Solving the Puzzle of Lyme Disease
Correctly diagnosing Lyme disease should always include testing for co-infections, says Dr. Paul Stallone.
Contracting Lyme disease can occur anywhere in the U.S., as there have been confirmed diagnosed cases in all 50 states. While getting Lyme disease can happen almost anywhere, receiving correct treatment may not. Unless a physician has experience with the disease, diagnosing and treating it can be a complex process, and time is critical when it comes to treatment. The sooner the patient can be diagnosed, the shorter the treatment can be, which also increases the chance for recovery.
Correctly diagnosing Lyme disease should always include testing for co-infections. The tick responsible for spreading Lyme disease carries many strains of bacteria-like organisms, not just Borrelia burgdorferi, the one known for causing Lyme. These other bacteria/spirochete can require different treatment. Diagnosing what infection is present will allow the patient to receive the most appropriate treatment as quickly as possible. There are even kits available that allow people to send a tick in for testing. This might just be the best way to know if a tick that has been removed from someone harbors dangerous bacteria or is safe.
A precarious delay can occur when a person doesn’t know they have been bitten. Not all cases develop the notorious bull’s-eye rash, or if they do develop a rash, it may not have the same characteristics and not alert the person. When this specific symptom is missing, other conditions may be blamed for the sequential symptoms. Fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses all share similar symptoms with Lyme disease and they vary from person to person in severity.
Allopathic treatment typically involves lengthy rounds of antibiotics. Many doctors are even hesitant to diagnose a person with Lyme disease. In 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted there would be about 300,000 new cases, yet only 30,000 were reported.
Treating Lyme disease with an experienced naturopathic physician will allow the patient to received specific treatment. Most patients will start with blood tests to confirm the infection and to determine what co-infections might be present. Next, some naturopathic doctors will conduct in-office specialized testing to pinpoint what burdens the body might have that could be suppressing the immune system. The immune system is like an onion with many layers. One layer must be addressed or treated before another layer. With some people, their Lyme disease could be the second or third layer down. This method can be used for many diseases, even cancer, as it allows burdens on the immune system to be removed permitting the body to treat itself.
With the immune system balanced, complementary treatments such as nutritional intravenous therapies can be tailored for the individual. These therapies contain high levels of nutrients that are delivered directly into the bloodstream, thus bypassing the digestive system. Other nutrients that can be utilized within an intravenous treatment may help remove impurities from the blood.
Because the bacteria can travel in the bloodstream, treating the blood itself has produced great results for many. High-quality supplements will play an important role in treating Lyme disease. Supplements should always be monitored by an experienced physician to ensure correct dosing. In rare cases, untreated cases of Lyme disease have been life-threatening; this disease should not be taken lightly or treated by a novice. Attempting to treat Lyme disease at home with unregulated supplements purchased online can be dangerous and waste precious time.
Anyone experiencing unexplained chronic symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, fever, chills, change in heartbeat, facial palsy, vision problems, cognitive difficulties and muscle spasms or weakness should contact a physician immediately, preferably a naturopathic physician. With many diseases and illnesses, the longer it takes for treatment to begin, the more internal damage can be caused.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.