Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
The Lyme Wars Are Not Over For Patients & Treating Physicians
Almost a decade ago, Lyme advocates in Minnesota, pursuing Lyme doctor protection legislation, settled for a compromise from the State Medical Board which issued a Moratorium taking action against doctors who treat long term. The Moratorium was reviewed and extended in 2014, while awaiting more research on the topic.
Testing And Treating Lyme Disease With Functional Medicine
When it comes to testing for Lyme disease, the conventional method involves a two-tier strategy. This includes the ELISA and Western Blot tests. The challenge with these tests is that theyre sometimes limited in accurately diagnosing Lyme or picking up certain strains of Borrelia bacteria.
This is where a functional medicine approach makes a difference. We partner with independent labs that have developed innovative tests that are more sensitive and specific. After your initial exam, we may recommend tests that include ELISA and Western Blot as well as more sensitive tests, like Immunoblot or molecular testing.
Its important to note that testing still isnt perfect. Thats why its crucial to look at whats going on in your body as a whole. This includes other health factors that could indicate Lyme disease, such as:
When it comes to treating Lyme disease, One Agora Integrative Health Clinic goes beyond simple tests and a round of oral antibiotics. We use cutting-edge tools and a holistic approach to get you the most accurate diagnosis and achieve a quicker recovery.
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Healing Chronic Lyme Program
Support for those with suspected or diagnosed Chronic Lyme disease.
The Healing Chronic Lyme Program focuses on treating Lyme and all related co-infections. It also speeds recovery by supporting immune function, promoting healthy detoxification, and protecting/repairing the bodywhich may include herbal anti-microbials in combination with antibiotic therapy prescribed by your medical doctor.
Dr. Leslie Vilensky completed the International Lyme and Associated Disease Societys Physician Training Program and has worked extensively with patients dealing with Lyme Disease/Tick-Borne illness. Her approach is to restore balance and support the body in its inherent healing capacity.
Your Lyme disease treatment journey may include nutritional and lifestyle counseling, homeopathic drainage, detoxification, and herbs/supplements tailored to your unique needs
Were passionate about helping our patients recover more quickly with wellness support aims at killing Lyme, but also addresses your bodys ability to function optimallyincluding immune system function, detoxification capabilities, and gastrointestinal health.
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Disclaimer: The above material is provided for information purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. or any of its directors, officers, advisors or volunteers. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patients medical history. Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. makes no warranties of any kind regarding this Website, including as to the accuracy, completeness, currency or reliability of any information contained herein, and all such warranties are expressly disclaimed.
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Other Pathogens To Blame
Shor and his co-authors, including Maloney, propose that the lingering symptoms are caused by several pathogens from the Borrelia burgdorferi family or other tick-borne pathogens.
Nardelli said theres a variety of symptoms and severity in Lyme disease patients, and those symptoms can be caused by the inflammatory responses against the microbes.
“Inflammation is a huge part of the immune response. Its one of the frontline defenses we have, and it has this negative connotation, but it is intended for good,” he said. “Your immune response trying to kill the bug and in doing so, can cause damage, essentially.”
Some theories suggest that variants of the Lyme bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. Others argue that chronic Lyme is caused by a powerful immune reaction or it may even trigger an autoimmune disease. The central neural networks may be altered, having a significant impact on symptoms or a combination of these factors.
Nardelli is investigating Lyme-related arthritis that persists after treatment with antibiotics. He said science can be a slow process of acquiring new knowledge, and its tough for patients who are suffering with no clear answers.
That can lead them to seek out untrustworthy practitioners or fall for costly treatments that dont work. “You go out and find doctors that diagnose everything as Lyme disease,” Nardelli said.
“The whole goal is to get people the right diagnosis so they can get the therapy that they need,” she said.
Resources To Find A Lyme Literate Doctor
Now, this wouldnt be a very helpful article if I didnt include resources on how to find a Lyme literate doctor, now would it? Like I said before, it can be tricky to pin down Lyme specialists, so here are a few resources to start your search for a Lyme literate physician.
International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society: Provider Search
Global Lyme Alliance: Find a Lyme Literate Health Care Provider
It goes without saying that these resources are a starting point. If I learned anything from my attempts to find a good doctor, it is the importance of doing your due diligence.
Before committing financial resources, do what you can to conduct a background check on the prospective Lyme specialist. Review their websitehow do they talk about Lyme disease, health, and patient experience? Get a sense of their mentality and approach to medicinedoes it align with what you feel you need out of a doctor? What experience do they have with tick-borne illnesses? What methods of treatment do they use? Most importantly, research patient reviews and look out for any red flags. If possible, sign up for an introductory consultation to see if that doctor may be a good match.
