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Prevention Is Better Than A Cure: 7 Preventive Care Tips

“They are forever young”, we often say referring to people in their 50s and 60s who still look great and manage to get away with the same lifestyle as someone twenty years younger. Futuristically inclined doctors are saying that in 35-40 years immortality will become possible. We’ll have learned to master genetics and will be able to cut out or switch off the genes responsible for ageing. There are plenty of theories on how to obtain immortality, and we will soon know which one is the most effective. 

It’s like in the Sci-Fi film Gattaca with Ethan Hawke and Jude Law. Law’s character is “valid”, a genetically perfected young man, while Hawke plays the “invalid” whose genes came together by chance, forming an ordinary, short-sighted young man suffering from heart disease. The film raises the issue of hierarchy: in the fictional society, genetically perfected people have become the superior class. Of course, we can not say that such a procedure will become routine in the future, but the possibility of genetic correction is already at hand as has recently been demonstrated by CRISPR-Cas9 gene therapy in the model of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (a genetic disorder with accelerated ageing from early childhood).

 

 

In the Sci-Fi film Gattaca Jude Law ends up with the better genes than his counterpart (Source: GIPHY)

All we need to do is to follow preventive care measures and preserve our body in the meantime, leaving it unchanged for 35-40 years. Ways of doing this are already gaining recognition in the medical community. There are a number of discoveries in this area that have received prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize. In 2009 three talented scientists, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase“. Another breakthrough grabbed public attention in 2016, when Yoshinori Ohsumi was nominated for the same prize for his “discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”. These new discoveries have been applied for a number of years now, and for some Europeans and Americans have become a common practice. 

7 preventive care tips to preserve your beauty & health

7 preventive care tips infographic - diagnost

1 – Annual check-ups

It is like an annual service for our car. Nobody doubts that a car needs yearly maintenance, and here we are talking about our own body, much more valuable than any car there is. And unlike a car, we are not going to get another body and would prefer not to replace parts if at all possible. 

A check-up is a set of tests which measure levels of distinct biochemical parameters such as hormones, vitamins, minerals and amino acids in your body. Based on these indicators a doctor can not only see the current status of our health, but also make a forecast for the future or predict a hidden threat. This applies even to those who consider themselves completely healthy, and especially to those who feel “unwell” and cannot explain why. 

It is important to compare your test results with optimal values for 25-year-olds, not with median results for the lab due to some facts. The clinical references used in the tests for comparison to your own results are often obtained from healthy donors of different ages. In this regard, adequate values of references are paramount of importance for correct interpretations and clinical decisions. Also, according to the FDA, there is a quite high probability of test variations from one laboratory to another. Every time you perform your check-up, it is recommended to use the same medical provider in order to avoid laboratory variation and maintain high-quality result analysis. 

2 – Tailor made vitamins and supplements to your needs 

Vitamins and supplements are not one size fits all. Specific supplements, developed in a lab specifically for you, need to be prescribed in order to compensate for any deviations from optimal values. Over the counter vitamins available from your local pharmacy contain a certain amount of active substances, based on average values, but you may require a little bit more or less and in many cases these are multivitamins and you may not need all of the components included. What is more, according to research, any vitamin taken in excess (especially if you have a sufficient level of it already) or in an uncontrolled manner could reach a toxic level, which may result in arrhythmia, kidney problems or psychological issues as severe as hallucinations. As Virgil said, “aegrescit medendo“, the cure is worse than the disease in this case. 

3 – Undergo a preventative genetics screening 

man swiping his saliva to undergo a preventative genetics screening

This will allow you to receive recommendations and information regarding risks of taking some medications, avoid dangerous illnesses, and improve many other areas such as increasing vitality, losing weight, or gaining weight if necessary. All you need to do is send a genetic sample (for instance, your saliva) to a lab to obtain a detailed report, including what every single cell in your body needs and what you should keep away from. For example, a malfunctioning of detoxification implies that you need to quit smoking. For some people, coffee combined with carrots may be harmful. Moreover, according to recent research, a healthy lifestyle can also help prevent serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular diseases.

 4 – Freeze your eggs

If you’re a woman (obviously) of 25–30 years of age, freezing your eggs will spare you from undesirable thoughts and comments about biological clocks ticking away. As time goes by, the number of eggs goes down and the remaining eggs are more prone to genetic mistakes. This can be avoided through a simple procedure, and involves a gentle hormonal therapy which stimulates the ovaries. The eggs are then extracted with the help of a very thin needle and put into liquid nitrogen. The woman’s age will increase, but the egg cells will remain those of a 25-year-old. And in the meantime, the woman can pursue her career, conquer Mount Everest, travel around the world, or whatever her heart desires.

5 – Save your baby’s umbilical cord

If you are pregnant, keep the umbilical cord and blood after your baby is born. There are many reliable stem cells banks today that offer this service. Stem cells from the umbilical cord are the foundation of every life, and have huge life-saving potential. After all, this is where your baby’s life began. Capabilities and consequences of stem cell application are still being discovered and studied by scientists, and we already know of 78 diseases that can be cured with their help. In due course, this list is sure to become even longer. 

6 – Tailor your beauty care

woman receiving a personalized beauty care treatment for preventive care

Just like with medicines and supplements, cosmetics are not one size fits all either. Cosmetics should be selected specifically for your individual needs. And the sooner you start doing that, the better. For a number of years now several laboratories have been working on creating complex sets of body care products based on your genetic traits.

Collagen and elastin synthesis and the repair of skin cells are very personal processes which differ for each individual. A cream designed specifically for you will allow you to avoid allergies and rejections. However, you should not expect the effect of a surgical lift. You also shouldn’t share it with a friend. It may not work for them due to the specific design to fit your needs, and, actually, could even cause them complications.

7 – Care for your second brain – your gut 

There is a whole universe inside us. We coexist with billions of microorganisms – symbiotes. Their aggregate weight may be as much as 2-3kgs. Every member of this community has its own DNA, and a huge number of laboratories all around the world are working on decoding them – the human microbiome project.  

These creatures need the right approach and we must learn how to manage them. At the moment they are the ones who influence us directly, give us commands, and even blackmail us. For example, if our intestine hosts a large colony of yeast fungus, it will “order” the body to eat more sweets, just because they need sugar for self-replication. As a consequence, a person may become obese and diabetic just because of this. 

Our job is to know the state of our intestines and maintain the balance in our microbiome. We should have a wide variety of bacteria in there. It is also important to know your nutritional intolerances, especially gluten and lactose. Remember that many intolerances are the product of our own creation. Studies show that when we can’t stop eating our favourite food, or exclude something completely from our diet, intolerances and allergies develop. To keep experimenting with new diets and always try the latest fashionable one, is a dangerous path. Even if everyone is crazy about quinoa and claim that they feel as if they were born again, do not rush to follow suit.

Conclusion

In today’s world it is not hard to follow these seven preventive care steps. But it is important to remember that in addition, in order to maintain your beauty and youthfulness, it is still necessary to exercise, eat less, and avoid the temptation of alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants. All this together will allow you to turn back the clock and look and feel 35 at age 50.

