If you’re sick with an undiagnosed disease or struggle with mysterious symptoms for long periods of time, all you want is to get better. And if you’re like me, you want to know what the root of the problem is. How did I get so sick? How do I get better? When I do get better, how do I keep from getting this illness again?

In the book, Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease, Dr. Richard Horowitz attempts to answer these questions. He details nearly 500 pages of guidelines, patient stories and scientific references for Lyme disease and everything related to it. Only a small portion discusses the origin and epidemic nature of Lyme disease while most of the book outlines a practical approach to looking at your symptoms and working with your healthcare provider to solve the individual factors that a person may have. The term MSIDS, short for multiple systemic infectious disease syndrome, is anchored throughout each chapter. Horowitz uses the term to define a broader population of ill patients and describes how some people may have Lyme, but it may not be the most significant part of their illness. Some may have an autoimmune disease, or they could have Lyme or another infection that mimics autoimmune symptoms (or cause autoimmune symptoms), or some may even have a combination of both. He also discusses nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, hormones, sleep disorders, allergies, gastrointestinal health, liver dysfunction, exercise and a lot of other topics specifically related to Lyme.

I think one of the reasons this book is so lengthy is that it appeals to both the Lyme/MSIDS patient and the physician. Dr. Horowitz provides thorough symptom checklists for the individual who may suspect Lyme or an infectious disease but has not yet been to a doctor or is struggling with a mysterious condition that their doctor cannot figure out. Portions of the book are easy to read for the person who may not know much about Lyme or other infections. On the other hand, there are parts of the book that are much higher level in terms of discussion. He outlines many treatment regimens (pharmaceutical and natural therapies)  that may be helpful for a physician who wishes to learn more about treating patients with mysterious chronic diseases. I would recommend the book for patients to suggest to their primary care physician if the doctor is willing and interested to learn more about Lyme and parasitic infections. Due to Dr. Horrowitz’s holistic approach, I found that it may be a good read for any healthcare provider that wants to learn more about the topic.

Overall, this book is packed full of details from experience working with thousands of patients and helpful for either the patient or the physician looking for more information about Lyme and other chronic diseases. I found myself drawn immediately to the chapters on Lyme and immune dysfunction because of my specific symptoms related to knee inflammation and inflammatory arthritis. After reading those chapters I went back and read the rest of the book. So you may find this book useful for reference or as a complete guide.