Chronic Illness Without A Diagnosis
Little on earth is more frustrating and fear inducing than experiencing a group of painful symptoms and then being told that doctors cant seem to be able to pin down a syndrome or find a diagnosis for what ails you.
They assure you that once the cause of a syndrome has been identified, treatment can begin and an end can be put to your suffering.
Here at Restoration Healthcare, we dont just start out by ordering a flurry of tests and handing you a book of med scripts to take to the pharmacy. Instead, we dig deep into your medical history, sitting down with you and taking our time and asking pertinent questions about your condition.
Then we conduct a physical exam, followed by comprehensive lab tests to help us determine the cause of your symptoms. It is only at this point that we begin a treatment program based on the diagnosis that targets your problem.
Among the mystery syndromes that are often difficult to diagnose are those caused by ticks, including Lyme disease, Bartonellosis and Babesiosis.
And because such tick-borne diseases are difficult to diagnose, we asked our medical director, Dr. Sunny Raleigh, DO, to answer a few questions about this disease in order to give you a sense for how we approach the discovery and treatment for Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses without a simple diagnoses here at Restoration Healthcare.
Why Carolina Brain Center
We understand that far too many people experience these problems and are left without hope. Feeling wholly defeated by a disease or other condition has a devastating effect on moving forward in life and gaining any momentum at all to overcome obstacles. But we have heard many success stories over the years from our patients, from people surviving something they thought they wouldnt, to parents witnessing their children achieve their potential in school and at home.
Common Symptoms Of Tick Borne
Not all ticks carry disease and not all tickbites will make you sick. If you get flu-like symptoms or a rash in the month after a tick bite, see your doctor and let him know you were bitten by a tick. Symptoms common to tick diseases in North Carolina are:
- Death, rarely
Diseases caused by ticks can be treated with antibiotics. Early treatment can help shorten the length and severity of illness.
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Why Choose Us For Your Lyme Disease Test
- Since 2002, we have a proven track record of offering excellent customer service, affordable pricing with no hidden fees, and our enduring commitment to protect your personal information.
- No doctor’s order? Our national physician network provides the required doctor’s order for the lab. Insurance is not needed to order lab testing nor will your insurance company be billed.
- We are partnered with two of the largest CLIA certified labs in the US, to offer you the latest lab testing technology with prompt and accurate results.
- With over 3,600 lab locations to choose from and same day collection, we make lab testing quick and convenient. No appointment is needed. Find your local lab with our location finder.
- We offer an extensive and detailed test menu. Ordering can be done online or over the phone. Not finding a test? Simply give us a call.
What Are The Best Tests For Lyme Disease
At the Carolina Brain Center, we recommend two tests. One is DNA Connexions, a urine test. The other is MacTech Imaging, a saliva test.
The DNA Connexions test identifies co-infections common to Lyme disease. MacTech Imaging picks up where the DNA Connexions test leaves off by giving doctors an idea of a patients overall microbial load. Each saliva sample is scanned for spirochetes and then given a graded score.
These two unique tests allow us to proceed confidently with treatment. Post-treatment analysis informs doctors as to whether a patient is clear.
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Doctors Think Lyme Disease Can Be Caught In Nc
RALEIGH, NC – For years, doctors have said that people were unlikely to get Lyme disease in North Carolina.
But that attitude is changing after the tick-borne disease was diagnosed this year in at least four patients who never left their home counties.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the state epidemiologist, Dr. Megan Davies, is getting word to doctors, who have been reluctant to even test patients for Lyme disease.
Davies says she and others are meeting with infectious disease doctors at state medical schools to spread the word.
Lyme bacteria is carried on the black-legged tick, which appeared to feed on reptiles rather than mammals in Southern states. So it was considered unlikely that ticks would transmit the Lyme bacteria to humans in North Carolina.
Options For Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment
Antibiotics are not a cure-all solution for Lyme disease rather, a whole body approach to healing is necessary in both acute and chronic Lyme disease cases. Since chronic Lyme disease triggers a severe inflammatory response in your body, controlling inflammation is one of the first steps before your body can heal. Restoring your immune system so that it can best fight the disease at its root level is the central goal for your integrative medicine healthcare provider. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, balancing hormones and reducing exposure to mold, parasites and toxic chemicals are all important considerations.
Dietary changes are key, including the consumption of anti-inflammatory and gut-healing foods . Immune boosting foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and nutrients. Fermented probiotic-rich foods like kefir, amasai, raw goat’s milk yogurt, unpasteurized sauerkraut or beet kvass have been shown to reduce the progression of infectious disease.
Addressing the chronic pain which is common to sufferers of chronic Lyme diseasewhile the disease is being combattedcan also involve alternatives to toxic, addictive pain medications. Some chronic pain treatments range from the use of frankincense essential oil, which contains the anti-inflammatory boswellia, to turmeric supplements and balms.
