Anti-Aging : Doctor Practices Anti-Aging Medicine

Jessica McCarthy

Dr. Nitin Bawa, who practices general medicine, weight loss management and bio-identical hormones and more in Destin, expanded to Panama City at the Plastic Surgery Institute and Spa with Dr. Adil Ceydeli. He said although most doctors don't know much about them, bio-identical hormones are an important option for weight loss and hormone balance, for men and women, and wants more people to have access to them.

"The few people who do know how to use them don't take insurance and that's one of the things that makes us unique; it's part of our mission statement to make sure the hormones are available inexpensively," Bawa said. "We've even found some pharmacies that offer bulk discounts; we can pass that onto our patients."

He said using bio-identical hormones is just part of the process.

"Now we're also doing bio-identical hormones and lasers; it's all about anti-aging," Bawa said. "The old adage used to be just get rid of the disease, and now we look at optimizing functions so people can be the best they can, have more energy, get better sleep, and look and feel better."

He said men's and women's hormones get out of balance, causing fatigue and weight gain, and the best way to counteract it is supplementing those missing hormones.

"A lot of women are going through menopause, and OB-GYNs give them hormones from pregnant mares," Bawa said. "Studies show an increased risk of heart attack and other risks from those hormones, and doctors still use them even though more generic stuff is available and cheaper. No one is marketing it."

He said it's important to him to raise awareness about different options so people know they have choices. That's where bio-identical hormones come in. They are identical to what the body naturally produces, he said, making it easier on the body and better for it when balancing hormones.

Bawa said something else he does differently is using supplements and more natural options for his patients.

"There are a lot of times you can use something natural with fewer side effects and it's easier to get off of them when you're done," Bawa said. "Whenever possible, I try to use natural. With anxiety, a lot of physicians will slap on Prozac or Zoloft on it, but in some cases, the anxiety is mild and there are natural options like St. John's wort that can help. I think it's important to understand and know about how supplements work and what they can do."

He said hormonal imbalances aren't tied to a specific age, either.

"Hormonal imbalances can start at 35; hot flashes, mood issues, weight gain, and hormones make a big difference, even over-the-counter options," Bawa said. "In this country, physicians aren't taught about over-the-counter options. We test for hormonal abnormalities to help people feel better and lose weight."

For weight loss help, Bawa also has a basal metabolic machine to measures the rate at which people burn energy, establishing their metabolism. He said supplements and the right diet can improve that rate, increasing weight loss.

(c)2012 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)

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