Testosterone Explained: Functions, Symptoms & Treatments

You’re aggressive, dominating and extremely sex driven? Congratulations. Even without checking your level, I know you’re high in free testosterone. These behaviours are the most prominent effects of testosterone on your brain. But what about the other, sometimes hidden signs and symptoms that allow doctors to evaluate your level? 

Functions of testosterone

Testosterone is responsible for a number of critical functions in the male body. We all know some of them, like facial and body hair growth, sperm production and erectile function, growth of muscle mass and strength. But you may not be aware that testosterone is responsible for red blood cell production in bone marrow, it controls bone density, and you need a high level of testosterone for good fertility and excellent results in your sports training. Sometimes a sign like varicose veins will give the doctor information about insufficient levels of testosterone production, and in males, varicose veins may in some cases be reversed with local applications of the liposomal gel of transdermal testosterone

Symptoms of low testosterone

Testosterone directly impacts the health of your heart. Studies have shown that testosterone deficiency in patients with coronary artery disease is associated with heart failure and has a significant negative impact on survival.

via GIPHY

The link between low-level testosterone and metabolic syndromes is overwhelming, so don’t believe your overweight friend with gynecomastia (man boobs) when he boasts of his conquests in bed. Research shows that when men have excessive fat deposits, testosterone is converted into estradiol (female hormone) and often the first sign of the disbalance is male breasts enlargement. 

They say bald men are more sexual due to a high level of testosterone being responsible for hair loss. It’s only partially true. I suggest not to trust the words of ‘they’, but to rely on science. Androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness in men) begins and gradually increases with age, when there is a lack of male hormones. Premature balding is associated with increased conversion of high testosterone levels into its metabolite dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In other words, much of the testosterone is ‘wasted’, and in order to correct this conversion pattern a visit to the doctor is needed. So, sorry to say, but bald men are no more masculine than those with a full head of hair, if for you masculinity is defined in terms of response to androgenic stimulation.

Optimal male testosterone levels

Testosterone levels drop about 1% each year beginning in a man’s late 30s, and could fall by as much as 50% by age 70. A urine test for testosterone and its metabolites can determine if you have low testosterone.

Optimal male testosterone levels - Diagnost

In order to treat androgen deficiency and reach optimal total testosterone levels of 6500 to 8000 pg/ml, we have to check all hormones and proteins that are involved: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), surprisingly a number of female hormones (estradiol, estrone, progesterone), and the critical metabolite of testosterone – androstanediol glucuronide. Only analyzing the full picture of your sex hormones activity will give the possibility to restore your abilities back to their optimal levels.

Treatment for low testosterone

Thanks to modern medicine and biochemistry achievements, testosterone deficiency can be easily treated by a number of products. You can choose among: 

  • Skin patch: A patch is applied once every 24 hours, in the evening, and releases small amounts of testosterone into the skin.
  • Gels: Topical gels are spread daily onto the skin over both upper arms, shoulders, or thighs.
  • Nasal spray: Use it at about the same time each day and space your doses about 6 – 8 hours apart. 
  • Buccal tablet: Tablets are attached to your gum or inner cheek twice a day. Testosterone is then absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Oral pills: Tablets must be taken with meals twice or thrice daily. 
  • Pellets: These are implanted under the skin, usually around the hips or buttocks, and slowly release testosterone. They are replaced every three to six months.
  • Injections: Various formulations are injected every 7 to 14 days. Testosterone levels can rise to high levels for a few days after the injection and then slowly come down, which can cause a roller-coaster effect, where mood and energy levels spike before trailing off.

It was a long-standing belief that higher levels of testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy would increase the risk of prostate cancer, but recent studies (Harvard Medical School, Martiniclinic, Universitätsklinikum Ulm) do not support this view and the risk of the acceleration of prostate cancer growth with testosterone is only true for previously castrated man (Maimonides Medical Center).

How to improve your testosterone naturally?

How to boost testosterone levels naturally - Diagnost

You have to eat more proteins (meat, fish, eggs…) and saturated fats (like egg yolk), but be careful with overeating and check you oxidized LDL and triglycerides levels first in order to avoid cardiovascular problems. 

Go easy on sugar! The Endocrine Society reports that glucose (sugar) decreases testosterone levels in the blood by as much as 25%, as it has demonstrated in a study with patients having prediabetes syndrome/diabetes or a normal tolerance for glucose. Eating a high glycemic carb diet will lower total testosterone. Consumption of 75g of glucose reduced the testosterone level 25% for more than 2 hours. These reports were confirmed independently by other studies, with possible variation of testosterone drops between 15 and 40%. 

Two especially important nutrients for your diet are vitamin D and zinc, Both are precursors for testosterone synthesis. Zinc can be added by consuming more whole grains and shellfish, or through supplements. Based on the NIH recommendations, adult males should aim to get 11mg of zinc per day.

Get enough potassium from bananas, beets, and spinach, which aids in testosterone synthesis. Try to decrease coffee intake or replace it with decaf options. Additionally, I would cut out tobacco and alcohol

You might try changing your underwear. That is to say, if you normally wear briefs or a ‘tighty whiteys’ style, switch to looser fitting boxer shorts instead. Ideally, your testicles should hang 2cm below the body and be 2°C cooler than the core body temperature for optimal testosterone production.

Don’t forget that the total testosterone level is highest in men who sleep 7–8 hours a night, and lowest in those who get less than 5 hours.

Testosterone is far more than erectile function and sex drive. Testosterone is a pillar for your health and longevity.

The Healthy Man’s Guide To Male Sexuality

Do you know how to slowly kill a man? Deny him sex. Recent studies show that a low frequency of sexual intercourse leads to a high rate of cardiovascular disease, resulting in higher mortality rates amongst men.

Sex, making love, call it what you will. The majority of people rate physical intimacy as the most enjoyable social activity (no surprise there), yet we spend the least amount of time doing it. Many couples with relationship problems often neglect to talk about their sex lives unless specifically asked. Often people consider it okay, but when probed further, there are significant issues such as frustrations and dissatisfaction when it comes to sex, intimacy and other essential human needs. 

Not many people know this, but testosterone influences sexual desire and not only erectile function. We all have plenty of erotic fantasies when we’re young, imagining ourselves intimately engaged with the subject of our desire, but these fancies can become less and less frequent as we get older.  If you rarely or no longer have these thoughts in your head, most likely you’ve developed a deficit of one or more of the major hormones responsible – testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), oxytocin, or melanocyte-stimulating hormones (MSH). 

There are other factors accountable for men going from fantasy to sexual arousal. Studies have shown that an increase in male sexual desire is not influenced exclusively by testosterone, but possibly even more so by its direct metabolite oestradiol. In line with this, it has been demonstrated that libido decrease is associated with low levels of testosterone and testosterone derived oestradiol in the brain, and too low a level of oxytocin (which increases the pleasure derived from orgasm in men) and MSH. Recent findings from Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, Texas, showed that a year of testosterone therapy significantly improved libido in 275 men (average age 72) with confirmed low testosterone. Frequency of sexual arousal increased by about 50%, and they were able to have almost twice as many erections. In contrast,  the control group (which received a placebo) did not show any improvement at all.