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International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society
The International Lyme and Associated Disease Society is a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary, international medical society aimed at advancing the treatment, research, and education efforts of Lyme and associated diseases. ILADS provides training to physicians who want to enhance their skill set to evaluate and treat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Physicians who successfully complete the training requirements established by ILADS are known as Lyme-literate medical doctors, or LLMDs.
To locate Lyme-literate doctors, use the Provider Search function on the ILADS website to receive a list of doctors in your area. Please note: ILADS states they dont make referrals to specific doctors. Its up to you to decide which practitioner is the right fit for your needs.
How To Find A Lyme Doctor
One of the biggest frustrations when seeking care for Lyme Disease, or suspected Lyme Disease, is finding a physician able and willing to care for someone whose disease is no longer in the acute, 0-30 days post-tickbite phase. While many doctors are simply not convinced that there are chronic forms of Lyme Disease,there are also many more who simply have no idea where to start when trying to diagnose or treat chronic forms of the disease.
Physicians who are members of ILADS are often much more educated in terms of both diagnosis and treatment. But because there can be professional repercussions for those who are compassionate enough to work with those who suffer from Lyme Disease , it can be difficult to locate these physicians. There are some who have had their licenses to practice taken from them. So understandably, they often they do not publicize the fact that they will treat these patients. Here are a few sources through which you may be able to find physicians in your state who actually know something about Lyme, its treatment and diagnosis. We refer to these physicians and health care providers as Lyme Literate . If you follow the links below, you will find that it is a multi-step process to get a physicians name and you will sometimes have to access your own state-based Lyme Disease Association or Society before getting a name. But this will definitely help you get connected.
This will get you started in your search:
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Five Things That Stand Out About A Lyme Literate Practitioner
If patients are looking for a Lyme literate practitioner, they should talk to the provider and the staff to determine whether the medical professional meets the following criteria.
- Experience in treating Lyme disease. Provider experience with Lyme disease helps patients because these medical providers recognize the many ways that Lyme disease presents itself. Our expert practitioners treat thousands of cases of Lyme disease a year.
- Knowledge and training. Most people in the traditional medical community dont have extensive knowledge of Lyme disease. At our functional medicine clinic near Milwaukee, our Lyme literate practitioners specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Constantly striving to learn more about the latest research from ILADS and treatment innovations helps our clinic to provide patients with the most up-to-date care.
Our medical professionals trained with nationally recognized Lyme disease experts. Debra Muth ND trained with Richard I. Horowitz MD, a medical doctor renowned for his expertise. Greg Brown MD trained with Daniel Cameron MD, another nationally known leader in the field of Lyme disease.
What Happens Next
When you call to schedule an appointment with your new doctor, be sure to ask if they accept your insurance. If not, inquire about the cost of the initial and follow-up visits. Additionally, ask if the doctors office can provide you with an itemized receipt so you can submit a claim to your insurance on your own for reimbursement. Finally, gather as many details as you can about the first consultation so youre not caught off guard by unexpected expenses.
Although seeing an LLMD can be pricey, it may be a necessary step to take to jumpstart or continue your healing and improve your quality of life. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable and satisfied when choosing a practitioner. If one provider doesnt work for you, dont lose hopeyou may have to try another doctor to assist you on your road to recovery.
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How To Find Lyme
People often ask Christina what to do if they find a tick on them. Among the advice she gives them, the most important piece is this: find Lyme-literate doctors.
You need to find a Lyme-literate doctor immediately. Theres no reason why you cant reach out to an infectious disease doctor immediately, she says. She notes that sometimes its difficult to get an appointment with an infectious disease doctor however, because many of them are in the midst of research on Lyme, sometimes theyre eager to see patients with tick bites to help with testing and studies.
She also says that getting the wellness side involved early on is important. That might mean alternative treatments like acupuncture, herbs, and supplements, all of which Christina used to heal. It may also mean taking more preventative measures, such as lifestyle choices that help bolster your immune system.
Even if youre working with a conventional doctor, Christina recommends having an honest conversation with them about how open they are to alternative and complementary treatments. She says that working with a doctor who was open to an integrative approach was essential to her recovery.
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Do Your Research And Get Referrals
You can learn a lot just by researching doctors and reading patient reviews online. You can also connect with other patients through local and online support groups for various tick-borne diseases. Asking other patients to recommend or share their own experiences with different doctors can be particularly helpful when youre trying to locate and learn about physicians who specialize in various tick-borne illnesses.
The following sites can connect you to online support-group forums or help you identify different tick-borne support groups in the United States:
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Minnesota Congressman Peterson Supports Lda/columbia Conference
Below is a letter from Congressman Collin C. Peterson thanking the LDA for inviting him to the LDA/Columbia Scientific conference this year .