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Why Is It So Important To Catch And Treat Lyme Disease Sooner Rather Than Later
Dr. Raleigh:Lyme disease is called The Great Imitator because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. The onset of Lyme disease symptoms can be easily overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses. Once symptoms are more evident, the disease may have already entered the central nervous system and could be difficult to cure.
In one study were aware of, a series of individuals were ill for nearly 15 years before they were correctly diagnosed with Lyme disease. These patients suffered greatly. Their symptoms included headaches, poor memory and concentration, fatigue, and sleep disturbance, irritability, lightheadedness, joint pain, chest pain, paresthesias and fibromyalgia.
When initially infected, patients may experience flu-like symptoms that simply do not resolve themselves. They may experience swollen lymph nodes, chills, fever, headaches, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. These symptoms can take just days or sometimes months and even years to appear. Suffice to say, Lyme bacteria are very adept at being detected in the immune system and thats because they can remain dormant for very long periods of time.
Nutritional & Herbal Therapy
Nutritional and herbal therapies can be very helpful for attacking the Lyme-related organisms and supporting healthy immune system functioning. Herbal tinctures are extremely powerful tools for overcoming antibiotic resistance and helping patients get off antibiotics sooner.
Note: For patients who have been on prolonged antibiotic therapy prior to coming to the Center, we often recommend a break from those treatments to assist with improving detoxification, immune function and gut repair, often discovering that the symptoms they are experiencing are primarily from the inflammatory reactions that persist and/or the effects of untreated co-infections.
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We Live In Southern California Not In The Lyme Belt So Why Should We Worry About Lyme Disease
Dr. Raleigh:Lyme disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica. It is found all across the United States, with a particularly high incidence in the East, Midwest, and West Coast . However, a patients place of residence doesnt accurately reflect his or her Lyme disease risk because people travel, pets and ticks travel, and people move.
Not all ticks are infected. Within endemic areas, there is considerable variation locally, depending on type of habitat, presence of wildlife, and other factors. In addition to the variation that occurs in nature, there is also variation in how aggressively the states have tested ticks for infection. As a result, many times the reported incidence of infected ticks is a reflection that the state has done little or no testing of ticks in the area.
Learn More About Infectious Disease Medicine Specialists And How To Choose The Right One For You
Infectious disease medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine. Infectious disease medicine doctors specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. They also have extensive knowledge in immunology, epidemiology, and infection control. Infectious disease specialists focus on the health needs of adults who require expert diagnosis or treatment of a specific infectious disease.
An infectious disease doctor typically:
Evaluates a patients medical history including results from previous blood tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests
Performs a physical exam
How can I make a same-day appointment with a Infectious Disease Medicine Specialist in Raleigh, NC?
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Kiara S Eily Md Abaarm
Dr. Kiara Eily is board certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She is an Advanced Fellow of the Metabolic Medical Institute. She also received her brain fitness certification from the A-4M. Dr. Eily specializes in brain health, including autism and Alzheimers disease.
As a medical student, Dr. Eily was fascinated with the science of neurology. When she rotated onto the inpatient neurology service, however, she was disappointed that few patients got better. Stroke patients did not regain function, multiple sclerosis patients did not recover, and dementia patients did not regain function. She recalls: I needed the gratification of seeing patients recover and be restored.
There have been significant advances in both traditional and functional medicine since Dr Eily completed her medical training in the early 1990s. She can now combine her love of neurology with the gratification of obtaining better patient outcomes.
In addition to her A-4M Metabolic Medicine and Brain Health Certification, Dr. Eily holds membership and training from the Academy of Environmental Medicine, ILADS/International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, Klinghardt Academy, Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs/MAPS, and the North Carolina Integrative Medicine Society/NCIMS. She is also board certified in Integrative Pediatrics by the American Association of Integrative Medicine.
Lyme Arthritis In Children Can Present Throughout The Year
The studys objective was to evaluate the seasonality of pediatric Lyme disease in three endemic regions in the United States, writes Sundheim. Participants had been treated at 8 different medical centers throughout the Northeast and UpperMidwest. Of the 690 children with Lyme disease, 77 had a single EM lesion, 247 had early disseminated disease, and 366 had arthritis, wrote the authors. Children with early and early-disseminated Lyme disease
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What Sort Of Treatments Is Available For Lyme Disease
Dr. Raleigh:The medical community has yet to concur on the best means of treatment for Lyme disease. They are divided into two camps, including the Infectious Disease Society of America that recommends two weeks of antibiotics for early Lyme and doesnt recognize chronic Lyme. The other camp, promoted by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , recommends individualized treatment, based on patient response to treatment.
