Monday, July 15, 2024

Lyme Disease Specialists In Massachusetts

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A Visiting Physician To Marthas Vineyard Shared Her Findings Of Lyme Disease Diagnosis Treatment And Its Effect To Marthas Vineyard Hospital Physicians And Members Of The Public

Massachusetts researchers are close to finding s cure for Lyme disease

As research is conducted and results are studied, the doctors doing the work learn a great deal more information than can be disseminated around the medical community immediately. It is important for areas that suffer high numbers of Lyme disease to learn this information as quickly as possible for helping more patients.

As research is conducted and results are studied, the doctors doing the work learn a great deal more information than can be disseminated around the medical community immediately. It is important for areas that suffer high numbers of Lyme disease to learn this information as quickly as possible for helping more patients.

Dr. Nevena Zubcevik joked with the physicians at Marthas Vineyard Hospital that she would have preferred to present the information via Skype because of the large quantity of ticks in the area. For an hour, Dr. Zubcevik shared a great deal of new information related to Lyme disease, mostly focused on the 10-15% who suffer from Post Treatment Lyme disease syndrome, commonly referred to as Chronic Lyme.

Why Antibiotics Have Limited Use For Chronic Lyme

Borrelia clears the blood quickly and uses its corkscrew shape to penetrate deeply into tissues where it is protected from antibiotics and the immune system. It can penetrate into cells, give up the corkscrew shape, and live inside of cells, thus gaining protection from the immune system and antibiotics. If confronted with a full antibiotic assault, it rolls up into dormant cyst and rides out the storm until the antibiotics are gone.

Antibiotics work best on highly threatening microbes that grow very rapidly and congregate densely in localized areas in the body . Borrelia grows very slowly in the body and only occurs in very low concentrations in tissues.

Borrelia is a master at blending in with the trillions of other microbes that make up the human microbiome . Overwhelming the host is not its mission it simply needs to scavenge enough resources to survive. Borrelias stealthy ability to lay low makes diagnosis and treatment a real challenge.

Borrelia never occurs alone. There are many stealthy microbes Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Bartonella, Epstein-Barr virus , cytomegalovirus , and others that can occupy space in the microbiome. Sometimes they occur as coinfections with the tick bite, but they can already be present in the microbiome, without causing symptoms, when infection with Borrelia occurs.

Finding A Top Lyme Doctor Is Difficult Come To Us

If you need a Lyme doctor, consider the wellness protocol provided by Lyme Laser Centers. Were rapidly expanding our operations to include other health care facilities in the area. Here, you can count on a team that understands your needs and puts your best interests first. Learn more in our video documented testimonials.

Lyme disease can make anyone feel chronic pain, lethargy, and general malaise. Dont let another Lyme doctor, Massachusetts, tell you that antibiotic regimens, anti-depressants, and pain management therapies offer the only relief. We have experience working with people who are fighting this debilitating illness. Stop searching for a Lyme doctor, and contact our North Andover office by phone at 725-5963.

Also Check: Is Neurological Lyme Disease Curable

Touched By Lyme: Massachusetts Activist Slams Back At Lyme Disease

Lyme activist Trish McCleary tells how and why she founded S-L-A-M.

I woke up one morning in June of 2006 and my head felt foggy. My son said, Mom, you dont look so good. I assured everyone I was fine, got the kids off to school and then took a short nap. I awoke with my mind in a numbing state and my body in full panic. Something was very wrong.

I managed to get a call off to my husband at work, desperately seeking help. I hung up the phone and tried to calm myself. Within minutes, the phone rang and I couldnt lift my arms to pick it up. What was happening?

Then an ambulance arrived, called by my husband when I didnt answer the phone. I was unable to move or to answer the EMTs questions. When the paramedic realized I could understand him, we communicated by having me blink once for yes and twice for no. I could feel nothing and say nothing.

After a quick assessment at my local emergency room, the doctor on duty told the nurses to leave me alone. When shes ready to talk, shell talk. I lay there alone, trying not to panic. The words in my head were clear. Did I have a stroke? Why wont they help me? When I finally heard my husbands voice, the medical staff acted as if theyd been helping me all along. I had no way of telling him anything.

For the next five days my husband drove me to every Boston hospital we knew of. They all looked at me, didnt know what to make of things, and sent me away. My shocked children kept asking why nobody would help their mom.

A Pioneer In Lyme Disease

Pure Solutions

Our program is led by Allen Steere, MD, one of the world’s foremost experts on Lyme disease. Dr. Steere discovered the illness in 1976 and laid the foundation for understanding the many manifestations of the disease, including Lyme arthritis .

Today, Dr. Steere is researching why some patients with Lyme arthritis have persistent joint inflammation after using antibiotic therapy to eliminate the Lyme disease bacterium. This research is leading to improved diagnostic and treatment capabilities for such patients.

