How old (or young) do you look and feel for your age? There are steps you can take to avoid or slow down the ravages of time.
First and foremost is getting good restorative sleep. Over time we develop habits and patterns of sleep that do not promote health. Overuse of caffeine, cutting back time allotted for sleep, using medications and alcohol to get to sleep, and the development of medical sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are all issues to consider.
Next is diet. As we get older we become less able to manage sugar and easily digest simple carbohydrates as found in breads and pastas, as well as other grains and some fruits. We tend to become somewhat insulin resistant, which creates a vicious circle of obesity causing more insulin resistance and inflammation.
Intestinal health is critical. Many people develop chronic bowel issues, which may point to food allergies, bacterial or yeast overgrowth as well as other problems. These can lead to chronic inflammation, weight loss resistance and day-to-day discomfort. These issues are often best addressed by an integrative physician or nutritionist.
Many people who are overweight, inflamed or just don't feel well are just eating too many calories or simply the wrong foods. Educating yourself on the right way to eat can be both enlightening and life changing. One way to gauge your body's metabolic activities is to have your doctor check your c-reactive protein level to measure inflammation, and if blood sugar is an issue, consider having a glucose tolerance test and check insulin levels.
Optimizing hormones can be instrumental in maintaining youth. Some say our hormones decline because we age. Others say we age because our hormones decline. Areas to focus on are thyroid issues, which can produce fatigue and dulling. A phenomenon called “adrenal fatigue” is becoming more recognized as a real issue and testing and treating this can make a big difference for people.
Finally optimizing hormone levels in men and women can afford great changes in energy and vitality.
As one begins to deal with these issues and others (such as toxins in our food and environment, micronutrient levels, exercise and stress management) it becomes obvious that they are all interconnected like a web. A simple example is that when one is stressed, you are less likely to sleep well, and data shows that people who are not well rested make poorer eating choices. Working with a health practitioner and examining your life and habits from these perspectives can give one an access to new habits, new actions, and real changes.