2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Anti-Aging Industry

I just received a flyer announcing the 16th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine to be held next month in Washington, DC. The way this brochure reads (“3000 participants, 300 exhibitors, 60 speakers, global market of anti-aging products to reach $115.5 billion by 2010, your Gateway to Opportunity”), you’d think any doctor failing to become an anti-aging specialist would be left at the gate. And any patient who can’t afford an anti-aging specialist and the pricey therapies offered had better be getting her affairs in order.

I have nothing bad to say about the two eminently likeable physicians who founded the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine years ago. They certainly are about the most successful medical entrepreneurs on the planet.

But this might put the “anti-aging” industry into perspective:
• First, it’s very heavily marketed to primary care physicians as a means of enhancing their incomes. When I last attended the convention, the 300 or so exhibitors were all trying to sell me something I could in turn sell to my patients: laser wrinkle erasers, Botox, chemical resurfacing, innumerable nutritional supplements, lab tests, and space-age pieces of “beam-me-up” equipment available on easy-term leases (“just five patients a day will earn you $400,000 a year!”).

• Second, with our aging population, doctors with dollar signs for eyeballs believe the timing for something “anti-aging” is auspicious. Everyone’s big fear, they figure, is to grow old.

Maybe it’s just our Midwestern common sense, but patients here aren’t buying it. When I spoke to a couple of physicians who had added an anti-aging component to their offices, they were disappointed. “Not much demand.” “Everything’s too expensive.” “Let’s face it, the best steps you can take regarding anti-aging are free.”

And that says it best. If you really want a chance for the big sleep at age 95 after a sweltering tennis match, it’s your job, not your doctor’s. You don’t need a medical specialist to perform (out-of-pocket) diagnostic tests that conclude you should eat a healthful diet, reduce stress, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco, get regular check-ups, and take a few sensible nutritional supplements.

As one professional aesthetician recently told me, “There’s no such thing as a good face lift. The best I can say is that some are better than others. The extra-smooth-constantly-surprised look–that’s the worst.”

The late comedian Richard Pryor said that cocaine was God’s message you had too much money. I’d make that “cocaine and anti-aging medicine.”

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Infertility Issues? Start With The Guy

    I’ve lost track of the number of couples we treat at WholeHealth Chicago who are involved in one of the hormone injection/surgical procedure stops on the conveyor belt of infertility centers. Currently, it’s estimated that 15 to 20 percent of couples are struggling with infertility, half of them due to male factors. The infertility docs are nice enough and certainly well-meaning, but I note a Read More

  • Issues with Endocrinologists: Thyroid Approaches and Big Pharma

    My beefs with endocrinologists pretty much center on how they manage thyroid gland concerns, though they rarely win prizes for managing adrenal issues either. I don’t know any endocrinologists personally and rarely refer my patients to them. Occasionally, a patient with newly diagnosed hypothyroidism (low thyroid) will want to confirm the diagnosis with an endocrinologist. I suggest she prepare for a scolding if she’s taking Read More

  • Six Beefs With Rheumatologists

    If you find yourself in the waiting room of a rheumatologist, you’re likely there because your joints hurt and have been hurting, often for years. You’ve been getting by on aspirin or Advil for the pain, but with things worsening your primary care doctor suggests you should see a joint specialist, a rheumatologist. And because there’s a shortage of physicians in this specialty, your appointment Read More

Join our Discount Program!

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION