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TV turns doctors into blithering idiots
Posted: 10 October 2011 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I don’t watch Dr. Oz, nor would I expect him to direct influence doctors (at least good ones!) However I do wonder what the effect of the general public watching the show and then going to their doctors sort of demanding the treatments that are touted on the TV show. Could this “herd of housewives” demanding treatments be seen as dollar signs in the eyes of some doctors? I wonder what would drive a local allergist to go to a beauty spa once a week to “see patients” and write HCG prescriptions? Yes it must be cash. Those visits are not covered by any insurance and the visits would be cash in hand.

But goodness knows what prompted my mother’s internist to suggest weekly HCG shots at her office for weight loss? She doesn’t get paid to write the prescription. A 10-minute “office visit” to give the shot probably does not bring much money under Medicare for senior citizens. How is she gaining money by recommending the shots? I just don’t understand. I do believe she’s off her rocker. My mother never went back to that internist. She was rightly scared away! My mother unfortunately DOES watch Dr. Oz (and Oprah and all that nonsense) and even she was wary of the shot. Good for mom, for trusting her instincts and not taking it. I want to confiscate her TV though. Between the home shopping channel, Dr. Oz, and Oprah, I have a lot to worry about with her.

P.S. Thanks for asking about the camera. I am still enjoying it! Mostly family photos and vacation photos. I’ve also gotten a bit lazy and used my iPhone 4 camera quite a bit - it’s so handy and tiny. For example, at Disneyland I could not carry the large camera around on roller coasters, etc., so I just took Disney photos with the iPhone and later used the large camera for our drive down to the desert afterward.

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Posted: 10 October 2011 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Jules, years ago, I had quit smoking and found a voracious desire for food.  I was over at Universal Studios and saw a long line of actresses and, I joined it to see what was getting the attention of so many women.  I met Dr. Harold Harper who had just returned from Italy where he researched and learned the art of HCG injections that with the proper diet could take a pound a day off a patient.  I knew Doctor Harper as our kids attended the same school.  I signed up to go to his office in North Hollywood and the daily shot and the diet took a pound a day off until I lost 40 lbs.  I had no hunger pains and I felt very good and full of natural energy.  I kept that weight off until 4 years ago and this time I was able to give myself the shots and again I lost 30 pounds.  It is expensive and I have to budget in advance and prepare to consume 2 ounces of protein every 2 hours each day.  Before these shots, I tried acupuncture, hypnosis and even a personal trainer.  I was no where near the classification of obese but my operating a book store 7 days a week cut back on my exercise routines and was able to walk less than a mile twice a day. 

So many people at this time are morbidly obese and many do not want or can’t afford the surgery that often is the only way to reduce weight.  I am a licensed hospice worker and I have seen what obesity does to the life expectancy of many people. 

I’ve lived on the beach my whole life and it is truly a sad sight when some very fat people show up to surf or just play in the sand.  There is help available.  The AMA has been trying for years to slam HCG because it works.  I think every large city in America has a source for this procedure.  I do know that the oil/liquid that they sell is not nearly as affective as the daily shots. 

The shots are not covered under Medicare; I never expected it to be.  But nothing is free but many things are successful.  I would never suggest anyone take the shots without a complete physical with the blood work necessary just in case there is a hormonal reason for the weight gain. 

I just came off of two knee replacements and both hips replaced.  This caused a weight gain of 20 pounds.  It puts me at 160 which is more than I want to weigh.  After my doctor releases me from whatever is next after the surgeries, I will locate the shots in my new city here in California.  Believe me, these shots work if the patient is willing to follow the diet.

I make no money from promoting these shots but personally they saved me from months of agonizing hunger.  I am 79 and still want to wear my clothes and look good.

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Posted: 10 October 2011 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I have a tendancy to open my mouth or keyboard where I am often in trouble.  My work in Hospice is based on making people feel worthy and pain free as well as a sense of happiness.  I hope I am not misunderstood when I gave my opinion of HCG shots.  I have worked with musicians, actors and extras who are often on screen and their work relies on their appearance.  My last series of shots melted the fat so quickly that many in my water aerobics classes had to stop me and I shared how I lost the weight so quickly.  These are retired men and women who have literally no life except to eat, drink and play a little golf.  I brought my needles down one morning and gave myself a shot in front of the gals and they went running and screaming in horror so I never mentioned it again.  They would never stop the eating and drinking that had become their life style.  I regretted my trying to share my success with them and if my words offended you or anyone here i will quietly go away.

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Posted: 10 October 2011 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Unfortunately, anecdotes like this are convincing even when they don’t represent the reality. The notion that doctors are suppressing a safe and effective weight loss method is the worst sort of ridiculous conspiracy mongering. The reality if that controlled research does not show HCG to be an effective weight loss method, and personal anecdotes that suggest it is are no more reliable than all those centuries of similar anecdotes that supported bloodletting, excorcism, and numerous other medical interventions that were actually worthless. It amazes me that depsite the mountains of undeniable evidence that controlled research is far more reliable than anecdotes, we still can’t seem to get people to udnerstand this simple fact.

