As A Community We Can:
1. Take local control of our primary health service.
2. Establish a patient-driven primary care practice model
3. Increase access and use primary health care services appropriately.
4. Make both individual and community-wide choices that will result in improved health status.
1. Get a higher percentage of the population into an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider.
2. Reduce perhaps by half the number of unnecessary Emergency Department and Urgent Care visits.
3. Achieve a demonstrable improvement in the health status of the community.
Firefighter Gary Kuhl Relief Fund
Craig turned to crowdfunding when his good friend and fellow firefighter Gary contracted Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick in a brush fire. After eight years of battling the disease, Gary is now wheelchair-bound and in need of a wheelchair-accessible home. Friends and community members rallied around Gary and raised over $40,000 to help him and his family.
Seek Out A Lyme Literate Medical Doctor
This search may be time-consuming and a little tedious, but it is extremely important. Finding the right doctor is vital to your health so make sure you do your research and see that your doctor has actually earned the title of a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor and not just throwing it around flippantly.
At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address Lyme disease. They have all earned the title of LLMD. If you are experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease or if youve been diagnosed with Lyme, but arent getting the treatment you need, call us at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!
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Strategies For Finding A Good Lyme Doctor
The first thing I did after my Lyme diagnosis was spend as much time and mental energy as I could researching Lyme disease. I needed to understand a little more what treatment options were available and how they compared.
I had a general idea that I wanted to find a good integrative LLMD to help guide me through the treatment process. I wanted a doctor who would take the best that modern medicine has to offer while also understanding what other alternative treatment modalities could bring to the table.
Good luck on your doctor search!
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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Noras Lyme Disease Treatment
When Noras health began to rapidly decline more than a decade after she was bitten by a tick, she suspected she might have Lyme disease. With a sense of humor and plenty of determination, Nora started an online fundraiser to pay for treatments at a reputable Lyme disease center in Idaho. She raised over $22,000 that put her on the path to recovery.
What Lyme Disease Treatments Are Covered By Health Insurance
The initial two to four week antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease is usually covered by health insurance providers. Unfortunately, because chronic Lyme disease is not officially recognized by the CDC or IDSA, treatment for it is considered experimental and therefore not covered by insurers. This runs contrary to the lived experience of many Americans who find themselves needing treatment for ongoing fatigue, chronic pain, and other issues. The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society advocates for those with chronic Lyme disease and states that there is no conclusive evidence that a 30 day regimen of antibiotics treats Lyme.
Nevertheless, those seeking long-term antibiotic regimens, either orally or intravenously, will have to pay out of pocket costs. Some people may seek out Lyme Literate Medical Doctors , physicians who are trained specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases, but the majority of these providers are not in-network for any of the major insurance companies. Affording the costs of ongoing Lyme disease treatment can be a financial burden for many Americans. Those who need financial assistance for chronic Lyme might turn to grants from Lyme advocacy foundations or crowdfunding on sites like GoFundMe.
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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:
Finding A Good Lyme Doctor
I was one of the lucky ones.
After over a year of my general doctor running tests and sending me to different specialists, I tentatively questioned if Lyme disease might be worth investigating.
My doctor agreed: it was a good idea. But he also admitted that he knew the tests were terribly unreliable and Id need a good Lyme doctor to help me figure out if this was indeed causing all of my mysterious symptoms.
He referred me to a colleague who helped guide me through the early stages of Lyme testing and getting my diagnosis.
Ill forever be grateful for my doctors honesty. He knew he didnt understand Lyme well enough. He knew certain tests were sadly unreliable. And he was gracious enough to help me search for answers when most doctors would have scoffed.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease has been nicknamed the great imitator because its symptoms mimic those of so many other illnesses. Doctors often analyze blood tests as well as a patients symptoms to determine if they may have Lyme disease.
The two common tests used to diagnose Lyme disease measure someones antibody response to the bacterial infection: the Western blot test and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test, according to LymeDisease.org.
Lyme disease test costs can run hundreds of dollars since they arent typically covered by insurance companies. Before getting any testing done, its a good idea to check with your insurance company and find out what costs to expect.
How to treat Lyme disease
While there is no cure for Lyme disease, catching and treating it as early as possible with a round of antibiotics offers the best chance of recovery. If someone suspects they have been bitten by a black-legged tick, their doctor will usually prescribe an oral dose of antibiotics.
For chronic Lyme disease treatment, doctors usually prescribe several courses of intravenous antibiotics. Specialized Lyme disease doctors focus on individualized treatment, though, as the disease can manifest itself differently from individual to individual.
Whats So Hard About Finding A Lyme Doctor Anyhow
If youve landed on this post, you probably already know the answer. But for those who are at the beginning stages of investigating Lyme disease, let me fill you in.
You see, most doctors simply dont understand Lyme disease and some are certainly not humble enough to admit they dont really understand this disease. Many doctors dont even believe chronic Lyme exists.
To make matters worse,testing is unreliable and notoriously inaccurate, particularly the standard tests most doctors will run. If you happen to test positive for Lyme on one of those standard tests, the doctors will most likely throw a couple weeks of antibiotics at you and call it good.
Yeahthats not so good. And likely it wont help much at all.
When it comes right down to it, theres been precious little research done on this complex disease. Doctors at large have not been educated about what the good research out there actually says about Lyme. All they know is the outdated and ineffective guidelines passed down from the CDC.
The doctors that are really making an impact are those that have gone out of their way to dig into the research. Theyve spent time educating themselves and working intimately with their patients .