Not feeling amorous? 

man with erectile dysfunction lying in bed next to disappointed woman - Diagnost

Sexual insensitivity is the male’s counterpart to female frigidity and may be caused by a lack of androgen receptors on the surface of genital areas. This results from a certain degree of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and growth hormone (GH) deficiencies. So, if you or your partner feel the spice and excitement in your sex life isn’t exactly turned up to eleven, it could be time to visit a doctor who prescribes transdermal testosterone gel. Or, if you are ‘on the market’ as they say and you would like to win a girl’s heart (and body), I suggest checking and optimising your levels of testosterone, DHEA and oestradiol, because pheromones, which make you so attractive to the opposite sex, derive from these three hormones.

The impact of stress

Although often precipitated by other issues such as pressure at work, finances, and general day-to-day stress, relationship issues are usually a significant contributor to stress-related physical and mental health problems and can perpetuate and often be the root cause of male sexual dysfunction. Most people underestimate the effects of stress on their psychological and physical health and almost always downplay the impact it has in the bedroom. It is often only the experience of sexual dysfunction that leads men to seek treatment. 

People who have significant stress in their lives and who show signs of depression, anxiety, alcohol or other substance abuse, poor body fitness or a combination of all of these usually have an absent libido. Research shows that the use of serotonergic antidepressants to overcome this situation further exacerbates the condition as side effects can include low desire, difficulty in arousal, and a delayed or absent orgasm. Besides this, the excessive level of stress triggers increased cortisol, a well-known stress hormone. Prolonged raised cortisol levels suppress sex hormone production, which negatively affects all stages of the sexual response cycle, particularly libido. 

Another side effect of constant stress is the desire to consume sweets. We share the common belief that a piece of chocolate is good to reduce our tension and at the same time it’s a remedy for sexual arousal. However, be careful when using this stimulation – chocolate isn’t good for you in high quantities, and certainly not regularly, because the sugar that it contains reduces testosterone, which is responsible for libido according to latest research studies.

A-Ten-Hut!

Having good erections is critical for all men because it’s not only a source of one of the significant pleasures in life, but also brings self-confidence and gives the feeling of “being a man”.  

causes of erectile dysfunction - The Healthy Man’s Guide To Male Sexuality - Diagnost

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse.  Medical causes of ED include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, neurological problems, hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism) and drug side effects. Psychological issues can also result in erectile dysfunction, especially feelings of inadequacy and performance anxiety. Most cases of erectile dysfunction have vascular aetiology and accompany a known cardiovascular disease (CAD). The degree of ED correlates with the severity of CAD. Also, CAD and ED share the same risks of atherosclerosis and have common endothelial pathophysiology.

Factors that can cause erectile dysfunction:

  • Ageing and associated increased Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Statin therapy
  • Testosterone and DHT deficiencies

Male sexual dysfunction treatment

  • Maintain hormonal balance – testosterone, Melanotan II, GH, DHEA, DHT, oxytocin
  • Increase in testosterone will make Viagra more effective
  • Inhibition of prolactin improves the ability to achieve an erection again after orgasm

If you are worried about erectile dysfunction, which affects half of all middle-aged and older men, you might want to try flavonoid-rich foods to lower your risk of ED. Harvard Medical School conducted a study of 50,000 middle-aged men and found that those who consumed at least three portions of flavonoid-rich foods per week were identified as having a 10% lower risk of suffering from ED.

Of the main types of flavonoids, three had the most significant benefit: anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones. High levels of these natural plant chemicals are found in berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, as well as cherries, grapes, apples, pears, and citruses. Adding a few more portions of these fruits to your diet can also help prevent cardiovascular disease, and ED is often an early sign of poor vascular function.

Tips for a better sex life

tips for a better sex life - The Healthy Man’s Guide To Male Sexuality - Diagnost

Whether you are currently suffering from ED or hoping to prevent this condition, or you just aren’t feeling as frisky as you would like, I suggest you try several simple tips for better sex life, such as:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, and try to minimise consumption of red and processed meat as well as simple carbohydrates based on the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.
  • Exercise – even simple walking can positively influence your sexual performance. In one Harvard study, it was proven that spending 30 minutes walking a day is linked with a 41% drop in the risk of developing ED.
  • Size matters –  control your BMI and the size of your waistline. Losing weight can fight erectile dysfunction because obesity develops two major risk factors for ED development – vascular diseases and diabetes. Moreover, excess fat is a source of hormonal imbalance and overproduction of oestradiol in men.
  • Control your major cardiovascular indexes – oxidised LDL, triglycerides, blood pressure and insulin resistance – because the increase of these parameters leads to vascular problems and may damage the arteries of the penis as well as major heart and brain arteries.
  • Kegel exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor are seen as a female-only strategy, but a strong pelvic floor enhances rigidity during erections and helps keep blood from leaving the penis.
  • Quit smoking if you do, and limit alcohol consumption, because these lifestyle changes will lead to vascular system improvements. And as we know, vascular health has a drastic influence on having good, strong erections.
  • Check your testosterone level and if necessary see a doctor who can prescribe a treatment (see below)

Treatments that boost testosterone levels

There are several treatments available that can help you boost your testosterone levels and restore your male sexuality. However, always make sure to consult a doctor before taking any measures so that a tailor-made solution can be recommended to you based on your test results and health. Below you can find an overview of different treatments for low testosterone:

  • Skin patch: A patch is applied once every 24 hours, in the evening, and releases small amounts of the hormone into the skin.
  • Gels: Topical gels are spread daily onto the skin over both upper arms, shoulders, or thighs. 
  • Mouth tablet: Tablets are attached to your gum or inner cheek twice a day. Testosterone is then absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Pellets: These are implanted under the skin, usually around the hips or buttocks, and slowly release testosterone. They are replaced every three to six months.
  • Injections: Various formulations are injected every seven to 14 days. Testosterone levels can rise to high levels for a few days after the injection and then slowly come down.

How To Reduce Cortisol Naturally In 6 Steps

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is one of the body’s main stress hormones. It releases when we’re under pressure, causing our evolutionary fight or flight response to kick in.

It is produced by the adrenal gland, and its job is to ensure that your body has enough energy to cope with any danger it believes is at hand. Cortisol narrows your arteries, increases your blood pressure, and raises your blood sugar levels. Historically, it was essential for our survival in the wild, giving us the energy to run for our lives!

However, in today’s world, where perceived dangers are very rarely genuine threats to our lives, the fact that our cortisol levels can spike at the sound of a phone ring or an email notification means many of us are living in cortisol over-drive.

Don’t get me wrong – cortisol isn’t all bad in the modern world. It helps us work hard when we are excited about a project, giving us the drive to stay up late planning, writing and thinking. But like all good things in life, cortisol is good in moderation.

Common symptoms of high cortisol

common symptoms of high cortisol - how to reduce cortisol - diagnost

When you’ve had a few too many hours working overtime, a few too many cups of coffee, (a key corticosteroid) and you start to feel this bloated heaviness, low libido, and depression; when you’re really tired but can’t sleep at night – that all the cortisol effect. Other negative effects of high cortisol on our health include weight gain, blood sugar problems, a weakened immune system and an increased difficulty to concentrate.

But before you get too worried, make sure you check your cortisol levels using a tool such as Diagnost’s home testing kits! You might be totally fine. However, if you find, as many people have, that your cortisol levels are too high then don’t fear –  read on for effective ways to lower cortisol in the body.