Here are some resources on HCG for weight loss:

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians Position Statement These are doctors who specialize in treating obeisty.

Quackwatch summary

Dutch metanalysis of studies o HCG for weight loss Conclusion, “We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”

A list of references for orignial clinical trials and other research

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Posted: 10 October 2011 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sandy do not worry, your words do not offend me. I am just worried about the safety of the shots (they are even being given in beauty spas now, where I went to get a massage and a manicure?)

I have seen no studies on them, but see how popular they have become. I do not understand what the mechanism of them could be. I also have great concern over the 500 calorie per day limit on the diet. Very low calorie diets themselves (even with no shots at all) have caused death.

HCG is a fertility drug with a list of scary looking side effects. I am especially concerned that my mother, who has severe lupus and other medical complications, was being pushed to take the injections. I believe she should lose her weight in a carefully supervised manner due to her ill health, not on a crash-diet.

I understand how frustrating weight loss is. I would like to take a little off myself. But I question the safety and efficacy of the shots vs. placebo.

There is another camp though, who says “who cares how it works, if it works for you!” Part of me says, what if I took shots and they tricked me into sticking with a diet I’d failed before? Would it be worth it? But the skeptic in me steps back.

Hormones are serious stuff. As we learned with the drugs such as Premarin, hormones can have serious heart and cancer risks. Are the risks greater than the heart and cancer risks from being overweight? Hmmm. That may be cause for debate. However, we still have no proof the shots work better over saline shots. So it is a very interesting situation!

I do find your “case study” very interesting though, and thank you for sharing it and being honest even when others have a different view point.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 10 October 2011 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Jules - 10 October 2011 04:38 PM

I don’t watch Dr. Oz, nor would I expect him to direct influence doctors (at least good ones!) However I do wonder what the effect of the general public watching the show and then going to their doctors sort of demanding the treatments that are touted on the TV show. Could this “herd of housewives” demanding treatments be seen as dollar signs in the eyes of some doctors? I wonder what would drive a local allergist to go to a beauty spa once a week to “see patients” and write HCG prescriptions? Yes it must be cash. Those visits are not covered by any insurance and the visits would be cash in hand.

But goodness knows what prompted my mother’s internist to suggest weekly HCG shots at her office for weight loss? She doesn’t get paid to write the prescription. A 10-minute “office visit” to give the shot probably does not bring much money under Medicare for senior citizens. How is she gaining money by recommending the shots? I just don’t understand. I do believe she’s off her rocker. My mother never went back to that internist. She was rightly scared away! My mother unfortunately DOES watch Dr. Oz (and Oprah and all that nonsense) and even she was wary of the shot. Good for mom, for trusting her instincts and not taking it. I want to confiscate her TV though. Between the home shopping channel, Dr. Oz, and Oprah, I have a lot to worry about with her.

P.S. Thanks for asking about the camera. I am still enjoying it! Mostly family photos and vacation photos. I’ve also gotten a bit lazy and used my iPhone 4 camera quite a bit - it’s so handy and tiny. For example, at Disneyland I could not carry the large camera around on roller coasters, etc., so I just took Disney photos with the iPhone and later used the large camera for our drive down to the desert afterward.

I don’t run my practice this way. I only advise traditional weight control measures but I have had patients tell me stories of their visits to ‘diet doctors’ and from that I can tell you that its a very lucrative business. They make their money several ways. First of all they spend some time on the first visit but after that patients are put through the routine of coming back every week or so during which time they only get a minute or two with the doctor even though he charges for a regular visit. These guys see as many patients in 2 hours as I see in a whole day. Just take a look in their waiting room. It usually looks like grand central station. They then supplement their incomes buy selling products to the patient that are not covered by insurance. HCG is one of those products. If insurance doesn’t cover it they can charge whatever the market will bear and if the doctor tells you this is going to make you thin without having to deprive yourself the market will bear quite a bit.

Don’t feel bad about the iPhone. I have to admit I have been using it a fair amount myself when i don’t have the big one around. Like they say… the best camera is the one you had with you. smile

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Posted: 10 October 2011 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I don’t run my practice this way.

Oh don’t worry, I didn’t think you did!  wink I’m just trying to figure out the ones who do.

Thanks for explaining the “diet doctor express” business model to me! You’re right, if they see that many patients but bill for a longer visit, the insurance payments probably add up quickly.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 11 October 2011 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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It seems to be a self image problem and mine must have been very low.  I boarded in my high school years and my roommates were all concerned with their body image if and when they were called into the studios for an audition.  Their secret was to vomit after every meal and take loads of laxatives to force out the calories.  There was really no other method to keep them thin.  Cameras add about 10 pounds to the body and the fight was on to be thin.

