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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 […]

The Roe Vs Wade Debacle And My Decades Dealing With Abortion

The opinions on abortion are mine and not necessarily those of the staff at WholeHealth Chicago. For Health Tip readers who have commented that I should not voice political opinions and stick to my work as a doctor, I suggest you glance at any of the websites aimed at physicians themselves. Fully one third of the […]

LONGEVITY MEDICINE: LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO LEAD

Lead is always toxic in the human body. There are no “safe” levels of lead. An atom of lead enters your body, usually though your lungs or skin, then quickly displaces another atom you really need, like zinc for your immune system, or iron to build blood, or calcium for bones, or dozens of metabolic […]

Longevity Medicine: Here’s How Sugar Accelerates Aging

Look, I know there’s a good chance you may be addicted to sugar. Lots of us are. Human taste buds are far more sensitive to sweet tastes than they are to the subtleties of superstar chefs. Food manufacturers today throw sugar into everything, from chili to coleslaw, and the total amount of sugar we eat […]

Longevity Medicine: Chronic Anxiety Speeds Aging

A diagnosis of anxiety covers a lot of territory. Psychologists organize patients suffering symptoms of anxiety into groups that include: generalized anxiety disorder (with or without panic attacks), obsessive-compulsive disorders, social anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and the various phobias (heights, snakes, germs, etc.). However, the symptoms are all pretty much the same. According to […]

Longevity Medicine: How Much Exercise Really Makes A Difference?

People being people, they are always on the lookout for the easiest route to anything fun and worthwhile and most would rather add years to their lives by doing something simple, like taking nutritional supplements. Add healthful eating, reducing alcohol, stopping tobacco altogether, and the road to longevity gets more challenging. Start recommending regular exercise […]

Longevity Medicine: First, Know Your Telomeres!

Most people figure they must be getting older based on how they feel and look. We wince at our first grey hair, deepening wrinkles, and shifting body fat. We huff and puff climbing the stairs, forget names, and occasionally leak fluids. We relate to the line from a Leonard Cohen song, “I ache in the […]

Longevity Medicine: How We Age

Gerontology is the scientific study of aging. It’s a relatively new field, pretty well dominated by research PhDs. Certainly it’s a science that was virtually nonexistent when I was in medical school, back when preventive medicine itself got little more than lip service. With the recent arrival of anti-aging medicine/longevity medicine, MDs started paying more […]

Longevity Medicine: The Earlier You Start, The Longer You’ll Live

Leading an orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony is a real workout for any conductor.  Tall and straight-backed, the very elegant Swedish Maestro Herbert Blomstedt stepped to the podium and led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the 66-minute piece. From memory, no score in front of him. He would repeat this performance for two more […]

Finally! Whole Health Chicago To Open A South Side Office

OK, OK, so it took 20 years, but it will be worth the wait. WholeHealth Chicago’s new location is in the Beverly neighborhood, at 3237 W, 111th Street. The location is actually in Mount Greenwood, but no one except those who live there knows where Mount Greenwood is. (There is also to my knowledge no […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 16: A Hidden Cancer

Yes, cancer is a scary topic. Most primary care doctors, this one at least, know that when a patient comes in for evaluation of a symptom she can’t figure out, a symptom that isn’t going away (like chronic fatigue), a symptom for which she’s been told, “We can’t find anything wrong with you,” at least […]

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 […]

Ubiquitous Autoimmune Conditions

Here’s a statistic that might surprise you: there are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions and they collectively cause 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 […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 14: Sugar (Yep, Sugar)

Picture a bowl filled with granulated sugar and a can of Coke next to it. How many rounded teaspoonfuls of sugar do you need to scoop from that bowl to equal the sugar in your Coke? Five? Ten? It’s 16. Yes, 16 teaspoonfuls of sugar in a single can. But, you think to yourself, I […]

Sausage, Botox, and Migraines

I didn’t spend a lot of time studying botulism in medical school. By the time I arrived, botulism was pretty rare. Food manufacturers had figured out that this singularly deadly form of food poisoning was being caused by toxins from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), which could be killed by heating food before canning […]

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 12: Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth

Back in 1993, several weeks before the opening of what would come to be called WholeHealth Chicago, I was summoned to the office of the chief of medicine at the hospital where I was a staff member. The chief had heard rumors I was opening a center that would combine conventional and alternative practitioners. Seeing […]

Wikipedia’s Disservice to Alternative Medicine

We’ll return to the Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue series next week, but today a change of pace. I feel I must write about this Wiki business because yet again a patient printed out some misinformation about alternative medicine and brought it in to me for review. “Oy vey!,” I thought. “If she only knew […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 11: Your Sluggish Liver

Spread your left hand across your upper abdomen. Beneath it lies your liver, the largest organ in your body. Liver metabolism is so complex that the late medical essayist Lewis Thomas, MD, wrote “Nothing would save me and my liver if I were in charge…for I am considerably less intelligent than my liver.” And yet […]

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 […]