We here at Restoration Healthcare believe theres no one size fits alltreatment protocol when it comes to a complex illness like Lyme disease and/or co-infections. It is critical for physicians treating Lyme disease to invest time with their patients. It is vital to take a thorough medical history and to have close follow up to monitor symptoms and treatment response.
The diagnosis of Lyme disease is often made using the criteria set forth in the Center for Disease Control surveillance case definition of Lyme disease, including a two-step laboratory testing approach that entails an antibody screen followed by a confirmatory Western blot.
These tests are known to miss 20 to 50 percent of patients who have Lyme disease. As the CDC says, the surveillance criteria were never intended to be used as diagnostic criteria, nor were they meant to define the entire scope of Lyme disease.
Note: A negative blood test does not mean you do not have Lyme disease. It could just mean your immune system is not producing antibodies to Borrelia.
How To Avoid Getting Sick From A Tick
- Do a tick check. Check skin and clothing for ticks every day and more often if you are in places where ticks like to live.
- Check children and pets for ticks every day when they come inside.
- Take a shower or bath after spending time outdoors. This will help keep ticks from attaching and give you a chance to check your whole body for ticks.
- Remove attached ticks right away! Make a note on your calendar when you remove an attached tick. If you feel sick within 30 days, tell your doctor you had a tick bite and what your symptoms are.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET on skin and permethrin on clothing. Follow product directions.
- Wear light-colored clothing when going to areas where ticks like to live, so ticks will be easier to see. Wear a long-sleeved shirt tucked into long pants. Tuck long pants into socks.
- Walk on paths. Avoid tall grasses, brushy areas, deep woods and leaf litter.
- Treat pets that spend time outdoors for ticks. There are tick repellents especially made for pets. Follow product directions.
- Create a tick-safe zone in your yard.
- Go to the doctor if you feel sick within 30 days of spending time in an area where ticks like to live, even if you dont remember having a tick bite.
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Same Day And Affordable Lyme Disease Test Locations Nationwide
Known as “The Great Imitator,” Lyme disease can mimic the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Request A Test offers a convenient and affordable Lyme Disease Test in Raleigh, NC.
A Lyme Disease Antibodies Test or Lyme Disease PCR Test can confirm the presence of the bacteria responsible for this disease. The CDC recommends that a positive result for either of these tests be followed up with a Western Blot Test for confirmation. In the event of a positive or indeterminate result of a Lyme Disease Antibodies test, a confirmatory Western Blot test will be automatically run at no additional charge. For those monitoring their treatment, the CD57 is available.
Is The Western Blot Test A Valid Form Of Testing
The western blot test involves separating blood proteins to find those that suggest an infection is present. The answer to the above question is difficult to answer. Too many false negatives exist. Therefore, the western blot test should not be considered the only indicator of whether someone has Lyme disease. Even with adding theC6 peptide ELISA with the two-tiered western blot, the sensitivity for identifying Lyme improves only slightly.
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Diagnosing Chronic Lyme Disease And Lyme Disease Test
Diagnosing chronic Lyme disease is no simple matter since similar symptoms are seen in other infectious or autoimmune diseases like Epstein Barr, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis and even depression.
A combination of the Western blot and ELISA testswhich measure specific antibodies in the bloodare often recommended, but the test is flawed. For one thing, it takes time for antibodies to develop before the tests can register their presence and, for various other reasons, it is oftentimes inconclusive.
A direct microscopy, which is often performed by holistic health practitioners in combination with other physical exams and patient history to develop a diagnosis, is another option. Often, it is a comprehensive review of your symptoms in addition to the direct microscopy that can best identify chronic Lyme disease.
Our Approach To Lyme Disease Treatment
At Carolina Brain Center, we conduct two tests for Lyme disease: a urine test called DNA Connexions and a saliva test called MacTech Imaging. The purpose of the DNA Connexions test is to identify any co-infections that are similar to Lyme disease. MacTech Imaging then informs the doctor of a patients overall microbial count. By using these two tests, Dr. Dane can confidently proceed with an effective treatment plan.
In 2017, Dr. Dane learned of a new treatment for Lyme disease in Raleigh, NC, that was not antibiotic or herbal. This treatment is a mineral compound in liquid form that can be transformed into a gas and nebulized acting as a fumigator for the body. Though she was skeptical, she tracked the results of eight patients seven of which were clear of Lyme disease after just over a year.
This mineral, called Lyme-N, is controversial. Still, in Dr. Danes eyes, it has produced the most effective results in her patients. Carolina Brain Center builds our treatment based upon functional neurology, and we do all in our power to promote healing and the easing of symptoms in every patient who visits us.
If you need Lyme disease treatment in Raleigh, NC, contact Dr. Dane today at 703-0207 to schedule a consultation.
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