This week, ABC News ran a story about the increasing use of botox in individuals in their teens and 20s to fight premature aging. Out of the 6.1 million botox injections administered in 2012, almost 100,000 were given to patients in their 20s; that’s a 10% increase from 2011. In 2010, teenages received almost 12,000 botox injections; a 2% increase from 2008. Why is our population experiencing this premature aging?
Premature aging is caused by elevated levels of oxidative stress within the body. Dr. Weil defines oxidative stress as “the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear”.
There are a number of lifestyle problems that can lead to excessive oxidative stress, such as pathogens, excessive exercise, insufficient sleep, cigarette abuse, alcohol abuse, exposure to chemicals and toxins, heavy metals, natural and artificial radiation, and excessive stress.
There are a few simple things that we can do to prevent premature aging:
- Get tested and treated for any pathogens (parasites, bacterial infections, fungal infections, viral infections). Many individuals with these pathogens are asymptomatic, or symptoms may be seemingly unrelated to a pathogen.
- Avoid excessive exercise. If you feel you are addicted to exercise, seek professional help.
- Get a good night’s sleep. The ideal time to sleep is from 10 pm to 6 am. 2 hours of sleep before midnight are worth 4 hours of sleep after midnight, when it comes to the body healing and recovering.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals and toxins in your food and water. On a budget? Check out Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen! Install a water filter in your home that will remove toxins and chemicals. Avoid eating these genetically modified foods.
- Minimize external sources of stress. Avoid people that are “energy robbers”, meditate, journal, learn breathing exercises, create a gratitude list. If you’re stress levels are too much to handle on your own, work with a professional that can teach you techniques to manage stress.
- In addition to making lifestyle changes, take a good quality anti-oxidant supplement.
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