AG­ING GRACE­FULLY

Fend off these five signs of ag­ing—and look and feel years younger.

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Vera Tweed

Ag­ing has a lot to do with at­ti­tude. As Ge­orge Bernard Shaw put it: “You don’t stop laugh­ing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laugh­ing.” But there has to be more you can do, no? To nd out, we asked a few ex­perts how to deal with the most an­noy­ing signs.

MOOD AND HOR­MONAL SHIFTS

Hor­mones shift through­out life, with lev­els of sex hor­mones ris­ing dur­ing pu­berty, uc­tu­at­ing ev­ery month (and with preg­nancy) for women, and drop­ping in later years. And then, says Erika Schwartz, MD, a leader in nat­u­ral hor­mone bal­anc­ing and au­thor of e New Hor­mone

So­lu­tion, “Ir­ri­tabil­ity is the clas­sic story.”

Age-re­lated changes in sex hor­mones get a lot of at­ten­tion but our hor­mones all work to­gether. As es­tro­gen and testos­terone lev­els drop, so do sero­tonin and dopamine, which in uence mood. And so, we have grumpy old men, and women. Mem­ory and fo­cus prob­lems, anx­i­ety, and even pal­pi­ta­tions can be other symp­toms

In ad­di­tion, says Schwartz, many women be­come de­pressed be­cause they feel as though they’re los­ing their iden­tity and have be­come in­vis­i­ble. All too of­ten, doc­tors pre­scribe an­tide­pres­sants which can make mat­ters worse, de­plet­ing the urge to have sex and caus­ing weight gain in some peo­ple. “e drugs are adding in­sult to what­ever is left of their iden­tity as a younger woman,” she says. What to Do Rec­og­nize that changes need to be made and daily habits make a big dif­fer­ence. “Once you’re in your 40s, 50s, and be­yond, you can­not eat the way you did in your 20s and 30s,”

says Schwartz. “And if you’re seden­tary, your bones will fall apart, your brain will fall apart, and you will fall apart.” For­tu­nately, there’s plenty you can do. Here’s what she rec­om­mends:

In­clude pro­tein at each of three daily meals and cut back on starches and sugars. Eat whole foods in­stead of “low-carb” or “low-fat” pro­cessed foods in pack­ages. If you need to snack, go for berries and nuts but, cau­tions Schwartz, “Don’t eat a gal­lon of them.” Eat only when you’re hun­gry. Make it a pri­or­ity to move more. Schwartz rec­om­mends set­ting an alarm or re­minder to get up and move around ev­ery 45 min­utes—walk in a cir­cle or in place, but move. Right af­ter get­ting out of bed in the morn­ing, spend 20 min­utes stretch­ing and do­ing a few other ex­er­cises, such as sit-ups, leg raises, arm raises, yoga—what­ever works for you, but sched­ule it into your day. Try other ac­tiv­i­ties, such as Pi­lates, swim­ming, danc­ing, hik­ing, or bik­ing, al­ways warm­ing up be­fore and stretch­ing af­ter­ward. Take ba­sic, es­sen­tial sup­ple­ments: a mul­ti­vi­ta­min, mag­ne­sium, pro­bi­otics,

Fish oil, and vi­ta­min D. And con­sider hor­mone-bal­anc­ing in­gre­di­ents such as DIM (di­in­dolyl­methane) and in­dole-3-carbinol (I3C), found in cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles but much more con­cen­trated in sup­ple­ments. If you do all the right things and con­tinue to have di culty, nd a health pro­fes­sional trained in nat­u­ral hor­mone ther­apy. Places to check in­clude “Find a Doc” at agemed.org and natur­o­pathic.org.

SAGGY SKIN

“Sag­ging comes from ge­net­ics and a break­down of col­la­gen, not so much the sun,” says says Kally Pa­pan­to­niou, MD, a board-certi ed der­ma­tol­o­gist at Ad­vanced Der­ma­tol­ogy, PC, in Great Neck, N.Y. Stress, lack of sleep, and an un­healthy diet ac­cel­er­ate the break­down. And los­ing a lot of weight can also con­trib­ute to sags.

A com­bi­na­tion of re­sis­tance and aer­o­bic ex­er­cise will help to tone mus­cles and re­duce sags be­low the neck. But with

age, there’s nat­u­rally a cer­tain amount of vol­ume lost in the face, giv­ing it a saggy or jowly look. Aside from a full face lift, there are min­i­mally in­va­sive

Fillers, mild lift­ing pro­ce­dures, and laser and other treat­ments that stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion. And, the right nutri­ents can de nitely help.

What to Do Eat­ing col­la­gen, in bone broth or col­la­gen sup­ple­ments, doesn’t mean the col­la­gen will go di­rectly into your skin. How­ever, says Pa­pan­to­niou, “It gives your body build­ing

blocks for mak­ing col­la­gen.”

Drink bone broth and/or take col­la­gen sup­ple­ments.

Take the sup­ple­ments listed on p. 62 for crepey skin.

