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1670 ROUTE 34 N. 3R FLOOR SUITE 3C WALL • NJ 07727

The Age Issue: A Holistic Approach to Graceful Aging for Men and Women

As you know, aging is a normal and inevitable part of life and a process that no one can escape.  Many people seek my consultation to help guide them to age more gracefully.  I really know that what you are looking for is to maintain your level of fitness, function, health, and enjoyment of life as long as possible.  My scientifically based, holistic approach will help you feel stronger, more energetic, and healthy regardless of your age.  While my treatment plan will vary by your age, sex, and individual needs, the core principles are still the same.        


Every woman will experience the dreaded Menopause at some point in her life. While each woman is different, this rite of passage typically occurs somewhere between the late 30’s to mid 50’s.  So you may ask, “What factors determine when I will go through menopause?”  There is no single answer, but, there certainly is a genetic component and an environmental, and lifestyle component as well. For example, have you ever noticed that smokers tend to look older than non-smokers?  This observation is not just a random occurrence; cigarette smoking (and other unhealthy habits) actually increases the rate at which you age. Therefore, if you want to age gracefully, take good care of yourself by getting proper sleep, a healthy diet and adequate exercise. Additionally, avoid exposing yourself to toxic products like cigarettes, stimulants, alcohol, fried foods, sugars and other unhealthy products.

Regardless of your lifestyle, when you reach menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels (hormones made in your ovaries and uterus respectively) begin to diminish.  This loss of hormones contributes to well documented menopausal symptoms:

As you get older, you may grow hair where it’s unwanted, specifically on your face and breasts.  Many times, your breasts may start to shrink.  The principle hormone responsible for your facial hair is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Large amounts of DHT will cause your facial hair to convert from familiar short peach fuzz to “beard-like” hair. The high DHT is the result of a hormonal imbalance where your estrogen is being converted to testosterone (and then DHT).

Another common perimenopausal symptom is hot flashes. These hot flashes occur when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop below a certain threshold.  Your thyroid normally is suppressed by estrogen and therefore when your estrogen levels drop, your thyroid hormones can cause a “hot flash”.  Women are often prescribed estrogen products for their hot flashes.  Unfortunately, taking estrogen by itself is very dangerous as unopposed estrogen can contribute to you getting gynecological (and non gynecological) cancers, thyroid issues and “autoimmune” diseases.  Many physicians are unaware of the dangers of using unopposed estrogen and the benefits of using bio-identical progesterone. 

Many women undergo a hysterectomy in their middle years because of endometriosis, heavy bleeding, fibroids or other uterine issues.  A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove your uterus. During this surgery your whole uterus is usually removed, but frequently your doctor will choose to leave your fallopian tubes and ovaries. Your hysterectomy may serve to relieve your problematic bleeding issues, however removing your uterus while leaving your ovaries intact will also contribute to a hormonal imbalance known as estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is when you have too much estrogen but not enough progesterone. This very common hormonal imbalance can lead to thyroid problems, weight gain, depression, other mood issues, osteoporosis, fatigue and even certain cancers.

When you come in for a consultation, I will do a comprehensive blood test to check your hormone levels.  This test will need to be completed during the appropriate time of your menstrual cycle (if you are still cycling) known as the mid-luteal phase, which is day 18-20 of your menstrual cycle.  Your progesterone levels normally peak at this time of your cycle and if they are low, then you know that you suffer from low progesterone levels. Whatever you are lacking (or have in excess), we will form a treatment plan to balance the ratio between your hormones. 


Men also manifest the aging process as a loss of hormonal balance. While this process might not be as dramatic as a women’s menopause, you may experience what people call andropause, or male menopause.  Men experiencing male menopause may lose muscle mass, strength and stamina, facial and body hair, libido, and even a zest for life.  Unfortunately, taking a testosterone supplement is often ineffective because this testosterone may be inadvertently converted to estrogen.  What you need to understand is that estrogen and testosterone are very similar molecules and they can be enzymatically transformed into each other under unhealthy conditions.  One of these conditions is high insulin levels. Excess insulin enhances the activity of aromatase which is an enzyme that promotes the conversion of testosterone into estrogen and visa versa.  Therefore, aging men often become feminized (as their testosterone turns into estrogen) while aging women often become masculinized (as their estrogen turns into testosterone).

Most people (including many doctors) don’t realize that their sex and adrenal cortical hormones are made from cholesterol.  Whether your hormones are being made in your adrenals, uterus, ovaries, or testes, cholesterol is the building block for these vital hormones. Unfortunately, if you are adhering to a low cholesterol, low fat diet, you may be accelerating your aging process and speeding your way towards menopause and andropause.  Cholesterol is the building block of all your sex and adrenal corticol hormones including estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, aldosterone, cortisol, and pregnenolone to name a few. The low fat diet also tends to be high in carbohydrates and natural sugars, thus causing your insulin levels to rise. This high insulin level will raise your aromatase enzymes levels, hence speeding up the conversion of your healthy hormones into their unhealthy counterparts.

One major key to aging gracefully is to keep your insulin levels fairly low. Unfortunately, commonly recommended low fat, high carbohydrate diets will significantly increase your levels of insulin, thus adversely impacting your sex hormones and overall health.  A diet with adequate amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat while relatively low in carbohydrates and minimal (or better yet, zero) sugar will make a powerful impact on your health and longevity. 

Proper, muscle building exercise is also vital to healthy and graceful aging. Your muscles allow you to function and perform physical tasks. Additionally, muscle is where you store protein and amino acids vital to your body.  High intensity, low volume resistance training incorporating your core muscles is a great strategy for graceful aging. Conversely, low intensity, high volume exercise like jogging on a treadmill actually breaks down your muscle and can accelerate your physiological age.

Yet another key to healthy and graceful aging is reducing excessive stress in your life. This stress can take the form of bad eating habits, too much work, not enough sleep, excess exercise, exposure to environmental toxins like mold and radon, stressful relationships, work stress and many other forms of stress.  During your consultation, I will evaluate any environmental, biochemical, hormonal and other stressors that can cause serious complications to your health and well-being. Finally, a personalized treatment plan will be outlined to help you on your road to wellness. 

Are you interested in my holistic approach to aging? Come in for a consultation with Dr. Rothman by calling, 732-268-7663 and establish a better plan guaranteed to help you improve your health, feel more youthful, and age with grace

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To learn more about Michael Rothman MD contact us today by giving us a call at (732) 268-7663, emailing us at [email protected] or by requesting an appointment online.

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