SCIENCES

Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic and How To Get Healthy Again

Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780358064718. $28. MED
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Physician researcher Philips and his patient Parish observe that conditions such as Lyme Disease mirror the “spreading pandemic” of chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and others (Lyme+), in which pathogens may play a causative role. Their book is based on Philips’s long experience in treating vector-borne diseases (those caused by parasites, viruses, or bacteria that are transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas), and Parish’s experience living with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is still not easy to diagnose as lab tests are not completely reliable and current treatment, such as two to four weeks of antibiotic therapy, often leaves patients with lingering infection that creates chronic, sometimes severe, problems. And most patients who present symptoms with the other Lyme+ diseases seldom even get tested for parasites, viruses, or bacteria. Philips recommends broader testing and longer-term use of antibiotics (as much as a year or two), with occasional breaks when needed.
VERDICT Not the mainstream approach endorsed by the American College of Physicians and other medical groups but a glint of hope to the many people living with Lyme+ diseases and those who treat them.

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