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Hubbardston Tick Control And Lyme Disease Information

Mosquito Squad of Worcester is committed to providing you the best most up-to-date information on the threat of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease in Massachusetts. Stay tuned for the latest on ticks in the area. Be sure to follow the 6 C’s of tick control to make certain your yard is not inadvertently attracting ticks. If you have not begun a tick control program with Mosquito Squad, please consider protecting your family with our effective EPA-registered tick control solution. Once you sign up, we will apply tick control spray about every 21 days from spring through fall. In the fall, we can embolden your tick protection efforts with our highly-effective tick tubes, which work to break the tick life cycle, resulting in fewer emerging ticks in the spring.

If you believe you have been bitten by a Lyme infected tick, seek medical attention immediately.

Begin your Hubbardston tick control regimen with Mosquito Squad of Worcester. We offer year-round solutions for helping protect your family from ticks and the harmful diseases they carry. Call us today at .


When Can I Get Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can occur during any time of the year. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are spread by infected black-legged ticks. Young ticks are most active during the warm weather months between May and July. Adult ticks are most active during the fall and spring but may also be out searching for a host any time that winter temperatures are above freezing.

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Call Ahead And Ask Questions

Even if you find a doctor who specializes in treating tick-borne diseases, you will want to ask some questions before making an appointment and committing your time and money. A few basic questions to consider asking upfront include the following:

  • What is your experience in treating patients with tick-borne diseases?
  • How do you diagnose diseases? Do you use any specific labs or lab tests to confirm diagnosis?
  • Do you test for coinfections?
  • Do you use traditional antibiotics and/or herbals?
  • Do you have any patient success stories you can share?
  • Do you strictly adhere to CDC test interpretation criteria or are you open to alternative criteria?

If youd like to find a LLMD and want to know more about how to vet them, read the Tick Talk blog, What Makes a Doctor Lyme Literate?

My Chronic Lyme Disease Journey

May is Lyme disease awareness month

Updated 7/30/20

Likely, you have come to this page in hopes of sorting out some of the confusion surrounding Lyme disease.

There is so much controversy around this disease because most doctors dont understand it. Even many doctors who consider themselves Lyme experts or Lyme literate medical doctors do not completely comprehend its complexities.

But I have one qualification that most other physicians do not. My life and a busy medical career were disrupted midstream by Lyme disease, though obtaining that diagnosis was quite the journey through multiple diagnoses including fibromyalgia.

My late 40s were marked by debilitating fatigue, tremendous brain fog, aching all over, burning in my feet and tingling in my hands, skin rashes, joint pain, chest pain, heart palpitations, mood changes, and poor sleep. I know what its like to start and end every day feeling like you have a terrible flu. Over several years, I experienced virtually every known symptom of Lyme disease.

Ultimately, this caused me to stop practicing obstetrics. But because I didnt have a firm diagnosis at the time, declaring disability wasnt an option. As an alternative, I started a less demanding primary care practice that did not require nightcall. The practice provided me with the environment I needed to recover. I had control over my work hours and the intensity of the work.

Read Also: How Do You Know If You Get Lyme Disease

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

If promptly treated with antibiotics, most people are cured of Lyme disease at this stage. If they are not promptly treated or if inadequately treated, the Lyme disease parasite can spread to the rest of the body affecting the joints, muscles, and nervous system.

Some people report a flu-like illness with:

  • fever
  • swollen glands
  • eye redness

These symptoms can appear and then disappear, even months to years after the initial tick bite. A typical pattern is a flare up every 4 weeks as the parasite reproduces and spreads and the immune system responds to fight it.

Nervous system abnormalities include memory loss, problems concentrating, and even a partial facial paralysis .

Arthritic symptoms usually affect the knees, hips, or elbows.

Touched By Lyme: What Only 7 Cases Of Lyme In Massachusetts

Advocates have objected for years to how severely the CDC undercounts Lyme disease cases.

LymeDisease.orgs Lorraine Johnson took a deep dive into this issue in a blog earlier this year. Basically, she points out, in states the CDC considers low-incidence, only 1 in 50 Lyme cases is counted. While in high-incidence states, 1 in 7 is counted.

Which brings us to the strange case of Massachusetts, traditionally considered a high-incidence state. According to the CDC website, the Bay State clocked thousands of Lyme cases every year. Until suddenly, it didnt.

Abruptly, in 2016, there were only 146 cases. In 2017, there were 321. In 2018, the number dwindled to 13. And in 2019, the most recent figures available, there were six confirmed cases in Massachusetts, along with one probable case, for a total of seven. In the whole dang state.

Does this mean that fewer people in Massachusetts are contracting Lyme disease? Not at all. It merely reflects the fact that the state has changed the way it tracks Lyme disease cases. Ergo, the CDC throws out the Massachusetts numbers. Disregards them. Pretends they dont exist.

Cape Cod Times reporter Cynthia McCormick looked into this troubling development in an article published last week.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of pressure on local, state, and federal health officials, it cant be blamed for a surveillance system that has been problematic for years.

Let me tell you, it is, Dapsis said.

