Cure For Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease: Controversy Over Cure?

Medical experts are divided on how to treat Lyme disease (LD) patients. In order to find a cure, most people afflicted with the disease prefer to seek out as much information as they can. Since there are few guaranteed effective answers coming from the medical community, patients must advocate for themselves to find a cure. Aside from the confusion of choosing the right path for treatment, there is, frequently, financial hardship. Expenditures everything from antibiotics to herbs to body work are sudden and surprising. Even medically-insured patients may find that they’re insurance plans will only cover them for a minimum of treatment. Medical insurance companies tend to align with the short-term AMA protocol, frequently denying continued coverage for Lyme patients, even when the primary physician recommends a longer course of antibiotics.

People suffering with symptoms in any stage of the disease have three basic choices in treating and finding a cure for Lyme disease:

    •     The first choice is to seek help from a conventionally-educated medical doctor, who will probably defer to the standard protocol of thirty days of antibiotic treatment recommended by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

    •     The second choice is to find a Lyme literate medical doctor (LLMD) who is likely to have the patient follow a protocol of antibiotics geared toward the individual’s needs. Currently, LLMDs believe long-term use of antibiotics is necessary although they differ about the specific amount of time and the types of antibiotics used. Individual symptoms guide the LLMDs choices in finding an effective and lasting cure.

    •     Third, some patients opt for no antibiotics, seeking alternative cures with an emphasis on homeopathic, dietary and vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. Lyme sufferers may also prefer to combine alternative therapies and pharmaceutical drugs.

Lyme Disease can be very difficult to diagnose. Symptoms vary widely, even the so-called “bulls-eye” rash is not necessarily a good indicator of Lyme. Some people do not develop the bulls-eye rash, but a different kind of skin lesion or ailment. Not all people develop the malaise or flu-like symptoms widely associated with LD. The list of symptoms is long and varied because the bacteria which causes the disease affects every bodily system. Typically, the elimination organs are invaded. These include the lungs, kidneys, bladder, liver, skin and lymph glands. Lyme disease also affects the cardiac system and the brain, causing arrhythmia, poor concentration, mood swings and depression.

Symptoms don’t always develop immediately after infection; Lyme bacteria may lie dormant.
It is not yet known how long the bacteria can remain latent, but stress seems to make it become active. Some people who have been exposed may never develop symptoms. Another factor making LD hard to diagnose and cure is that negative clinical test results do not necessarily indicate that the patient is free of Lyme or its co-infections. The bacteria can change into two or more shapes and it appears to do so sometimes, in order to evade detection by the body’s immune system.

The inconvenience of difficult diagnoses is even further complicated because LD is a great mimic of many other illnesses. LD patients are often misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Epstein-Barr virus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Some LLMDs estimate that as many as half of the patients who have been diagnosed with auto-immune diseases have LD. Whether cause or contribution, it adds to their suffering, especially when left undetected.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called spirochetes, which are pleomorphic. They are spiral-shaped, but are capable of changing into a round ball, then back into a spiral. LLMDs theorize that in this way the bacteria move through the tissues and bloodstreams of the body.  The spirochetes’ pleomorphic nature tends to complicate testing and make it even more difficult for LD sufferers to find a cure.

 Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 Copyright © 2005 Suzanne Arthur. All rights reserved.

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