At Bonner Age Management, Dr. Dennis Bonner ensures that his patients enjoy an exceptionally high quality of life, regardless of age.
Like a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, life can get better with age.
“I ask patients all the time: ‘Don’t you want to feel as good at age 80 as you do at 60?’” says Dennis J. Bonner, M.D., a fellow of age management and dual board-certified physician based in Langhorne. “The accelerated deterioration that people experience naturally doesn’t have to be bad. There are remedies for the multiple variables impacted as one ages.”
As people age, one’s major energy center—the heart—decreases in capacity. The maximum heart rate drops approximately one beat per year, and its capacity to push blood with each beat decreases.
But the heart is not the only part of the body dulled by age; nerves slow and lung capacity decreases, for example. According to Dr. Bonner, one loses 20 percent of his or her body’s muscle mass between the ages of 30 and 50. This accelerates to a loss of 20 percent for each decade thereafter. This diminished muscular strength causes overall weakness and, as a result, robs one of the ability to experience life as one would like. Hormones also decrease as a person ages. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone all reduce over time, each with its own impact on the body. Furthermore, osteoporosis can be one of the most common conditions—especially among women—associated with aging and, unfortunately, can result in bone frailty.
“At 70 years old, we have about 17 percent of what we once had,” Dr. Bonner says. “The good news is there are remedies and through proper evaluation, preventative management and restorative care, one’s quality of life can flourish.”
Women are not the only ones who want to age gracefully. Men are equally interested in spending their so-called golden years in good form. Many of Dr. Bonner’s male patients often share some of the same symptoms, including lethargy, weakness and thinning muscles. However, the most common, and potentially damaging, issue is what can be coined a “fat belly”—a condition in which the presence of visceral abdominal fat can pose serious health risks.
Like cholesterol, there is both good fat and bad “dark” fat. The latter is found deep inside the body, surrounding many of the body’s major organs. According to Dr. Bonner, and verified by several studies, a high level of visceral fat can be a sign of metabolic syndrome—a group of risks that when combined can severely affect one’s health. Extra belly fat combined with insulin resistance, hormone changes, lack of exercise and aging can greatly increase one’s risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic inflammation and other degenerative diseases.
It’s not just about losing weight; it’s a matter of increasing energy levels—something that patients can see in just a couple of months. Dr. Bonner’s age-management program targets this and other serious conditions men and women face when aging.
Although far less discussed in the mainstream, men will experience symptoms of aging associated with “andropause.” Like menopause in women, these symptoms are directly linked to decreases in human growth hormone (HGH), a complex protein hormone of 191 amino acids, which declines between 10 percent and 20 percent a decade starting at age 20. This decrease continues throughout one’s life and by age 50, people produce little or no growth hormone. Restoring hormones, including testosterone and others, is an integral part of age management and living well.
At Bonner Age Management, Dr. Bonner’s patients are treated for conditions associated with aging in a manner that carefully addresses the complex and very personal nature of the process itself. This medically and scientifically based program begins with a thorough review of one’s health history and complete physical. The evaluation also considers the 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, influenza and pneumonia, and then determines the appropriate personal regimen to counter them through laboratory tests, body-composition analysis and other diagnostic tools.
Dr. Bonner goes on to explain that HGH can improve bone strength, muscle tone and one’s immune system. It also reduces the “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, therefore positively affecting heart health. With proper care and ongoing monitoring for any necessary regimen adjustments, the Bonner Age Management Program is a way for patients to take control of the aging process and their life.
“Sadly, the majority of people spend their golden years in a disabled state,” adds Dr. Bonner. “As we get older, we lose our functional capabilities in a progressive fashion. And, while medical science has not helped us to live longer, it has helped us to live better.
“This program may not help you live longer,” he continues. “Instead, it is designed to help patients achieve an optimal condition of health and well-being.”
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March, 2012).
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