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Use Of Disulfiram For Lyme Disease
Disulfiram was initially marketed in the U.S. as Antabuse as an alcohol sobriety aid which deters alcohol consumption by eliciting physical discomforts . Its use as a possible treatment for Lyme disease has been described in several recent studies. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, possesses survival strategies in humans. Current antibiotic therapies for early Lyme disease have been shown to be less
How Can I Find A Top
You can use Zocdoc to find Lyme Disease doctors who are highly rated by other patients. These ratings are based on verified reviews submitted by real patients. Every time a patient completes an appointment booked on Zocdoc, theyre invited to review their experience. Each review must comply with Zocdocs guidelines.
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Lyme Disease Financial Assistance
Because the CDC states that Lyme disease can be treated with 30 days of antibiotics, the majority of insurance companies do not recognize chronic Lyme disease as a legitimate illness and will not pay for long-term treatment.
The cost of Lyme disease treatments can run into the thousands for patients each yearand sometimes each month. This puts people suffering from chronic Lyme disease in a very tough financial position and makes it difficult to pay medical bills. It might even lead to medical bankruptcy. Thankfully, there are still a few ways to pay for Lyme disease treatments without insurance.
How Can I Book An Appointment Online With A Doctor For Lyme Disease
Zocdoc is a free online service that helps patients find doctors for Lyme Disease and book appointments instantly. You can search for doctors for Lyme Disease or any other visit reason. Then, enter your desired appointment location and choose your insurance plan. Based on that information, youll see a list of providers who meet your search criteria, along with their available appointment slots.
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How To Approach Your Non
For various reasons, you may choose to consult with a doctor who doesnt specialize in Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases.
If so, be sure to be as proactive as possible in providing information that could help in diagnosing your disease, and always feel free to share resources that you find in your own research to prompt discussions about any aspect of your diagnosis or treatment, including more advanced testing options.
If your doctor does not believe Lyme disease exists, reach out to another doctor for a second opinion.
What Is A Lyme Literate Doctor
Dr. Abigail Dumes addresses the question: What is a Lyme literate doctor? in a recent issue of Medical Anthropology. She explains the disagreement in medicine between doctors over the symptoms of “chronic Lyme disease.” One group described as “mainstream doctors” consider the symptoms to be due to a medically unexplained illness. While the other faction, known as “Lyme literate doctors” considers the symptoms to be sufficient evidence for a medical explanation.
In the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines, Wormser and colleagues initially dismissed Lyme disease symptoms as nothing more than the aches and pains of daily living. A Lyme literate doctor would disagree.
That conclusion, however, has been undermined by findings from clinical trials, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health , which report patients with Lyme disease suffer from severe symptoms, poor quality of life, and a loss of function.
Additionally, other studies indicate patients diagnosed with Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome exhibit ongoing pain, impaired cognitive function, severe fatigue, and poor function.
Although they may not agree on the cause, both groups of doctors are beginning to recognize that these patients, whatever they are labeled, continue to suffer from chronic illnesses.
Lyme literate doctors have reached the same conclusion. For purposes of transparency, I have been viewed as a Lyme literate doctor.
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What Doctors Treat Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that transmitted to human beings through ticks. Usually, getting this disease means that you will be sick for a very long time. Some people spend their entire lives living with the disease. The good news is that you can treat the disease within two years.
Lyme disease is unlike other common diseases, and getting a good doctor to handle your condition can be a problem. It is actually the reason why so many people end up spending a huge portion of their lives suffering from this disease. Doctors who treat Lyme disease are referred to as Lyme literate medical doctors . So how exactly can you find a doctor who is capable of successfully treating Lyme disease?
Have a question about
A Lyme Literate Doctor:
is familiar with the vast range of signs and symptoms that may indicate Lyme disease at various stages.
Lyme disease is one of the trickiest infectious diseases to diagnose. One reason for this is its non-specific symptoms that mimic those of other diseases, such as:
- Fever and chills
- Fatigue or shortness of breath
- Heart arrhythmia
Misconceptions about what Lyme looks like can complicate the diagnostic process for physicians who dont have sufficient experience with Lyme. For example, many people believe you cant have Lyme disease if you dont have the characteristic bulls eye rash . However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that this rash only shows up in 70-80% of patients. Dismissing a patient because they dont have the rash can lead to missed or misdiagnosis.
LLMDs have become experts in Lyme disease based on years of experience working with Lyme patients. Many are not infectious disease doctors, but come from a range of backgrounds. By working closely with and treating Lyme patients over the years, they learn to recognize the tricky signs and symptoms of the disease. Some even use that expertise to train other LLMDs.
is familiar with the coinfections that may be present with Lyme.
may be listed on one of the Lyme-literate doctor directories.
has positive reviews or testimonials from other Lyme patients.
is open-minded and willing to listen to your experiences.
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Is The Doctor Dedicated To Patient Compassion And Providing The Latest Treatments
The number one thing an LLMD must be is caring! He or she must have compassion and empathy and be willing and dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date therapies provided in a compassionate manner. He or she must partner with you to regain your health and your life. Lyme is a very complex illness and, unfortunately, is difficult to treat. This illness cannot be treated with the typical 8-15 minute in and out visits that are the unfortunate necessity of insurance medicine. Thus, most LLMDs will not take insurance, but will usually give you a superbill to submit to your insurance. Labs and many medications may be covered by insurance.
How To Find A Lyme
When youre dealing with Lyme disease or other tick-borne infections, it can be a daunting task to find a doctor whos familiar with the illness throughout its various stages. Your family doctor or primary care provider may be able treat you when your symptoms correspond to an acute case of the condition. But where do you turn for Lyme disease treatment if your illness doesnt check the traditional boxes for the infection? Or if the disease has progressed to a later stage? Thats where a Lyme-literate medical doctor or Lyme specialist comes in. These physicians have additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. Here are resources to find a provider who understands your symptoms and can help guide you toward recovery.
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