The father of a very close friend of mine lost his will to live. Here is an aging former soldier of fortune who once had a zest for life experienced by few. Now, he has lost interest in eating and seemingly everything else.
This bothers me for a couple of reasons. First, someone close to me may lose her dad. And on a larger scale, didn’t I say most people go to the ends of the earth to hang on to life towards the end? Well, apparently not all. Why is this?
Several months ago, I had a relevant conversation with another close friend about how some people cling to life at the end no matter how much suffering and pain they endure, while others simply throw in the towel. We concluded it may have something to do with declining hormone levels. So I called my anti-aging physician to discuss this possibility. His response was that yes, declining hormone levels lead to depression, which usually translates to loss of appetite, and of course, a diminished will to live. He routinely reverses this phenomenon with closely monitored hormone replacement therapy.
Could declining hormone levels be evolution’s way to nudge us into going quietly into the night? Could savvy doctors reverse deteriorating disease and attitudes and improve and extend millions of lives with simple hormone replacement therapy?
The evidence strongly points in that direction.
The most commonly physician-supplemented hormones are estrogen and progesterone in women, testosterone in men, and growth hormone in both sexes. In addition to these hormones, the majority of people also experience a decline in the hormones melatonin and DHEA.
DHEA promotes tissue renewal and replacement. Low DHEA levels affect your cardiovascular and immune system as well as your metabolism. DHEA usually declines from prime levels by 80–85% by the time you reach seventy years of age.
DHEA is available as an over-the-counter supplement at any health food store. Have your physician recommend a sensible dosage for you. Dosages will vary from person to person.
Once again, the potential benefits of hormone replacement outweigh the negative consequences. These benefits include increased muscle tone, a more active sex drive, better skin and hair condition and better immune system function.
The important thing to keep in mind though is, when you incorporate hormone replacement therapy into your regimen, do so only under the guidance of an intelligent anti-aging physician. He or she should test your hormonal levels and monitor your health before and during supplementing hormones to make sure you aren’t receiving too much. As with any biologic molecule, too much can be just as problematic as too little. The idea is to bring your system back into balance, not to overwhelm it.
A final word of advice about hormone replacement is that many people sell what they claim to be human growth hormone or human growth hormone releasing drugs. The majority are snake-oil salesmen. Be wary before purchasing any of these products. Many are completely unproven, and the companies that sell them usually can’t be trusted. We are wary of growth hormone for anti-aging purposes no matter what the source.
Many people look at old age as a decrepit, miserable period in their lives. The grumpy ones have for the most part given up hope.
The moral to this story is, don’t wait until you see serious decline to visit an anti- aging specialist. In fact, see one before you experience any decline—period. After all, once you see signs of a condition or disease, it may be too late. Heart disease and cancer are two good examples. They eat away at you for years before you show symptoms. And one symptom from heart disease is often sudden death.
Your perfect cure is prevention.
David Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.