LaCava Center Integrative Medical Highlights

Lyme Disease

Our knowledge of Lyme Disease surfaced in the early 1970s, when a mysterious group of rheumatoid arthritis cases occurred among children in Lyme, Connecticut, and two neighboring towns. Since then we have learned that Lyme Disease has been around for thousands upon thousands of years. It is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme can affect any organ of the body, including: muscles and joints, the brain and nervous system, and the heart. Lyme is called “The Great Imitator,” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. Patients with Lyme disease are frequently misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and various psychiatric illnesses, including depression. This has proven true at The LaCava Center where many patients who have been diagnosed with such illnesses, come to us only to find out that Lyme Disease was the culprit all along.

Lyme’s disease is primarily caused by a tick bite. However, it is also believed by many that Horsefly’s, Deer Fly’s, and other insects such as Mosquitoes are transmitters of the disease as well. Unfortunately, many people believe that if they are bitten by a tick that they only need to worry if a red bulls-eye shows up on their skin. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is estimated that only 16% of patients diagnosed with Lyme disease know of a tick bite, and only a third to a half of people have the bulls-eye rash. Furthermore, ticks are hosts to a number of other viruses and parasites including: Heartland Virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Bartonella, and Anaplasmosis. Click here for more.

Although the prevailing logic is that Lyme is an East Coast disease, it is found throughout the United States, as well as in more than sixty other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year. About 1.5 times more than the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer, and six times more than the number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS each year in the US. However, because of Lyme’s nature it often goes undetected leading many experts to believe the true number of cases is much higher.

At The LaCava Center we have noticed Lyme to be a very smart and debilitating disease. We have seen many cases of false negatives in lab testing and even cases where previous treatment proved ineffective resulting in Chronic Lyme. Such cases caused us to search for a lab with the expertise to properly test for Lyme’s existence. After trial and error, we found just such an experiences lab and now partner with it for almost all of our Lyme testing.

If you have suffered from a debilitating disease and have not gotten better, we encourage you to give us a call today. Also please feel free to check out some of the websites below for resources related to Lyme Disease.

www.lymedisease.org

www.cdc.gov

www.ilads.org

www.webmd.com

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Cancer

In 2016, there will be an estimated 1,685,210 new cancer cases diagnosed and 595,690 cancer deaths in the US. Cancer.org. It seems everyone has been touched in some way by this terrible epidemic. Either you know of someone who has had cancer or worse yet, you have cancer. For many, this diagnosis is almost a certified death sentence. But, at The LaCava Center for Integrative Medicine we believe that it doesn’t have to be this way.

In the mid 90’s, Dr. LaCava was personally touched by cancer when his Father was diagnosed with stomach cancer. In essence, his Father became his first cancer patient. Since then, Dr. LaCava has treated hundreds of cancer patients spanning the spectrum of ages, stages, and types of cancer. Utilizing an Integrative Oncology approach, The LaCava Center utilizes evidence based complementary therapies in concert with traditional medical treatments, in an effort to improve overall efficacy and symptom control, while also working to alleviate patient distress and suffering. 

As a founding member of the International Organization of Integrative Cancer Physicians, Dr. LaCava has helped to pioneer the Integrative Oncology approach to cancer treatment, and further continues his ongoing and evolving education in this field through membership with such groups as Best Answer for Cancer. As an example of our practices ongoing evolution, with passage in Illinois of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, and the opening of Medical Cannabis dispensaries in November of 2015, Dr. LaCava expanded The LaCava Center’s treatments by utilizing high THC medical cannabis as a therapy to alleviate pain in cancer patients. Moreover, encouraged by the research surrounding Cannabidiol (CBD) and it’s potential as an adjunctive cancer therapy, we have begun to explore its efficacy by utilizing high CBD and low THC strains of medical cannabis. By doing so, we continue to innovate and provide our patients with the very best that integrative and alternative medicine has to offer.

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Mold Exposure

Exposure to mold can be a very serious health concern that is often overlooked in conventional medicine. Mold and fungus produce very toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.

Different species of Mold produce different toxins and people will suffer a wide range of different symptoms. The symptom picture often includes:

  • Brain Fog
  • Depression or Mood Swings
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Skin Sensitivity and Rashes
  • Unexplained allergic sensitivities and immune hypersensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Breathing Problems
  • Memory Loss, short term
  • Chronic Sinusitis, Ear Infections or Bronchitis
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting

Mold Sickness and related illnesses from Mold Exposure are real. Mold has been linked to Lung Damage, Brain Damage, Cancer and even Death. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Journals of American Medicine, all agree that Mold Fine Particulate are dangerous to human health.

We work with Croft Pathology to have your excretion of mycotoxins measured. Testing of your environment may also be warranted to determine the site and degree of exposure. In some cases a tissue biopsy may be necessary, this can be helpful in legal cases.

Upon determination of mycotoxin severity, a treatment protocol will be implemented. This may include, dietary changes, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical anti-fungals, therapeutic baths and recommendations for your living or work environment.

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Ozone Therapy (Oxidative IV)

Bio-oxidative Medicine is the term first used by Charles Farr, M.D., Ph.D., in 1986 to describe utilizing the principles of oxidation to improve health. For this work, Dr. Farr was nominated to receive the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

To understand Bio-oxidative Medicine it is important to first differentiate the terms Oxygenation and Oxidation. These terms refer to two different metabolic processes that are unrelated.

Oxygenation signifies an increase in the number of oxygen molecules especially as it relates to the uptake and utilization of oxygen at the cellular level. Although Oxygenation therapies can help improve health, they are not part of Bio-oxidative Medicine. However, Oxygenation therapies can be used in conjunction with the therapies used in Bio-oxidative Medicine.

In chemistry, Oxidation is the loss or transfer of electrons from one atom or molecule to another. The opposite of oxidation is reduction in which electrons are gained. Together, this exchange of electrons, called reduction and oxidation, is referred to as redox. All life processes are dependent upon redox. Redox initiates chemical reactions. Life and healing are dependent on a dynamic chemical balance in the body and that chemical balance is dependent on redox. Improving healthy redox is the foundation of Bio-Oxidative Medicine.

As a result of many factors in modern life, such as excess stress, poor nutrition, exposure to radiation and pollution of our air, water and food, the body’s oxidative and antioxidant systems can become overwhelmed. This results in a negative effect on the function of the cells in the body and on the body’s immune system and its ability to defend against infections, allergens, toxins, carcinogens and other stresses of life. Bio-oxidative therapies, like the use of Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy and Ozone Therapy, stimulate the body’s redox systems and help return the body to balance and health.Bio-oxidative Medicine is the term first used by Charles Farr, M.D., Ph.D., in 1986 to describe utilizing the principles of oxidation to improve health. For this work, Dr. Farr was nominated to receive the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

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Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT)

Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) has been around for a long time. IPT was discovered by Donato Perez Garcia, M.D., and developed by him in Mexico City during the 1930s and 1940s. Following its discovery, its chief practitioners were three generations of the Garcia doctors, who called it cellular therapy or Donatian therapy. In the 1970s or 1980s it was renamed IPT.

IPT (Insulin Potentiation Therapy) is a medical procedure that uses the hormone insulin, followed by glucose, to deliver drugs to the body in smaller doses. The process helps to utilize and concentrate the particular drugs introduced, thus helping to make them more effective, while also helping to reduce possible side effects.

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Robert J. LaCava

M.D. / Founder

Robert LaCava, M.D. founded The LaCava Center for Integrative Medicine over 10 years ago. He partners with patients to achieve their ideal health, through alternative and traditional treatments. Dr. LaCava has four children, three grandchildren and more sure to follow. During his spare time he enjoys grilling out and spending time with family. He also is passionate about helping others with limited resources, and recently experienced a life changing medical mission trip to Africa. His dream is to return and continue helping to heal those sick and in desperate need.

Chicago Integrative Medicine

Chicago, Illinois

The City of Chicago covers an  area of 60,000 hectares and sits 176 meters (578 feet) above sea level on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. At 190 km wide and 495 km long, its the 5th largest body of fresh water in the world. The city is traversed by the Chicago and Calumet rivers. Chicago’s extensive parklands, including 3,000 hectares of city parks attract an estimated 86 million visitors annually.

As a multicultural city that thrives on the harmony and diversity of its neighborhoods, Chicago today embodies the values of America’s heartland-integrity, hard work and community and reflects the ideals in the social fabric of  its 77 distinct neighborhoods.

Chicago is recognized across the United States as a very passionate sports town.

Chicago is a leader in reforming public schools, enhancing public safety and security initiatives, providing affordable housing in attractive and economically sound communities, ensuring accessibility for all and fostering, social, economic and environmental sustainability. (source: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/about.html)

Things To Do In Chicago:

Come Spend A Day In Chicago!

There are a million places to visit and things to do in Chicago. Seriously, a million. So how do you choose between all of Chicago’s top restaurants, nightlife, shopping and museums to fit them all into your week’s plans? Let us be your guide for all of the best that Chicago has to offer.

Explore the depths of the ocean at the Shedd Aquarium. Catch a fly ball at Wrigley Field. Take in a show at The Chicago Theatre. Ride the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. And that’s just day one.

