Wednesday, January 21, 2009

[aging] lifestyle change rather than drugs

Not at all sure that drugs are the way to go, no matter how effective they may be in the short term.

Aging is an unfortunate but natural process which requires complete lifestyle adjustments. Easy to say that you and I should have thought of this earlier but still ... all our efforts should be to take care of the inevitable before it goes too far.

If we can, in this current climate.



I was shocked at the reality when, on a nursing course, I learned the medical definition of aging.

An incurable, progressive,degenerative,terminal disease.

CherryPie said...

The article is a little worrying.

BobG said...

Who needs drugs for anxiety? That's why they invented brandy...

Anonymous said...

The push for immortality is very strong.
Science is taking relatively enormous strides, but basically we, and all "life" is programmed for obsolescence.

The "enormous" strides, are in relation to the commencing knowledge base.
When compared to the enormity of immortality, they are microscopic, and progress against that enormity would best be described as "glacial"

A major marker of overall aging degradation is the age related decline in the Adrenal secretions of the a-sexual hormone, DHEA
This is touted by many "anti-aging" retailers, sometimes mixed with other products - clinical and/or herbal, as the elixir. It is not, BUT, it is very good when taken under PROPER medical supervision, - impossible in this country. It WILL alter liver functions over time. It will also alter the feed-back loop involving the pituitary/hypothalamus monitoring, over time.

Another usefull area I have mentioned befor is the whole area of Nootropics
Many drugs in this group are touted over the internet, and many folks have derived benefits from them. It is however a pharmacological minefield for the layman, there being so many metabolic pathway crossovers in the brain, and so many equally complex feedback monitoring mechanisms. The drugs are becoming less of a sledge-hammer, and more targeted over time, but caution is urged. Once again medical expertise is needed for the correct diagnosis (difficult in UK) and then, given NICE idiocy, many resort to the internet.

One of the major reasons for aging results
from the restrictions based on cell replication via DNA transcription, by the Telomere There are many, tightly defined, feedback monitoring, enzyme based, control systems, built into this area. There must be. Uncontrolled replication is what we call cancer.

As we age, we are less able to control stress levels. This creates a cascade of problems, one of which this link describes. High sodium levels are not conducive to blood pressure control, and this leads to other areas. Stress increases adrenal activity and the output of adrenalin. "Un-used" adrenalin, via violent physical exercise is extremely toxic - when broken down, (as it must be if "un-used). It in turn creates water retention. It also releases a cascade of catabolic (cell destroying - opposite of anabolic) hormones- cortisol. This can be disastrous in an aging body. In a young, moderately athletic body, cortisol is immediately extinguished by taking glucose, sometimes mixed with a slower release (lower glycemic index)saccharide. Glucose uptake and the Krebs cycle in an aging body varies considerably and its action fighting catabolic hormones is less efficient.
(Interestingly for an athlete, glucose also kill the release of IGF1, which some athletes seek, via a modified training protocol, as an aid in their sport.)

And finally, as this must be boring the ass of some readers, there is the interesting subject, very topical lately, of the metabolism of Omega 3 and omega 6, in the cell mitochondria.

The metabolism of dietary omega 3 and omega 6 oils is governed in the cell mitochondria by the enzymes, "Desaturase group", which insert double bonds, and the "Elongase group", which add 2 carbons to the carbon backbone of the molecule. These enzyme actions create the extremely complex, high-end omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, found in brain, eye, nerve, and all major glands in the endocrine system.
In the aging body there is a marked decline in the ability to produce desaturase and elongase enzymes commencing after the age of 30years in the human.
The nutrient precursors for these enzymes are B3, B6, C, Magnesium, and Zinc. Other vitamins and minerals will modify results.

If you saw the film, "Lorenzo's Oil", this condition came about because of his body's inability to manufacture an array of these enzymes.

North Northwester said...

Whoa, James; anonymous here is thorough, isn't he/she?

That's one of the nice things about the internet - you keep being surprised by things you read.

I'm definitely not a doctor but for the little it's worth, here's my take on anxiety and ageing.

Firstly, much of anxiety may not be an illness at all. You've just moved house and academic studies show that changing homes is the fourth most stressful common life event after bereavement divorce and finding out that size really does matter. Any current anxiety may therefore be down to tiredness and the sure and certain knowledge that you can't find anything.

And is being anxious an unreasonable response to the world at large these days? I don't think so. We're in pretty much uncharted waters here, economy-wise, and if our evolutionary past equipped us with the instinct to suspect that things might be just about to get much, much worse, well...let's use that instinct to find alternative sources of income, spread our financial bets,stock the cellar with canned food and ammunition, etc., etc.

When my father died in the 1970s, the doctor prescribed tranquillisers for my mother and that prescription was renewed by a succession of doctors who never seemed to alter the diagnosis that she was sad, and so she was on anti-depressants and/or tranquillizers [yes, sometimes both at the same time!] until her suicide eleven years later. Coincidence? I don't think so, somehow.

I understand that medical practise about mood-enhancing drugs has improved since then - but I'm still very nervous about happy pills in part because of this.

I'm prone to aches and pains myself [too much jogging in wrong shoes and with the wrong sort of warm-up exercises I think] and have found visits to an osteopath useful - long-standing undiagnosed gross anatomy problems can cause other kinds of problem.

I can recommend swimming. It's a great stress-buster (I fantasize about having unlimited police powers to make a hundred lifelong doleys shape up or ship out), and for an idle sod like me it's essentially one hour three times a week when I can raise my heartbeat lying face down on a nice and soft twenty-five metre sofa.

And there are girls without too many clothes on.

James Higham said...

Thanks for that. I'm at the library and thought I'd pop in and see.

Anon and NNW - they are great comments too.