Lillian Wilson

Chronic by Dr. Steven Phillips

'Chronic' offers you everything you want to know about autoimmune diseases, from medical myths to breakthrough treatments.


In the twenty-first century, autoimmune and chronic illnesses have emerged as a global crisis, affecting an estimated 50 million people in the United States alone. As the prevalence of these conditions continues to rise, there is a pressing need to understand their underlying causes and explore effective treatment approaches.

Steve Phillips, in his book ‘Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic – and How to Get Healthy Again,’ takes on this formidable challenge, offering perspectives on various autoimmune diseases and chronic infections. In this review, we will delve into the compelling insights presented in ‘Chronic’ and explore how the authors shed light on this critical topic of immense significance to both healthcare professionals and the general public.

Author’s background

Steven Phillips, MD, is a distinguished physician and researcher, specialising in Lyme disease and chronic infections.

Steven Phillips (r)

He received his training at Yale and is recognised for his expertise in these fields. With a successful private practice since 1996, he has treated many patients, hailing from almost twenty different countries. His knowledge and experience have led him to lecture worldwide and frequently contribute as an expert in media discussions. His practice is situated in Wilton, Connecticut.

What is the book about?

‘Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic – and How to Get Healthy Again’ is a thought-provoking book that offers a new perspective on autoimmune disease. The author, Dr. Steven Phillips, explores the idea of referring to all autoimmune diseases as ‘Lyme+’ and presents compelling stories of individuals who have battled these conditions and found recovery.

The book delves into Dr. Phillips’ approach to treating Lyme disease, emphasising the importance of seeking proper medical attention, even though it can be challenging to find a knowledgeable practitioner. Antibiotics and ‘pulsing,’ which involves cycling on and off antibiotics in specific intervals, are highlighted as part of the treatment strategy.

The authors also explore various methods for addressing autoimmune diseases, such as lifestyle changes, alternative therapies, dietary adjustments, and supplementation. Dr. Phillips defines Paleo, Mediterranean, and vegan diets as the most beneficial for autoimmune disease treatment, underlying the importance of avoiding processed foods and nourishing the body with whole, unprocessed foods.

While the author’s theory about the autoimmune disease may not convince all readers, the book still offers food for thought and a compelling argument for exploring various treatment options and lifestyle changes to support overall health and wellness.

Table of contents

  • Title Page
  • Contents
  • Disclaimer
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Epigraph
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Do I Have a Vector-borne Infection?
  • PART I: The Root
  • 1. A Wild Family of Infections
  • 2. The Myths That Get in the Way
  • 3. Bitten and Broken
  • 4. How the Medical World Got It So Wrong
  • 5. Modern Plagues Caused by Underlying Infection
  • PART II: The Remedy
  • 6. The Difficulty in Diagnosis
  • 7. The Road to Recovery
  • 8. Mending Your Mind
  • 9. COVID
  • Conclusion: Hope Around the Globe
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • About the Authors
  • Connect with HMH on Social Media Footnotes

Key takeaways from ‘Chronic’

1Taking antibiotics is not an ineffective and dangerous way to treat autoimmune disease

‘Chronic’ dispels various myths about the disease treatment and one of such misconceptions is linked to the danger of using long-term antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease.

The book underscores the significance of exploring innovative approaches to tackle the complexities of Lyme. It stresses the need for longer antibiotic treatments, as existing evidence points to high failure rates with short-term therapies. The book cites specific cases that demonstrate the ability of Lyme disease to survive initial antibiotic courses, emphasising the necessity for extended treatments until more effective solutions emerge.

2It is not easy to diagnose Lyme disease

One more myth, the book debunks, is that it is easy to diagnose Lyme. The widely used two-tier blood test, which looks for antibodies against the pathogen, has limitations in detecting Lyme cases and the presence of the bacterium itself. Early testing can miss around 60% of acute Lyme cases as it takes time for the body to produce antibodies. Late-stage cases also present challenges in detection.

Moreover, Lyme antibody testing cannot identify related Borrelia species or other infections such as Bartonella, Babesia, and Anaplasma. There is considerable variation in results between labs, and the test cannot assess treatment response after antibiotics. Additionally, it cannot distinguish between an ongoing infection and a past one.

3Recognising the mind-body connection is crucial for the healing process

Not only does Dr. Phillips explains the possible ways of treating Lyme+ (an umbrella term for various autoimmune diseases, including Lyme disease) but also recognises the traumatic experience autoimmune patients face. Living with Lyme+ is no easy journey; it is filled with all sorts of challenges like the judgment of society, mistreatment by others, and feeling marginalised. Plus, getting a proper diagnosis can be a long and exhausting process.

The book presents hope for healing and recovery by offering various supportive measures, emphasising the significance of self-care and stress management in preventing the emergence of new symptoms. The authors acknowledge that what works for one person may not work for another, advocating for personalised approaches ranging from relaxation techniques and dietary changes to exercises that enhance the body’s natural healing abilities.

The author also points out the importance of recognising the connection between mind and body in the healing process. Mindfulness and becoming aware of internal experiences are vital components in addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic experiences associated with chronic infections.

Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews

The book has gotten 4.11 ⭐️ on GoodReads.


  • Combines personal stories with investigative journalism, making it both engaging and informative.

  • Supported by solid scientific evidence, making it reliable for healthcare professionals and the general public.

  • The personal health journeys of the authors add depth and context.

  • Presents paradigm-shifting information in a friendly and easily understandable format.

  • Well-written, authoritative, and urgent, making it a compelling read that can inspire action to relieve human suffering.


  • Some concepts and treatment options discussed may be financially inaccessible for many readers, without addressing alternative options for those with limited resources.

  • Some readers consider that the book lacks originality and offers nothing new compared to other publications on the subject.

Best quotes from ‘Chronic’

“Failure rates are high when treating Lyme with one-month- long courses of antibiotics. Many of these patients will go on to develop a chronic form of Lyme that will be increasingly difficult to treat, possibly causing other conditions.”
“Neurological problems resulting from Lyme disease are extremely common, much more so than arthritic issues, which typically affect the knees and are associated with positive Lyme antibody tests.”
“Despite their toxicity, immune-suppressing drugs (like the ones in numerous TV commercials) have become commonplace treatments. They can sometimes temporarily suppress symptoms but they do not get to the root of the problem in people who have an underlying infection.”

Final takeaway

‘Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Pandemic – and How to Get Healthy Again’ by Steve Phillips is an illuminating and thought-provoking book that addresses the pressing issue of autoimmune and chronic illnesses. By combining personal stories with solid scientific evidence, the authors offer a comprehensive perspective on the complexities of these conditions and advocate for innovative approaches to treatment.

Healthcare professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of autoimmune diseases, as well as individuals affected by chronic illnesses looking for new insights and potential paths to recovery, will find ‘Chronic” to be an invaluable resource. This book serves as a guiding light for anyone invested in the pursuit of better health and wellness amidst the challenges of autoimmune and chronic diseases.

Where to buy

You may purchase ‘Chronic’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that best suits your needs.

Healthypedia FAQ

Yes, the authors delve into various methods for addressing autoimmune diseases, such as lifestyle changes, alternative therapies, dietary adjustments, and supplementation.

Yes, the authors support their perspectives with solid scientific evidence as referenced in the book.

Yes, the book debunks the myth that diagnosing Lyme is easy and explains the limitations of the widely used two-tier blood test, which can miss around 60% of acute Lyme cases due to the time required for the body to produce antibodies.

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