6 Ways To Reduce Your Cortisol Levels

how to reduce cortisol levels - diagnost

The good news is that there are lots of easy and enjoyable lifestyle changes that you can make today which will help reduce your cortisol levels! If you truly want to make a lasting impact, it’s best to avoid quick fixes and trust in the power of natural remedies. Below are six key things to focus on. And I bet you’re going to find that they will make you happier and healthier overall, as well as lowering your cortisol levels. So, let’s get started!

1. Meditation

woman meditating to reduce stress

A study at Harvard University shows that meditation and mindfulness practices help reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation is a spiritual practice that dates back thousands of years. However, in today’s world, you don’t need to go to a monastery to feel its benefits in your everyday life. Apps like the wonderful Headspace and Calm offer a variety of types of meditation that you can do whilst walking, sleeping, tidying the house or dozing off. Thousands of people have discovered how meditation can reduce stress through apps like these. Don’t want to meditate alone? Collective meditation groups like Wake Up London might be holding a meditation circle in your local area!

Moreover, since one of the key benefits of cortisol is mental clarity and sharpness, meditation allows also you to reduce stress while also keeping your mind at its sharpest.

In order to start to feel the benefits of meditation, all you need to do is take three breaths, wherever you are. Focus on your in-breath and your out-breath and feel the benefits…

Done it? See – in just a few seconds you become calmer, since you’ve reduced your cortisol naturally!

2. Exercise

woman exercising, weight lifting

Another Harvard study found that “exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.” They also found that almost any type of exercise can allow you to experience these positive benefits.

However, overtraining and overexerting yourself can actually cause an increase in cortisol levels because of the strain and intensity your body is under. In a recent study, scientists found that cortisol concentrations are higher in endurance athletes than in non-endurance athletes. Another report showed that lower intensity workouts reduce cortisol so significantly that they call yoga an antidepressant!

There is absolutely time for that triathlon, but while you’re trying to reduce your cortisol levels, try gentler forms of exercise like yoga and Tai Chi that enable you to be present in your body, stretch and feel great ahead of a good night’s stress reducing sleep.

3. Sleep

young woman sleeping peacefully

Ahhh, sleep. One of the great joys of life. Cortisol is important for this wonderful bodily function too!

Cortisol levels naturally drop after sunset, helping give your body the signal that it is time to rest. The levels of cortisol remain very low throughout the night, then in the morning, they begin to rise again, helping you have the energy to wake up and face the day. However, when your cortisol levels have been too high in the day this natural system gets thrown out of balance. When this is the case, cortisol levels do not properly drop during the night. This means you might struggle to get to sleep and feel rested the next day.

Sleep is one of the most powerful, yet delicate, bodily systems we have. In his new book ‘Why We Sleep’ neuroscientist and psychologist Matthew Walker writes that it can take our bodies up to two weeks to get over a sleepless night. He recommends that sleep should be prescribed like medicine. Certainly, if your ailment is caused by surges in cortisol, sleep might be the very best prescription a doctor could give!

4. Watch out for sugar and caffeine

man drinking coffee - how to reduce cortisol - diagnost

Sugar and coffee, like cortisol itself, cause spikes in your energy levels that you pay for later. The problem is that when people are suffering from high levels of stress and struggling to sleep (see above)  they often turn to sugar and caffeine to give them the energy they need to cope with the demands their busy day. Unfortunately, this locks people in a vicious cycle. If any of this sounds familiar to you, it’s probably time to take a break and recharge. Find a time when you can carve out at least three days where your only plan is to rest and reboot.

Switching coffee for tea and sugar for honey will go a long way in helping reduce your cortisol levels. Better still – next time you go for coffee break why not try a turmeric latte. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help reduce cortisol levels – and they’re delicious too!

5. Maintain Healthy Relationships

maintain healthy relationships and friendships - how to reduce cortisol - diagnost

Healthy relationships with family and friends have been shown to have significant effects on cortisol levels. Your beloveds are there to support you and remind you that you don’t need to take on life’s stresses alone.

In a series of studies, scientists showed how different types of relationships affect cortisol levels. One set of findings showed that children with a stable and warm family life have lower cortisol levels than children from homes with high levels of conflict. Another study found that romantic partners that leveraged mindfulness and nonjudgmental-awareness practices during a conflict saw quicker returns of cortisol to healthy levels after an argument. A third study showed that affectionate interactions with a partner before a high-pressure event can significantly reduce cortisol as well as slowing heart rate and easing blood pressure.

Spending time with loved ones, aside from being one of the most important things in life, will also ease your cortisol levels, allowing you to feel stress-free and relaxed.

6. Natural Healing

young woman lying on the grass - how to reduce cortisol - diagnost

Natural therapies like acupuncture and massage can also go a long way to relax the body and mind. Acupuncture uses needles to release pressure points in the body, allowing for the easing of bodily and muscular tension, and promoting overall health and wellbeing.

Supplements like Ashwagandha, Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), Rhodiola Rosea and reishi mushroom all help reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and pressure. They have been used for their antidepressant effects too.

Aromatherapy is another powerful method that is easy to do at home. Why not get a diffuser and buy some relaxing essential oils like lavender, frankincense and myrrh? Treat yourself like a newborn king!

Time spent walking in nature also deliver you to a sanctuary of calm. Indeed, studies have connected lying down on the natural ground to reduced cortisol levels. On your rest days, why not make some time to lie down on the natural earth and meditate? If you are lucky enough to live near a body of natural water, submerging yourself below ground level can leave you feeling both grounded and refreshed.

Conclusion

The wonderful thing about embarking on the journey of lowering your cortisol is that the result is a more relaxed mood and an improved sense of wellbeing. That means if your quest for lower cortisol ever feels stressful, you aren’t doing it right! The main thing you should take from this article is the importance of self-care. Looking after yourself, and keeping an eye on what is going on inside your body using Diagnost’s home testing kits will keep any negative symptoms at bay. As they say, “prevention is the best cure”.

In the modern world, stressors are constant. Our evolutionary response systems, rooted in fight or flight, make us feel like things are a matter of life or death. But we’re not at risk – it’s just another day. Therefore, the true challenge of modern life isn’t discovering how to motivate yourself or fire up your energies, it’s learning how to really relax.

It’s time to start focusing on what really counts: mediation, sleep, our loved ones, and our health.

Happy cortisol lowering!

Why Can’t I Lose Weight: The Honest Truth Revealed

You eat exceptionally healthy food and every day you play sports, but the numbers on the scale still won’t change? As your frustration grows and you start to get desperate, you ask yourself hopelessly: “Why can’t I lose weight?”. Fortunately, not everything is as bad as it may seem at first glance. Here are six simple things that could be standing between you and your ideal weight, and a solution for each.

Why can’t I lose weight? 6 common reasons that might be at fault

1. Food just disappears from the table by itself

Like 99% of people, you do not notice that you eat much more than you need to. Guess what, not only French fries and ice cream are loaded with calories! Many healthy foods contain a huge amount of calories too. All kinds of nuts, olive oil and avocados, which we all love so much, are champions in calories. For example, one cup of almonds contains about 750 calories. Nuts are ideal for quick energy recharging, but if you eat them constantly you’ll put on the pounds.

