What is your life’s purpose?
I always hope to align my actions with my soul’s longing; for the past 20 years my passion has been to help those suffering from Lyme disease restore their well-being.
How are you living your purpose?
I’m doing what I feel like I have been called on to do. This takes the form of seeing patients with chronic tick-borne illness and doing the medical detective work to help them heal. I enjoy teaching, and until Covid I regularly had other health practitioners sitting in with me when I see patients. I have lectured frequently at national and international conferences, and I created the Lyme Fundamentals course that is presented each year at the annual International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conferences.
Most recently I completed a comprehensive book entitled Recovery From Lyme: The Integrative Medicine Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Tick-Borne Illness, released on March 16, 2021. This book is intended for both patients and doctors. It gives physicians the details necessary to implement diagnosis and treatment of these complex illnesses. But it is written in lay language to make this information accessible to lay people and help them be better educated, proactive, and empowered in their health care.
How did you find your purpose?
It’s interesting. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. After completing an internal medicine residency, I realized that I wanted to be more proactive in helping prevent illness than treat disease, so I opened a practice entitled Nutrition and Preventive Medicine. What happened is I started seeing people who had fallen through the cracks—they had undergone expensive evaluations at university medical centers but had no answers to their chronic complaints like migraines, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, and so on.
So essentially I went where I was called, which meant doing medical detective work and developing expertise in nutrition and environmental medicine. After I myself became ill with Lyme disease, I realized what a tremendous need there is for practitioners who are literate with these infections, since mainstream docs continue to be in denial about this epidemic.
Essentially, I have been blessed that being in service to my patients has also served me. My work is challenging but I genuinely enjoy the detective work; and it is highly rewarding as I witness patients recover.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
I confess I have never thought about this question. I answer questions all day long, but not this one. My first question to a seeker would be what interests you? Do you have a passion? What is important to you? What gives you joy? What gives you deep satisfaction? What challenges you — in a good way?
What resources do you recommend for people interested in learning more about preventing and treating Lyme Disease?
My role has been to discover why people who have become chronically ill got that way. If people have been plagued with any combination of chronic complaints like fatigue, sleep problems, muscle and joint pains, impaired cognition and mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and irritability—and have not found relief—I highly suggest they get my book Recovery from Lyme Disease. It is the most comprehensive book out there, based on solid evidence. Ninety percent of my patients, most of whom have been ill for years or decades, get 80 to 100% better.
There are numerous websites that detail ways to help prevent Lyme disease. These include wearing clothes pretreated with permethrin (you can do that yourself or purchase them at places like REI and Eastern Mountain Sports), applying tick-repellants on your skin, tucking pants into socks, and wearing light colored clothing on which it is easier to spot ticks. I think most important is doing careful tick checks with an intimate partner because the ticks prefer warm, humid areas like the crotch, armpit and scalp. There are some excellent websites that offer countess articles on Lyme disease; I think the best is lymedisease.org, which is the website of the California Lyme Disease Association.
Connect with Daniel A. Kinderlehrer, MD:
Book: Recovery from Lyme Disease: The Integrative Medicine Guide to Diagnosing and Treating Tick-Borne Illness
About the Author: Daniel Kinderlehrer, MD, is the author of Recovery from Lyme Disease. He is a nationally recognized physician with expertise in the fields of nutrition, allergy, environmental medicine, Lyme disease, and the healing of mind-body-spirit as a unified whole. He co-founded The New England Center for Holistic Medicine in Newbury, Massachusetts, and has taught extensively, including practitioner training courses at the Omega Institute, The National Institute of Behavioral Medicine, and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. He created and organized the Lyme Fundamentals course which is presented annually at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases conferences. He is the author of multiple articles in medical journals and the Lyme Times. His integrated medical practice in Denver, Colorado, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne disease. For more information, please visit https://recoveryfromlyme.com