Lyme-Illiterate Doctors

“Lyme literate” doctors follow diagnosis protocols that depart from those recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America


| November-December 2010



Lyme-Illiterate-Doctors

Richard Borge / www.richardborge.com

According to the Centers for Disease Control, America’s fastest-growing infectious disease is Lyme. In 2008, there were 29,000 confirmed cases reported, up 5 percent from 2007—and those are just the patients who were properly diagnosed. Lyme, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks, is notoriously difficult to diagnose, Fran Zell writes for Milwaukee Magazine (July 2010). “Early symptoms may include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, or a circular skin rash, but not everyone gets them. As it progresses, Lyme can affect any organ in the body, resulting in countless symptoms,” Zell reports. Lyme can look like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In other words, like anything. And testing commonly produces false negatives.  

Many people don’t know that there’s a rift in the medical community about how exactly to identify and treat the disease. Some doctors, dubbed “Lyme literate” by their advocates, follow diagnosis protocols that depart dramatically from those recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Locating a Lyme-literate doctor can be tricky, since many don’t advertise their controversial approach, which ultimately involves the long-term use of antibiotics. But for people who receive diagnoses after dealing with symptoms for years, it’s worth the trouble.

anodea judith
12/26/2010 10:47:40 PM

Lyme Literate doctors often know far more than the CDC. For instance, the figure above is grossly underestimated. See the movie UNDER OUR SKIN to understand the controversy around treatment. Most docs either under-treat or give long term antibiotics. Both are dangerous, though long term is necessary in some cases. However, it drives the spirochetes deeper into the system, and then antibiotics become addictive. Lyme literate docs have been studying many alternatives, and a solution that fits one person might not fit another. Lyme docs understand what a pernicious and nasty critter this is, and how utterly damaging it can be to any system in the body, varying from person to person. Make sure your doc has studied Lyme extensively and is familiar with a variety of treatments and is willing to educate you about them all. Don't let this bug go untreated! Educate yourself. I have had it twice and been through the gamut. Anodea Judith


anodea judith
12/26/2010 10:46:00 PM

Watch the movie UNDER OUR SKIN to learn more about the controversy. Lyme Literate doctors may know far more than the infectious disease control folks. It's a very peculiar and hard to treat organism -- it takes a sleuth to track it down and a multi-pronged approach. Most Drs recommend long term antibiotics, which in some cases is necessary but in the long term only drives the disease deeper into the core and makes you dependent on the antibiotics which have their own cost to the immune system and to yeast overgrowth. Do your research and get more than one opinion. Anodea Judith 2x Lyme sufferer now relatively healthy


bart
12/7/2010 12:29:19 PM

Let's just get to the truth, shall we ? Health Insurance companies don't give a flyin' f*** if you live or die. You are a walking dollar sign, either red or black. If they are going to profit, they need to deny payments on big ticket items as often as possible, and chronic lyme treatment is a long term commitment to antibiotic therapy whether it be oral or IV, and they simply won't have it. It is much more preferred that you simply die, got it ? So Doctors can't be doctors anymore ; they are obedient slaves to the insurance companies, their bonuses and careers on the line. In this regard, you'd better get it straight . . . chronic lyme DOES NOT EXIST !


loia
12/2/2010 3:35:13 PM

I have a dear friend who's been battling Lyme for nearly a year. It was misdiagnosed for at least a year, during which time she received treatment for individual symptoms... side-effects of which made it even more difficult to diagnose the actual Lyme. I've been horrified and mystified by the lack of attention to and urgency about research on effective diagnosis and treatment of Lyme.


julie ridl
12/2/2010 3:29:04 PM

Thanks so much for publishing and posting this piece. Another overlooked aspect of this disease is its "not-in-my-backyard" status. Landowners fearful of diving property values find it hard to own up to a disease the researchers at Columbia's tick-borne disease center say is found in every state. I live in Michigan where the number of reported cases is a joke in the Lyme Community. As in: There appears to be a bulls-eye rash of Lyme, with Michigan the clear center. Among Lyme's insidious tendencies is attack of major organs, with heart disease and even dementia outcomes of untreated cases. We desperately need more research. See lymejello.com for a patient-eye-view of the experience of falling through medicine's cracks.