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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 […]

NBC Nightly News: Multi Cancer Early Detection Test

When you cross over into your 50s and beyond, like it or not your risk for developing cancer increases. If you’re health-conscious, you try to schedule the recommended screening tests: mammogram, Pap smear, skin check, colonoscopy or Cologuard, and lung CT scan for smokers. However, a new blood test changes the odds. I’ve written about […]

Covid Compassion Fatigue

Having a practice where just about every patient is immunized has its benefits.  Despite being in the midst of Covid-19’s fourth surge with the Delta variant, we’re seeing no new Covid cases. Phew! Other physicians aren’t having such good fortune, as this doctor reports in The Atlantic, the first place I’ve seen the term “ […]

Commonly Overlooked Diagnoses: The Subtleties of PMS

Several women’s health websites place the number of symptoms attributable to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at 150. I personally think that’s an undercount. I really began to appreciate this some years ago when a young woman came to see me with recurring hives. Out of the blue, she’d awaken from sleep covered in large red itchy […]

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 […]

Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: B12 Deficiency

You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after […]

What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Can It Help Me?

Ten years ago April marks the anniversary of the first time I wrote about low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I described it as an orphan drug, meaning that its patent had long ago expired, that it was generic, and that it was not owned by any one company. For these reasons and because they’d never recoup their […]

Can’t Get Vaccinated? Here’s Why

Once a week, the Chicago Sun-Times asks random people “How hard have you found it to get a Covid-19 vaccination?” and devotes a page to the responses. Virtually every answer is a variation of “I’ve tried to sign up on all the websites every day at all times of day and night and appointments are […]

Getting The Lead Out (And A Further Word About Immunization)

I’ll bet you didn’t know that Chicago has by far the worst problem with lead exposure in the entire US. It’s now estimated that fully 80% of our underground pipes are lined with lead. This means we’re all exposed to potentially toxic lead levels and the accompanying health risks. You’ll recall from last week’s Health […]

No Safe Level: Lead Poisoning and Your Health

I prefer the term “poisoning” over “toxicity” as there is no acceptably safe level of lead in the human body, just as there is no acceptable level of cyanide or strychnine. Low levels of lead won’t kill you with the swiftness of cyanide, but they will surely damage your health and, critically, that of your […]