I guess it’s because ears are basically such unattractive appendages, looking quite a lot like tree fungi attached to the sides of our heads, that we try not to think about them when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Some women learn early to cover their ears with their hair or to wear distracting […]
Category: Ear, Nose, & Throat
Covid Immunization: Facts, Not Fiction
If you don’t feel like reading one more word about Covid-19, you’ve got my sympathy. However, if you’re inclined, scan this Health Tip and perhaps pick up a fact or two you didn’t know. Want to jump to my take-away? It’s this: When the vaccine is available to you, take it and thank your lucky […]
The Chemical Swill Accumulating In Your Body
I was pleased with the election of Joe Biden, not least because we might end (and start reversing) the more than 100 pollution rollbacks that the Trump administration has initiated in favor of corporate polluters. However, I was genuinely disheartened to learn that his current EPA lackeys recently finalized a rule that will sabotage any […]
The Flu Shot: Now More Important Than Ever
When it comes to the flu shot, I take a far more conventional approach than many WholeHealth Chicago patients expect of a doctor who considers himself alternative/integrative. It’s also worth noting that after reviewing some of the online advice warning people away from the flu shot, it’s my sense that this is frequently followed by […]
Conquering Candida: A Telemedicine Consultation
You might be reading this Health Tip from a town 40 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, or somewhere west of Pecos, New Mexico, and you might be thinking, “Well, this sounds exactly like what I’ve got but there’s no doctor around here who knows anything about it.” We hear you. You’re a victim of the […]
Should You Get The New Antibody Test for Covid-19?
Before I answer that, let me give you a quick tutorial about your immune system and how it deals with any virus–Covid-19, measles, hepatitis, seasonal flu, even the common cold. The mechanics of your immunity, which has kept you alive all these years, is pretty much the same from virus to virus. If you read […]
Surviving Covid-19…and Beyond
You were coughing, exhausted, achy, and you had a headache. If you breathed in quickly, you coughed a lot. You thought you might be a little short of breath, but wondered if you were just anxious. You actually managed to find a place to get tested. Someone inserted a cotton swab so deeply up your […]
Covid-19: Good News, Bad News
Before I get into this, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief at my recent brush with accidental carbon monoxide poisoning as I sat in my car glued to the NPR program ironically called “Fresh Air.” Really, it wasn’t even a close call, just me blurting out loud to myself “Did you really just close […]
Covid-19 Testing: What Will It Cost You?
The short answer is that as of this writing—9 am Sunday, March 8, 2020–no one seems to know. Two laboratory giants, LabCorp and Quest, are distributing tests next week, probably enough for our immediate needs. Vice president Pence, appointed by the president as the Covid-19 czar, has said “With regard to the cost, let me […]
“My Breath Smells Like Poop!”
Usually by the time someone comes to us at WholeHealth Chicago with this complaint, they’ve already taken the obvious route. Ralph, a healthy looking guy in his 30s and recently married despite his halitosis, had already seen: –His primary care physician, who wasn’t sure he noticed anything odd about Ralph’s breath at all, but suggested […]
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, […]
It’s here, folks. You’ve likely had the flu in the past and if you’re currently coming down with symptoms you’re not looking forward to the next few days. Your throat hurts, your nose is first watery, then clogged with something approximating cement. Your muscles ache and you’re pretty sure you have a fever, but you’re […]
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 […]
WholeHealth Chicago and Kids?
Posted 1/09/2012 The short answer is “We welcome kids”. The longer answer is we’re here if your child has a problem and you want to see if an integrative approach will help. None of us is a pediatrician and we really would prefer that your child have a primary care pediatrician or family practitioner for […]
Empty Nose Syndrome
Never heard of it? Neither had I. Sounded more like a Sherlock Holmes story than a “condition” somebody could have. But there it was, written by the patient himself in the Reason For Visit section of our intake form. Before he actually walked into the examining room, I made a quick obeisance before my PC, fingers flying across the keys, summoning the all-powerful Wiki gods for some quick education on empty nose syndrome.
Our Deaf Ears
For me it was a summer night in the 1960s, at the Aragon Ballroom on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, the club during those years temporarily renamed The Cheetah. Seemed like a cool name to me, with my shoulder-length hair, bellbottoms, and paisley everything else. The band for the evening was Blue Cheer, billing itself as the loudest band in rock and roll. I was in the first row.
You know the sensation. First, it’s an uncomfortable little “awareness” in the back of your throat, and the thought crosses your mind, “I hope I’m not coming down with something.” Slowly, over the next few hours or so, your awareness increases. Then the next morning, you awaken with the sensation of having swallowed a blowtorch. And, since a sore throat is all too often the first act of a bad cold, you know what the next few days are going to be like, and wonder what you can do to prevent things from getting worse. Here are some suggestions from WholeHealth Chicago.
In my town, doctors refer to it as the “Denver drip,” but of course the “Chicago crud” or “Manhattan mucus” serve just as well. In fact, that decidedly unpleasant, back-of-the-throat, thick-as-molasses post nasal drainage is simply your sinuses, endlessly trying to empty themselves. What with clogged heads, tickly coughs, constant nose blowing, and voices perpetually needing a “harrumph!” to clear them, it’s little wonder that sinus sufferers are willing to undergo repeated surgeries for temporary relief. Or borrow somebody’s old antibiotics. Or fantasize about plunging a Craftsman power drill up their nostrils.
If you’re ever sitting in the dentist’s chair, bracing yourself for an procedure called “scaling,” which cleans out the bacteria in your infected gums, just say to yourself, “This could have been avoided. I did not have to be here.” Some Americans must be getting the message and finally are brushing and flossing more efficiently, because serious gum problems are on the decline. Nevertheless, gum disease continues to cause more tooth loss than cavities, and is second only to the common cold in terms of prevalence (98% of people over age 60 have some degree of gum disease). And now, researchers have linked severe gum disease to an increased risk of both heart disease and strokes
The anatomy of our middle ear changes as we get older, so adults get less susceptible to earaches following a cold than small children are. It’s a good thing, too, because for grown-ups to be walking around pulling at our ears and crying our eyes out would be a pathetic sight indeed. When the middle ear does get infected (a condition called otitis media), it’s definitely painful. But also uncomfortable in its own special way is the maddening itch of swimmer’s ear (otitis externa). Disconcerting, too, is the clogged and muffled hearing of excessive earwax, or the blockage and ringing sensation following scuba diving or air travel. You’ll need to see a doctor if any of these lasts for more than two or three days.