Adequate Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease
The CT Center for Health physicians cannot prescribe antibiotics to treat Lyme Disease and associate co-infections but we can help with nutritional support, discuss strategies to prevent some of the negative side effects of long term antibiotic treatment and help with referrals to doctors that will adequately treat acute or chronic Lyme Disease. Please call and make an appointment with one of our doctors if Lyme Disease is a concern.
Now that the weather has warmed up, you're probably out in your garden more often and planning outdoor adventures.
Unfortunately it also puts you at risk for tick bites, Lyme disease, and other tick-borne illnesses. Prevention is the best defense against Lyme disease, but conflicting and incorrect information about how and when you should protect yourself and what you should do if you find a tick on yourself makes prevention confusing.
Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses are a complex medical condition that often may require prolonged or repeated courses of possibly multiple antibiotics, given in generous doses. The majority of the mainstream medical community often treats Lyme Disease and related infection too lightly.
Don't assume you do not have Lyme Disease if you do not have a rash. The bull's eye rash is definitive for Lyme disease, but less than half of those who develop Lyme disease recall having the rash. While the bull's eye rash is what most people look for, it can vary considerably in its presentation. If you have a tick bite, take a photo of it and any rashes that may appear and report it to your doctor immediately.
Remember, some ticks are so small you may be bitten and infected and never know it.
If you're bit, know the facts and be your own advocate:
- Improper removal can increase the chance of transmission, so if you do find a tick, follow the directions at Lymedisease.org's site to ensure proper removal.
- Upon being bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease, there is a small window of opportunity to treat the infection so that it's completely eradicated.
- Testing is very unreliable as 50% or MORE of the testing performed may be false negative. It is best NOT TO RELY on conventional Lyme Disease tests unless it is positive result.
- Conventional wisdom says that it takes 24 hours or longer for a tick to transmit the disease through a bite; however, evidence suggests it may also occur over a shorter span of time. More importantly it's impossible to know, for sure, when the tick attached. Ticks can carry and transmit several other dangerous and hard-to-treat bacteria and parasites.
- If your doctor is not giving you enough attention or is not being aggressive enough with treatment get a second opinion and find a Lyme literate doctor.
- Consider the risk-benefit ratio of taking 1 or more rounds of antibiotics versus the potential of getting chronically infected with Lyme and other tick-borne illness. A chronic Lyme infection can very negatively alter the quality of one's life.
- Treating the infection with too short a round of antibiotics, or the wrong dosage, may not eradicate the infection and could lead to a chronic infection. It may also prevent antibodies from being produced causing an increased chance of a false negative on future testing.
- Lyme disease is now known as one of the great imitators of other illnesses and is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and ALS, to name a few.
For more information and some useful handouts please seehttp://www.lymedisease.org/resources/handouts.html.