Try to keep a food diary where you record everything that you eat, at least for a few months. There are numerous mobile apps that can help you with this. Smart ones will remember your data and calculate the ideal daily portions for your favourite foods. In one American study, people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who relied purely on their intuition.

2. You don’t get enough sleep

tired and not getting enough sleep - why cant i lose weight - diagnost

Regular lack of sleep reduces your chances to lose weight. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, when you don’t fall asleep on time you inevitably start seeking comfort from the refrigerator. A medical study conducted at the University of Chicago showed that lack of sleep changes the hormonal balance of the body. It triggers a sharp rise in two hormones: cortisol, responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, and ghrelin, which sends a signal to the brain that the body needs food. In the study one group of people were given only four hours of sleep a night for two nights (compared to 8 or 12 hours per night). The participants’ appetites grew by 24% and they were drawn to sweets, cookies, chips, bread and pasta. Also, the peptide hormone leptin, which is responsible for the body’s energy metabolism and for inhibiting appetite, decreased by 18%, and the level of ghrelin which tells the body to feed itself increased by 28%.

Secondly, a sleepy body stops working at full capacity and slides into power saving mode. Instead of burning calories, it saves them. For example, in another American study it was found that a single episode of lack of sleep in a healthy man reduces the total energy expenditure by 5%. Additionally, it showed postprandial metabolic rate decreased by 20% compared to the control group, meaning that the number of calories the body spends on digesting every meal is also diminished. Unfortunately, there are no invisible deposits of clean energy. It gets stored in nasty fat folds.

Develop a good habit of a full 8 hours of sleep each night. Do not linger before bedtime at the computer or with your mobile, and go to bed every night at the same time. If you find it difficult to cope with insomnia consult your doctor.

3. Your favourite diet suddenly stopped working

You continue to follow an effective diet, which recently made you slim and vigorous, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to work anymore. This is a sure sign that you have reached an equilibrium in your diet, the so-called “plateau”. The decrease of calories, which allowed you to lose weight up to this point, reached a zero balance and became a calorie supporting level. Your new, thinner body now needs fewer calories for energy. Therefore to continue to lose weight, you need to eat even less.

If you have reached an equilibrium in your diet and your weight does not change for two months, and you would like to lose some more weight, try reducing your daily rate of calorie intake by at least one hundred calories. Watch the dynamics of your weight for two weeks and then, if necessary, lower the rate by another 100 calories. But don’t get carried away. The average daily intake should not be less than 1200 calories for women, or 1700 calories for men. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, your age and level of activity can also be a factor. Listen carefully to your body signals however. You should never feel constant hunger or fatigue.

4. You are under constant stress

constant stress - why cant i lose weight - diagnost

Under significant stress, a person can turn into a glutton, eating anything and everything in sight. Any prolonged stress at work or in private life increases your cortisol, which means your appetite is out of control and your weight is growing. At such moments, you are especially attracted to high-carbohydrate foods and all sorts of junk food.

Also, to calm down in a difficult situation, we often try to comfort ourselves with something sweet and… harmful. Foods rich in sugars and starch quickly raise blood sugar levels, and as a result, there is a sharp release of serotonin and our mood instantly improves. Unfortunately, this is a very short-term effect, and soon you will want to be consoled with sweets again. So you find yourself in a vicious cycle of stress and bad eating habits.

Here is how biochemistry works: cortisol stimulates insulin production and calories begin to accumulate as internal fat. This fat is deposited in the abdominal cavity and envelops various vital organs. The accumulation of internal fat causes insulin resistance, which is very dangerous. With a predisposition, diabetes can develop quite quickly.

Often it is very difficult to overcome constant stress on your own, and you may need to seek medical help or see a psychotherapist. Many people underestimate the severity of mental health problems and feeling unwell, but this frivolous attitude can lead to serious depression or obesity if the problems are left to brew.

5. You use artificial sweeteners

Sugar substitutes in coffee, soda, or even low-fat yoghurt will do you a disservice. Using them, you will quickly reduce the number of calories and sugar in your diet, but in the long run, it is a ticking time bomb. You lose weight but undermine your health. According to a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, daily consumption of “diet” soda for ten years leads to a 5 fold increase in body fat in the abdominal area. Would you agree to participate in such an experiment?

Additionally, physicians from the Harvard Institute of Health point out that the brain cannot recognize an artificial sugar substitute and you end up eating a lot more sweets and flour. Artificial sweeteners are also known to disrupt the bowels.

Similar studies conducted in 2014 by immunologists from the Israeli Weizmann Institute proved that the use of artificial sugar substitutes leads to malfunction of the intestine and impaired glucose tolerance, therefore contributing to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

To avoid these consequences, doctors recommend eliminating artificial sugar substitutes and sticking to natural sweeteners such as honey or other natural sources of sugar. And remember, everything in moderation.

6. You may have a disease that prevents you from losing weight

blood test - disease preventing weight loss - why cant i lose weight - diagnost

In some cases, a health condition may not allow you to lose weight. For example Cushing disease, which is associated with elevated levels of cortisol, or polycystic ovary syndrome and glucose metabolism disorders.Hypothyroidism – a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones – may also lead to problems with excess weight. According to Clinical Practice Guidelines developed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists together with American Thyroid Association, in the United States up to 60% of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition, are not diagnosed and remain untreated.

Conclusion

This knowledge should help you to manage your weight. Now it’s up to you. If you watch your daily calorie intake and exercise between two and five hours a week, but a weight problem continues to bother you, consult your doctor. A competent specialist and the administration of several tests, including hormonal ones, will establish the real reason you’re not losing weight, and help you to resolve it.

Why Progesterone Is The Unsung Hero Of Women’s Health, And How To Boost It

Anyone who has a menstrual cycle, or knows anyone with one, knows that hormones are powerful things.

Those wanting to harness the full power of hormones to improve health and wellbeing have to ask two key questions: 1. How do I assess my current hormonal landscape and detect imbalances? 2. How do I rebalance the hormones in my system?

If you’ve wondered this (mystified, while in the throws of PMS) — fear no more! We’re bringing you this guide to boosting low progesterone levels for hormonal balance.

Hormones are invisible, but symptoms of imbalance are not

When a cold makes you weak, tired and hungry, you know it’s a cold. Why? The stream of gooey white stuff coming out your nose. You can see your illness and correctly identify its cause. When hormonal imbalances are throwing you off, it can be harder to work out what’s going on.

Well, that’s all about to change.

Diagnost’s home testing kits give you a full map of your internal hormonal and metabolic landscapes. We offer easy self-tests that you can administer yourself at home. Then, we send your tests to the lab and deliver your results to you via our app. Within a few days, you can access comprehensive information on your internal hormonal landscape.

When it comes to women’s health, we have noticed time and time again that low progesterone levels are one of the most under-acknowledged hormone imbalances that contribute to common health conditions. In this article, you’ll learn about what progesterone is, the benefits of boosting it, and how to do so – entirely naturally!

So what’s this progesterone thing anyway?

We’ve all heard about testosterone. It has long barged its way into hormonal discourse, leaving its over-qualified, under-paid female counterpart, progesterone, in the shadows. So what is progesterone?

