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    Biological age is a new concept, which looks at how young and functional your tissues and organs are. Some examples of biological age are: brain age, heart age, artery age, lung age, bone age, cellular age, hormonal age, etc. These different age ranges, which make up the overall biological age, can be measured with the latest technologies.

    Conventional medicine treats diseased and broken tissues and organs.

    Preventative medicine tries to identify early disease.

    Optimal health identification and measurement is an approach BEFORE either prevention or treatment of conventional medicine by recognizing the precursors to disease, measuring the strengths or weaknesses of an individuals body systems and then giving the person a customized health profile, which can be used for optimizing their health.

    The biological age is combined with biomarkers and then selected depending on your age and state of health. It includes extensive laboratory analysis of various organs/genetic evaluation/advanced cholesterol testing.

    Once you have the scientific and objective data of the biological age then you can compare it with the person’s chronological age and try to integrate

    it with the genetic potential of the person in order to have a plan of action for his/her optimal age.

    This is not about treatment of a diseased organ or tissue; it is about measuring and then bringing your biological age as close to and lower than your chronological age.

    Dr Scumpia, an endocrinologist with 20+ years of experience in hormones, has followed this field for many years and will try to integrate the science of biological age with hormones and optimal health as a unique approach. This is a new and evolving field with only partial evidence-based science; therefore, again, the oldHippocrates dictum, “First do no harm,” approach should prevail under the guidance of an experienced endocrinologist.

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  • Endocrinology


    It is the science of hormones which are substances released in the blood stream which affect virtually all the functions and all the cells in the body.
    The endocrine system is a tightly regulated system functioning with the precision of a sophisticated computer. Its complexities cannot be matched by any machine in our time.
    Any hormone imbalance should be seen by an endocrinologist. An Endocrinologist is graduate of medical school who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine after 3 years of residency. After completing 2-3 year fellowships in endocrinology and metabolism a second board certification is given after the examination for the certification as an endocrinologist. Because of the complexities of the endocrine system, any endocrine disorder should be seen by an endocrinologist as a consultation after which the endocrinologist will send the person back to the primary care MD unless the condition is either very difficult to manage or the person is not controlled yet.

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  • Hormones

    Bioidentical Hormones are not necessarily Human Identical Hormones and their use should follow the same rigorous scientific guidelines as any other hormone replacement therapy. By being called “Bioidentical “a hormone is not without the same side effects as the other hormones and should not be presented to patients as being harmless because it is bioidentical.
    Hormones should not be used for treatment unless there is clinical and biochemical (laboratory) evidence of a hormone deficiency. Using hormones for treatment of symptoms of fatigue, depression, antiaging is strongly discouraged because of multitude of side effects that hormone therapy can cause.
    For Example: Adrenal Fatigue is not a diagnosis accepted in the scientific community. Adrenal failure is a series disorder (sometimes called Addison disease) which has very strict criteria for diagnosis and treatment. Telling somebody that they have Adrenal fatigue based on saliva hormone assessment and then giving them hydrocortisone or Prednisone for treatment may cause series side effects and may paralyze the pituitary gland, trigger diabetes and osteoporosis. Hydrocortisone should be used for adrenal failure ONLY if the rigorous diagnostic test of an ACTH stimulation test has been performed and it was interpreted as being abnormal.
    Another example is the Wilson temperature Syndrome which measures the temperature of the body and offers thyroid hormone as a T3 preparation in the absence of any laboratory abnormalities in the thyroid function tests. Using thyroid hormone without a diagnosis of low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) can trigger heart rate problems, strokes and osteoporosis
    Using growth hormone for antiaging, HCG diets are other examples of misuse of hormones with potential ill effects.

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  • Factors that affect Endocrine function:

    Aging causes changes in the hormone production and hormone secretion, it interferes in their metabolism (how quickly the hormones are broken down and leave the body) and it interferes in how the target tissues respond to the same amount of hormone. Because of this, any hormone therapy has to be assessed and adjusted according to a patient’s age.

    Other diseases and conditions may alter the hormone system. Some of these include genetic and congenital defects, surgery, radiation, cancer treatments, traumatic injuries, infections and autoimmune problems. For example having had brain trauma as a child can result in pituitary failure. Another example is when you have another autoimmune problem like Type I Diabetes or Rheumatoid arthritis you may have a higher chance of developing thyroid autoimmune problems. Having had radiation to parts of the body may increase the risk of endocrine problems.

    Stress can trigger the stress response, a complicated mechanism in loving the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands which result in a cascade of hormones being secreted which then influence your heart, kidneys, leveret.

