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Category: Allergies & Food Sensitivities

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, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

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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 to attend the annual meeting of the American Association of Read More

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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 that Tracy was quite pretty, her face looked as if Read More

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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 getting fewer dinner invitations because your host doesn’t want to Read More

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 of how many times this condition has turned out to Read More

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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 told me they went to multiple doctors who told them Read More

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, because just 25% of us are genetically susceptible to mold Read More

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 different than others, and that, overall, you feel better when Read More

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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 not in the pink. One of the most disturbing of Read More

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, herbs, acupuncture, and Reiki. I was surprised by the hostility Read More

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**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Issues with Endocrinologists: Thyroid Approaches and Big Pharma

    My beefs with endocrinologists pretty much center on how they manage thyroid gland concerns, though they rarely win prizes for managing adrenal issues either. I don’t know any endocrinologists personally and rarely refer my patients to them. Occasionally, a patient with newly diagnosed hypothyroidism (low thyroid) will want to confirm the diagnosis with an endocrinologist. I suggest she prepare for a scolding if she’s taking Read More

  • Six Beefs With Rheumatologists

    If you find yourself in the waiting room of a rheumatologist, you’re likely there because your joints hurt and have been hurting, often for years. You’ve been getting by on aspirin or Advil for the pain, but with things worsening your primary care doctor suggests you should see a joint specialist, a rheumatologist. And because there’s a shortage of physicians in this specialty, your appointment Read More

  • The Flu: How To Recognize It and What to Do

    It’s here, folks, and this year could be a doozy. How do we know? We keep a watchful eye on Australia, whose winter and flu season occur six months before our own. The New York Times reported that “In 2017, a terrible flu season in Australia presaged an American outbreak in which 79,000 died. Experts advise getting the shot soon.” More here. You may have Read More

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