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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Would you say more about the actual cause of disease?

ANSWER:  Usually, we talk of disease as the result of exposure to a certain bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite, or other pathogen. At other times, disease is the result of genetic predisposition or epigenetics. However, the majority of the time when we are exposed to a pathogen or have the genes for a certain disease, we remain healthy. Part of the reason for that is that our innate immune system protects us or our acquired immune system remembers the last exposure and protects us.

In most cases, as long as our immune system is working optimally, we either won’t get sick or will recover on our own without any medical intervention. The problem is that physiological stress weakens the effectiveness of the immune system. Many forms of physiological stress, such as exposure to toxins in the air, water, and food, are beyond our control. However, the most common form of physiological stress is emotional distress. My book, In Your Own Hands, coming out in January 2014, is devoted to all the ways of managing emotional distress. This website is also devoted to that aim.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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