The first “Boomers” will turn 65 in 2011, and according to a report published by the American Hospital Association, more than 37 million Boomers – six out of 10 – will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030. In addition, by the year 2030:
1) 14 million Boomers will be living with diabetes – that’s one out of every four Boomers.
2) Almost half of the Boomers will live with arthritis and that number escalates to just over 26 million in 2020.
3) More than one out of three Boomers – over 21 million – will be considered obese.
These statistics are alarming, but is there anything that can be done to avert this medical crisis? Many experts believe that there is a solution and that the answer lies in the improved health of our endocrine system.
Our bodies have two ways of controlling our body tissues. One way is through the nervous system with its neural pathways. The other way of controlling body tissues is through the endocrine system. Our endocrine system is an information signal system much like the nervous system. Whilst our nervous system uses nerves to conduct information, our endocrine system uses our vascular system to carry sex hormone and non-sex hormone agents to the 50 trillion cells in our body.
Our endocrine systems comprise a network of glands that produce more than fifty different known hormones to maintain and regulate basic bodily functions. Hormones are chemical messengers – this is the way our bodies communicate at a cellular level. The main function of our endocrine system and its hormone messengers is to maintain homeostasis (a stable internal environment in the body) and to promote permanent structural changes.
The most important part of our endocrine system is the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, or the HPA axis as it is referred to commonly. HPA axis dysfunction has been shown to lead to conditions such as abdominal obesity, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, mild depression and anxiety, anorexia, poor sleep patterns, bone mineral loss, high lipids, loss of lean muscle mass, altered cognitive performance and decreased sexual behavior. The list goes on.
According to Donald R. Yance, an expert on the subject, “The disruption of the HPA axis is often central to most health problems, syndromes, diseases, and even aging itself.”
When we are young, the communication between cells is excellent and our bodies operate at optimum efficiency. However, as we get older, our endocrine system falters and the system becomes less responsive to the needs of our body. Our body’s cells begin to function less and less efficiently as we age and our normal bodily functions begin to falter. The end result of this progressive dysfunction is the “disease of aging” and ultimately death.
Ninety percent of all adult illness is due to the degenerative processes of aging. This includes heart disease, most cancers, adult-onset diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, autoimmune disease, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s.
“Aging is characterized by a general decline in most physiologic functions, and in particular, by a decreased capacity to maintain homeostasis during episodes of stress. These changes are believed to reflect the accumulation of damage to cells and tissues resulting from a variety of toxic factors, either produced endogenously during normal growth and metabolism, or derived from the environment. Normal function and survival are dependent on the cell’s ability to resist or adapt to such stress and to repair or replace damaged molecules. The need to enhance adaptation is critical,” says Yance.
One of the ways we can help our bodies cope with such stress is to supplement with a powerful adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural herb product that increases the body’s resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety and bodily fatigue. They normalize the HPA axis. Adaptogenic herbs are unique from other substances in their ability to improve balance of endocrine hormones and the immune system, and they help the body to maintain optimal homeostasis.
“If we can improve cellular signaling as we age, we will be able to better support our cells, tissues and organs. If our cells are healthy, we will be healthy. Restoring balance to the HPA axis and supplementing with a powerful antioxidant and bio-energetic nutrients is the key to cellular rejuvenation and restoration,” comments Dr. Tim Chapman of Murrieta, CA.
The key to optimal health is balancing the HPA axis and by doing so we are effectively harmonizing the entire endocrine system. When this occurs, our bodies begin to balance and produce hormones at more youthful levels. This leads to improved cellular signaling, homeostatic balance is reinstated and cell receptor site sensitivity is improved.
The combination of improved cellular signaling and a powerful antioxidant will result in improved cellular rejuvenation and our bodies will be able to operate with improved efficiency. In this manner we are able to support the age-reversing process at a cellular level that ultimately translates to an improvement in longevity, vitality, health and wellness.
“Once the human body is in a state of homeostasis it has the potential to heal just about anything, especially those age-related diseases and illnesses that are confronting the Baby Boomers,” says Dr. Chapman.