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LONGEVITY MEDICINE: Chronic Inflammation and Cytokines

Did you ever wonder why some obese people, after decades of being badgered by their families and physicians to lose weight, out-live all of them and are healthy for decades? Or how someone of normal weight falls over dead in his fifties from a massive heart attack the week after his check-up which included a […]

Your Blue Poop: An Easy At-Home Test of Gut Health

Anyone who has ever visited a WholeHealth Chicago Functional Medicine practitioner knows that lots of questions focus on digestion. The reason for this goes all the way back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who is alleged to have said “All disease begins in the gut.” This concept is not at all taught in medical […]

Introducing Our New WholeHealth Supplement Plans

If you’re a WholeHealth Chicago patient, you’ve likely noticed that we review your list of nutritional supplements during each appointment. Conventional doctors ask what prescription meds you’re taking (and of course we do too), but virtually never solicit a list of supplements. Since our area of expertise lies precisely there, it’s important for us to […]

Gut Restoration: Repairing Your Microbiome

At one time, conventional physicians simply did not believe in the concept of intestinal dysbiosis, in which the intestinal tract has an unhealthful mix of the 100 trillion bacteria thriving within it. This population of bacteria is called the microbiome, a word for years ignored in medical schools and barely recognized by gastroenterologists. It was […]

Mold Toxicity: A Telemedicine Consultation

Most people who are ultimately diagnosed with chronic inflammation triggered by black mold have heard somewhere “mold can make you sick.” However, only a few make the connection between their years of ill health and the water damage in their basement or attic, behind their kitchen sink, in their car, or around the upstairs neighbor’s […]

Diagnosing and Treating “Sewer Breath” via Telemedicine

Those are actually the words patients use to describe their breath, though sometimes it’s “poop breath.” The medical term for bad breath, as you probably know, is halitosis, so if you don’t mind I’ll stick with that. For some people, the self-perception of chronic halitosis is more socially isolating that anything demanded by Covid-19. At […]

Functional Telemedicine, Wherever You Are

All things considered, we’ve rather enjoyed our telemedicine interactions with patients. Doctoring this way also recently provided me with an Aha! moment. What I realized was that much of what we do as Functional Medicine specialists, both diagnosis and treatment, can be done online with you never leaving your home. Such a consultation would include […]

New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, […]

First, Heal Your Gut

About 25 years ago, when I was organizing what today is WholeHealth Chicago, I attempted to learn everything I could about all the fields of what was then called alternative medicine. Since naturopathic medicine, or naturopathy, didn’t really exist in Illinois (perpetually blocked by the Illinois State Medical Society), I flew to the west coast […]

Case Study: Tracy’s Eczema From Hell

She had wisely trimmed her fingernails to avoid injuring her own skin, but as she sat in my office she continuously rubbed one part of her body or another with the ball of her thumb in order to relieve the itching. Tracy was in her 20s and accompanied by her mother. Although I could see […]

Controversial Diagnosis #5: Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

You’d be surprised at the degree of controversy surrounding this seemingly innocuous topic, not only among doctors but also patients (and best not to bring it up with anyone in the baking industry). This diagnosis has generated entire aisles of gluten-free products in grocery stores and GF selections on restaurant menus. And just perhaps you’re […]

Controversial Diagnosis #4: Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, is a disorder that never appeared in any medical textbook I encountered in school. Nor have I seen articles about it in JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine. I first learned of its existence at an integrative medicine meeting many years ago, and since then I’ve lost count […]

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 […]

Treating Mold-Related Illness

Last week I wrote about mold-related illness, yet another commonly overlooked diagnosis. It’s surprising how regularly mold issues fly under the radar of conventional physicians. When you consider how often homes and workplaces have a leaky roof, unless something smells moldy or we discover creeping black stains somewhere we often don’t think of mold. Moreover, […]

Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Mold-Related Illness

If you believe you’re suffering some of the chronic symptoms caused by mold exposure, you’ve probably also heard the discouraging mantra, “We can’t find anything wrong with you—all your tests are normal.” You’ve told your doc that you’ve read about toxic mold. You point out that you’ve had some water damage, that some rooms smell […]

Hidden Food Sensitivities

Let me begin this case study health tip with some related background. Girding their corporate loins for the arrival of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health insurance industry has taken some predictable steps to prepare for 35 million new enrollees, many of whom, having had no health care most of their lives, are probably […]

Yoga: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

In the 1990s, when it dawned on the medical profession that their patients were flocking in droves to alternative medicine, yoga classes were generally deemed acceptable to otherwise highly skeptical doctors. Especially compared to virtually anything else “alternative.” As someone personally in the thick of things, I observed the predictable rancor and opposition to chiropractic, […]

Case Study: Hidden Food Sensitivities

Let me begin this case study health tip with some related background. Girding their corporate loins for the arrival of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health insurance industry has taken some predictable steps to prepare for 35 million new enrollees, many of whom, having had no health care most of their lives, are probably […]

Yet Another Mystery Rash

These mysterious rashes that patients want help with are a real diagnostic challenge. Usually the visit begins with “I’ve been to dermatologists about this and all I get are steroids. Once I’m done taking them the rash comes right back.” In previous health tips, we reported on a young man who developed a very real […]

Integrative Fixes for Allergy Miseries

Last week we talked about a blood test for allergies. This week a few integrative approaches for treating them, but first a quick review of conventional treatments: Antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, and many others) block the effects of histamine, the chemical released by disrupted mast cells when whatever you’re allergic to (ragweed, cat dander) lands on […]