Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lyme Disease Part 1: Another Scapegoat?

Today there are a number of doctors who feel the testing available for Lyme disease is flawed.  These doctors are called LLMD's, which stands for Lyme Literate Medical Doctors.   Many believe that even when standard Lyme lab tests come back negative, that does not rule out the possibility of having Lyme Disease.  There are websites that go into the science and exact reasons why this is the case, but honestly it is over my head.  I'm not even going to try to explain all of that.  If you want to read a more in depth discussion I recommend visiting this page. 

Credit: SteveFE
My problem-because of the inaccuracy of Lyme testing-is these doctors begin to assume everyone has Lyme disease whether or not they have any testing that shows it.  These doctors function on clinical diagnosis especially in cases of Chronic Lyme disease.  My opinion is chronic lyme disease and acute lyme disease are two separate things entirely...  I understand why these doctors feel the need to diagnose someone with Lyme because it gives a patient a label to tell their family and friends.  "Oh I have Lyme Disease".  It's much easier to say instead of a long list of symptoms.  However have we now gone to the other end of the spectrum, with many diagnosed with Lyme Disease who do not have it?  Those who I come into contact with online that have been diagnosed with Lyme Disease seem to have a long list of symptoms or medical issues.  They seem to do very poorly on hormone replacement and often times just never get better no matter what they do.

How does one know Lyme disease is the cause of all these symptoms and in the long term is it safe to simply blame Lyme disease?

There does seem to be a connection between Chronic Lyme Disease and heavy metal poisoning, but that does not make sense if you think about it for a second.  How does a tick bite give you metal poisoning?  Well the short answer is, it doesn't.  My theory is perhaps Lyme disease is a symptom of the overall dysfunction of the immune system.  Perhaps mercury first disrupts the immune system and the body cannot get rid of the Lyme infection.  Once the immune dysfunction starts to worsen, co-infections begin to rear its head and you see people with babesiosis, erlichiosis, bartonella and a long list of other hidden infections like CMV and EBV which are much more common. 

Chronic Lyme Disease is becoming the new Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, candida or fungal infections, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Epstein Barr Virus, Fibromyalgia  or any other viruses or syndromes, in the natural health community.  It is important to keep in mind that all of these are simply a symptom of a larger issue and not the CAUSE of the health problems in most cases. Treating the symptoms of these will not cure you of the underlying issue at hand and even though you may feel a little better at first, the dysregulation will find a way to show up in new areas.  I believe this is why when we fix our bodies in one way, it seems like we turn around and more symptoms begin to appear in other aspects.

I am afraid that Chronic Lyme Disease is becoming the new scapegoat for health issues.  While Acute Lyme Disease is real, I am more concerned about those who go to a doctor and are diagnosed based solely on symptoms.   The treatment is usually long-term, hardcore antibiotics which could have side effects of their own!  We have a real problem today because more and more people are becoming chronically ill with no hope of recovery.  No one knows what is happening and doctors simply do not want to take the time to figure it out.  How can these LLMD be certain that the symptoms suggested on Lyme websites are truly Lyme disease symptoms?

Anyone could walk into a LLMD office and get diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I think it's practically guaranteed...  I had an appointment with a well-known LLMD and I decided against it because I knew I would be placed on antibiotics.  I decided it's better to first deal with the mercury and then go back if this does not work out for me.  That's what I intend to do unless something extraordinary occurs.

Update April 3 2011: Here's an example of someone (who I've actually followed on another forum), who was told he had Lyme all these years and guess what?  Now all of the testing shows he does not.  He's wasted years of treatments and time to get better.  The reason why I've followed this person is because he has POTS too.  Unfortunately he is on the FDC yahoo group and will likely get suckered into that nonsensical bull.  Do I reach out?  I find most people don't want to be helped...

Part 2 in this series will talk about why I think I could have Lyme Disease and it did not come from a tick bite...

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