go anaerobic every day; you need to tailor an exercise program to meet your goals.

**Take lots of amino acids see below.

**Have a good stretching program ½ hour per day minimum.

**Take lots of supplements see below.

**Have a good stable relationship and an active sex life.

**Be involved both physically mentally.