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Welcome Nurse Practitioner Rachel Gates + Lifestyle Medicine 101

This week we welcome Rachel Gates, NP, to WholeHealth Chicago, where she joins nurse practitioners Katie McManigal and Wendy Ploegstra. Like Wendy, Rachel is specially trained in a new (and desperately needed) branch of healthcare called Lifestyle Medicine. More about that later. Indiana-born and raised, Rachel began her education at Purdue University, earning her RN […]

Case Study: High Blood Pressure

Phyllis B. was a longtime patient of mine whose medical problems were happily under control and who usually came in only for annual check-ups. As I’d just seen her last month, I expected today’s visit meant some new problem had emerged. “I’m here for Kirk,” she began. I’d only met her husband once, years earlier. […]

Are Lifestyle Changes Impossible?

Many years ago, I became exhausted dealing with a friend who ignored my advice on living a healthy lifestyle. His attitude toward exercise was similar to Oscar Wilde’s “I often take exercise. Why only yesterday I had breakfast in bed.” His attitude toward food, especially restaurant food, was that he didn’t care much about quality […]

Pain And How We Perceive It

Many people suffering chronic pain and fatigue hear far too often the dismissive “it’s all in your head.” Dr. Edelberg has written frequently on the destructive nature of this statement, which places all the blame on the patient and none on the physician to dig deeper into the causes. As Dr. E wrote in a […]

Disappointments With Testosterone

For 80 (!) years physicians have prescribed testosterone to men without being certain if it actually had any effect other than raising testosterone levels. The only FDA-approved indication for testosterone is pathological hypogonadism, in which there’s an actual disorder of the male reproductive system that results in the body not producing enough testosterone. Examples are […]

Out Of Whack Hormones

“My hormones are out of whack!” That’s the single most common sentence I hear from my patients. It can come from a 25-year-old with irregular periods and industrial-strength PMS whose energy has gone down the tubes. Or from a 45-year-old (on the threshold of pre-menopause) who continues to gain weight even though she’s eating less […]

Out Of Whack Hormones

“My hormones are out of whack!” That’s the single most common sentence I hear from my patients. It can come from a 25-year-old with irregular periods and industrial-strength PMS whose energy has gone down the tubes. Or from a 45-year-old (on the threshold of pre-menopause) who continues to gain weight even though she’s eating less […]

Will You Live Another Five Years?

Of course you might not want to know the answer to that. Or, having worked diligently on healthful eating and regular exercise, you may want to know if it will all pay off. Now, in a joint project between Swedish statisticians and a half million (!) volunteers in the UK, there’s a simple questionnaire that […]

How To Get Off Statins

Getting off statins is easy. Stop swallowing the pill. If you’re not in a potentially high-risk group (as described below) and your doc prescribed a statin to get your cholesterol down a bit, you won’t have a heart attack or a stroke that day or week or probably that decade. There’s no “statin withdrawal” and […]

Symptoms: Disease or Functional?

In medical school, you’re taught that patients either have a disease or don’t: That your patient is either genuinely unwell with a name-able condition (and the positive test results affirming this diagnosis) or not.