Body by Grandpa

By: - July 20, 2007 12:12 pm

dr-life.jpgNo, he’s not a candidate for NC’s high risk pool – at least not yet.  The fellow pictured here, Dr. Jeffry Life, age 67 , may be familiar to readers of the N+O as the buffed-up, 6-pack-ab-sporting Grandpa in the ads for the “Cenegenics Institute.”  That’s where you can go for “the path to reversing the signs and symptoms of aging.” 

Dr. Life may look a little odd — OK, maybe bizarre is a better word — but in many ways what he represents and the “treatments” he is flogging showcase a far worse problem in our teetering health system.  Dr. Life is, as he freely admits, shooting himself up with hormones, including testosterone, to achieve that look. 

Despite the gushing testimonials that are only occasionally questioned in news stories, there are serious personal risks with the use of hormones in people who are healthy.  The Mayo Clinic has a short discussion detailing the debate and risks – including cancer, testicle shrinkage, and baldness.

Dr. Life and the Cenegenics Institute may not accept insurance for their services, but you can bet insurance is used for treating any ill effects of the services they provide.  In fact, since Dr. Life is 67 he’s on Medicare.  And that means taxpayers will be picking up a large portion of the tab if he needs extended treatment for prostate cancer or urinary tract problems resulting from his unorthodox and unapproved use of hormones. 

Dr. Life illustrates one of the major problems of our healthcare system.  Ineffective, unproven or even dangerous treatments are often provided by doctors, pushed in the media and demanded by patients.  Any real health reform will have some mechanism to address this issue.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.