Chicago boasts some of the best cuisine, attractions and entertainment in the U.S., including several of the top 100 restaurants in the country, the tallest building in the US, and one of the best orchestras in the world in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

From shopaholics and sports enthusiasts to thrill seekers and foodies, Chicago has something for everyone.

ATTRACTIONS & TOURS
At attractions around every corner, from high-flying observatories to Millennium Park where art and music mix with lots of room to play, you’ll find fun every day of the year. And special events mean there’s always something new to see. Grab your family and go!

Explore amazing Navy Pier, and discover the thrilling rides, activities, dining, shopping, museums, and cityscape views that make it the top destination in the Midwest. Don’t miss special events like Winter WonderFest and other festivals, huge expositions showcasing flowers, sailboats, art, and toys – to name just a few, and dazzling summertime and holiday fireworks.

Not sure what to see first? Take a tour! Knowledgeable and entertaining guides will show you the sights known around the globe or to the unique architecture, food, and other places that tap into your special passions.

ARTS & CULTURE
As with all major world cities, you could spend a lifetime exploring all of Chicago’s nooks and crannies, but here are some great places to start.

Chicago’s museums are so rich and robust that you can explore everything from culture, history, and art to planet Earth, the military, and even surgical science. Our theater scene is just as strong. Catch anything from a world-premiere production bound for Broadway to an edgy drama that will leave you breathless. Or catch some live music and watch your favorite artist make the stage come alive. Chicago is the birthplace of improv comedy, so of course, a comedy club must be on your to-do list.

SPORTS
It was no surprise when Sporting News named Chicago the “Best Sports City.” We have passionate fans, star players and a 2013 Stanley Cup victory to top it all off. Here’s what you need to know about Chicago sports — from the top teams to a full calendar of upcoming games. And if you want to get active too, browse the listings to find places to golf, pick up bicycles, rent jet skis and more.

Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District (CPD) is the oldest and largest park district in the U.S. The city owns and operates some 8,100 acres of green space amongst the skyscrapers, streets, and commerce of an urban environment. (source: http://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/)

Education in Chicago

About Chicago educational system

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the governing body of the school district that contains over 600 public elementary and high schools citywide, including several selective-admission magnet schools. There are eleven selective enrollment high schools in the Chicago Public Schools, designed to meet the needs of Chicago’s most academically advanced students. These schools offer a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Northside College Preparatory High School is ranked number one in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois. Walter Payton College Prep High School is ranked second, Jones College Prep is third, and the oldest magnet school in the city, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, which was opened in 1975, is ranked fourth. The magnet school with the largest enrollment is Lane Technical College Prep High School. Lane is one of the oldest schools in Chicago and in 2012 was designated a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Chicago high school rankings are determined by the average test scores on state achievement tests. The district, with an enrollment exceeding 400,545 students (2013–2014 20th Day Enrollment), is the third-largest in the U.S. On September 10, 2012, teachers for the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the first time since 1987 over pay, resources and other issues. According to data complied in 2014, Chicago’s “choice system”, where students who test or apply and may attend one of a number of public high schools (there are about 130), sorts students of different achievement levels into different schools (high performing, middle performing, and low performing schools).

Chicago has a network of Lutheran schools, and several private schools are run by other denominations and faiths, such as the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in West Ridge. Several private schools are completely secular, such as the Latin School of Chicago in the Near North Side neighborhood, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park, the British School of Chicago and the Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park, the Lycée Français de Chicago in Uptown, the Feltre School in River North and the Morgan Park Academy. There are also the private Chicago Academy for the Arts, a high school focused on six different categories of the arts and the public Chicago High School for the Arts, a high school focused on five categories (visual arts, theatre, musical theatre, dance, and music) of the arts.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates Catholic schools, that include Jesuit preparatory schools and others including St. Rita of Cascia High School, De La Salle Institute, Josephinum Academy, DePaul College Prep, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Brother Rice High School, St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, Mount Carmel High School, Queen of Peace High School, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, Marist High School, St. Patrick High School and Resurrection High School.

The Chicago Public Library system operates 79 public libraries, including the central library, two regional libraries, and numerous branches distributed throughout the city. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago#Education)

History Of Chicago:

Chicago is rich in history!

“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.” – Mark Twain, 1883

Chicago was only 46 years old when Mark Twain wrote those words, but it had already grown more than 100-fold, from a small trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River into one of the nation’s largest cities, and it wasn’t about to stop. Over the next 20 years, it would quadruple in population, amazing the rest of the world with its ability to repeatedly reinvent itself.

And it still hasn’t stopped. Today, Chicago has become a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce, and a place where people of every nationality come to pursue the American dream.

