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.



In 2016, there will be an estimated 1,685,210 new cancer cases diagnosed and 595,690 cancer deaths in the US. 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.


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.


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.


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.

South Bend Integrative Medicine

South Bend, Indiana

South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region’s economy.

The population of South Bend declined after 1960, when it had a peak population of 132,445. This was chiefly due to migration to suburban areas as well as the demise of Studebaker and other heavy industry. Today, the largest industries in South Bend are health care, education, small business, and tourism. Remaining large corporations include Crowe Horwath, Honeywell, and AM General.

Recently, the city population has started to grow for the first time in nearly fifty years. The old Studebaker plant and surrounding area, now called Ignition Park, is being redeveloped as a technology center to attract new industry.

The city has also been featured in national news coverage for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has achieved recognition for his various economic development projects within the city, his position as the youngest mayor to be elected in a city of more than 100,000 residents, and his essay in which he came out as the first openly gay executive in the state of Indiana. (source:,_Indiana)

Things To Do In South Bend:

Come Spend A Day In South Bend!

Must See/Do in South Bend
An absolute must for people of all religious traditions is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a breathtaking shrine in the middle of the University of Notre Dame campus — don’t forget to check out the grotto. The relics of St. Marcellus, a third-century centurion who was martyred after refusing combat duty on grounds that it was incompatible with his Christian beliefs, are underneath the altar. In the altar are relics of St. Stephen and St. Sebastian, also from that time period.

Automotive enthusiasts will love the Studebaker Museum, which features a vehicle used in The Muppet Movie, a Conestoga wagon, military vehicles, and several presidential carriages.

If you like Polish paczkis, you won’t want to miss Fat Tuesday celebrations. Paczkis are a pastry similar to doughnuts, and are a staple food in the city on Fat Tuesday. According to Wikipedia, medieval Poles created the dish to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit before beginning the Lenten fast.

Where to Stay in South Bend
The Oliver Inn Bed and Breakfast is a Victorian manor that was home to the prominent Oliver family for more than 100 years. Shadowed by more than 20 maple trees and home of a grand porte cochere, the building has 25 rooms. Reservations are recommended.

Also worth checking out is the Innisfree, a Celtic-themed Bed and Breakfast. The house is an 1890 Queen Anne-style with period antiques filling the rooms. Innisfree is located within walking distance of the Studebaker Museum and two and a half miles from the University of Notre Dame.

Finally, try the Cushing Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast, which is located within walking distance of the Studebaker museum and almost three miles from the University of Notre Dame. Breakfast is served in an English-style tea room.

Best and Worst Time to Visit South Bend
Easter is a popular time to visit South Bend, as is Fat Tuesday. The South Bend Reggae Festival is in the summer, and the World Pulse Festival, a celebration of contemporary Christian music, is held annually — this brings around 50,000 people to the city.

If you don’t know what “lake effect” means, you will if you visit South Bend in the winter. During the winter cold temperatures and heavy snowfall are common.

Where to Get Lost in South Bend
South Bend is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, with plans for a South Bend Bikeway network made up of 116 miles of trails. According to Wikipedia, almost 67 miles of trail had been built as of late 2014. 17.4 miles worth of trail are separate from streets, while there are 17 miles of marked bike routes and 32.4 miles of other, on-street routes.

The Best Deal in South Bend
Yesterday’s Food and Spirits in nearby Granger is known for its excellent seafood — yes, it’s possible to get good seafood in the Midwest. Also worth visiting is the South Bend Chocolate Company, which makes its hot chocolate from melted candy bars. (source:

Education in South Bend

About South Bend educational system

Academic Excellence

South Bend is home to some of the finest higher education institutions in the country.  The most well-known of these is the University of Notre Dame, a world-class academic and research institution.  There are several other institutions of higher learning in South Bend.

To learn about the educational institutions in the greater South Bend area, follow the links below.


