January Expert Columns


Life Extension Tips

HGH Comes Under Attack

By Teresa Denney,  D.O.

According to an article in the Oct. 26 issue of JAMA, Growth hormone (GH) is illegal for off-label anti-aging use. Nonsense, the purpose of that article is nothing short of an apparent attempt to damage the anti-aging medical profession and the physicians practicing solid, evidence-based medical healthcare focused on improving and maintaining patients’ quality of life. It is the opinion Association of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), to which I belong, that the authors selected self-serving studies, in which they failed to qualify the conclusions in an effort to bolster what A4M believes is a disinformation campaign.

Two of the three authors of the JAMA commentary are defendants in a $120 million lawsuit brought against them by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (as well as other plaintiff parties) for defamation, conspiracy, and other claims.

For example, that they incorrectly intermingled internet sales of homeopathic pseudo “GH” sprays, amino acids, and sports nutritional over the counter products to inflate their incorrect claims suggesting an illegal diversion of HGH by physicians and pharmacies, implying a black market in FDA approved prescription injectable HGH for hormone replacement treatments by anti-aging physicians where none exists.

The authors of the JAMA commentary state that the positive effects of HGH “may be short-lived” and state “to our knowledge, no studies have assessed long-term efficacy or safety of GH administration as an anti-aging intervention in humans.”

A4M believes there is ample peer review research in the medical literature demonstrating the positive benefits of this pharmaceutical agent in multi-year studies, well beyond the typical 6-12 month study protocols.

We believe that the empirical data suggests that when treating Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD, GHD), physicians are treating a documented deficiency disease and not performing off-label treatment as the JAMA commentary authors suggest. In fact, HGH deficiency is associated with significantly decreased longevity in human siblings.

If hormone replacement therapy were being provided for those with an abundant supply, such a growing teenager of normal height and weight, one could suggest that is abuse. But when 50-year-old man presents with very little natural hormone and shows signs of premature aging, then that is perfectly valid use of GH therapy, whether or not the results are long-lived or the intent of patient.

Growth hormone replacement therapy has been shown to improve muscle strength and mobility, cognitive function, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, immune function, body composition, obesity and sarcopenia, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, other illnesses, and quality of life issues.

Recent media reports about the federal law, have erroneously suggested that the replacement of HGH in aging adults is illegal, and has led to sensationalized headlines. Patients are not given HGH for a diagnosis or treatment of “anti-aging,” but for on-label use for AGHD syndrome, a diagnosed disease.

NOTE: Human Growth Hormone is available only by prescription and regulated by the FDA. In order for our physicians to prescribe HGH to you they must establish a doctor-patient relationship with you. This is to make sure the therapy chosen is right for you. To make an appointment to determine your potential for HGH therapy, call  732-0888 or visit us on the Web at www.hghpharm.com.

Dr. Teresa Denney, an osteopathic physician, has studied nutrition for over 30 years. She is the medical director for Aloha Medical Center in Waikiki. Visit her web-site at www.hghpharm.com. Call 732-0888 now for a consultation.



Appreciated Real Estate, Overweight and Stressed

Judge Lee: I have owned a residential rental property for 10 years. The property has appreciated substantially and I’m not getting a fair return on the current value. What can I do? Unhappy Investor

Dear Unhappy Investor: You have several options. You can try to renovate or fix the property and increase the rents. You could consider looking into possibilities of doing a CPR and adding another dwelling or adding rooms to rent. Or you could sell the property and reinvest in a property with a higher rate of return.

There are many programs that can give a six percent or better rate of return. And, this can be done tax free via a 1031 exchange. Many programs exist in which you can become an investor with a Tenant in Common interest and get a guaranteed six percent or better rate of return with no management headaches. Happy Investing!

Dear Judge Lee: I’m stressed out because of my weight. People tell me that weight is inversely proportional to longevity and perhaps even wealth. I want to lose but need to get off the yoyo diet syndrome. What can I do? Hopelessly Overweight

Dear Hopelessly Overweight: I have studied diets for many years and tried everything including purchasing every exercise equipment sold on TV. I gain weight just by breathing air ... and this will happen to all who turn 40ish.

Two years ago I started a self directed do-it-yourself diet, combining tai chi, qigong slow meditative deep-breathing diaphragm exercises with keeping a diary and listing a diet plan that can be modified weekly listing such things as “do nots” (e.g. minimal meats, no sodas, candies, ice creams, or chips), “do’s” (e,g. fruits and vegetables, filtered water, one half-hour per day walking or exercise), hunger tactics, healthy snacks, top five healthy restaurants to eat at, weekly healthy fad diets, such as Subway, salads, Thai, Vietnamese, Yummy’s vegetable plate, Bali’s vegetarian plate, Chinese Jai, etc.