I was an athlete and never used this system.  I had a roommate who was training for tournament tennis and pulled me away from my books when the sun was up and we pounded the hell out of the tennis courts and kept our weight down.  I have never eaten much because my cousins were all fat.  I could barely share a meal with them in disgust for what they ate and how much.  Many became alcoholics and died early.  My problem was smoking.  The school had very strict rules and made it clear than when in uniform we would not break the rules.  So some of us changed clothes and wandered down the hill to have a couple of smokes before dinner.  This was a good way not to gain weight.  So I smoked for 50 years…..

When my husband and I split I realized he would walk away from the responsibility.  He had already come with a son from a previous marriage who he ignored and he would never recognize his girls in a crowd.  I got fat!  One of my best friends had discovered this doctor who had a new medical system and I saw the results of his work when I was at the Studio one afternoon.  I took his card and compared it with my friend’s information and we booked an appointment.  He gave me a book that had been published in Italy on this new system and I edited it to convert Metrics into American weight standards.  For this I got a series of shots. 

I lost 40 pounds in less than 2 months and I kept that weight off for 30 years.  At that time it was a fast and we were allowed less than 600 calories a day.  We measured everything.  It caught on and several private hospitals began to use the HCG system.  The hospitals were filled with starlets and flight attendants from all over California.  We began to read about how this was a scam.  There are always negatives when something shows up that can work. 

When I quit smoking I realized my appetite was bigger than my discipline and I searched the internet for the shots.  I had moved north and eventually to Arizona and a renewal of the HCG system was all over the place.  I did another series of shots and they worked again.  My Medical Primary provider was thrilled with my weight loss and began to share the system with her obese patients.  I never got that big but without HCG I could have. 

My problems are with arthritis which has taken over the whole family.  My poor grandmother could hardly walk and I was beginning to suffer with my knees.  I went through a whole load of tests that showed no results from bone loss or any changes that could be related to the HCG.  All my fat cousins are dead and I am the oldest living member of this generation.  The arthritis is now living comfortably in my spine and I am facing these painful cortisone shots so that I can still walk and do my workouts in the water. 

I have knees and hips that are make of titanium and my trying to get on a plane has become a joke.  I moved back to California so that trying to convince the airlines that I am not Al Qaeda will not be necessary.  If I had the money I would not think twice about having the shots.  I am comfortable with my weight and my self image has matured along with my body. 

I watch very little television except for football.  I also worked as a costumer for a Shakespearean theater and I am always delighted to see one of my actors get a good part anywhere on the tube.  I think we tend to consider humans are blithering idiots.  We might be right but I believe in individual choices when it comes to what all of us do with our bodies and our minds.  I have worked for the legalization of pot and other drugs.

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Posted: 03 December 2011 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Dr. Oz had a segment several months ago on his television program explaining high amount of arsenic in some popular brands of fruit juice. The Food and Drug Administration was not amused. However, study by Consumer Reports has backed up his claims. Consumer Reports found that arsenic and lead are present in apple and grape juices they tested. About ten percent of their apple juice samples contained arsenic above average level. Get more information at: http://www.newsytype.com/13756-consumer-reports-arsenic-in-juice/

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Posted: 03 December 2011 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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MelvinK - 03 December 2011 03:40 AM

Dr. Oz had a segment several months ago on his television program explaining high amount of arsenic in some popular brands of fruit juice. The Food and Drug Administration was not amused. However, study by Consumer Reports has backed up his claims. Consumer Reports found that arsenic and lead are present in apple and grape juices they tested. About ten percent of their apple juice samples contained arsenic above average level. Get more information at: http://www.newsytype.com/13756-consumer-reports-arsenic-in-juice/

This doesnt really vindicate Oz. The complaint about Oz’s report wasnt that the information was wrong but that you couldnt make any comments on the validity of the conclusions because the methods were sloppy. In addition his announcement was intentionally sensationalized for maximal fear value. He tested only a small number of samples, used only one lab, and then in typical Oz fashion came out and made sensational claims for the sole purpose of garnering higher ratings. What he did is still sloppy and irresponsible. That doesnt change just because a separate study showed that a small percentage of apple juice products do have levels of arsenic higher than whats allowed in water supplies but still within the guidelines of whats allowed in food products.

There is a valid argument here that we need to get a better idea of what an acceptable amount of arsenic should be. Some commentators on TV have suggested that its irresponsible to allow higher levels in apple juice than we do in water, but that may not be true. You have to look at total consumption and water is in everything we consume so obviously you want stricter limits on that. We may need better data on what a safe total consumption should be but what Oz did doesnt help answer that question and what he did was pure showmanship, not good science or good medicine. Then again when Oz is on TV he’s an entertainer not a doctor. He abandoned the hippocratic oath a long time ago.

[ Edited: 03 December 2011 07:19 AM by macgyver ]
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