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Chronic Lyme Disease: Best Testing, Best Treatment

Last week I suggested if you’ve been suffering longstanding but otherwise unexplained symptoms, a long-ago tick bite might be an overlooked possibility and you could now be dealing with chronic Lyme disease. I added that your recovery may well be delayed by some totally unnecessary and immature bickering among physicians about the correct name for […]

Chronic Lyme Disease? Me? Are You Serious?

Yes, I am serious. These days, from what we’re learning about Lyme disease (more about its specific terminology later), anything is  possible. If you regard yourself as healthy and were asked, “Overall, how do you feel?” and you answered “Just fine, thanks,” then Lyme in any form is very unlikely and testing you would be […]

The Stealth Bug From Hell: Chronic Lyme Disease

Last week we discussed the stealthy nature of Lyme and other infectious organisms, like chickenpox. To start, this week I’ll say by now everyone should be familiar with the basics of avoiding acute Lyme disease. When you’re in the woods or tall grass wear long pants tucked into socks and a long-sleeved shirt, spray DEET […]

Controversial Diagnosis #6: Chronic Lyme Disease

Since no one argues about the existence of Lyme disease, right up front you should know that the controversy here centers on the word “chronic.” In my view, the arguments among physicians about whether or not such an entity exists are becoming a bit ridiculous. First, let’s briefly cover acute Lyme disease. Although certain states […]

Commonly Missed Diagnosis: The Three Faces of Lyme Disease 

It’s midsummer and the tick population is exploding. They can latch onto your ankles and fall into your hair and when they bite (which you won’t even feel), they’ll attach themselves and empty their gastrointestinal tract into your bloodstream. Ticks are a cesspool with legs and this story can end with Lyme disease. The total number of Lyme disease cases, caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi, is definitely on […]

May, June, July: Covid, Ticks, Long Haul, Chronic Lyme, What Next? Oh My!!

COVID-19 is certainly still with us. Last week, the U.S. death toll crossed the one million mark. Suburban Evanston returned to the high-risk zone for COVID transmission, yet much of Illinois, especially downstate, remains woefully unvaccinated (only 37% are VAXed and boosted). I receive at least three or four emails a day, variations on “flu-like […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 15: Long Covid

Doctors who work with patients who have chronic fatigue, chronic Lyme, and fibromyalgia have remarked on the similarity between people with these conditions and those suffering the frequently disabling symptoms of long Covid. Like chronic Lyme, in which many patients don’t remember either a tick bite or Lyme disease, patients with all the features of […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 13: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Most often, even before patients realize they’ve developed multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), its very first manifestation is fatigue, the sense of feeling deeply tired all the time. MCS is yet another condition I learned nothing about during my internal medicine residency, and when I asked the then-chief of allergy at Northwestern about it, he dismissed […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 10: The Tick Bite You Don’t Remember

You’re 11 years old. Or 16. Or 30. Like most Chicagoans, you regard Wisconsin and Michigan as places that exist to rent us cabins for fishing, swimming, and hiking in the woods. But after a weekend breathing the fresh air, you return home and find yourself feeling sick: headache, fever, achy. Also, you’ve got a […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 9: Mold-Related Illness

Mold-related illness was first described almost 50 years ago when it was labeled sick building syndrome. It was met with incredible hostility from the medical profession (because there were no positive test results to verify any diagnosis) and from employers and building owners (who thought affected people were seeking financial gain or special favors). What […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 4: Vitamin Deficiencies

You might be surprised how many of the health and medical facts we accept unquestioningly today are exactly the opposite of what my chosen profession recommended to the public back when I began my training. For example, most doctors (as well as the AMA) did not believe smoking caused lung cancer and the doctors lounge […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 3: Your Adrenal Glands

Patricia is 33, happily married as far as marriages go, one daughter, steadily employed in a less-than-satisfying corporate job, good eating habits, and, until recently, a health club goer a couple/three times a week. Then the lockdown came and it’s been hard to restart her workouts. After a long day working  at her computer, aerobics […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Part 1: Chronic Mono/Epstein-Barr Infection

First, a bit of background into chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Regular Health Tip readers know I write a great deal about people who come to us with chronic fatigue, especially those who’ve been told “We can’t find anything wrong with you” or “There’s nothing we can do.” What we usually find is not all paths […]

Chronic Fatigue/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Fibro and Covid-19

Regular readers of British mystery novels from the 1930s and 1940s are familiar with the old trick where the detective actually turns out to be the murderer. Or where Character A, innocent and charming, is none other than Character B, the poisoner. In other words, the villain can be highly elusive, and every once in […]

Phosphatidyl Choline for Anti-Aging and Chronic Illness

You’ve likely read or heard about phosphatidyl choline somewhere, maybe online or on a bottle in a supplement aisle. Maybe, like many of us, you could barely pronounce it, and it’s a good rule not to swallow anything you can’t pronounce unless someone reasonably knowledgeable gives you a good reason to do so. Phosphatidyl choline […]

Commonly Missed Diagnosis: The Three Faces of Lyme Disease 

It’s springtime and will soon be nice and warm. We’re so thoroughly tired of being trapped inside that a woodland romp sounds perfectly delightful. But please remember that ticks are lurking. They can latch onto your ankles and fall into your hair and when they bite (which you won’t even feel), they’ll attach themselves and empty their gastrointestinal tract into your bloodstream. Ticks are a cesspool […]

Commonly Missed Diagnosis: Early Autoimmune Disease

Amazingly enough, there are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions, which collectively are responsible for more chronic illness and disability in women than heart disease and cancer combined. Men can get autoimmune diseases too, but the predominance in women (2:1) is striking and also puzzling, though current thinking attributes this susceptibility to a combination of […]

Your First Step For Any (Any!) Chronic Symptoms

Here’s an unfortunate trend: more and more young people (at my age, everyone under 50 is young) are troubled by chronic physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes there’s a diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia. But just as often there are plenty of symptoms and no diagnosis. I can’t count how many times patients have […]

Lyme Disease In Your Nervous System: Three Cases

“Why am I limiting this to only three cases?” I wondered. Physicians who treat Lyme, like our group at WholeHealth Chicago where we see a lot of Lyme disease patients, would tell you there are so many manifestations of Lyme when it invades the nervous system that I really should list as many as possible. […]

Returning To School + Phosphatidyl Choline for Chronic Illness and Anti-Aging

Before I start this Health Tip on phosphatidyl choline I want to voice a quick opinion about kids returning to school in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. The stance of the Chicago Teachers Union seems totally correct, that the decision should be based on a meeting of the minds: those of teachers and those […]