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How to Slow Down Aging

 Intro: This is Weekly Dose of Wellness brought to you by Memorial Care Health System. Here's Deborah Howell.

Deborah Howell: Welcome. I'm Deborah Howell. And many of us are starting to learn more about aging and, today, we'll help you find out if there are some things we can do to slow the aging process. Our guest is Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh, who is board-certified in family medicine and practices at Greater Newport Physicians. Welcome, Dr. Motlagh.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Hello. Thank you for having me.

Deborah Howell: Well, it's a pleasure to have you here because it's a subject that's near and dear to many of our hearts. What happens to our bodies as we age?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: I would say, as we age, we accumulate molecular and cellular damage over time, which gradually decreases our mental and physical capacity. For example, we lose collagen, fat, bone mass, and our hormones decrease, which then we can experience fatigue, foggy brain, lower sex drive or mood changes and, in women, sometimes vaginal dryness, hot flashes and so forth.

Deborah Howell: All sorts of fun.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Yes. We're not looking forward to that.

Deborah Howell: So, the good news is clinicians can partner with patients to slow down the aging process. Is this right?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Definitely. I think having yearly physicals and addressing things as you go along is very important. Also, prevention is always crucial. You could use supplements, you could do hormone treatments or some beauty procedures to produce more collagen. So, it's more important that you prevent than wait till you have the issue really.

Deborah Howell: Sure. And what are some of the leading anti-aging procedures that you can perform that sort of stand apart beyond getting Botox or treatments like it?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Platelet-rich plasma therapy, bioidentical hormone therapy, and Ultherapy are some of the procedures that I do.

Deborah Howell: Okay. So, I'm intrigued. Let's start with platelet-rich plasma or PRP therapy. What's it commonly used to treat?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Actually, at this point, we use it for many procedures and areas including for joints and you could use it for skin. It has growth hormone in it, which that's the hormone that we usually have when we're younger. And by using this growth hormone, it will help rejuvenate the tissue and repair itself. That's it basically. You could use it for many areas.

Deborah Howell: So, even like your hips or knees?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Yes, you could do it in the joints. A lot of people use it when they have a meniscus tear or they have an ACL tear, even osteoarthritis. It helps with rejuvenating it.

Deborah Howell: Wow. What is the procedure like?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: We basically take your own blood and process it, take out the platelets and the platelets are getting reinjected in your joint or over your skin where it helps with collagen production.

Deborah Howell: So this can actually be performed on joints?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Yes. You can take your own blood and we process it. And we use the plasma, which has the growth hormone in it and re-inject it in the joint that is affected.

Deborah Howell: This has just got to be incredibly-- I mean, as an athlete, I've had both my menisci removed and my ACL repaired, so this is the first I've heard of being able to use that for joints. That's really incredible.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: It is. Unfortunately, the insurances still don't pay for it as of right now. But definitely, it has shown to show a lot of improvement with many research and studies.

Deborah Howell: Wonderful. Well, looking forward to when the insurance companies catch up. Now, what are bioidentical hormones and how are they used?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: So, bioidentical hormones are plant-based hormones that we could use like in females when they become menopausal, and it helps with the hot flashes, vaginal dryness, but also helps us with anti-aging purposes because once our estrogen gets lower, we start the aging process. We get osteoporosis, for example, or our skin is not as nice anymore and you see the difference. So, using the bioidentical hormones helps with the anti-aging or, if you want to do it for treatment of the symptoms, that's another reason why I do bioidentical hormones.

Deborah Howell: Okay. Symptoms such as?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: The vaginal dryness, the hot flashes. For men, low sex drive or mood changes. So, these are all symptoms that you can address.

Deborah Howell: And you mentioned osteoporosis.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Yes. As we age, due to lack of estrogen, we start having osteoporosis, so less bone mass. You could do, of course ,the other medical treatments, but hormone treatment is one of the treatments as well, which prevents the osteoporosis.

Deborah Howell: Interesting. Okay. Let's move on to Ultherapy and how does it stand apart from PRP therapy and bioidentical hormone therapy?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: So, Ultherapy uses microfocus ultrasound and it lifts and tightens the skin. It triggers your inflammatory factor and produces collagen. It's kind of more for beauty purposes and skin tightening.

Deborah Howell: All right, doctor, let's talk about some of the benefits of these treatments. For example, what differences will people actually see in themselves?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: So, it really depends on what procedure you're going to do. For example, with identical hormones, I see patients' symptoms improve. But at the same time, they have more energy, they feel more themselves. And that could variate from the first week they start using it, until even like three months sometimes where they see the difference. With Ultherapy, you feel the tightening right away. But then, in three months, you see more collagen production and improvement. Even after six months, you see, better results. So, it really depends which procedure. Also, with PRP, it's mostly because the body has to improve themselves and rejuvenate themselves. It takes a couple of months before you feel the difference.

Deborah Howell: Sure. Sure. And I think when people look in the mirror and they look better, I think they just naturally feel better, right?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Definitely. That's always the case. Once we look better, we feel better.

Deborah Howell: Yeah. Now, who's eligible for these anti-aging procedures? Are there age parameters?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: No, not really. you could start younger. I see more younger patients do more of the beautification. And then as you age and become more symptomatic with certain things, I see different procedures. So, it really depends on, What age? I have patients that do Botox, for example, at age 30 because they want to prevent the lines to come or they want to do collagen production, they use Ultherapy. But then for other procedures, like bioidentical hormones, I see of course a different age range.

Deborah Howell: Okay. And do you see a lot of athletes or is it mostly cosmetic?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: I have a very mixed patient population, so I have athletes, I have menopausal and older patients, but also cosmetics. So, it's really very diverse clinic that we have here.

Deborah Howell: Makes your days interesting and I'm sure very, very rewarding.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: Definitely. We do also a lot of weight loss, which I think is one of the keys for anti-aging as well, because obesity brings so many chronic conditions, which it really helps when you do the weight loss too.

Deborah Howell: Okay, great. Well, where can people go to learn more about the anti-aging procedures we've talked about today?

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: You can see some of the information on our website, And of course, you can always call us and get a consultation. Our phone number is (949) 831-0300.

Deborah Howell: Beautiful. And I'm going to repeat the website one more time, Thank you so much for, Dr. Motlagh, for your time and your expertise today. We really appreciate it.

Dr. Behnaz Haghighi Motlagh: And thank you and Happy New Year.

Host: Thanks and the same to you. For more info or to listen to a podcast of this show, please visit That's That's all for this time. I'm Deborah Howell. Have yourself a terrific day.

As people age, the body begins to run less efficiently and problems start to become more frequent, both internally and externally. Aging is a part of life, but one can undergo different medical procedures and treatments to slow down their aging and prevent health related problems from arising. Dr. Motlagh will explain the benefits to these procedures.