What are Telomeres?
Telomeres can tell your doctor a story about how well your cells are aging. Their main job, however, is to act as a bodyguard to the end of your chromosomes. Why? You want your telomeres to be healthy, strong, and fighting against mutations, degeneration, and accelerated aging. With the development of telomere testing, we can analyze the structural change (such as damage or shortening) to the chromosomes that can lead to cell mutations and more. Our board-certified physician in pulmonary, internal, sleep, and geriatric medicine, Dr. Abraham Avi Ishaaya, offers telomere testing as preventive medicine and as an anti-aging service for his patients. In Los Angeles, CA, at Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers, you can request a consultation for telomere testing. You can have the test administered in the same appointment.
When telomeres appear shortened or frayed, your longevity and wellness may be at risk. Shorter telomeres can indicate that you are susceptible to developing metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, and more. If you would like to discover more about your DNA health as you age, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
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What shortens a Telomere?
Degeneration of a telomere at the end of your chromosomes can be accelerated by poor lifestyle choices. Whether you have one or more factors, having a sedentary lifestyle, being a smoker, living with unmanaged stress, gaining excessive amounts of weight, and/or eating nutrient-deficient foods can all decrease your lifespan and quality of life. When telomeres shorten, it signals your cells to regenerate less new, healthy cells or produce mutations (like cancer).
Administering the test
A telomere test is a simple blood draw or a cheek swab that we can collect in our office. You can even have blood drawn for the telomere test at your consultation appointment. There is no need to fast. We will send your sample to a laboratory to be evaluated. It may take a few weeks to get the results, and we will call you when the results are ready.
At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers, we recommend that our patients have their telomeres tested at least once a year to compare the length results, examine how lifestyle modifications are impacting the growth, and evaluate the effectiveness of supplements taken for 12 months. This gives Dr. Ishaaya data to base his treatment recommendations. It also presents you with information on how healthy your telomeres are trending (healthy or unhealthy).
Activate Telomere Renewal
Treatment options will vary from patient to patient. We want to slow down the shortening process of your telomeres and increase your overall health. We can do this by supplementing your diet with necessary vitamins and minerals that can improve your overall health. There are also lifestyle changes you can make, such as:
- Losing weight
- Not smoking
- Getting plenty of rest
- Having positive outlets for stress
- Doing your part to reduce inflammation (oxidative stress) in your body
- Incorporating a consistent exercise routine
- Following the directives of your physicians
- Watching your blood glucose and cholesterol levels
You can ask for more information on other treatments when you meet with Dr. Ishaaya to follow-up on your results.
Telomere Testing FAQ
What does a telomere have to do with aging?
Your telomeres have a crucial role in the fate of your cells and the aging process because they adjust your cells' response to stress and replication of previous cell division and DNA damage. Basically, as your telomeres shorten, your cells aren't as vital and healthy as they used to be and become more prone to disease and the aging process.
Is telomere testing accurate?
While over-the-counter telomere tests don’t always give you a reliable reading with useful information, a specialized laboratory-grade telomere test done by Dr. Ishaaya can give you a more accurate measurement of your telomeres. Using this information Dr. Ishaaya can work with you to create a personalized plan to help protect your telomeres for an improved quality of life.
What disease states are associated with shortened telomeres?
Shortened telomeres have been associated with premature aging and a host of disease states, including:
- Scarring of the lungs and liver
- Premature greying
- Cardiovascular disease
- And more...
How can I lengthen my telomeres and slow down shortening?
Maintaining good overall health is one of the best ways you can protect your telomeres and help to slow down the aging process. Here are seven tips:
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats while avoiding processed foods
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
Take a Peek at your Telomeres
What are your chromosomes revealing about your aging process? Find out with telomere testing at Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA. Our medical team (under the leadership of Dr. Ishaaya, will tailor an anti-aging plan for you to maintain the length or slow down the rate at which your telomeres are shrinking. If you’re looking to get back to a more youthful-looking self, contact the office to schedule your appointment.
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