A surprising number of so-called alternative therapies actually have their roots in conventional medicine. While reflexology (once called Zone Therapy) is arguably thousands of years old, its modern use was made popular by an ear-nose-throat specialist who used the pressure from rubber bands applied to the fingers and toes for surgical anesthesia. The “Bach” of […]
Causes of Brain Fog: How To Test and How To Treat
Last week we began a series on brain fog, a term used by patients to describe a situation in which they’re experiencing poor focus and concentration, memory problems, and/or an overall lack of mental clarity. There are medical conditions, covered below, associated with brain fog that your doctor can screen for using a few simple […]
Brain Fog and What To Do About It, Part 1
You can’t remember the name of the Netflix movie you saw just last night, literally hours ago. And that actor–what was his name? He was in, you know, that other movie. You think it was a thriller, but maybe a war movie. Then you get a notice from Verizon that they’re turning off your phone […]
Michelle Obama: Thanks for Reminding Us We’re Not Alone
You probably read last week that Michelle Obama acknowledged she’d been experiencing what she described as low-grade depression. You may have wondered aloud, as I did, how anyone who sees what’s going on in the world could avoid it. Many of us are feeling hopeless or anxious, ruminating about where this is all going, eating […]
Breakthroughs in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
To me, the greatest advance for the estimated 2.5 million adults, adolescents, and children with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been the slow but steady acceptance of its very existence by the conventional medical community. This has been a real uphill battle and we’re encouraged to finally see some (guarded) victories. The first description of […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Mystery Of Sudden Weight Gain
You know who you are. You’ve been eating stable portions of pretty much the same healthy food for years and you consider yourself weight conscious. Long ago you decided that by combining smart food choices and a health club membership, you were not–definitely not–going to be one of those people who added a point or […]
The Benefits of Mindfulness
More than ever before, researchers and scientists are studying the health benefits of mindfulness practices for a wide variety of conditions. And they’re discovering overwhelmingly similar results: mindfulness decreases mood disturbances, enhances coping skills, and promotes wellbeing. Enter “benefits of mindfulness meditation” into your search engine and you’ll find dozens of articles and studies published […]
My Memory’s Just Not The Same…Is This Worrisome?
Immediate answer: The newest research shows that your own impression of your memory–not anyone else’s, and not any particular test–could be the very first sign of mental decline as you age. Longer answer: We all have episodes of forgetfulness no matter how old we are. Ask any high school senior confronted with the SAT vocabulary […]
Persistent Patient: Linda and the Thyroid-Gut Connection
Persistent Patient: Linda and the Thyroid-Gut Connection Linda, an accomplished woman in her late 30s, was not a happy camper. She arrived for the first time at WholeHealth Chicago certain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that she had an underactive thyroid gland. Linda had read all the websites, especially Janie A. Bowthorpe’s Stop the […]
Are You Hypometabolic?
First, because the word metabolism is involved with virtually everything in our bodies, it helps to know exactly what we’re talking about. “Metabolism” means the sum total of all the chemical processes going on inside you that are necessary to keep you alive. When your metabolic rate is normal you feel pretty good. If it’s […]
Glandular Therapy Back in the News
I’ve always been intrigued by glandular therapies, in which dried animal endocrine gland is used to treat a variety of medical conditions. And while I appreciate their medical benefits (like everything, some work better than others), even more interesting is their role in the history of medicine over the past century. Just when I thought […]
Sea Salt Nonsense
It was the 1920s social critic H.L. Mencken who etched the phrase into American history: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.
Stop the Thyroid Madness
I went to medical school for awhile in London and, it being the late 1960s (and London), I really don’t remember much about it. The school, that is.
However, two lessons from a certain professor have always remained with me:
1. If you listen to your patient carefully enough, and use your diagnostic skills, she’ll tell you her diagnosis. You won’t need anything else. Just listen! (By the way, this idea is widely attributed to the early 20th century physician Sir William Osler, but I was an impressionable med student in the classroom of a speaker who sounded and looked like Winston Churchill…in a white coat.)
Help for Your Fading Sex Drive
In last week’s health tip, I talked about Big Pharma’s predilection for creating illnesses to fit new chemicals, and how the controversial hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) was a “perfect match” for a failed antidepressant called flibanserin.
I’m Losing My Hair!
Click here for the Health Tip link. Q&A: I’m Losing My Hair! Q: I’m a stressed-out 31-year-old woman and I think it shows in my hair. I try to eat right and usually drink about 8 glasses of water a day. But it seems like I see more hair on my pillow, in my hairbrush, […]
Your Brain: Is Low Thyroid a Factor?
We continue this month with our series on why your brain might not be functioning the way you feel it should.
Hypothyroidism, or an underfunctioning thyroid gland (commonly called low thyroid), is often overlooked by doctors as a cause of poor memory. It’s neglected because many physicians rely solely on a not-very-good blood test to confirm or reject a diagnosis of low thyroid.