Progesterone is the female sex hormone. It’s also a steroid, helping stimulate muscle growth in the lining of the uterus. Progesterone maintains this uterine lining for the 14 days post-ovulation, keeping your body ready for the possibility of conception and pregnancy. Once the egg isn’t fertilised, progesterone levels drop. This decrease in progesterone levels leads to all those unbearable symptoms of PMS.

progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle - How To Boost Low Progesterone Naturally - Diagnost
Progesterone levels vary depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle

In addition to playing a key role in regulating the monthly cycle, progesterone is also responsible for the best-feeling weeks of our cycle. It makes you feel more attractive and confident when you’re at your most fertile. In other words, progesterone is so powerful, it can make you feel friggin’ fantastic!

via GIPHY

But that’s not all – progesterone balances out the negative effects of estrogen too. While estrogen plays an important part in our monthly cycles, the symptoms of estrogen dominance are less than desirable. So what does estrogen dominance look like?

Common symptoms of low progesterone and estrogen dominance include:

common symptoms of low progesterone and estrogen dominance - How To Boost Low Progesterone Naturally - Diagnost

As the graphic above shows, the range of symptoms of progesterone deficiency and estrogen dominance is quite broad. Besides decreasing well-being by triggering headaches, bloating, hot flashes or breast pain and tenderness, it can also disrupt menstruation cycles, causing irregular or shortened periods and increased PMS. Weight gain and decreased sex drive are two additional symptoms that significantly influence the every-day life. Finally, this hormone imbalance can even have a major impact on our mental health, causing mood swings and depression, as well as affect our energy levels, leading to fatigue, difficulty to concentrate and even insomnia.

Luckily we can reduce these symptoms by boosting progesterone, to help your body get back to its natural, healthy balance. Let’s take a deep dive into the best practises for increasing your progesterone levels, naturally!

The dos and don’ts of boosting low progesterone naturally

You can boost your progesterone levels naturally by focusing on adding certain vitamins and minerals into your diet. These will create the optimal conditions for progesterone to flow forth, naturally.

Do:

happy woman celebrating - things to do to boost your progesterone - Diagnost

Magnesium

This is a fun one to work on because magnesium is in some of the best foods: dark chocolate, nuts, avocados. Try this vegan avocado chocolate cake and sprinkle some nuts on top for extra crunch. Almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews are particularly good sources of magnesium at around 82mg per ounce – so focus on these as you make the progesterone cake of your dreams. It’s also found in beans and legumes so why not make a whole vegan dinner party out of your progesterone-boosting project? You’ll make your friends feel amazing too with some of these great recipes.

Happily, magnesium supplements are some of the best you can buy. Magnesium helps relax your muscles and alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that magnesium helps improve sleep. And why not combine this with an evening bath in Epsom Salts and Magnesium Flakes for a relaxing wind-down into progesta-joy?

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that makes you feel sparky and amazing. Research carried out by the World Health Organization has shown that nearly 75% of Americans suffer from a zinc deficiency. It’s time to fix that!

Zinc helps your pituitary gland regulate hormones. At the right time of the month, it helps the gland produce FSH hormones which tell your ovaries to produce progesterone. Aside from these hormonal benefits, Zinc also helps boost your immune system and promote overall wellbeing. Foods that are rich in Zinc include meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and whole grains.

Vitamin B6 and B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 also play key roles in keeping the hormones in your body at an optimal level. One research study showed that increasing B6 vitamin consumption to 200-800 mg each day can raise progesterone levels and reduce estrogen enough to improve symptoms of PMS. Other research shows the potential to increase fertility by up to 120% and reduce miscarriage rates by around 50%.

B6 has gained infamy as the essential vitamin that you can’t get on a vegan diet. For this reason, supplements abound. Whilst it’s easy to find plant-based B6 supplements, a serving of sweet potatoes or carrots can also provide up to 16% of the recommended daily intake. Alternatively, a serving of salmon or lean meat can provide almost 100% of all the B12 you need. That means whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian, there are endless ways to get that all-important B6 in your system!

Don’t:

woman screaming - things to avoid when trying to boost your progesterone - Diagnost

Stress

This won’t be the first time you’ve heard that when it comes to living healthily, stress won’t help. But it’s worth saying again. When things in your life trigger your adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline, just say no! Stress hormones actually use up progesterone that your body needs, so trying to keep calm in stressful situations will bring you positive returns – and your progesterone reserves will thank you.

Drink too much alcohol

Alcohol, in addition to everything else, changes the way your body produces estrogen and can raise your levels of estrogen and lower your progesterone levels. A study published in the 2000 edition of Alcohol and Alcoholism found that women who drank moderately had much lower levels of progesterone than non-drinkers. Too much alcohol can also keep you from absorbing that sparky Zinc we spoke about above. Instead of winding down with a glass of wine at the end of the day, why not try a Magnesium Bath with lavender essential oils or a Yin Yoga class.

Consume processed foods

Sadly, these days, processed foods are hard to avoid. Despite that, it’s important to know that many of them are packed with harmful byproducts such as xenoestrogens which contribute to estrogen dominance.

Most mass-farmed meat is pumped with synthetic hormones that are harmful to consume. Check that any meat you buy is labelled as “hormone-free.” Soy milk and tofu are other ones to avoid in excess. The ways in which soy has been genetically modified and processed on its way to becoming milk often lead to products becoming overloaded with estrogen. This means processed foods can disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance and lower levels of progesterone in your body – so take care when the fast food cravings hit.

Conclusion

We should all be focusing more on fighting progesterone deficiency. Indeed, progesterone might be the missing link in your health questions. It’s hard to tell when hormones are behind our symptoms but, with Diagnost’s home testing kits, you can finally get to know your hormonal landscape and start to take steps to regulate it by encouraging the production of progesterone if your levels are too low.

Our old friend progesterone only wants the best for us, and many of the most impactful things we can do to encourage higher levels of this fabulous hormone simply involve good self-care:  not stressing and making sure we’re getting key vitamins and minerals from healthy foods. Health radiates from the inside, out – so good luck!

5 Anti-Ageing Medicine Tips That Really Work

Anti-Ageing Medicine How To Slow Down The Biological Clock - Diagnost

Anti-ageing medicine emerged in the United States in the 1990s. Its objective was to change the approach to ageing. In 1992, Dr. Robert Goldman and Dr. Ronald Klatz together with a group of doctors founded the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine, which revolutionized gerontology. Until then, ageing was considered to be an inevitable process that nothing could be done about. Geriatrics (the science of treating the elderly) was applied by the doctors to simply ease the symptoms of diseases that come with age.

Anti-ageing medicine changes our perceptions of ageing as unavoidable to that of a disease that can be treated with new medical methods. The first change is in the attitude, a transition from a passive position to an active one. It has been proven that changing a few habits combined with the use of medication can alter the pattern of ageing. It was found that healthy ageing is not the result of winning the genetic lottery, but rather the outcome of a new, preventive and interventionist approach.

According to Dr Thierry Hertoghe, President of the World Society of Anti-Ageing Medicine (WOSAAM) and acclaimed preventive medicine specialist:

“Anti-ageing medicine dispels the myth that you simply wait for the arrival of diseases and ageing and accept them, showing that you can actually intervene before this happens by developing habits that will prolong your life.”

