The science of anti-ageing is still a bit of a mystery to us mere mortals. We know which creams to use, and what foods to eat to slow the ageing process, but it can be difficult to tailor these methods to your own body. Dr Michael Elstein is a physician specialising in anti ageing medicine, allergy testing, nutritional and dietary therapy, sexual health and weight loss — in other words, he knows his stuff! We spoke to Dr Elstein about adrenal exhaustion, when to get a full health examination, and which supplements we should take for optimum health. He is an expert in the field of natural health, and how our hormones impact upon our inner and outer health.
RESCU: What is adrenal exhaustion?
Dr. Michael Elstein: It is a condition associated with prolonged exposure to unremitting stress often associated with working long hours, not getting enough sleep and the huge demands of daily living especially in the case of women who have to juggle the requirements of managing a highly challenging job, looking after the needs of their children, as well as coping with the demands of marital responsibility. The principle job of the adrenals is to get us out of bed in the morning and provide us with the energy that gets us through the day. Over time our adrenal capacities or reserve might become depleted leading to fatigue, agitation, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Sadly the medical profession doesn’t always recognise the role that depleted adrenals play in the development of these symptoms.
RESCU: What are the symptoms that women should look out for that indicate it’s time for a full health examination?
Dr Michael Elstein: Ideally not waiting for the above complaints to fester and grow before seeking advice from a health practitioner who is well versed in the underlying cause of bodily dysfunction would be wise. While being pre-emptive is best, fatigue, insomnia, hair loss, weight gain, changes in bowel function, diminished libido and unexplained changes in emotional stability suggest time for an evaluation.
RESCU: Can you describe the process of your anti ageing diagnosis and the types of testing you would suggest all women consider taking each year.
Dr Michael Elstein: In order to optimise health, energy and vitality my recently released ebook ‘You Have the Power,’ focuses on the four pillars of health needed to maximise wellbeing. This is also outlined in the ‘Eternal Health’ wellness programme. Women as well as men would benefit from regular evaluation of their nutritional and hormonal status, as well as an assessment of their digestive capacity, liver function and immune system status. To assess their capacity to deal effectively with life’s challenges as well as possibly prevent the diseases of ageing a genetic evaluation together with examining the risk factors for cancers, heart disease and dementia would be mandatory.
RESCU: Many people take supplements and medication that may not necessarily be good or useful for them. What are your thoughts on self diagnosis with vitamins and supplements?
Dr Michael Elstein: This practice is common, especially with the advent of the internet and growing health awareness. However self-medication with vitamins and minerals aren’t always exclusively beneficial and can be harmful in the long-term without the awareness of those taking them. For example excess folic acid found in multivitamin supplements might make cancer cells grow. Excess zinc can lower copper status and reduce iron levels, while excess iron might be harmful to the liver, especially in the case of those who have a genetic propensity to absorb more iron than they need from the food they eat.
RESCU: Are there any quick fix solutions for lack of energy and emotional exhaustion?
Dr Michael Elstein: None that beat a proper and thorough evaluation by an experienced health practitioner well versed in the science and art of identifying the underlying causes of health disorders.
RESCU: What are the signs of good and functional physical and emotional health?
Dr Michael Elstein: Energy, vitality, a healthy enthusiasm, calmness, sexual vitality, a capacity for exercise, good humour and an appreciation of the gift of life.