Sagging neck skin and aging signs
We all know that things change as we age. Did you know, for example, that the reason you develop so many wrinkles in your face is that the facial bones shrink in the aging process, so the skin sags against the disappearing bones. Or so I have been told. Whatever the reason, it is depressing. I am closely watching the left side of my face around my mouth and my right cheek because sad things are happening there. Permanent wrinkles and sagging muscles. Perhaps I should get out my old facial exercise manual and get my face pumping iron.
I was happy to learn that scientists are working on this problem. There are several hormones involved in the aging process, including DHEA, pregnenolone, and progesterone. All have been called anti-aging hormones because if we can maintain hormones levels as they were in our 20s, we can regain some of our youth. Every once in a while, I feel that same levels of energy I had when I was young. What an exhilarating feeling!
DHEA is the most abundant hormone circulating in the bloodstream, and is produced by the adrenal glands. Regular DHEA converts to estrogen and testosterone. The 7-keto form of DHEA is one of the 150 metabolites of DHEA that improves health without the side effects of increasing other hormones. It works by boosting the immune system, increasing energy, and by activating the enzyme in the liver that regulates thermogenesis (the production of body heat, an important piece of calorie usage).
People who have low levels of DHEA report fatigue, high cortisol levels, loss of strength, memory decline, muscle wasting, sagging neck skin, and other symptoms associated with aging. (I forgot to mention that my neck skin is sagging too, which is why I hold my head high. Not because I am proud but to help keep the skin taut. I hope it fools people about my real age.)
Pregnenolone is synthesized from cholesterol and is the precursor to all steroid hormones. It boosts acetylcholine so it helps prevent memory loss, fights off fatigue and depression, and helps keep the body in hormonal balance.
Progesterone counterbalances estrogen. Some of the negative effects of estrogen dominance include increased risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, hot flashes, weight gain, foggy brain, water retention, low libido, thyroid problems, osteoporosis, and lots more. Progesterone helps reduce all those things.
So this week I am going to start using all these hormones, just to see what happens. I’ll keep you informed.
Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.