Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What Kind Of Doctor Do You See For Lyme Disease

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He Bucked The Establishment To Help Kids Recover From Lyme Disease

What Are Symptoms of Lyme Disease? A Doctor Explains

There has been an outpouring of emotion in the wake of the recent death of Lyme pediatrician Dr. Charles Ray Jones. Many of those who knew himparents, children, advocates, and medical colleagueshave posted touching tributes on social media and online support groups.

But people newer to the world of Lyme disease may not know who Dr. Jones was or the significance of his contributions.

To introduce you to the history of this remarkable man, Im posting an article first published 20 years ago in the Lyme Times. Its written by science journalist Pamela Weintraub, who went on to write Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, published in 2008. She paints a vivid picture of how Dr. Jones came to occupy his unique position.

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The Earlier In The Course Of Tick Borne Disease That The Treatment Is Started The Better For The Patient And The Worse For The Microbes

Early detection, however, can be difficult. Lyme IS the most prevalent tick borne disease in the states and it is increasing in incidence year to year. Yet the Center for Disease Control estimates only 10% of the cases of Lyme disease are reported annually. This is because only 50% to 68% of patients have a clear bulls-eye rash. Only 26% ever see the tick that gives them Lyme disease. Most people do not know that a flu in the late spring, summer or early fall can be a sign of Lyme disease. Most doctors do not know that Lyme exists anywhere but the northeast part of the United States. So early treatment is a challenge. I try during tick season in Northern California to have short appointments to check out a tick bite or erythema migrans rash, in order to effect early treatment.

Lyme Disease And Tick

Lyme disease patients have difficulty finding doctors with experience treating Lyme disease. For the past 25 years, LymeDisease.org has been connecting patients with Lyme-literate practitioners who specialize in caring for patients with Lyme disease.

We are happy to connect you with your nearest Lyme literate practitioners contact information. Please note, however, we are not privy to the status on each individual offices payment/insurance practices or if they are accepting new patients, with that said, we do encourage you to use the information available to contact the offices directly.

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The Different Types Of Doctors Who Can Test For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease caused by a group of spiral-shaped bacteria we now refer to as Lyme borreliae. This includes, but is not limited to, Borrelia burgdorferi. It is treatable with antibiotics, but in order to have the best chance at full recovery, its crucial to get your disease diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. That means finding the right doctor.

But what kind of doctor tests for Lyme disease? You may be wondering if you need to see a specific kind of physician to get the right test and treatment. The answer can depend on your particular situation.

Myth: Lyme Disease Doesnt Cause Chronic Illness

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?  IMNVA

The biggest Lyme disease controversy centers on post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome , a chronic illness often called âChronic Lyme Diseaseâ . A paper published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences states that 10-20% of patients who get infected with Lyme disease will have long-term symptoms after initial treatment. However, the difficulties with diagnosing and treating Lyme disease have led to a deep divide within the medical community. Some believe that the lingering symptoms are caused by an active, persistent Lyme disease infection. Others believe that they are the manifestation of a post-infection autoimmune condition. Still others believe that the symptoms are unrelated to Lyme disease and that PTLDS/CLD doesnât exist at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes PTLDS as a chronic illness, but acknowledges that a lot doctors, scientists, and researchers donât know about it.

Regardless of the medical communityâs views on PTLDS/CLD, thousands of people in the United States are struggling with the chronic illness, per a study published in BioMed Central Public Health. And it has a major impact on their well-being. One study found that people diagnosed with PTLDS experience a poorer quality of life and greater symptom severity than people with other chronic illnesses.

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Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian

If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.

Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.

How Do I Know Whether I Have Received A Sufficiently Long Course Of Antibiotic Therapy

Taken together, these study results suggest that repeated antibiotic therapy may be beneficial for a subgroup of patients. However all of these studies also reported troubling adverse effects associated with the IV antibiotic therapy. Given these potentially dangerous risks, it is clear that other safer and more durable treatments are needed for patients with persistent symptoms.

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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.

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Other Infections Associated With Tick Bites

My Puppy Got Lyme Disease & I Didn’t Treat It…

Ticks can carry a number of other bacterial and viral infectious agents, sometimes at the same time as the Lyme disease organisms. In the eastern part of the United States, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis may occur independently or with Lyme disease after tick bites.

Transmission of more than one agent in Europe and the UK is rare, with only a handful of cases reported with definite evidence of co-infection.

In other parts of the world, viruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus can cause infections that may be mistaken for Lyme disease. Depending on where the patient was exposed, other infections may also give rise to symptoms similar to Lyme disease.

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How Is It Diagnosed

If youâve been outside in an area where ticks are known to live, you should tell your doctor. Theyâll also want to know about the symptoms youâre having. These details are crucial to making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Early symptoms that usually occur within the first month after a tick bite can include:

  • Rash at the site of the tick bite that may look like a âbullâs-eyeâ
  • Problems with your short-term memory

Symptoms that come and go are common with Lyme disease. They will also depend on the stage of the disease.

When You May Need To See A Specialist

Though a family physician or general practitioner should be able to order the diagnostic tests for Lyme disease, there are some situations in which you may need to see a specialist. For example, untreated or misdiagnosed Lyme can develop into chronic Lyme disease, which can then lead to complications such as arthritic or neurological symptoms. In these cases, patients may need to see the following types of specialists:

  • Rheumatologist Chronic joint problems from Lyme disease may need the care of a physician who specializes in rheumatology.
  • Neurologist Chronic Lyme can be associated with debilitating neurological symptoms that must be treated by a specialist.
  • Infectious disease specialist Again, even though this isnt always necessary, it can be helpful if your symptoms dont go away or become more complex.
  • Cardiologist In the event that you develop the rare but dangerous complication known as Lyme carditis, you may need to see a cardiologist and even be fitted with a temporary pacemaker.

