The Medical Promise of Anti-Aging
A Spotlight on Margarita Kullick, M.D.Recently joining the team at National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA), Margarita Kullick, M.D., is a functional and anti-aging medical physician. Natural Awakenings had the opportunity to learn about Kullick’s methods of working with patients, and provided information about the type of patient that should be seeking anti-aging support, and when to start.
What is your philosophy in working with patients using anti-aging procedures? Describe your typical patient or why someone might come to you.
A typical patient may have a variety of ailments and some may be the result of aging. Problems of the immune system, degenerative diseases such as arthritis, memory loss, fatigue, heart and kidney disease and diabetes are a manifestation of aging. I look at the whole person, not just the symptoms or physical ailments that brought them into the office. Human beings are complex and emotions and attitude affect overall well-being and health status. This total evaluation helps us to get to the root cause of accelerated aging.
It seems that the science on aging (and anti-aging) has changed significantly in the past? Can you give a brief description of what we now know about the aging process?
Aging is a natural process of the human cycle, and the accumulation of toxins, DNA damage, oxidation and inflammation all lead to what we call as senescence, or gradual deterioration, as the cells slow down the normal replication cycle of physiological renewal.
As we age, the cell mitochondria can start to malfunction, the repair system fails, our natural defenses get overwhelmed, a cascade of inflammation develops, our DNA gets injured and the telomeres shorten. Telomeres are the tips of the cells that protect our precious DNA for cell replication (our cell clock). As we age the protective tip wears off, and slows the replication process but there are natural ways to lengthen the telomere.
Recent scientific advances such as stem cell therapy, telomere therapy and Sirtuin therapy may help slow down the progression of aging—preventing gene mutations or expression of genes that make us more susceptible to diseases and cancer.
What are some lifestyle choices that affect how we age?
We live in a polluted world, from the air we breathe to the water we drink, the quality of our food and sadly, now all of us have unhealthy exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from cell phones and wireless devices. It is imperative to be aware of the cumulative effects of our lifestyle choices on long-term health. Smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, using drugs, or a poor diet can take years off our life. Making small changes such as eating organic food, eliminating processed foods, managing stress, regular exercise and quality sleep, eliminating or controlling exposure to EMF will help get us on a better path and hopefully slow down the aging process.
What are the most used natural health anti-aging therapies that you use?
There is science behind a number of lifestyle choices that improve our cell performance, and help to protect our DNA. Something as simple as meditation has shown tremendous benefits to overall health. Balancing the hormones is crucial to keep the body functioning optimally. After an evaluation, recommendations may include bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT), lifestyle changes, natural supplements, vitamins, minerals and IV’s to improve the function of the mitochondria and the health of genes. More advanced anti-aging therapies may include telomere therapy and stem cell therapy, when indicated.
Hormones in the body work like a symphony—if one is low, it affects all the rest. A thorough evaluation of hormones is an integral part of anti-aging plan. Low sex drive may be due to low testosterone in women, and it may be due to high Estradiol in men. Finding what causes the abnormalities is essential to draft a plan of treatment.
When we find thyroid, sex hormones or adrenal hormone abnormalities, we need to entertain first what is causing the deficit or elevation. The answer not always is hormonal replacement. Our hormones, like the rest of our body, are altered by many lifestyle choices—such as coffee and alcohol excess, EMF exposure, foods, stress and more. A BHRT may be recommended in a temporary basis until your body takes the healing path.
How is your work different from a physician or technician that would use cosmetic therapies such as Botox? What is your opinion on those therapies?
There is a wide difference between the practice of anti-aging medical therapies and aesthetic anti-aging. Although the aesthetics may combine skin anti-aging techniques and products, they do not necessarily address the core of the problem at the cellular level. There are so many new exciting modalities to renew from the inside out which slow down the spiral of aging and gain many good years of health—enabling patients to look and feel young.
The body needs the basics of good health first, so I look at detoxification, gut health, exercise and test and plan what is best suited for each individual. Keep in mind that the best investment you can make is in your own health, fitness and vitality.
When should I start my anti-aging plan?
There is a difference between chronological and biological age. You may be only 40 yet your biological age may be 50. Please do not wait until your memory fails you or you cannot dance. Start a customized plan as soon as you can that will help you stay healthy and reclaim vitality and joy.
Margarita Kullick, M.D, is a functional and anti-aging medical physician, board certified in Internal Medicine. She combines natural therapies such as hormone replacement with state-of-the-art anti-aging therapies to assess and renew the body from the inside out. For more information, visit nihadc.com/Health-Programs/Anti-Aging-Medicine-Wash-DC-MD-VA.html.