I have decided to kick-start my own anti-ageing regime with a visit to Professor Nadir Farid MBBS, FCRP (Lon), FACP in London's Wimpole Street. Prof. Farid, pictured left, is a world-leading endocrinologist - that is a seriously qualified expert in hormones.
As anyone in anti-ageing knows hormones are the body's chemical messengers and which unfortunately decline with age or get unbalanced and cause all sorts of health problems from depression, to overweight, infertility and loss of libido.
Prof Farid is a particular expert in fertility, polycystic ovary syndrome(PCS) and weight issues caused by insulin resistance - that is when the body keeps producing more insulin to get rid of sugar in the blood, with the end result that many of us end up putting on dangerous weight around the middle and may even be on the way to getting type 2 diabetes, a heart attack or stroke.
I visited Prof Farid at his clinic, The London Endocrine Clinic where we discussed the current obesity epidemic. He says that 50% of the population suffers from insulin resistance which is says was a valuable asset in the days when we were hunter gathers and we had to live through food shortages and famine.
But in today's world when there is too much food, particularly too much of the wrong food and we are all eating too much sugar and carbohydrate its is causing a big problem.
Dr Farid obviously knows what he is talking about - the desk in his consultation room has the photos of happy mothers who were able to conceive after his advice and treatment. There are also the letters from men and women who have been able to transform their bodies by loosing weight after his treatment.
How does he do this? I find out for myself by undergoing a consultation. Prof Farid is very thorough. First of all he undertakes a detailed lifestyle questionnaire which includes: diet, sleeping patterns, work & lifestyle balance, allergies, whether you have suffered from weight & food issues such as anorexia, bulimia, compulsive eating disorders, alcohol and any other personal and health issues.
Next a weigh-in at the scales, blood pressure measure and a physical examination. In my case Prof Farid remarks that although I am only slightly overweight, but if he were a betting man that he would bet that I am too insulin resistant। He is also concerned about my high blood pressure। This is shocking news to me as I have never suffered from high blood pressure. I can only put this down to stress and not cycling and jogging as frequently as I have done. I know I must deal with this and get back to a disciplined regime.
Next I am to take a whole lot of blood tests - everything from my hormone levels including insulin, to oestrogen, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid to the nasties such as bad cholesterol (LDL) and those other fats tryglicerides.
During the course of our conversation I learn that Prof. Farid is himself insulin resistant. He keeps it in check with a Low Glycemic Diet which is the diet he recommends to patients - that is eating foods that release their energy slowly into the blood stream. These are mostly high-protein foods rather than carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and potatoes. He also says he has given up alcohol completely because of the carbs. This is not good as I know that a glass of red wine is highly recommended for its anti-ageing properties - not only the magic ingredient resveratrol which is found in red grapes but also because it helps keep down LDL levels and is helpful against heart attack and stroke.
I will let you know the results of my blood test when I get them. In the meantime I am going to see the dietician at the clinic and I will also share these recommendations with you.
In my next blog I will also tell you about some of the latest non-invasive anti-ageing treatments for sagging skin - on the face, arms and tummy and anywhere else for that matter. These new treatments are really exciting because whilst I believe "no pain no gain" these are not painful and surprise surprise they do work!I will let you know what happened when I tried them out.