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Dr. Johnson - Red Deer Advocate

Better aging

It should come as no surprise that aging is an inevitable, natural process and day by day we are getting older. However, what if there was a test to assess how well we were doing at aging? What if there were lifestyle changes you could make to positively influence that test result to age better? The answer is yes to both of these questions and I am going to explain exactly how you can accomplish it.

So often, I have patients who are doing everything they can to feel good in the present and set themselves up for many healthy years ahead. Many of these patients are putting an emphasis on things such as exercising, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. But, how well is this working for them?

These good lifestyle choices can influence a hormone called the growth hormone. Research has shown that urine growth hormone levels can be used to help assess healthy aging. The best part is that all it requires is a simple urine test and the results are analyzed by a lab in Calgary.

The growth hormone naturally declines with age and low levels can lead to health concerns such as loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat leading to an inability to lose weight despite significant efforts, struggling with mild depression and experiencing memory disturbances. On the flipside, having more growth hormone promotes fat loss as research has shown that those who are obese have an overall lower growth hormone level.

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