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Category: Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues

Functional Medicine: Your Wacky Hormones and Thyroid Gland

Let me start by saying that the majority of board-certified endocrinologists give me a pain. They’re internists, like me and our newest WholeHealth Chicago physician Neeti Sharma, MD, but they have additional training via endocrinology fellowships. Somewhere along the way, many of them become almost too academic, no longer actually listening to patients but rather focused totally on lab test results. This can be a Read More

When Your Thyroid Medication Isn’t Working

Let’s start with two thyroid facts:  The diagnosis of hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone) is missed by most physicians.Patients arrive with obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism every doctor learned in medical school, among them sensitivity to cold, weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, and constipation. The doctor listens, sometimes attentively, and then orders a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test. TSH does not come from the thyroid itself, Read More

Reversing Mental Decline Part 4: Nine Immediate Steps to Prevent Dementia

We’ve covered a lot of scientific territory in this series, from the basics of Alzheimer’s to the tests used to evaluate risk. This final installment is something you can follow up on right now, regardless of where you fall on the risk spectrum. Concerning your brain, let’s say you’re in one of these four situations: There’s dementia in your family and you’ve checked your APOe Read More

Reversing Mental Decline Part 3: Tests For Alzheimer’s Prevention

Dale Bredesen, MD, author of The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program To Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline, refers to the tests you should undergo if you’re concerned about brain health as a “cognoscopy,” sort of a colonoscopy for your brain. Perhaps thinking back on your own colonoscopy, it’s reasonable to ask, “Do I really need a cognoscopy?” There are three groups of people I Read More

Reversing Mental Decline and Preventing Alzheimer’s, Part 2

Last week I explained the current thinking about cognitive decline, whose worst manifestation, Alzheimer’s disease, occurs because a protein called amyloid accumulates in the brain, destroying delicate brain cells. Focusing on clearing out amyloid as a treatment of Alzheimer’s has been unsuccessful. The answer is prevention. In his important book The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline, Dale Bredesen, Read More

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 testicular damage from mumps, a genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, or Read More

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Functional Medicine 101 + Introducing Dr. Alaina Gemelas

Functional Medicine is without a doubt the fastest growing medical specialty of the 21st century. Public interest in it and public acceptance of it continues to please me. Every day I hear the sentence, “I made this appointment because I wanted a functional approach.” When I ask patients how they learned about it, the answer is a variation on “Dr. Google.” We’ve been practicing functional Read More

Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Subtly Underactive Thyroid

I went to medical school in London for awhile and quite honestly didn’t learn much. But it was the 1960s and if you were going to be anywhere on the planet, central London was the place to be. The fact that the hospital to which I was assigned had a pub in its basement (where everyone, even a few patients, would gravitate around 4 pm) Read More

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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 testicular damage from mumps, a genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, Read More

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Worrisome Dementia Report For Women and Steps To Take

We’ve always known there was a higher rate of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in women than in men, initially attributed to the fact that women live longer and that the decline in mental function occurred with age. This turned out to be wrong. At 65, a woman has a greater than one-in-six chance of developing dementia, whereas a man’s is one-in-eleven. If the dementia 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

  • Infertility Issues? Start With The Guy

    I’ve lost track of the number of couples we treat at WholeHealth Chicago who are involved in one of the hormone injection/surgical procedure stops on the conveyor belt of infertility centers. Currently, it’s estimated that 15 to 20 percent of couples are struggling with infertility, half of them due to male factors. The infertility docs are nice enough and certainly well-meaning, but I note a Read More

  • 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

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