Read Also: How Long Do Lyme Disease Test Results Take

Borrelia The Misunderstood Microbe

Retrospectively, I may have harbored Borrelia burgdorferi for years before I actually developed symptoms. Im an outdoor person tick bites have always been a common affair.

Its not uncommon for people to harbor Borrelia and not know it stealth is this microbes middle name.

Lyme disease is mostly transmitted by nymphal ticks, which are about the size of the pin. They bite, transmit the microbe, and then drop off most people arent even aware of being bitten. Because symptoms of the initial infection are so mild , its not uncommon for people to be completely unaware of being infected.

And Borrelia isnt the only microbe to worry about. Ticks carry many microbes that have similar characteristics to Borrelia. What they all have in common is stealthy characteristics that make them hard to find and even harder to get rid of.

If immune system function is robust, a person can harbor these types of microbes indefinitely, keeping them in check without ever having symptoms. When illness does occur, its typically chronic and debilitating, but not life-threatening. Additionally, the degree of chronic illness is highly variable. Some people are severely debilitated, while others are only marginally miserable.

Lyme Disease And Other Tickborne Diseases

May is Lyme disease awareness month

Lyme Disease and Other Tickborne Diseases: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Lyme Disease?

A: Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. Transmitted through tick bites, Lyme Disease can cause serious, even chronic, health problems for both people and their companion animals. The bacteria that causes the disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, lives inside a tick or mammal and can bind to connective tissue once the tick bites its host. Lyme has the ability to change its presentation in the immune system, so the symptoms can vary with the individual and can even change at each stage of the infection.

Q: Are there other diseases that can make my dog sick from ticks?

A: Ticks have the potential to carry many harmful diseases. Common ones in Massachusetts include Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, which can often be co-transmitted with Lyme Disease. These are easily tested for. Other diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, are rare in our geographical area but still our pets are still at possible risk of infection.

Q: What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?

A: Symptoms may not present themselves for two to six months or more. They can include lameness, which can change from one limb to another without explanation. Other symptoms can include joint swelling, decreased energy/lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite.

Q: What kind of actions can I take for my dog to prevent infection of Lyme Disease and other tick borne diseases?

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Chronic Lyme Disease / Persistent Lyme Disease

There is some confusion and even some controversy about the concept of Chronic Lyme Disease with some traditional rheumatologists and infectious disease specialists dismissing the idea that Lyme can be a chronic disease. On the other side are the doctors who treat such patients and who have documented lab testing that shows a chronic infection and clinical improvement with antibiotic therapy.

Once the Lyme parasite has established itself throughout the body it is extremely difficult to eradicate, so thus the frequent relapses of the chronic Lyme patient. I prefer to call chronic Lyme unsuccessfully treated persistent Lyme disease and feel that if testing and clinical findings support the diagnosis, that such patients should be treated with a combination of antibiotic therapy , supportive nutritional supplementation, diet, and certain beneficial herbals that have anti-Lyme and immune-enhancing effects.

Treatment of any disease is always more successful if the doctor takes a holistic approach. We look at the whole person, assessing stressors, lifestyle, diet, nutrition, genetic variation and use that information to create a unique program for each patient.

Identify Doctors Trained In The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Tick

You can access a variety of online resources and directories to locate doctors who are specifically trained in identifying and treating tick-borne illnesses. These do not have to be infectious disease specialists they can be physicians from any practice area who simply have extensive experience with tick-borne diseases.

It is particularly important to find a Lyme expert if you suspect that you may have Lyme disease, since it is the most frequently misdiagnosed of all tick-borne diseases. Finding a Lyme-literate medical doctor a physician who is familiar with the vast range of symptoms that may indicate infection at various stages of the disease, as well as potential coinfections and other complexitiescan help ensure that you get the right treatment, right away.

To find a doctor who is also a Lyme expert, you may want to explore the following resources:

Note: Some of these organizations may require you to submit a form or create a login to access their databases.

Read Also: When To Test For Lyme Disease

Be Prepared For Your Doctor Visit

You can improve your chances of having an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment by providing your doctor with as much information as you can from the very start. The following checklist can be a good reminder of what to bring and discuss with your physician at your first visit:

  • Have the tick tested and/or identified:If you were able to remove or find the tick that bit you, seal it in a glass or plastic container and consider sending it to IGeneX for testing. Additionally, photograph the tick and/or have the species identified ahead of time if possible. Knowing what kind of tick bit you and, in particular, whether it has tested positive for a tick-borne disease can be extremely helpful for your doctors diagnostic process. If the tick is still being tested when you see your doctor, you still may be able to start treatment based on the severity of your symptoms.
  • Note possible exposure: Write down the places and dates that you believe you were exposed to ticksand the possible date and time of day when the engorged tick attached and fell off or was removed.
  • Track your symptoms: Keep a running log of all symptoms youve noticed since the tick bite, even if youre no longer experiencing them. Be sure to include the days/times when symptoms appeared . For additional help, you can use IGeneXs Symptom Checker.
  • Take pictures: Take pictures of any rashes or blisters that you may have noticed at the site of the tick bite or elsewhere on your body.

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