Why the best time to start your Longevity Journey is NOW

Preventative Medicine or 6P Medicine is a new fascinating field which allows humans to live significantly longer in good health. Instead of patients waiting to be sick before they visit a doctor, they would visit the doctor while they’re healthy and ask him to keep them that way as long as possible.

One of the most legitimate questions to ask when taking Preventative Medicine into consideration, is “WHEN is the best time to start”? The short answer is, without any doubt, NOW. For the longer answer, please read below.

We’ve been educated to believe that if we have no pain or unpleasant symptoms, then we are in perfect health by default. The reality is different: our body has tremendous adaptive capabilities, and when it faces stress or imbalance, most of the time it will cope with it in the short term without any external warning signs. However, in the long term, the law of compound interest applies, and small short term imbalances added up day after day, year after year, decade after decade, will end up not being minor anymore. This is where you feel symptoms. This is where you feel pain. When the body can’t address those imbalances anymore, it will send alarm signs. However, when that happens, most of the time it’s too late, there has been too much damage going on. A couple of concrete examples:

  • prediabetes: before getting diabetes type 2, people become prediabetic, with fasting glucose concentrations between 100 and 120 mg/dl. Prediabetes is reversible, but is 100% asymptomatic, so most people don’t even feel it. During 5 to 10 years on average, people continue their unhealthy lifestyle, until their prediabetes eventually degenerates into diabetes type 2. When that happens, it is irreversible. This medical condition is not a rare disease, prediabetes concerns roughly 1/3 of the population of the US and Europe. People who benefit from preventative health will be aware of their prediabetes condition and will be able to revert it, those who don’t, won’t feel anything until it worsens and it becomes irreversible.
  • atherosclerosis: this medical condition consists in arteries being progressively more and more stuck with plaque, until they eventually become completely obstructed. There is proof that plaque starts accumulating in our arteries as early as our teenage years, but the body copes very well with a limited amount of plaque. However, as years pass by, plaque accumulates, until the blood pressure becomes a concern, and eventually cardio-vascular diseases show up. At that point, it will be too late, because plaque accumulation is irreversible. However, the speed of accumulation of the plaque can be harnessed. Monitoring one’s health, and the accumulation of plaque, allows for preventative measure to slow down the process if necessary. When symptoms appear, it’s too late.
  • sarcopenia: this medical condition consists in losing one’s muscle mass as we age. When we’re young, we can easily lose muscle mass and then gain it back. It’s a reversible process. However, as we age, our body tends to lose more and more muscle mass, and getting it back becomes more and more difficult, until eventually it becomes virtually impossible. Well, as we age, to compensate for the irreversibility of the loss of muscle mass, we can apply preventative measures to preserve it at least.
  • cancer (maybe the most evident one): depending on multiple factors (genetic predisposition, lifestyle, age, etc.), certain types of cancer are more likely to occur in certain types of people. When the tumor is still small, the odds of remission are high, but most of the time there are no symptoms at that development stage. However, as the tumor grows and metastasizes the symptoms will appear, but it may be too late. Applying Preventative Medicine allows early detection of cancer.
  • physical overall performance: there is one indicator which assesses pretty reliably our overall physical condition, one of them is VO2max. The VO2max measures the maximum amount of Oxygen our body can process per minute. The better our general health condition, the higher VO2max will be. Just to give you an order of magnitude, an average VO2max is around 40 ml / kg / min, an outstanding one is 70, and below 20 you can barely live. Well, VO2max can be improved in general, but tends to decrease by 10%-15% per decade, for people older than 50. The strategy here is to train and increase it as much as possible before 50, so that even if it decreases past that age, it will still remain high for decades.

The above are just a couple of examples, but Preventative Medicine is full of such ageing mechanisms, which can be monitored and slowed down if necessary. However, this approach seems to be more of a “vitamin” than an “aspirin”, because most of the time, we have urgent matters to solve (kids, next holidays, real estate acquisition, you name it), and taking care of what’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years is the very last thing we care about. Indeed, there’s tremendous reward for the ones among us who do plan for their long term future.

The best moment for a country to prepare for war is during peace. The best moment for a company to fundraise is when they don’t need funds. The best moment for a person to take care of their health is when they’re perfectly healthy. The future belongs to those with long term vision, planning and commitment.

The sooner, the better!

  1. Cet article est passionnant et nous explique des manières de prendre soin de nous afin de gagner en qualité de vie.
    Vivre vieux c’est bien.
    Vivre bien, c’est mieux

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