Back to Life
Dr. Dennis Bonner’s age-management program restores patients’ function and vitality
by Phil Gianficaro

There the 60-year-old man sits, mourning the loss of his youth.

He’s grown thicker around the middle and thinner on top. His defined chest and bulging biceps, in past years a sense of pride, have vanished. He curses the direction of his life, one in which his blood pressure and cholesterol are up while his energy level, metabolism and sex drive are down.

The man exhales deeply and shrugs his rounded shoulders, an indication he’s accepted the effects of aging as one of life’s irreversible realities.

I guess the old adage is true, he laments. You just can’t turn back time.

Dennis J. Bonner, M.D., has been witness to such acceptance many times before in his age-management program at his offices in Langhorne and suburban Philadelphia. And each time he watches a patient throw up his hands in surrender, he assures the patient that time can indeed be reversed.

“Aging is a natural process,” Dr. Bonner says. “But what I can do is use low doses of testosterone and, in some cases, human-growth-hormone therapy to help patients begin feeling like they did when they were younger.

“Combined with an exercise program, my therapy helps them lose weight, increase muscle and lose body fat. And with the loss of body fat, the patient will have a loss of fatigue, increased endurance and rejuvenation.”

Between the ages of 30 and 50, men lose 30 percent of their muscle mass, and every 10 years after lose 30 percent of their remaining muscle mass. As they reach age 70, the body is functioning at one-fifth of its original metabolic capacity.

After serving as director of Langhorne Gardens Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, St. Mary Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Unit and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehab, Dr. Bonner has seen firsthand the devastating effects of diseases associated with aging. 

“Aging is the accelerated deterioration of composition, function and strength of the body,” Dr. Bonner says. “That’s why people in their 70s begin to fall. They lose muscle mass and balance; there’s a disturbance in their core.”

Such falls can result in a hip fracture, which according to Dr. Bonner are often debilitating.

“One quarter of older people who fracture a hip are dead in a year; another 25 percent end up with nursing care; another 25 percent are stuck in bed most of the time and have to use a chair walker; and the other 25 percent recover but have constant pain. The falling represents the deterioration of the body composition and function.

“Yes, people get old. But with hormone therapy, I can help them improve the quality of their life as they get old. I can help them stay healthier so they enjoy the last 20 to 25 years of their lives.”

The Bonner Age Management Program begins with a comprehensive biochemical evaluation to determine what program is the right fit for each patient. The patient’s health is evaluated by sophisticated laboratory tests, body composition analysis and various other tests to determine a hormonal, metabolic, mental and physical baseline. With the results of these tests, a custom program is designed and implemented based on physical capabilities, lifestyle and individual goals.

“It’s all based on biochemistry of metabolism,” Dr. Bonner says. “What we’re doing here is all in the textbooks and well known. It’s science.”

Dr. Bonner has been in medical practice for 29 years. A graduate of Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, he is a dual board-certified physician in electrodiagnostic medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and also earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Two years ago, Dr. Bonner was one of those men shrugging their shoulders and giving up the fight against aging. Then he attended an age-management seminar, where he learned about the therapies that can turn back the clock. Intrigued, he continued his education on the topic with 75 hours of classroom time.

Dr. Bonner thought so much of what he learned about the positive results of such therapies, he became a patient. The result: He’s maintained a 40-pound weight loss and increase in energy and vitality.

“It worked for me, and it can work for everyone,” Dr. Bonner says. “Two years ago, I started working with a patient who had heart failure. Fatigue was killing him. His life expectancy then was five years. After 10 weeks of working with him, his fatigue was gone.

“And fatigue isn’t something you go to sleep to get rid of; if you go to sleep with fatigue, you wake up with it. You have to change your lifestyle to get rid of it.”

Another Dr. Bonner success story is a 60-something successful business man who came to him with typical complaints: fatigue, high blood sugar and cholesterol, and low testosterone levels.

“He told me, ‘Doc, I don’t know how I got like this. I’m just holding on,’ ” Dr. Bonner says. “Three months after starting my therapy, he was kicking [butt].”

Dr. Bonner’s goal is to help aging patients feel better, get healthier and gain a better quality of life.

“I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction helping people feel better and become healthier,” he says. “To help a diabetic get his numbers down, and to help someone with rheumatoid arthritis get their pain down, and to help someone get rid of fatigue when they thought it wasn’t possible is my ultimate goal.”

Dennis J. Bonner, M.D.
St. Clare Medical Building
1203 Langhorne-Newtown Road, Suite 120
Langhorne, PA 19047
Phone: 215-375-4200