Make it a game and experiment and you will lose. I lost 50 pounds in six months and have kept it off for nearly two years. I now teach a tai chi qigong longevity diet for the Long Life Foundation. We have had very favorable results. Do not give up. You can get control of your weight and your life.

Editor's Note:  Richard Lee is a former Hawaii Judge and CPA. He holds a degree in economics from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from Hastings Law School. Richard Lee Consulting focuses on relieving stress for clients with real estate, business and legal problems. Mr. Lee teaches Tai Chi Qigong, provides free mediation for divorcing couples and is the founder of Perfect Mate Internat’l. He can be reached at 957-0000 or at rlee@richardleeconsulting.com.

Hearing Care

By Don "Kona Smith"  

Trouble Hearing? Thanks a Lot “Walk Man”

It’s a new year and I just finished reading a magazine article on the “graying” of America. It seems that all those “baby boomers” are getting old along with the rest of us. If you were born into rock-and-roll, voted for the first time in the sixties or had a peace sign on your Volkswagen microbus, the following should be of interest to you.

An older lady once asked me “Why do they play the music so loud these days?” I answered: “Because they can.” If you have ever gone to a concert at the Blaisdell Arena, you know what I mean — the louder the better. That’s why folks walk around the mall with their portable music players cranked up to the max. How about those tricked out cars with audio systems that can be heard a half-mile away? Yikes!

That kind of high decibel bombardment takes a toll on the inner ear. After years of noise exposure, we develop a hearing loss in the high frequency tones. These are the exact tones we need to hear in order to understand speech. As time goes by, more and more of the frequencies are eroded. The result is a classic high frequency hearing loss.

The good news is that you can still hear the low frequency sound pretty well. The bad news is that you need high frequency sound to understand speech. The other bad news is that when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Unfortunately there has been little that could be done to help this hearing problem. Until now, “I hear but I don’t always understand.”

That is a classic statement from someone with a high frequency hearing loss. Try to imagine reading a book in which all the letters “s”, “c”, “sh” and “p” were missing. You could probably read it, however, it wouldn’t be easy. That is how high frequency hearing loss affects the ability to hear ordinary conversation. The problem gets worse when background noise is present. Hearing aids, even the modern digital models, were not able offer much help improving hearing in places with background noise.

A new technology combines the improvements of digital hearing aids with “open” fitting techniques. The result is improved hearing in all listening situations using a virtually invisible hearing device. The results are astonishing. It is the perfect answer for those with a mild hearing loss. If you would like to learn more about this new technology either for yourself or a loved one, we have an information packet available. Just call 593-2137 and mention this Oahu Island News article. We will mail the packet to you free of charge. Better hearing for the New Year… not a bad idea, eh?

Don “Kona” Smith founded Ohana Hearing Care in 1966 and has received numerous national awards for helping people overcome hearing loss over the past 40 years. His staff has a combined experience of 123 years in this business. Located at 1296 Beretania St. (at Times Supermarket), the phone number is 593-2137. Visit them on the web at www.ohanahearingcare.com.


Waimanalo Health News

Asthma Kits Assist Patients

If Kona weather, New Year’s fireworks, or vacuuming the rug makes you cough or wheeze, you may have asthma.

AlohaCare Insurance Company has been awarded the Waimanalo Health Center a grant to improve the health for their patients who suffer from asthma. Our goal is to reduce emergency and hospital visits of asthma patients.

Asthma is a lung condition that can be triggered by pollen, animal fur, dust, or smoke. Even common colds Mayo trigger asthma attacks. Cramping and swelling of the small tubes, or bronchioles, that carry air into the lungs, causes the asthma sufferer to have difficult breathing. Continuous coughing, wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and sometimes weakness or dizziness are some of the symptoms of an asthma attack.

Certain races, such as Hawaiians and Filipinos, have a higher risk of death from asthma. Asthma may also run in the family. Asthma is a common cause of emergency visits in Hawaii. When severe and untreated it may lead to death. Asthma is increasing around the world, which may be related to the chemicals and pollution.

Starting this month, a Waimanalo Health Center patient living in Waimanalo with one or more family members and has a history of asthma may apply to receive a free “Waimanalo Asthma Kit”. These free kits are worth more than$200 each. After being selected by the doctor to participate in the program, families will complete a simple survey before receiving their valuable kit and during the project.

Three simple-to-use pieces of medical equipment, a Peak Flow Meter, a Spacer and a Nebulizer, instructions and a tracking chart are included in the Asthma Kit. A visit with a Waimanalo Health Center doctor is necessary to learn how to use the kit. Although the kit is free, patients are responsible for any costs of the doctor’s visits and medications. These costs are usually covered by their health insurance.