Congressman Peterson is co-chair of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, and has worked with Caucus co-chair Representative Chris Smith to help fund research and educate people about Lyme Disease. Congressman Petersons letter highlights their various efforts. The LDA is grateful for the Congressmans work to help the Lyme disease community and for his continued representation.
Addressing The Issues Surrounding Lyme Diseasethe Role Of Lyme Literate Doctors
The combination of issues related to Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment can present obstacles for patientswhether they are living with undiagnosed or properly diagnosed tick-borne infections. As someone who has experienced these obstacles first-hand, I can attest to how detrimental they can be on a patients health and quality of life. I was one of the many people whose disease was initially missed due to inaccurate testing and a lack of understanding and awareness of the issues related to Lyme disease. It wasnt until I was seen by a Lyme literate doctor that the three tick-borne infections that were wreaking havoc on my body were identified. Because Lyme literate doctors arein theoryaware of the misconceptions and controversies discussed above, they can be more able to effectively diagnose and treat tick-borne illnesses.
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Lyme Disease Should Be Considered In A Differential Diagnosis In Those Patients Diagnosed With:
FibromyalgiaRheumatological disorders Neurological disorders Any multi-system illnesses that are difficult to diagnose
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The health services and supplements I get from Be Well Natural Medicine is absolutely critical to my well being. Without them I could not function in society and would be confined to my home and maybe my bed. THANK YOU Be Well!
Heal From Lyme Disease With One Agora Integrative Health Clinic
Diagnosing and treating Lyme disease is complex. Lyme disease affects multiple systems in your body so your treatment should, too. At One Agora Integrative Health Clinic, our medical experts specialize in identifying Lyme disease and creating a tailored treatment plan to help you heal.
If you suspect you have Lyme disease, or if youre not satisfied with your current treatment, we invite you to book an appointment at our Bloomington, MN, clinic. Give us a call at or contact us online about testing and treating Lyme disease. We look forward to helping you heal from Lyme disease with our functional medicine approach.
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Treatment Starts With Accurate Diagnosis
The only way to get the proper treatment for your tick-borne disease is to get the right diagnosis in the first place and one of the best ways to do that is, if possible, to see a physician whos experienced with tick-borne diseases. Accurate diagnosis also requires high quality testing at a reputable lab. Learn more about why doctors and patients trust the tests offered by IGeneX.
Touched By Lyme: Are You A Minnesota Lyme Patient If So Mla Needs You
Minnesota Lyme Association seeks feedback from state residents who have had long-term antibiotics for Lyme disease.
In 2010, Minnesotas medical board gave doctors in that state a five-year window in which they can treat Lyme patients with long-term antibiotics without fearing theyll lose their license because of it.
The five-year moratorium was a compromise reached between the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and state legislators who wanted to protect Lyme doctors from prosecution.
Its now almost two years into that 5-year period, and the Minnesota Lyme Association wants to document how long-term antibiotics have helped Lyme patients in their state. MLA medical adviser Dr. Elizabeth Maloney is spearheading the project.
Dr. Maloney wants to present the MBMP with a single report containing the outcomes from individual patients, as documented in their medical charts. This is called a collection of case reports and is recognized as scientific evidence.
According to the MLA, Validating the efficacy of long-term treatment to the MBMP and the state legislature will make the case for continuing the moratorium, to the benefit of current and future Lyme disease patients.
Although the moratorium runs another 3 years, Dr. Maloney needs to start compiling this information now. Its a time-consuming project that cant be done at the last minute.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.orgs VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at .
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I Have The Symptoms For It But My Lyme Test Came Back Negative What Can I Do Which Tests Are Good
The BEST Lyme testing in MinnesotaQ& A with Dr. Kyle Warren on Lyme Disease testing.Dr. Kyle addresses the controversy on Lyme and best way to test for it!YES!!!
This happens a lot! The standard CDC criteria is to run whats called an Elisa test, and then if thats positive, they do a Blot Test, either a Western Blot or an Immuno Blot test. On the Blot test, the goal is to see matching bands. 5 out of 10 bands have to match for you to get diagnosed with Lyme.
Now the CDC says directly on their website that this is not to be used for a clinical diagnosis. Its not designed for doctors to use it as the criteria and, in fact, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA, which is one of the societies for Lyme, has a completely different criteria, which is much more based on the clinical presentation of a patient.
So between the CDC and IDSA, we have pretty different criteria on exactly how to diagnose Lyme.
But most people will follow CDC criteria. And there are some big problems with this! This is really set up for epidemiological surveying not for the clinical diagnosis. Its set way on the side for if its positive, its absolutely positive! But we are going to have a ton of false negatives. We are not going to have almost any false positives on the CDC criteria. We have a lot of patients that say Ive been tested and it was negative.