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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 8: Prescription Drugs

When new or even long-established patients arrive at WholeHealth Chicago (in person or via telemedicine), our practitioners walk them through what we call the medication ritual. We ask, “What are you taking, both prescription meds and supplements?” These days, people often see a range of health care providers and take many supplements, so it’s important […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 7: Sleep Disorders

The past few weeks we’ve been making our way through the overlooked causes of chronic fatigue, a symptom that can range from nagging to debilitating. If you’ve told doctor after doctor that you’re tired all the time and all you hear in response is that your tests are normal or “maybe you’re depressed,” click these […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 6: Low Magnesium

George Lundberg, MD, former editor of JAMA and now editor-at-large of Medscape, refers to low levels of magnesium as “the emperor of all maladies.” Magnesium is largely ignored by doctors, despite the fact that having an insufficient amount of this mineral has been linked to: Heart arrhythmias and heart attacks High blood pressure Attention deficit […]

Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue, Part 5: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

I’ve been working on this chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) series in large part because here at WholeHealth Chicago our practitioners see so many patients who say right up front, “I’ve been diagnosed with CFS and all my tests are normal.” If you’re one of those patients, you might add that you’ve been to X number […]

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, Part 2: Minimally Underactive Thyroid

I went to medical school in London for a while and truly it was great fun. This was the 1960s–Beatles, Stones, Carnaby Street–and if you were going to be anywhere on the planet, central London was it. The newly released thriller “Last Night in Soho” really captures the atmosphere. Middlesex, my assigned hospital, was located […]

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 […]