Early Chicago

Chicago’s first permanent resident was a trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man apparently from Haiti, who came here in the late 1770s. In 1795, the U.S. government built Fort Dearborn at what is now the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (look for the bronze markers in the pavement). It was burned to the ground by Native Americans in 1812, rebuilt and demolished in 1857.

A Trading Center

Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago was ideally situated to take advantage of the trading possibilities created by the nation’s westward expansion. The completion of the Illinois & Michigan Canal in 1848 created a water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but the canal was soon rendered obsolete by railroads. Today, 50 percent of U.S. rail freight continues to pass through Chicago, even as the city has become the nation’s busiest aviation center, thanks to O’Hare and Midway International airports.

The Great Fire of 1871

As Chicago grew, its residents took heroic measures to keep pace. In the 1850s, they raised many of the streets five to eight feet to install a sewer system – and then raised the buildings, as well. Unfortunately, the buildings, streets and sidewalks were made of wood, and most of them burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Chicago Fire Department training academy at 558 W. DeKoven St. is on the site of the O’Leary property where the fire began. The Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station at Michigan and Chicago avenues are among the few buildings to have survived the fire.

Chicago Firsts

Throughout their city’s history, Chicagoans have demonstrated their ingenuity in matters large and small:

  • The nation’s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, was built in 1884 at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931.
  • When residents were threatened by waterborne illnesses from sewage flowing into Lake Michigan, they reversed the Chicago River in 1900 to make it flow toward the Mississippi.
  • Start of the “Historic Route 66” which begins at Grant Park on Adams Street in the front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Chicago was the birthplace of:
    • the refrigerated rail car (Swift)
    • mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward)
    • the car radio (Motorola)
    • the TV remote control (Zenith)
  • The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the Atomic Age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942. The spot is marked by a Henry Moore sculpture on Ellis Avenue between 56th and 57th streets.
  • The 1,450-foot Sears Tower, completed in 1974, is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest in the world.

(source: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/about/history.html)

Chicago Neighborhood

Check out Chicago Neighborhood!

Chicago is an enormous city located in the state of Illinois. With a population of 2,722,389 people and 795 constituent neighborhoods, Chicago is the largest community in Illinois. Chicago has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

Chicago real estate is some of the most expensive in Illinois, although Chicago house values don’t compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Chicago is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Overall, Chicago is a city of sales and office workers, professionals and service providers. There are especially a lot of people living in Chicago who work in office and administrative support (12.82%), sales jobs (10.26%) and management occupations (9.06%).

Also of interest is that Chicago has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

Chicago is one of the most attractive larger cities for people who are young, single, educated, and upwardly-mobile career starters. This makes it a good place to live for young singles in their 20s and 30s and who have undergraduate or graduate degrees and are starting their professional careers. Although Chicago is a large city, this demographic is significant enough that young professionals will find many others like themselves here, with really good opportunities for friendships, recreation, romance, and more.

One downside of living in Chicago, however, is that residents on average have to contend with a long commute, spending on average 34.32 minutes every day commuting to work. It is, however, a pedestrian-friendly city. Many of its neighborhoods are dense enough and have amenities close enough together that people find it feasible to get around on foot. In addition, local public transit is widely used. For those who would prefer to avoid driving entirely and leave their car at home, it may be an option to use the transit instead.

Chicago is a big city, and with that comes lots of benefits. One benefit is that most big cities have public transit, but Chicago really shines when it comes to the extensiveness and use of its public transit system. More than most large American cities, Chicago citizens use public transit daily to get to and from work. And while there are transportation options, most people in Chicago ride the bus. Whereas in some cities one is destined to sit in traffic every morning to get to work and every evening to get home, in Chicago a lot leave their cars at home (if they even choose to own one), and hop a ride on the bus.

The population of Chicago is very well educated relative to most cities and towns in the nation, where the average community has 21.84% of its adult population holding a 4-year degree or higher: 34.90% of adults in Chicago have a bachelor’s degree or even advanced degree.

The per capita income in Chicago in 2010 was $28,623, which is upper middle income relative to Illinois and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $114,492 for a family of four. However, Chicago contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Chicago is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Chicago home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Chicago residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Chicago also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 28.95% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Chicago include Irish, German, Polish, Italian and English. (source: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/il/chicago/)

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Robert J. LaCava

M.D. / Founder

Robert LaCava, M.D. founded The LaCava Center for Integrative Medicine over 10 years ago. He partners with patients to achieve their ideal health, through alternative and traditional treatments. Dr. LaCava has four children, three grandchildren and more sure to follow. During his spare time he enjoys grilling out and spending time with family. He also is passionate about helping others with limited resources, and recently experienced a life changing medical mission trip to Africa. His dream is to return and continue helping to heal those sick and in desperate need.