What Are Telomeres and How Are They Measured?

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Telomeres tell your doctor how your cells are aging. Ultimately, you want them to be healthy and strong, and fighting against any degeneration or mutations. They are made of shelterin, a set of proteins that work to prevent the entire DNA sequence from being tainted. It is normal for telomeres to shorten during the aging process. However, with the help of telomere testing at Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers, board-certified physician Dr. Avi Ishaaya can analyze the changes to your chromosomes that can lead to decreased health or lifespan. Shorter telomeres can tell him if you’re more likely to develop certain disorders or diseases, as well as your risk of developing cancer. During an initial consultation at his Los Angeles, CA office, you can have this important testing done.

What shortens a telomere?

Degeneration of telomeres occurs because of a poor lifestyle. Those who are sedentary, smoke, are overweight or obese, or have a poor diet all can cause this shortening that leads to a decreased life. When these telomeres shorten, it tells the cells to regenerate less healthy cells and to produce mutations that can lead to cancer.

The range of symptoms that a patient can feel from this shortening varies; however, it can affect all organs. This is what makes telomere testing at Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers so important for patients of all ages, especially those who are middle-aged. Telomere length testing allows Dr. Ishaaya to diagnose and treat many disorders or diseases caused by this shortening of telomeres.

How a telomere test works

A telomere test is a blood draw or a cheek swab test, which is conducted at your visit. Patients don’t even need to fast. The sample is sent to a lab for evaluation. At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we recommend that our patients have telomere testing once a year to compare results and to examine lifestyle changes that may impact positive change for their health. This gives Dr. Ishaaya a good baseline to make suggestions for treatments. It also gives our patients information on whether their telomeres are healthy or unhealthy to promote healthy lifestyle changes, at any age.

How stress affects your telomeres

The biggest factors for telomeres are aging and genetics; however, stress does contribute to shortened telomere length. The type of stress that someone experiences will directly affect the repercussions along with their lifestyle choices. When we expose our bodies to chronic stress, it will negatively impact our health, especially our telomere length.

How can telomeres be strengthened?

Treatment options will vary by patient. However, the goal for Dr. Avi Ishaaya is to slow down this shortening process to help increase a patient’s overall health. This can be achieved with a healthy diet with the proper vitamins and minerals to improve your health. There are also a variety of lifestyle changes that can be made, including:

  1. Quitting smoking

  2. Losing weight

  3. Getting enough sleep

  4. Reducing stress

  5. Reducing inflammation in the body (anti-inflammatory diet)

  6. Exercising regularly

  7. Watching sugar and cholesterol levels regularly

At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers, we can determine what we think will help strengthen your telomeres in order to combat aging and the developments of life-shortening disorders or diseases.

How telomere testing will improve your health

Telomere testing allows board-certified physician Dr. Avi Ishaaya to look at your chromosomes to learn about your aging process. Our medical team at our Los Angeles, CA office can create an anti-aging plan that will help you to maintain your telomere length or to slow down the rate of shortening, which can negatively impact your health now and as you continue to age. If you’re interested in improving your health, contact Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers today to schedule a consultation to learn more about what telomere testing can do for you.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.