Lyme Disease – The Masquerader Of Many Health Problems?
Posted Nov 15 2013 11:00am
By Dr. Michael Wald
You just don’t feel right
If you’ve ever experienced a different kind of fatigue, a type that you’ve never felt before, perhaps with joint or muscle pains in various parts of your body, then you might have Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrellia Burdorferi. Other symptoms such as headaches, memory loss, unexplained depression and nerve pains might also be caused by this troublesome tick-borne infection. Here is what you should know about Lyme disease treatment and the medical controversies, which may prevent your potential towards a full recovery.
Rash or no rash, and spread of the disease
Lyme disease is often first recognized by the appearance of one or more skin rashes called “a bullseye rash” or erythema chronicum migrans (ECM). This rash is caused by a local infection that may spread throughout the body. However, forty to fifty percent of the time you will not see a rash. The condition may therefore go undiagnosed for months or even years. Lyme disease starts locally, but can invade all parts of the body, including the skin, muscles, joints, nervous system, cardiovascular system, ocular tissues, sinus, GI tissue and even lungs. It is also thought that various autoimmune problems can be caused or triggered by the Lyme disease bacterial spirochete; and these conditions might confuse doctors.
Lyme Disease – What Is it the problem?
Our patients have gone from doctor to doctor and been given multiple diagnoses, including depression, arthritis, and memory and cognitive (i.e. memory) defects. Lyme disease that affects the nervous system is called neuroboreliosis. Some doctors believe that Lyme disease is always cured with a month long course of antibiotics, but other doctors believe that the condition can become chronic (long-lasting) and even progressive, resulting in misdiagnoses. Some conditions that might be confused with Lyme disease include: multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hepatitis, bone marrow problems, other infections, arthritis, muscle pain, nerve problems and more.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis – problems
The diagnosis of Lyme disease is usually a clinical one, but also may be supported by the presence of a number of antibodies upon blood testing. First stage testing is known as the enzyme link immunoabsorbent test (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. The Western blot or immunoblot assays are used for secondary-level testing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said that five positive IgG bands and/or two positive IgM bands means that you are infected, but many patients have fewer bands or even no bands, and this does not mean that they do not have the disease. Unfortunately, one can have Lyme disease even with fewer lab findings then those set by the CDC. In fact, a person with Lyme disease can have negative tests for up to five years after they start to experience symptoms. There are other tests that can support the diagnosis of Lyme disease which are not performed by most mainstream doctors, but have substantial research backing including PCR testing and DNA amplification testing.
Integrated Healing Approach
An integrated medical approach for Lyme disease considers recent disease history, symptoms, genetic tendencies, and all other health issues. The identification of other infections is also part of our basic approach. After all, there are several tick-born infections beyond Lyme disease including various viruses’ and parasites that might be missed. Because many health problems can mimic Lyme disease, we have developed our Blood Detective Longevity Plan to uncover hidden health issues that might be confused for Lyme disease. Every individual is different. This is why we pride ourselves on developing both medical and nutritional approaches that fit our patients’ needs.
- Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.