    Environmental factor are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) and they can affect the people in many ways. Some of these include disrupted sexual development, decreased fertility, birth defects, and reduced immune response neurological and behavioral changes including reducing your ability to handle stress. The science of these EDC is still in its infancy.

    Genetics factors may include chromosome abnormalities as Down syndrome or turner syndrome and genetic factors which can lead to predisposition of developing certain diseases as diabetes, breast cancer, obesity, cholesterol.

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  • Endocrine glands and types of hormones

    The following glands make up the endocrine system:
    Pituitary gland
    Pineal gland
    Adrenal glands

    The Pituitary gland is called “ the Master gland “ or the “Queen mother gland “ because it controls many other endocrine glands  by secreting hormones which stimulate other glands.
    The hormones it produces include:
    Prolactin (stimulates milk production)
    Growth Hormone GH (growth in children, maintains healthy body composition, marinating muscle mass and affects the fat distribution in the body
    Adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) stimulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. The cortisol so called the stress hormone is vital to survival controlling blood pressure and glucose (sugar level) among other effects
    Thyroid stimulating Hormone ( TSH ) stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones T4 and T3 which in turn control the body’s metabolism, energy , growth and development an d nervous system activities
    Luteinizing hormone (LH) regulates testosterone in men and estrogen in women
    Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the ovaries to release eggs (ovulation) in women and helps in the production of the sperm in men
    Oxytocin cases milk to be released in nursing m others and causes uterine contractions during child birth
    Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) also called vasopressin regulates water balance and maintains the normal amount of salt in the body. Without this hormone thirst and too much urine occur the so called “Diabetes Insipidus “.
    Some pituitary disorders include Pituitary tumors secreting hormones (prolactinomas, Growth hormone, and Cushing’s syndrome), Hypopituitarism (low pituitary functions) following traumatic brain injury, surgery or radiation.
    Pituitary disorders are complicated and should be managed by an endocrinologist.

    This is the part of the brain just above the pituitary gland which releases hormones which control the pituitary hormones.
    They include Growth Hormone releasing hormone (controls release of growth hormone), Thyrotrophic releasing hormone (controls TSH release) and Corticotrophin releasing Hormone (controls ACTH release and Gonadotropin releasing hormone (controls FSH and LH release).
    Because of its proximity to the brain, the Hypothalamus is one of the most important links between hormones and the brain.
    This is a gland needed in early life for the development of the immune system by secreting hormones called humoral factors.

    Pineal Gland

    It makes the hormone called melatonin which interferes with the proper function of FSH and LH and interferes with sleep.
    Testes (testicles)
    Produce Testosterone and helps with the production of the sperm.
    Low testosterone may cause lack of muscles, fatigue depression, infertility.
    You should have testosterone checked if you have a drop in sexual desire, poor erections, low sperm count, enlarged or tender breasts.
    Testoetone treatment should not be used unless a firm diagnosis of low testosterone is made by a reputable laboratory. Treatment with testosterone in the absence of deficiency may cause serious health problems.
    Produce estrogen and progesterone responsible for development of the breast, ovulation, menstrual periods and maintaining the pregnancy. Some disorders of the ovaries include polycystic ovaries Syndrome, menopause, premature menopause and irregular menstrual periods.
    Symptoms include facial hair (hirsutism) irregular periods, absent periods, lactation in the absence of pregnancy.
    Estrogen bioidentical hormones for treatment of menopause cause the same side effects and complications as synthetic hormones including breast cancer, and increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
    Hrome replacement therapy is now only advocated in early menopause and for severe hot flushes only given the above possible complications.

    A small gland in front of the neck secretes the Thyroid hormones. It controls your metabolism, the body’s ability to break down food and store energy. The thyroid hormones are Thyroxin T4 and Tri-iodothyronine T3). Contrary to popular belief, the body knows how to convert T4 to T3 so supplements containing T3 are not needed for replacement.
    Diseases of the thyroid gland include Hypothyroidism (low thyroid), Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid), Hashimoto, Graves’ disease, Thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer.
    You should be assessed for thyroid problems if you have the following : a lump in the neck, history of radiation to the face , chest and neck, family history of thyroid problems, fatigue weight gain or weight loss, slow metabolism, irregular periods, lack of libido,, hair loss, cold sensitivity, heat intolerance , constipation, diarrhea , palpitations and rapid heartbeat,.
    Thyroid hormone should not be used in the absence of a true thyroid hormone deficiency and should not be offered for treatment of depression, fatigue or for weight loss. There is no scientific evidence for using T3 preparations and the used of animal thyroid hormone should be discouraged because of possible ill effects on the heart.

