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By David M. Odom, MD

I Am An Anti-Aging Doctor

What is Anti-Aging Medicine?

According to doctors Goldman & Klatz, founders of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine: "Anti-aging medicine is a medical specialty founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases."[1]
The aim of anti-aging medicine is to extend not only the human lifespan but also the quality of life and to limit the debilitating effects of aging [2].
Anti-aging medicine is a new specialty with a growing number of physician practitioners, but not yet accepted by conventional medicine [3].
The primary current technique of Anti-Aging Medicine is Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy, also called Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Other techniques include nutrition, exercise, and stem cell medicine, utilizing adult progenitor cells produced by one’s own body [2].

What is Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Natural hormones are those produced in the human body. They are also referred to as bio-identical hormones, if produced outside the human body, but in every way identical to those produced within the body.

Although there are a number of mechanisms regulating aging, the one that most prominently explains the commonly experienced maladies of aging is the Neuro-Endocrine Theory of Aging. That is, as hormones decline in production with age, health declines. These common maladies include: lower energy, fatigue, waning ambition, weight gain, decline of metabolic rate, depression, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. Middle-aged patients engaging in a structured program of Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy and paying attention to rational lifestyle changes notice immediate benefit.

What hormones are supplemented?

Hormones that decline with age include: Thyroid (T4 & T3); Progesterone; Estradiol; the adrenal hormone, DHEA; Testosterone; Melatonin, Pregnenolone, and Growth Hormone (hGH). Hormones that may pathologically increase with age are Insulin and the adrenal hormone, Cortisol.

What is a hormone, anyway?

Classically, a hormone is a substance produced in the body that organizes and controls physiological activity all over the body.

How about birth control pills, Provera®, and Prednisone®? Aren’t they hormones?

Nope! They are drugs that attach themselves to hormone receptor sites within the body, causing some, but not all, of the functions of the natural hormones. Like all substances that are foreign to the human body, and not found anywhere in nature, these drugs commonly cause major side affects. As well, they do not provide the long term health benefit of the natural hormones.

Don’t all doctors currently prescribe natural hormones?

Currently, only a few doctors prescribe natural hormones. The current medical paradigm is to respond to patient complaints with drugs and surgery. There is tremendous peer pressure upon doctors to adhere to convention, to do what everyone else in medicine is doing. Under this regime, the economics of medical practice pressure doctors to have very short visits with patients, responding to individual complaints with a prescription for some drug. In fact, the patient is not even the customer in this situation. The patient is just the necessary middle step to the real customer, the insurance company.

Over the years, a system has been devised to categorize maladies and to "cookbook" drug remedies for them. Pharmacists and insurance company clerks are dialed into this system, flagging doctors who are "outliers". Other doctors may become highly critical of any doctor consistently prescribing natural hormones.

The organization that has been given the government sanctioned monopoly to produce the standard procedural guides is the American Medical Association [4]. This is a major income producer of the AMA, generating some $ 70,000,000 per year [5]. The AMA counts around 15% of American medical doctors as members [6].

The AMA (June, 2009) adopted a policy against the use of natural hormones for anti-aging purposes (7). Opinion pieces masquerading as scientific articles have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) [8].

What Does Science Say About The Use of Natural Hormones?

One of the most commonly repeated myths is that there is lack of scientific support for the use of natural hormones. The reality is that there are hundreds of scientific publications supporting use of bio-identical hormones [3,9].

Simply repeating a fallacy does not make it true. But, like any slander, repetition provides the false imprimatur of reality.

What do patients say about natural hormone replacement therapy?

Proof is in the results. Once a person has tried bio-identical hormones, criticisms by other doctors are easily recognized for what they really are: ignorance.

How Does A Doctor Become An Anti-Aging Specialist?

In 2016, there are 4 pre-eminent educational organizations dealing with anti-aging medicine: The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) [10], The World Society of Anti-Aging Medicine [11] based in Europe, the Age Management Medical Group [12], and WorldLink Medical [13]. There is one professional organization, the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) [14]. The last mentioned is more oriented toward natural medicine and is known for training and advocacy regarding chelation therapy. The first three are more known for advocacy of Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy, but also look forward to the incorporation of newer technologies, such as the use of adult stem cells. All five of these organizations promote nutrition, nutritional supplementation, supplementation of natural hormones, and lifestyle changes: incorporation of proper sleep and exercise.

All of these organizations provide training, certification, and continuing education for doctors. As well, there are well-known individual physician teachers out there who have trained other doctors. These include Neal Rouzier, MD [15] of Palm Springs and Jonathan V. Wright, MD [16] of Seattle.

What are Dr. Odom’s anti-aging credentials?

I have been engaged in the practice of anti-aging medicine and obesity medicine for over 20 years. I am Board Certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. I am Fellowship trained in Stem Cell Medicine from the American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine. I am regularly involved in formal continuing medical education. I practice in La Quinta, Newport Beach, and Beverly Hills, California with my colleague and associate, Robert M. Elliott, MD. 

Bibliography:1. Klatz R. New horizons for the clinical specialty of anti-aging medicine: the future with biomedical technologies. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1057:536-44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/163999182 Arora BP. Anti-aging medicine. Indian J Plast Surg. 2008 Oct; 41(Suppl): S130–S133. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825135/3 A. 4M Position Paper on Physician-Prescribed HRT, The Non-Science Witch Hunt Against Hormone Replacement Therapies for Deficiency Syndromes Must End. 23 September 2013. https://www.worldhealth.net/pdf/A4M-2013-Position-Statement-HRT.pdf4. http://patients.about.com/od/costsconsumerism/a/cptcodes.htm5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource-based_relative_value_scale6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153537/7. REPORT 5 OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (A-09), The Use of Hormones for “Antiaging”: A Review of Efficacy and Safety. CSAPH Report 5-A-09. June 2009. http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/x-pub/csaph5a09-ft.pdf8. Perls JT, et al. Provision or Distribution of Growth Hormone for “Antiaging” Clinical and Legal Issues. JAMA. 2005;294(16):2086-2090. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2017309. How To Achieve Healthy Aging, Neal Rouzier, MD, WorldLink Medical Publishing, ISBN 0-9710007-3-510. http://www.a4m.com/11. http://www.wosaam.ws/12. https://www.agemed.org/13. http://worldlinkmedical.com/14. http://www.acam.org/15. http://www.hormonedoc.com/16. http://www.tahoma-clinic.com/xx. Weisz G. The Emergence of Clinical Practice Guidelines. Milbank Q. 2007 Dec; 85(4): 691–727. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690350/