AGE SPOTS AND CREPEY SKIN

“They come from cu­mu­la­tive sun dam­age—not last sum­mer, but ear­lier in life,” says Pa­pan­to­niou. “In your 40s, you see dam­age from your 20s.” Tan­ning beds are es­pe­cially harm­ful be­cause there are no

Fil­ters from gases and par­ti­cles in the at­mos­phere, as there are out­doors. Drink­ing and smok­ing make things worse.

While you can’t turn back time, skin cells turn over through­out life, and us­ing sun­screen and get­ting the right foods and sup­ple­ments will make new cells health­ier in sev­eral ways. Sun­screen will re­duce

fur­ther harm. Avoid­ing sugar and starches will re­duce the break­down of col­la­gen, which sup­ports skin struc­ture, and main­tain lev­els of elastin, which makes skin sup­ple and helps to re­duce cre­pi­ness. Avoid­ing dairy and, for some peo­ple, gluten, re­duces in­flam­ma­tion that speeds up skin ag­ing. And an­tiox­i­dants re­duce and re­pair UV dam­age.

What to Do Pa­pan­to­niou has found that many peo­ple put sun­screen on their face, but for­get the neck and chest where the skin be­comes thin­ner and crepey. In ad­di­tion to eat­ing a good diet and tak­ing ba­sic, es­sen­tial sup­ple­ments, she rec­om­mends the fol­low­ing: Ex­tra vi­ta­min A from cod-liver oil, for a to­tal of 1,000 to 5,000 IU daily. Ex­tra vi­ta­min C from camu camu pow­der, 500 to 1,000 mg daily Ex­tra vi­ta­min D3, for a to­tal of 2,000 to 5,000 IU daily, but it’s best to get vi­ta­min D lev­els tested. Ad­di­tional an­tiox­i­dants such as Py­c­nogenol, grape­seed ex­tract, ly­copene, and/or resver­a­trol.

HAIR LOSS

Some peo­ple have a ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion to lose their hair, but hor­monal im­bal­ances and nu­tri­tional de cien­cies also play a role. “e most com­mon rea­sons for hair loss, es­pe­cially for women, are an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid and stress,” says Mache Seibel, MD, au­thor of e Es­tro­gen Win­dow. An im­bal­ance of other hor­mones can also con­trib­ute. Pulling hair back tightly, wear­ing ex­ten­sions, and styling with high heat can break hair. More frag­ile when wet, hair should al­ways be treated gen­tly.

What to Do While in­di­vid­ual hor­mone bal­anc­ing is some­thing ad­dressed by trained prac­ti­tion­ers, a good diet and ba­sic, es­sen­tial sup­ple­ments build a healthy foun­da­tion to sup­port the thy­roid and other hor­mones. In ad­di­tion, Seibel rec­om­mends: Re­duce stress by re­lax­ing, get­ting enough sleep, and turn­ing off TVs and other de­vices a cou­ple of hours be­fore bed. If you watch TV in the evening, stay away from news af­ter 6 p.m. Avoid toxic hair prod­ucts and tox­ins in gen­eral, as the thy­roid is es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble to tox­ins. Take bi­otin sup­ple­ments for healthy hair and nails.

LOW EN­ERGY

All too of­ten, we look for quick en­ergy fixes, but sus­tain­ing en­ergy takes a more holis­tic ap­proach, which Seibel calls “the sum of you.” Oth­er­wise, he says, “It’s like hav­ing three good tires and one flat one.” A whole-food, low-carb, prefer­ably or­ganic diet that sup­ports hor­mone bal­ance; daily ex­er­cise; good-qual­ity sleep; stress con­trol; and es­sen­tial sup­ple­ments lay the foun­da­tion.

“The most com­mon rea­sons for hair loss, es­pe­cially for women, are an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid and stress,” says Mache Seibel, MD, au­thor of The Es­tro­gen Win­dow. De­ple­tion or im­bal­ance of other hor­mones also con­trib­ute.

“I also use adap­to­genic herbs, such as rho­di­ola and eleuthero,” says Robert Kachko, ND, LAc, a natur­o­pathic physi­cian and acupunc­tur­ist in New York. Adap­to­gens are viewed as ton­ics that can have an en­er­giz­ing or calm­ing ef­fect, de­pend­ing upon what’s needed at a given time.

They make it pos­si­ble to en­hance en­ergy with­out caus­ing jit­ters or in­ter­fer­ing with sleep. B-com­plex vi­ta­mins also sup­port and sta­bi­lize en­ergy. What to Do Get enough pro­tein: about 40 to 50 gm daily for most women and 50 to 70 gm daily for most men. Stay hy­drated. Wa­ter is best. Drink half your body weight in ounces, e.g., 75 ounces for a 150-lb. per­son. Try rho­di­ola, eleuthero, or an adap­to­genic her­bal for­mula. Take a B-com­plex sup­ple­ment.

MEET THE EX­PERT: Jen­nifer Yepez is a pro­fes­sional hair­styl­ist whose work has ap­peared in top fash­ion mag­a­zines, in­clud­ing Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire, and in notable fash­ion shows in­clud­ing Dolce and Gab­bana and Vera Wang.

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