Slowing down the ageing process means getting older in good health, enjoying both youthfulness and the wisdom of your years. Durability should not be a burden. Fun and youthful energy can be saved and maintained with the help of medicine.

The key is to prevent the disease or even the tendency for the disease. The focus is on diagnosing functional and metabolic changes in the body before they manifest themselves as diseases, and stopping them from doing so. Today we know how to identify the predisposing factors of chronic diseases. They can be altered so the development of pathologies can be avoided or postponed.

Anti-ageing medicine examines multiple factors of the ageing process and takes the necessary actions to affect their influence. There are five pillars or areas of anti-ageing we need to watch in order to age gracefully.

The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine

1. Diet and nutrition

diet and nutrition - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Scientists have discovered that what we eat has a direct influence on how long we live. A diet rich in calories, animal protein and saturated fat not only causes cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, but also accelerates the ageing process of the body as a whole. The process of digestion overwhelms and wears out the body. Metabolism increases oxidative stress and causes cellular ageing. On the other hand, a low-calorie diet, composed of small portions of balanced and healthy food, is associated with longevity. The key here is in a sufficient consumption of low-calorie, high fiber foods including a variety of fruits and vegetables.

2. Stress management

stress management - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Chronic stress has a negative impact on our fast-paced lifestyles and can affect how quickly ageing results in disease. Stress chemistry is similar to ageing chemistry in that is raises cortisol and catecholamines and reduces anabolic hormone levels. Incorporating regular rest into your weekly routine will help you deal with stress. The pursuit of harmony, pausing and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, will act as an invigorating elixir that affects your quality of life and its prolongation.

3. Physical activity

physical activity - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Physical inertness and daily hypofunction are the causes of many diseases associated with ageing. Many studies have proven the common health benefits of regular physical activity. Exercise prevents a number of diseases, such as cancer. Aerobics and power exercises allow men and women to increase muscle strength, endurance, balance and bone density at any age. To achieve these results, bring at least one type of physical activity into your life on a daily basis. It can be just a walk, dancing or martial arts.

4. Vitamins and minerals

vitamins and minerals - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Today it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide our body with the right balance of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Even in a balanced diet, nutrients may not be available due to the modern methods of crop harvesting or manufacturing of animal products. In pursuit of healthy ageing, it is necessary to enrich our diet with nutritional supplements. The daily intake of supplements is important not only to provide the nutrient building elements necessary for the organs, but also to protect against free-radical attacks caused by bad eating habits, unhealthy lifestyles and a polluted environment.

5. Hormone replacement therapy

hormone replacement therapy - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

Previously it was believed that diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis are associated with age, but recently it was found that they are caused mainly by hormonal deficiencies. After age 35 the process of reducing hormone production begins, and the production of sex hormones and anabolic hormones gradually decreases. As catabolism continues, the absence of anabolic hormones creates conditions under which further recovery and regeneration of the body cannot take place. Replenishing hormonal deficiencies will give the body the ability to maintain its regenerative power.

Conclusion

A balanced approach to stress management, a complete and healthy diet, and the addition of minerals, vitamins and hormones replenished to the optimum level will lead to an effective process of rejuvenation and regeneration and prevent many diseases.

Anti-ageing medicine is aimed at improving and maintaining good health as a means of extending our lifespan and improving our quality of life. Its principles can be integrated into any medical field and benefit as many people as possible. As we get older, we can also become healthier.

How To Feel 30 When You’re 50: Anti-Ageing Tips For Women

Anti-ageing Tips For Women How To Feel 30 When You’re 50 - Diagnost

The first alarm bells started ringing a couple of years ago. In spite of regular exercise, and a strict and calculated diet, my waist started to disappear, the sparkle was gone from my eyes, and my overall vitality was non-existent.

The fear of the unknown, and of growing old, drives all women under 47 to ignore any thoughts of menopause. This fear creeps into your life and ruins it from within. Many of my clients recall how their beautiful, gentle, slim mums turned into restless, grumpy, plump women who shocked everyone with their sudden mood swings. In fact, their mothers just had “bugs in their software”, or to be more precise, in their endocrine systems: ovaries, pituitary glands, thyroid glands and other glands responsible for the production of hormones have simply stopped being as active, becoming the cause of health issues, memory deterioration, hot flashes, weight gain and, sadly, lack of libido.

What Sex and the City teaches us about anti-ageing

Source: GIPHY

“It’s official: the oestrogens have left the building!”

Remember Samantha from Sex and the City complaining that when looking at a half-naked national rugby team, not a single muscle twitched? In her mother’s time, people believed that you should just brace yourself and accept becoming older. Samantha was different. She lost her hormones only temporarily after her toiletry bag was confiscated at customs. For the past thirty years, with the help of anti-ageing medicine, American and European doctors have been helping women to get through menopause without significant negative impact and disappointment.

Why hormones are the key to women staying young

key to staying young - Anti-ageing Tips For Women How To Feel 30 When You’re 50 - Diagnost

I am very lucky. My doctor is the expert in anti-ageing medicine, President of the International Hormone Society Thierry Hertoghe. Thierry also consults our clients in Brussels and Barcelona. His standard approach is to establish the patient’s hormonal status.

“There are only two hormones that increase with age: leptin, causing obesity, and insulin, leading to diabetes, while levels of all other hormones go down. Due to the lack of oestrogen, the skin has less collagen and elastin. It becomes dry, causing wrinkles to appear and facial contours to lose shape. Reduction in testosterone leads to cellulite formation and loss of muscle mass, causing cheeks, buttocks, and inner arms to start to sag. So beware: a woman’s body begins to age long before the menopause. Time to act!”

Over the course of 30 years, Dr Hertoghe has collected strong evidence confirming that it makes sense for every woman over 35 to control her hormone levels and correct them at the first signs of imbalance. After 40 everyone could do with micro-doses of bioidentical hormones. Dr Hertoghe claims this is the way to stay healthy and continue to enjoy a life that previous generations could not.

Misconceptions about hormone replacement therapy

Of course, you may have heard otherwise. In 2002 the Women’s Health Initiative published some frightening data: women who have been using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for extended periods of time to prevent the unpleasant effects of menopause were diagnosed with breast cancer more frequently. However, very soon scientists found out that this research was not accurate. It was performed on women who were taking medicines that were not identical to human hormones. Moreover, every woman in the study was over 60 years old and all of them were prescribed the same doses, which is unacceptable!

“European and American traditions with regards to hormonal treatment for mature women are significantly different. Even when looking at the test results, some old-school doctors miss the signs of the early hormonal disbalance and delay beginning a compensatory treatment. That is why it is very important to start HRT with an experienced doctor.”

For two months I followed the recommendations of Dr Thierry Hertoghe, and all my troubles were left behind. I got back into shape, both physically and mentally. When menopause comes I will adjust the dose of hormones I take, and I do believe that I will avoid the associated unpleasantness which most women of that age experience.

Conclusion

These days, there is no need for women to be worried or scared about menopause or ageing. Anti-ageing medicine is continuously evolving and by a running hormone level test and trusting an experienced doctor, HRT can be adjusted to each person’s specific health profile. If you’re looking for an anti-ageing tip for women that really works, get started with an advanced health check to gain insights into your hormone levels.