However, its important to remember that seeing a specialist for symptoms related to Lyme disease without treating Lyme disease is costly and dangerous. In other words, a rheumatologist or neurologist will not be able to treat your Lyme if no diagnosis has been made. They can simply help treat symptoms that result from chronic or untreated Lyme.

To treat Lyme disease, you must get an accurate diagnosis and be prescribed antibiotics.

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Who Treats Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to people by deer ticks. Lyme disease can cause different symptoms, depending on how long youve had the infection. And symptoms of Lyme disease can come and go, making it seem like youre betterand making it harder to figure out when you were first infected.

All of this can make Lyme disease complex for healthcare providers to diagnose and treat. If you think you have Lyme disease, look for providers who have experience treating the condition, especially in areas where Lyme disease is more common. In the United States, this includes the northeastern coast and the upper Midwest.

Healthcare providers who treat Lyme disease include:

Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

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More serious symptoms may develop if Lyme disease is left untreated or is not treated early. These can include:

  • pain and swelling in the joints
  • nerve problems such as numbness or pain in your limbs
  • memory problems
  • difficulty concentrating

Some of these problems will get better slowly with treatment. But they can persist if treatment is started late.

A few people with Lyme disease go on to develop long-term symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. This is known as post-infectious Lyme disease. Its not clear exactly why this happens. Its likely to be related to overactivity of your immune system rather than continued infection.

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Testing For Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme disease spread by ticks can be diagnosed with a simple blood tests in your veterinarians clinic. The C6 test is very sensitive and specific at diagnosing cases of Lyme disease and depending on clinical signs and concurrent results, treatment may be started immediately. If treatment has been successful, reductions in the QC6 at six months should be lower than the starting point.

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What Should I Avoid Doing If I Have Sciatica

Avoid putting added pressure onto your lumbar spine and sciatic nerve as much as possible. Activities such as sitting with bad posture, heavy lifting, difficult or strenuous exercise, and sitting or laying down for prolonged periods can aggravate your body.

Be sure not to rest too much when you have sciatica, as your back can weaken and worsen your pain. With this in mind, dont ignore your pain signals or fight through them. Taking a few minutes to sit down and let your pain pass is perfectly okay.

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Contact The Medical Detectives At Bock Integrative Medicine

and take the first step in restoring normalcy to your or your loved ones life.

Bock Integrative has helped restore normalcy to patients lives worldwide and locally, including New York, New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

Find out how the board-certified experts at Bock Integrative Medicine can help determine the true cause of your chronic symptoms. Call or email to set up an appointment for a consultation.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Heres What To Do If You Find A Tick Bite

Symptoms of Lyme disease have a wide range and depend on how far the disease progresses. Symptoms can occur anywhere from three to thirty days post infected tick bite. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash that develops on the area surrounding a tick bite. This rash can spread over the course of a few days and may have a noticeable bullseye pattern in its center. In some cases, a rash never develops. Not all tick bites carry infection.

Early signs of Lyme disease include:

If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress to more serious complications. Later stage symptoms include:

  • Severe headache and neck stiffness
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling
  • Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
  • Heart-related complications

If you think youre experiencing some of the symptoms of Lyme disease, schedule a consultation at Advanced Infectious Disease Medical.

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Check For Ticks After Being Outside

Anyone who comes in contact with a deer tick can be at risk of a bite. Ticks cannot fly or jump. They wait for a possible host to brush against them and then use their legs to attach themselves. There are steps you can take to reduce the number of ticks in your yard:

  • Clear tall grass and brush

  • Mow the lawn frequently and rake leaves

  • Keep wood stacked in dry areas

  • Create a barrier of woodchips or gravel around recreational areas

  • Treat pets with anti-tick medication

Reducing your time in areas known for ticks is the best way to avoid bites and Lyme disease. Always check yourself after spending time outside.

Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It

The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.

But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New

Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.

In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.

In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they donât dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they donât usually come out to bite.

Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.

Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?

Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.

Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?

There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:

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Do I Need A Lyme Disease Test

Your doctor will consider whether your symptoms and risk factors suggest Lyme disease when deciding whether you need a Lyme test. Laboratory tests can support a clinical diagnosis, but should not be used on their own to confirm or rule out a current Lyme disease diagnosis.

Your doctor may also do tests to see if other conditions with similar or overlapping symptoms for example, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, or other tick-borne diseases could be causing your symptoms. If you have been traveling, your doctor might test you for species of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease in other parts of the world.

If you think you may have Lyme disease, but your doctor hasnt considered it or has ruled it out before testing you for it, heres how you can start a conversation: Give your doctor a list of Lyme disease symptoms and risk factors , and ask them if, given your own symptoms and risk factors, Lyme disease could be a possible cause and whether you should be tested.

In some cases, a Lyme test may not be helpful. Using todays tests it is difficult to distinguish between current and previous infections, so if you were previously diagnosed with Lyme disease and may have been re-infected, your doctor should make the diagnosis based on your symptoms and risk factors.

Tick Testing

The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives

What is a Lyme

The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.

This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.

Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.

A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.

If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.

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