The contents of the kit are almost identical to what is used in the emergency room. Families who receive and use these kits will benefit with treatments without leaving home.

The Waimanalo Health Center has a limited number of Asthma Kits. If you or a family member has asthma symptoms please call the Waimanalo Health Center at 259-7948 and make an appointment to see a doctor who will determine if your family qualifies for a kit.

The Waimanalo Health Center has doctors. Most major health insurance is accepted including Quest and Medicaid. The health center is located at 41-1347 Kalanianaole Hwy. Hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. Need a Doctor? Call 259-7948 to make an appointment.

The Waimanalo Health Center is located at 41-1347 Kalanianaole Hwy, across from the Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School. Hours are Monday to Fri., 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Need a Doctor? Call 259-7948 to make an appointment.


Gem News

By Brenda Reichel, GIA.  

Bad Luck Good Luck

What a way to start the New Year! Have you decided on your New Year’s Resolutions? I have! 1. Lose weight. Like every one says they will after the holidays; 2) Keep my desk clean — if you have ever seen my desk, you know what I mean; 3) Complete the projects that I start and seem to never finish; 4) Take a real vacation; 5) Take a cooking class, and 6) Learn a foreign language.

And that is just January!

Wouldn’t be a great if we could keep our resolutions. I do have one I’ll keep that is not on my list. From time to time, I have decided to have an event at my store — Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry — and invite my readers, clients and friends to see that latest in designs, diamonds and colored gemstones.

My first event for the year 2006 will be held on Good Luck day Friday, Jan. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. It will be an event showcasing a wonderful collection of loose colored gemstones: ruby, emerald, sapphire, fire opal, tanzanite, tourmaline, peridot and garnets — in every color under the rainbow. It will be so much fun to expose you to such vibrant colors of colored gemstones that are out of the ordinary.

Our will preview the stones on January 12th and continue the showing through the 14th. I hope you will come by and view this exquisite collection of loose colored stones that come in all price ranges for every budget. These gemstones will be faceted in a wide variety of shapes and carat weight. There will even be cabochon cut gemstones.

The cut and polish of a gemstone, along with the intensity of the color is what makes a gemstone so exciting. Maybe you will find your good luck charm gemstone. See you there!

Call 593-8122 for an appointment for your special viewing.

Brenda Reichel, owner of Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry, is a graduate gemologist, member of the International Society of Appraisers, and proprietor of an AGA-certified Gem Laboratory. She can be reached at 593-8122. Visit Brenda’s website at: www.caratsandkarats.com.


Chiropractic Tips

By Chip Abbadessa, D.C.

Keiki and Chiropractic Care

The fastest-growing segment of my chiropractic practice is children. You are probably asking, “Why on Earth would a child need to see a chiropractor?"

Well, some children are brought into my office with some serious health problems, from paralysis to learning disabilities, but the vast majority of them have no symptoms whatsoever. Parents are learning that true health comes from a properly functioning spine and nervous system.

Let me explain; it’s the nervous system that regulates every single function in the human body, from wiggling your toes to fighting off cancer. Not only does the nervous system control and coordinate the billions of processes that occur each second within us, it is also the body’s power supply. Disrupt or interfere with this delicate process and health problems arise.

The brain is the main part of the nervous system. The impulses from the brain must travel through the moving bones of the spine to reach the furthermost parts of the body. The birth process, accidents, sports, poor posture and the stresses of daily life can shift the bones of the spine out of their normal alignment. Chiropractors call this condition a “subluxation.” Subluxations create “nerve interference,” degrading and distorting messages traveling to and from the brain.

Well, if a person has a subluxation, then he must surely feel pain or illness, right? Well, not really. Since only 10 percent of the nerve fibers within the spine are for pain perception, most people don’t feel a thing until it’s too late.

By the time most people wait to have a spinal X-ray and exam, their spines have decayed beyond the point of repair. Many of those cases started in childhood, without the person even being aware of it. The earlier you start taking proper care of your spine, the longer it will last (giving you years of vibrant health via a healthy nervous system).

Another driving force behind the large increase of children in my office is the fact that many families are disillusioned with the modern, drug approach to health. Almost daily, there are news stories of another dangerous drug (such as Vioxx) being pulled from the market or of a drug company hiding damaging research about the ill effects of a particular medication (e.g., Prozac, Zoloft). Many parents see regular, corrective chiropractic care as an integral part of their children’s health care, just like brushing your teeth or regular exercise. It all starts with a simple spinal check-up. Call 234-5535 to schedule your family today!

Chip Abbadessa, D.C., has been a chiropractor since 1988 and practices out of the Castle Professional Center in Kaneohe. He is currently accepting new patients on the Windward side of Oahu. He can be reached at 234-5535. Visit his website at www.docchip.com.