We all want to live the longest life possible. In 2019, the average life expectancy in the US was 78.87 years. And yet, this figure represents a yearly decrease in life expectancy since 2014. While advances in medicine have indeed allowed doctors to extend human life longer than ever, this downward trend is largely attributed to preventable deaths – namely chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. It turns out the life extending measures that we have enjoyed over the last four to five decades are being negated by lifestyle choices that trigger inflammation and result in heavy reliance on medications to sustain life. The question then becomes, “Does dependence on medications really get us a long healthy life? Or does it merely buy us time as we live with chronic disease? Chronic inflammatory disease has become the number one killer worldwide.
Inflammation is largely associated with aging: the higher the lifetime inflammatory load a person has, the faster that person ages. Conversely, the less lifetime inflammatory load, the healthier the aging process. Inflammation is the body’s reaction to threats, which include bacteria, viruses, chemicals, smoking, artificial additives to food and even processed carbohydrates and sugar. While the body was built to deal with a certain amount of these threats, chronic and large doses of these threats will cause the immune system to overreact, leading to chronic inflammation.
It then makes sense that in order to age well, lifestyle choices centered around fighting inflammation are the best policy in healthy aging, avoiding chronic disease, reducing reliance on medications and living longer. It is the goal of Ueno Center to help our patients achieve the healthiest aging process possible in order to live longer while enjoying a good quality of life. Our intake questionnaires are designed to help you identify areas that promote inflammation and develop strategies to reverse those tendencies. Research science has shown that the following general guidelines promote inflammation reduction in human health:
1. Exercise. Body movement in all its forms burns calories, keeps weight off, reduces fat storage and keeps the body mobile.
2. Diet. It is now accepted that foods high in carbohydrate and sugar content promote inflammation during the digestive process. Carbohydrates and sugars have higher tendencies to be stored in metabolic pathways that promote disease. Conversely, plant-based foods such as leafy greens and fruits promote inflammation reduction.
3. Hydration. Water makes up more than half of human cells in the body. In order to ensure that each cell lives its full cycle and die prematurely, we must take in enough water to sustain cell life. For example, dehydrated skin results in loss of collagen, leading to loss of elasticity and premature wrinkles.
4. Social circles. Human beings are social beings. Lack of healthy interpersonal relationships can lead to loneliness and depression, which promote inflammation. It is important to take inventory of and nurture social relationships thoughout the life cycle. This will also promote better quality of life in older age.
5. Stress management. It is almost intuitive to say that stress causes premature aging. Chronic unhealthy stress promotes inflammation in a number of body systems and reduces the quality of life. Healthy management of stress is vital in reducing inflammation.
6. Oral health. It has long been established that the mouth is the link to the rest of the body. Gum disease is a chronic, low-grade inflammatory condition that leads to tooth loss and negative impacts on the heart, liver, brain, kidneys and lungs. Ueno Center Dental Specialists understand the importance of keeping the mouth free of oral infection to promote good overall health. Our licensed professionals are committed to helping you reduce your oral inflammatory load in order to live the healthiest, longest life possible.
The Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020 has made clear that healthier persons fight and survive strong viruses better when the body is healthy. Ueno Center’s commitment to healthy patients means that you will have the highest chance of aging well and living long, free of disease.