Wellness

Lyme Disease: An Unsung Epidemic

lyme disease, lyme, tick-born illness, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

I’ve been off the grid again. This time immersed in the science and wisdom of Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBD) at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) annual international conference.

I learned so much to help me care for these chronic, complex, long-suffering clients, increasingly showing up at my door.

I wanted to share some big themes.

ILADS clinicians and…

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Ibuprofen: Friend or Foe? Learn the facts about this dangerous drug.

ibuprofen is toxic, safe treatments of pain, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md

Ever checked out the pain reliever isle at the grocery story? Seen the many shelves of Ibuprofen bottles lined up in all shapes and sizes? Labels promising to relieve practically everything that ails you?

Ibuprofen, part of a family of pain-relieving drugs known as “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory” drugs (NSAIDS), is the staple go-to pain and inflammation remedy in most American households, and…

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Healing is Not Always Curing

healing, healing is not always curing, curing, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

True, we all want to be cured. We all want our pain to go away, our wounds to heal, our function to be restored, and our energy to soar.

But I think there’s more. I hear this in what my clients blurt out when I ask them about their goals and aspirations. How they want to feel like their true selves, to live their best lives, and reach their full potential.

They’re talking about healing.

And…

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We’re Special: No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

functional medicine, N of One medicine, personalized medicine, epigenetics

Dear Ones,

Are we just outsiders? Outliers? Losers?

Or are we unique?

We failed those treatments that came straight out of our physicians’ “practice guidelines” or that we read about on-line. Even those popular “miraculous” food and lifestyle protocols that worked so well for the authors, or our friends, did nothing for us.

What’s the problem?

Guess what? We’re not all the same.

Part of my work…

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Why your doctor is always right (but would be better not to be).

healing, connection, doctor-patient relationship,

“Teach the tongue to say, “I do not know,”

and thou shalt progress.”

–Moses Maimonides, ca 1200 AD

Good advice for what seems like a culture full of know-it-alls.

Physicians are some of the worst offenders. I remember in medical school being taught that if I didn’t know an answer, make one up. And if I didn’t feel confident, fake it for the professors and patients.

I failed at that.

What I’ve…

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Fewer Genes Than a Grain of Rice–Our Genetic Story

epigenetics, human genome, human potential, functional medicine

Yep. As humans, we have fewer genes in our books of life than a grain of rice. Or a worm. Or many of God’s smallest creatures.

Does that mean we’re just puny and insignificant? Do we have far fewer options than we believed? Less wiggle room as our destinies unfold? Did the genome project leave us high and dry?

Not at all. In fact, the truth about our genetic legacy is just the opposite.

Let’s…

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Live the Questions

questions, live the questions, live the questions now, Rilke, uncertainty, be brave, courage

I am no different than you—asking questions. Wanting answers. Needing to understand how it is all unfolding before me. Now. Impatient and occasionally impertinent when the answers do not arrive.

Then I think of Rilke’s quote, which I came across as a teenager. It gave me SO much comfort then, and it still washes over me warmly, soothing my pain for not knowing, reminding me that not knowing…

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Conventional Western Medicine–There’s A Lot to Love

conventional western medicine, conventional medicine, acute care medicine, emergency medicine, functional medicine, holistic medicine

We’re all familiar with the ways conventional western medicine falls short—sizing us up so fast as to not hear our whole stories or treat us as whole people, not seeking root cause solutions to our problems, parceling us out among specialists who look at just one piece of us (often missing the bigger picture that provides the answers), among other things.

But that’s only because we’re…

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Doctor Do No Harm

so no harm, good doc, whole person medicine, functional medicine, love and medicine, compassionate medicine

I had a new client come to see me yesterday. This previously well, highly active, Nature-loving woman had been in excellent health until falling suddenly ill eight months ago. It took her docs six months to diagnose Lyme disease. She was the perfect candidate for this diagnosis—extensive exposure to ticks, typical symptoms for Lyme, AND her lab tests were overwhelmingly confirmatory.

The…

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Are We ALL READY yet?

all ready, empowerment, embrace uncertainty, be yourself, show up, do the work, commit to yourself

Every find yourself putting things off because you don’t feel All Ready?

Like that perfect time will come, your tool kit will be perfectly stocked and organized, your energy and enthusiasm will be robust, and you’ll dive in with the full support of the Universe all around you, humming and whistling as you go?

Me too.

And how does that work for you?

Things rarely happens that way for me. If what…

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