What is Chronic Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is an illness caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria (spirochete) called Borrelia Burgdorferi that enters the body, in most cases, via a tick bite. The Lyme spirochete can cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide array of symptoms in different systems of the body. Chronic Lyme Disease is what the illness develops into when it was not immediately and efficiently treated. In many cases, patients with Lyme Disease never recall being bitten by a tick, so catching the disease in its early stages can prove difficult. Once it develops into a chronic situation, achieving remission is much more challenging, but Lyme specialists, known as LLMD’s, are making more and more progress everyday with treatment protocols that are bringing health back to Lyme sufferers.
How is Lyme Disease Contracted?
Usually Lyme Disease is contracted by a tick bite, although less than half of Lyme patients recall the tick bite or developed a bullseye rash. There is research, however, to indicate that Lyme Disease can be passed through the placenta from mother to baby. It is also possible that it can be transferred during sexual intercourse.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Lyme Disease?
The symptoms of Lyme Disease vary widely. Lyme is sometimes referred to as the “Great Mimicker” because it mimics so many other illnesses, including MS, Fibromyalgia, CFS, Lupus and more. Symptoms can include joint and muscle pain, neurological problems such as brain fog and seizures, cardiology issues including irregular heartbeats, emotional and mental health symptoms like anxiety and many more. For a longer list of symptoms, click HERE.
How is Chronic Lyme Disease diagnosed?
One of the problems with Lyme Disease is that testing methods are simply unreliable. The standard blood test done in doctors’ offices (ELISA) is a very unreliable test and so most in the Lyme community disregard it. The Western Blot test is probably the best we have at the moment and it is done through a specialized lab. A diagnosis of Lyme must be made based not just on test results but also on symptoms. Better testing methods is one of the most important goals in the Lyme medical world.
How is Lyme Disease treated?
If Lyme is caught in it’s earliest stages, a course of antibiotics, usually doxycycline, is prescribed. Sometimes that is all that is needed. However, for chronic and persistent cases of Lyme Disease, there are a variety of treatments that are used including oral and IV and intermuscular antibiotics and medications. These are often paired up with natural and herbal supplements, vitamins, probiotics, detoxifying treatments and also dietary changes. Most protocols are custom-made to suit the patient, as most Lyme Disease patients are also infected with co-infections that need to be dealt with. These treatment protocols should be prescribed and overseen by an LLMD (Lyme Literate MD).