  • Indiana University School of Medicine at South BendExternal Link
  • Indiana University South BendExternal Link
  • Purdue University – College of Technology at South BendExternal Link
  • Trine UniversityExternal Link
  • University of Notre DameExternal Link


  • Bethel CollegeExternal Link
  • Brown Mackie College South Bend CampusExternal Link
  • Holy Cross College at Notre DameExternal Link
  • ITT Technical InstituteExternal Link
  • Ivy Tech Community College South Bend CampusExternal Link
  • Saint Mary’s CollegeExternal Link

Public Schools

  • South Bend Community School CorporationExternal Link

Private & Parochial Schools in the South Bend Metro Area

  • Christ the King School
  • Communiy Baptist Christian School
  • Corpus Christi School
  • Good Shepherd Montessori School
  • Holy Cross School
  • Holy Family School
  • Granger Christian School
  • Michiana Christian School
  • Peace Lutheran School
  • Our Lady of Hungary School
  • Resurrection Lutheran Academy
  • Saint Adalbert SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint Anthony de Padua SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint John the Baptist SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint Joseph SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint Joseph’s High SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint Jude Catholic SchoolExternal Link
  • Saint Matthew Cathedral SchoolExternal Link
  • South Bend Jr. Academy SchoolExternal Link
  • Stanley Clark SchoolExternal Link


History Of South Bend:

South Bend is rich in history!

The St. Joseph Valley was long occupied by Native Americans. One of the earliest known groups to occupy what would later become northern Indiana was the Miami tribe. Later, the Potawatomi moved into the region, utilizing the rich food and natural resources found along the river. The Potawatomi occupied this region of Indiana until most of them were forcibly removed in the 1840s. The South Bend area was so popular because its portage was the shortest overland route from the St. Joseph River to the Kankakee River. This route was used for centuries, first by the Native Americans, then by French explorers, missionaries and traders. The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the first white European to set foot in what is now South Bend, used this portage between the St. Joseph River and the Kankakee River in December 1679

The first permanent white settlers of South Bend were fur traders who established trading posts in the area. In 1820, Pierre Frieschutz Navarre arrived, representing the American Fur Company (AFC) of John Jacob Astor. He settled near what is now downtown South Bend. Alexis Coquillard, another agent of the AFC, established a trading post known as the Big St. Joseph Station. In 1827, Lathrop Minor Taylorestablished a post for Samuel Hanna and Company, in whose records the name St. Joseph’s, Indiana was used. By 1829, the town was growing, with Coquillard and Taylor emerging as leaders. They applied for a post office. Taylor was appointed postmaster, and the post office was designated as Southold, Allen County, Indiana. The following year, the name was changed to South Bend, probably to ease confusion, as several other communities were named Southold at the time.

In 1841, Schuyler Colfax was appointed St. Joseph County deputy auditor. Colfax purchased the South Bend Free Press and then turned it into the pro-Whig newspaper, the St. Joseph Valley Register. He was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1850 where he opposed the barring of African American migration to Indiana. He joined the Republican party, like many Whigs of his day, and was elected to Congress in 1855 and became Speaker of the House in 1863 under Abraham Lincoln. In 1868, he was elected Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant. Colfax returned to South Bend after his stint in Washington and was buried in the City Cemetery. (source:,_Indiana#History)

South Bend Neighborhood

Check out South Bend Neighborhood!

South Bend is a larger medium-sized city located in the state of Indiana. With a population of 101,190 people and 47 constituent neighborhoods, South Bend is the fourth largest community in Indiana.

Unlike some cities, South Bend isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in South Bend are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, South Bend is a city of sales and office workers, service providers and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in South Bend who work in office and administrative support (14.52%), sales jobs (10.63%) and teaching (8.51%).

The citizens of South Bend are slightly better educated than the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns, with 23.46% of adults in South Bend having a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.

The per capita income in South Bend in 2010 was $19,818, which is middle income relative to Indiana, and lower middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $79,272 for a family of four. However, South Bend contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

South Bend is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call South Bend home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of South Bend residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. South Bend also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 12.63% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in South Bend include German, Irish, Polish, English, Italian and Hungarian. (source:

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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.