10 Types Of Probiotics Food That Help To Fight Off Stress

diet and nutrition - The Five Pillars of Anti-Ageing Medicine - diganost

As we’ve long known, we are what we eat!

Every time we design our menu, we programme our mood and health. After all, the intestine is our second brain, and its population – the microbiota – has a very strong influence on many processes associated with our health and emotional disposition.

Healthy metabolism, maximum absorption of nutrients, vitamins and microelements, effective elimination of waste, building immunity and protection from inflammatory processes, all these are controlled by the microbiota – a large and friendly family of microorganisms that live in our intestines.

How can we make sure that the state of our microbiota is normal? I suggest to start with getting acquainted with its main assistants – probiotics.

Probiotics are useful bacteria working hard for the benefit of your body, while Prebiotics (indigestible fibres) simply serve as food for Probiotics.

Here are ten products that nourish microbiota and neutralize the negative effects of modern lifestyle stress from the bad environment of large cities. Your brain, skin, and other organs will thank you if you include in your menu the following:

10 Types Of Probiotics Foods

1. Sauerkraut

Pickled cabbage - Sauerkraut - 10 Types Of Probiotics Food That Helps To Fight Off Stress - Diagnost

Sauerkraut provides the body with a large number of useful bacteria. High fibre content in cabbage subdues bloating and facilitates faultless functioning of the digestive system.

Look for fresh sauerkraut, not canned.

2. Asparagus

asparagus - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Asparagus works as a prebiotic. It contains a lot of inulin – indigestible fibre, which nourishes healthy bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (components of our microbiota).

Asparagus is rich in vitamin B and antioxidants that can actively fight inflammation.

Eat it raw or just slightly stewed, so you keep most of its benefits, enjoy the taste and make your microflora happy.

3. Pineapple

pineapple - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which acts as a digestive aid, helping to break down protein from large food molecules into smaller peptides.

Studies have shown that bromelain can conquer inflammation and relieve pain.

Add pineapple to your salads, smoothies, or serve as a dessert.

Enjoy this delicious fruit and remember that pineapple will always work for the benefit of your digestion.

4. Onions

onions - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Raw onions are an excellent source of prebiotics and contain quercetin – a strong antioxidant. Quercetin fights harmful free radicals in our cells. Onions also contain chromium, which increases production of insulin and vitamin C necessary for the immune system.

Add onions to salads, dressings and sauces, or slice them and put in your favourite snacks.

5. Garlic

garlic - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Raw garlic is another great prebiotic with a high level of inulin, which nourishes the good bacteria in the intestine. Garlic is incredibly rich in nutrients. In this spice you will find manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, allicin and many other active substances.  Allicin, for example, is a powerful tool that fights diseases. It activates when a garlic clove is being chopped.

Don’t forget to add raw garlic to guacamole, hummus, sauces and dressings.

6. Bone broth

bone broth - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Rich beef bone broth helps to heal the intestinal mucosa, which, in turn, support the immune system and fight inflammation. Bone broth contains many minerals and healing compounds, such as gelatin, collagen and amino acids, proline, glutamine and arginine.

Flavourful, highly nutritious, and very easy to make.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar - 10 priobiotics foods - diagnost

Apple cider vinegar helps us break down and digest food by increasing the production of stomach acid. It also has antiviral and antimicrobial properties. This fights unwanted microflora in the intestines and helps the body get rid of excess yeast. These important qualities are a great support for a healthy microbiome and immune system.

Try adding apple cider vinegar to salad dressings or vegetables before stewing.

8. Kimchi

kimchi - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

The fermentation process used for Korean kimchi not only enhances cabbage taste, but also produces live and active probiotic cultures that strengthen the intestinal walls. These salads and side dishes contain large amounts of fibre and serve as powerful antioxidants. They naturally eliminate toxins from the body.

Rice, vegetables and kimchi – a great healthy and hearty lunch.

9. Ginger

ginger - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Ginger helps to calm and relax the stomach, relieve nausea and fight intestinal diseases. It provides a natural source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. Ginger prevents and eliminates bloating.

Adding shredded ginger to tea and smoothies gives them an extra exotic taste.

10. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion Greens - 10 probiotics foods - diagnost

Dandelion greens are rich in nutrients, fibre, antioxidants and prebiotics that help us to stay strong and healthy. Vitamins A and K, calcium and iron in the leaves have anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.

They are pure detox!

Conclusion

Start incorporating some of these probiotics foods into your daily diet, and remember, a healthy body and sharp mind start with a strong intestine!

The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men

The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

Blockbusters portray for us a contemporary man. He is often in his forties, successful, muscular, quick-witted and fearless. He easily conquers new peaks in business, is the object of desire for attractive women, and his life is full of meaning. But how does it work in real life?

It is tough to admit that as time goes by our resources deplete and problems begin to surface. However, it is inevitable that every man over the age of 35 starts to experience the wear and tear on his body.  

Why Hormone Balance Is Key To Midlife Happiness & Health

It is due to the normal course of biological processes, and to be more precise the reduction of hormone production. There are over 100 hormones and each one is responsible for a particular function in our body. Hormonal balance is the key to our good health and mood.

Male Taestosterone Level by Age - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

A Real-Life Case:

The most important and well known male hormone is testosterone. If an obese man over 45 is talking about his exciting sex life, it may be hard to believe. Fatty deposits are a clear sign of low testosterone. As testosterone levels go down, fat goes up, and goodbye libido! High testosterone is associated with strong muscles, desire and high potency. Low testosterone means depression, low vitality and minus 30 years of life.

Alas, after the age of 40 we start accumulating a variety of nasty consequences, or in simple terms we begin to age. At best we turn to exhausting and useless workouts in the gym and start looking for inspiration embodied in a new lady friend. In the worst case we turn to alcohol, which provides elusive sensations of happiness, but leads to dependency and kills men’s health.

real-life case - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

As one of my clients put it:

“I used to be the General Manager of a large American company in Moscow. It was a successful business, associated with all the usual trials and tribulations of a multinational company in Russia. The stress was unbearable. After work, I used to sit down at the dinner table and eat my troubles away. Every month, like clockwork, I had a cold. Doctors at expensive medical centres prescribed antibiotics. I was simply a ruin. Overweight, suffering from insomnia, always mad at someone or something, and heavy breathing and high blood pressure had become a constant issue.”

“This is how I felt when I went to see a doctor in Europe. After a number of tests and a detailed study of my medical history the doctor prescribed vitamins and hormonal therapy. Distinct improvement was noticeable in just a week’s time. I began to lose weight, calmed down and became more relaxed, and started to sleep properly. In 2-3 weeks I recovered my sex drive and performed like a 25-year-old.”

healthy living in forties for men - The Keys To Midlife Happiness & Longer Healthy Living For Men - Diagnost

“Now every morning I run 15km. I work hard and efficiently. I see my friends frequently, meet lots of interesting people and enjoy other’s company. I notice the shining eyes of the woman I love and realise how much her happy smile means to me and the kids.”

Conclusion

Invest in your health and quality of life after 40. Thanks to the best experts in preventive medicine we are able to preserve ourselves and be sure that we shall live 30-40 years longer, in good health and high spirits.

I invite everyone to get rid of unpleasant age-related changes by taking a diagnostic test and following a recommended course of anti-ageing treatment in order to achieve midlife happiness.

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