    Adrenal glands

    It secrets cortisol which controls  stressors, blood sugar, response to stress, aldosterone which controls the blood pressure by acting on the kidneys to hold on to the salt and water. It also produces other androgens like DHEAS.
    Other hormones form the adrenals are epinephrine (adrenaline) which regulates the response to stress by increasing the heart rate and the amount of oxygen we breathe and norepinephrine’s related to maintaining normal activities.
    Diseases of the Adrenal glands include Adrenal failure (Addison disease) Cushing’s disease (overproduction of the cortisol), Conn Syndrome (overproduction of aldosterone), Pheochromocytoma (overproduction of epinephrine).
    Treatment for adrenal diseases is complex and should be left to the endocrinologist.
    “Adrenal Fatigue “with the diagnosis made usually by saliva check is NOT a diagnosis or a disease and there are no scientific facts to support this concept. The theory behind this is the fact that people need more adrenal hormone when they’re stressed out. Offering the patient extracts of pituitary or adrenal form animals may cause health problems and treatment with low doses of cortisone in the absence of adrenal failure may be dangerous to your health.
    If you have been told that you have adrenal fatigue consult an endocrinologist to make sure that you do not have true adrenal failure and make sure that the medication you are given is the correct one.

    Located by the thyroid gland they maintain the proper balance of calcium in the body and help develop the bones by secreting the Parathyroid hormone (PTH). Excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone may lead to high calcium in the urine and blood, cause Kidney stones and osteoporosis.

    A large gland located behind the stomach secretes insulin which helps the sugar move from the blood stream to the cells. Another hormone called glucagon tells the liver to release the sugar stored for proper energy maintenance.
    Diseases of the endocrine pancreas are the Type I Diabetes which requires insulin at all times. Rarely an insulin secreting tumor of the pancreas can cause low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)

    Vitamin D
    It is now considered be a hormone and deficiency of this vitamin seems to be very common affecting more than 35 % of the population.
    Lack of vitamin D may lead to osteoporosis and has recently been implicated in a variety of diseases including possible cancer.
    Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, memory loss, and brain fog, diffuse muscle and joint and bone pains.
    The science behind Vitamin D is its infancy. You should have a baseline vitamin D checked if you have any of the symptoms listed above. The new recommended maintenance dose of vitamin D is 1,000 International units per day of vitamin D3.

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  • Myths about Endocrine diseases and Hormones:

    1.    Bioidentical Hormones; Bioidentical hormone does not mean Human identical hormones. For example Armour Thyroid is the pork thyroid which is bioidentical (of biological sources) but not human identical. Another example is hormones derived from Yam (progesterone) which are deemed to be bioidentical because they come from a biological source but they are not human identical. It is of utmost importance to understand that bioidentical hormones may cause the same complications as any other hormones treatments. The treatment should only be offered if a hormone deficiency is truly present

    2.    “Adrenal fatigue” is NOT a real disease. There are no scientific facts to support this term derived from the belief that when you are under stress you require more adrenal hormone because your adrenal glands may be tired. Adrenal failure is a true disease which may come from the pituitary or from the adrenal glands being damaged. It is a life threatening condition and its diagnosis and management have strict guidelines which need to be followed closely.
    3.    “Fountain of Youth Hormones” which include Growth Hormone and DHEAS. Neither one of them should ever be used for antiaging since they can cause serious side effects. Growth hormone deficiency requires a firm diagnosis by stimulating tests and its treatment needs to be under the guidance of an endocrinologist. Treatment with DHEAS in the absence of a deficiency may result on excessive hair growth and deepening of the voice in women and enlargement of the breast in men.
    4.    “HCG diets “HCG is the human choriogonadotrophic hormone secreted by the placenta in a pregnant woman which helps maintain the pregnancy. It does not cause weight loss. It is also used for making an egg mature and released form the ovary. Using HCG can cause irregular periods, ovarian cysts, blood clots in women and breast enlargement and decreased sperm production in men. The weight loss in the HCG diet is caused by following the 500 calories a day diet which may be harmful if not carefully supervised
    5.    “Wilson temperature Syndrome” is NOT accepted by the medical community since there is no scientific data to support its existence. It postulates treatment with thyroid hormone in the form of a potent T3 preparation in the absence of any abnormalities of the thyroid gland measurement based only on symptoms and the temperature of the body. Higher than normal T3 levels in the body can trigger heart complications, osteoporosis and interfere with the normal brain development of a fetus of a pregnant woman.

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  • Locations

    Institute for Hormones and Optimal Health - Austin, TX
    Phone Number512.467.2727
    Local Health Care Professionals Providing You With Helpful Health Tips!