Sep 26, 2016

The Impossible Request for Lyme Treatment

Lyme Treatment
I've written several posts about what you should do if you get a tick bite but reading those posts and printing off my Tick Treatment Guidelines aren't very helpful when you're sitting across from a doctor who tells you that he's been treating people for an umpteen number of years and he's never had a problem with anyone getting sick from a tick bite.

You might find your doctor giving you only one or two Doxycycline pills, assuring you that this will take care of any possible infection.

At a maximum your doctor may reluctantly give you 21 days of Doxy and tell you not to worry, this will completely cure you and not to worry about residual symptoms because it could take up to 6 months for the symptoms to work their way out of your body.

As an experienced Lymie, I get a lot of calls and emails when friends, loved ones and acquaintances find themselves with a treatment protocol like those mentioned above. 

If you're not familiar with Lyme you'll accept your doctor's advice just like I did, thinking "I'm so glad my doctor knows what he's doing".  

The problem is that these treatment plans are outdated and many people continue to have symptoms for years to come.

Patients who are not educated won't understand why they're still having symptoms after being treated and they'll wonder if something else might be wrong. Many will return to their doctor months or years later, not remembering their tick bite, and their doctor might diagnose them with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS or any of the other inflammatory diseases on the list.

Why are doctors not diagnosing and treating tick-bites and Lyme disease in a way that will prevent people from becoming ill? 

Part of the reason is that there aren't any reasonably priced tests available to the patient that will produce an accurate result.

Testing provided by your doctor is anywhere from 50-70% inaccurate and the treatment protocols traditionally followed are not effective for killing Lyme or the many other tick-borne infections.

What can you do? 

I recommend finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about tick-borne infections, not just Lyme. You could request a list of doctors in your area from ILADS, you could ask around to those in your community or you could call up the practices in your area and ask them a few key questions about what their protocol is for a tick-bite.

Functional, Naturapthic or homeopathic physician can test and treat using alternative methods.

Many doctors will advise a wait and see approach which is very risky, and with the rate of infection in the US being over 300,000 every year*, just might guarantee chronic health problems for your future.

Educating yourself is the best approach you can take however, it doesn't matter how much knowledge you arm yourself with before heading to the doctor, most will refuse to prescribe the ILADS recommended treatment and so you may need to find another doctor for this purpose. 

I always tell people not to live in fear but to live educated. 

Following safe tick prevention practices, sending ticks away for testing and getting immediate treatment are active things that you can do to prevent chronic infections.

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