Below (and continually updated) are the -itis (Greek for "inflammation") and other problems I have experienced, and their year of first appearance (as well as I can remember):
- Bronchitis (c. 1957, age 13), many episodes until about age 25.
- Pneumothoraces, cause unknown (18 episodes, c. 1962-2009).
- Dermatitis: eczema, rosacea, and/or seborrhea (c. 1962); and subcutaneous acne (c. 2000).
- Pollen allergy in spring, early summer (c. 1970).
- Heart disease symptoms (c. 1972 - 1974, ended by very low-fat, omnivorous but mostly whole plant-food, Pritikin diet).
- Iritis and conjunctivitis (c. 1974).
- Tendonitis (c. 1989).
- Bursitis (c. 1994).
- Emphysema discovered (1995), but probably started 25 years earlier (smoking).
- Gum inflammation (1997).
- Arthritis (c. 1998).
- Acid reflux (c. 1998).
- Colitis (c. 1999).
Some of the -itis problems were episodic (for example, the iritis appeared every year or two in one eye or the other). Some were continuous (for example, the dermatitis). As the years passed, the problems accumulated in number and intensity. By the year 2000, I felt like I was living in a nightmare of -itis problems. In that year, I had arthritis, bursitis, colitis, dermatitis, iritis, and tendonitis. I was shopping for a wheelchair and trying to decide whether to buy a manual or an electric model.
Two physicians (out of five I consulted) have identified most of the symptoms as fitting a leaky-gut syndrome. Apparently the speculation is that holes in the intestine (perhaps caused by antibiotics taken when I was 18, following my first lung surgery) allow substances to leak into the blood stream; the immune system reacts to those substances as if they were viruses; and, while the immune system tries to kill the supposed "viruses," it also inflames various tissues and organs (skin, eyes, tendons, muscles, joints, and colon).
Author of The Power and the Glory: The Key Ideas and Crusading Lives of Eight Debaters of Reason vs. Faith, www.reasonversusmysticism.com/