Physician of the Month: Mark Bezzek, MD

A4M valued member Mark Bezzek, MD shares insight from his professional experience in this Physician of the Month feature.

Triple board certified in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Anti-Aging Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Mark Bezzek has also served as a member of a special forces unit in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Major. Through his trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, Dr. Bezzek developed the tenacity necessary to set a goal, and bring it to fruition: bringing the same laser focus and work ethic to his current work of anti-aging product development.  During his 29 years of clinical practice, Dr. Bezzek has firsthand seen the need for a fresh perspective in the approach to anti-aging. He has created 7 new products, including a multivitamin supplement, a diabetes formulation, an eye health compilation, an anti-aging skin cream, and more–all of which have received patents from the U.S. Patent Office. 

Dr. Mark Bezzek

Q: What anti-aging techniques have you incorporated into your practice? And how did you do so?

I am big believer in using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, the use of natural alternatives for anti-aging and degenerative diseases. Right now I am actively pursuing a more prominent role in stem cell treatment. I also strongly believe in the use of nutraceuticals in a preventative fashion as it relates to age.

Q: What are the benefits of practicing anti-aging medicine?

Because the baby boomer generation is now coming into their senior years, the demand has grown tremendously. Obviously, we all want to age more gracefully, to have large amounts of energy and to be able to continue to do our daily activities well into our 90’s, all while feeling great! We also want to prevent degenerative diseases such as arthritis so that you are able to lead a mobile, pain-free, productive life.

Q: What are the changes you see in your patients?

This absolutely relates back to the benefits of anti-aging medicine. When you can help a patient regain their energy, vitality, strength, vigor, and zest for life it truly warms my heart. After spending so many years in an emergency room, to work with anti-aging patients one-on-one and see their improvement in quality of life, it is very rewarding.

Q: Why would you recommend anti-aging medicine to your peers?

For the same reason I enjoy it – for the benefits to the patients you see on a daily basis, for the ability to grow a vital and dynamic business and for the chance to help patients achieve a healthier lifestyle well into their golden years.

Q: Where do you see the future of anti-aging medicine twenty years from now?

When I first started out in anti-aging some eight years ago, this field was viewed with a considerable amount of skepticism. Now the use of nutraceuticals is becoming more standard practice and sought after by most patients. I hope that twenty years from now there will have been even more advances in research, and that being of an advanced age is not considered a time to slow down but rather a time to continue to enjoy life. After all, in twenty years, I’ll be 78 myself!

Physical Activity & Psychological Health

While research has long confirmed the strong correlation between exercise and psychological health, a new study utilizing cellphone data to track activities and moods has confirmed that people who move are overall more content than people who sit.

While previous epidemiological studies have found that people who are active are less prone to depression and anxiety than sedentary people, the majority of these studies solely focused on negative moods. They generally relied on people recalling how they had felt, in addition to how much they had moved or sat in the previous weeks—with little concrete, tangible data to support their recollections.

The new study used a different approach, focusing on correlations between movement and the most positive emotion: happiness. The researchers also looked at what people reported about their respective activities, comparing it with objective measures of movement.

In doing this, the team first developed a special app for Android phones: advertised as helping people understand the ways in which lifestyles choices—like physical activity—might affect moods. As the app sent random requests throughout the day, during which people were asked to enter estimations of their current moods in addition to an assessment regarding their satisfaction with life in general, they also answered additional questions about whether they had been sitting, standing, walking, running, lying down, etc.

The app also asked about the users’ moods at that moment, simultaneously gathering data from the activity monitor built into almost every smartphone available today. Essentially, it checked whether someone’s recall of his/her movement tallied with the numbers from the activity monitor. Overall, the information provided by users and the activity monitors’ data was almost exactly the same.

People using the app also reported greater levels of happiness when they had been moving in the past quarter-hour, rather than when they had been sedentary—although often, they were not engaging in rigorous, strenuous activity. Researchers also found that people who moved more frequently tended to convey greater life satisfaction than those who spent most time in a chair.

The results suggest that people who are generally more active are generally happier, and in the moments during which they are active, they are also happier. While the study does not establish causation, the findings incontrovertibly indicate that if you get up and move often, you are more likely to feel cheerful than if you do not.

Kidney Disease: Reducing Risk

Kidney disease, which occurs when the organs are unable to filter blood properly, causes approximately 48,000 annual deaths: the ninth leading cause of mortality in the U.S. Because kidney disease is difficult to detect until it is too severe to treat, prevention is critical. Moreover, kidney disease exacerbates heart disease—serving as a major risk factor for development of cardiovascular difficulties.

Preventing the development of kidney disease can be achieved through a variety of interventions, including knowledge of family genetics. Family history can play an integral role in risk, coupled with race and ethnicity. While factors like genetic risk cannot be changed or altered, other contributors can be addressed. Diabetes has been confirmed as the primary cause of kidney disease, accounting for 44% of new cases. Even pre-diabetes can elevate one’s risk of developing kidney disease, making it imperative to keep blood sugar under control and manage the chronic condition if already diagnosed.

In addition to high blood sugar, hypertension and cholesterol are the other two primary risk factors that contribute to the development of kidney disease. The same maladaptive factors that negatively impact the cardiovascular system also tax the kidneys. To help ensure that kidneys function properly, a heart-healthy diet, low blood pressure, and cholesterol reduction are all acutely critical.

Other medical conditions can spur the risk of kidney disease, including chronic viral infections like HIV and Hepatitis C. Routine medical exams to ensure prostate health for men and gynecologic health for women are necessary, as issues ranging from prostate enlargement to tumors in the uterus or cervix can affect kidney function. Moreover, several medications, including over-the-counter painkillers like Advil and Motrin, can also raise the risk of developing kidney disease. It is essential to always ask physicians about medical side effects, and the properties of pharmaceuticals.