Doing research for Lyme disease, I found an extremely detailed report, by Dr. Scott Taylor from 2004. The title of his report is very agreeable to those suffering with Lyme, "Lyme Disease (Borreliosis): A Plague of Ignorance Regarding the Ignorance of a Plague". Link Here
Through this report, his primary objective is to "help inform the layman and the medical community about the extremely complex infection called Lyme disease." He wrote this following his own diagnoses and experience with fighting the disease.
"The disease affects every tissue and every major organ system in the body."
"Physicians not familiar with the complex clinical presentation of Lyme disease frequently misdiagnose it as other disorders such as: Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Motor Neuron Disease (ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis -Lou Gherig's disease), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome (MCS) and numerous other psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety."
Lyme disease is something that most will agree that they have heard of, however the majority don't realize the impact it has on the body, most especially the impact following years of misdiagnoses.
"This report is an urgent warning for everyone. Lyme disease is devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and we are all at risk. Many patients are suffering with chronic Lyme disease and continue to be misdiagnosed and mistreated. In many cases of Lyme disease, a correct diagnosis doesn’t occur until after several months or more often many years of suffering with the disease. By then it has caused severe illness, disability and permanent damage. The disease is widespread and the prevalence is significantly higher than reported by health officials."
Dr. Taylor extends further into awareness with key factors regarding why Lyme is misdiagnosed and mistreated.
One very important point is that "there are more carriers of LD (Lyme disease) than just the deer tick".
Regarding treatment Taylor reports,
"Patients need longer and more comprehensive treatment. The standard therapy of 4 -6 weeks of antibiotic treatment is not sufficient to treat chronic Lyme disease. Chronic Lyme disease is often a life-long illness. Months, years, and often indefinite antibiotic therapy may be necessary to manage the disease. Ignorant physicians often use the standard treatment and consider the patient cleared of Lyme disease afterwards. Often these patients are not treated long enough to clear the stubborn Borrelia from the body. So, when the standard regimen of antibiotics is finished, the patients relapse with Lyme symptoms soon after the residual Borrelia reemerges. Unfortunately, the relapse is often not recognized by doctors and the patients are misdiagnosed with a different disorder. Not only does treatment be directed at the infection; it must also manage inflammation, help eliminate the BLPs produced, support the immune system, and many other associated problems such as hormone deficiencies."
Did you know that the first case of borreliosis in the U.S. was made by Dr. Rudolph Scrimenti in 1970? It wasn't until the early 1980's that it was named Lyme disease. Not a wonder there are few physicians with the knowledge regarding the disease. After all, how often are text books updated?
"Spirochetes are very difficult to grow (fastidious), identify, and study in the laboratory. In the laboratory we still cannot grow the spirochete that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum. This makes it very difficult to perform research and develop better diagnostic tests and therapies for borreliosis. Borrelia species grow extremely slowly; they even grow slower than many fungi and mycobacteria. Their growth rate is also slower than Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis. Borrelia’s slow growth partially explains its ability to cause chronic disease and the difficulty identifying it in the laboratory.
Borrelia exists in three different life forms: 1) the cyst, 2) the spheroplast or "L form", which doesn’t have a cell wall (commonly called: cell wall deficient (CWD)), and 3) the typical spiral-shaped bacteria form that has a cell wall and flagella as seen in figures 1 & 2. Spirochetes have a unique mode of motility that allows them to easily travel through tissues of the body. By rotating their axial filament (endoflagella) the flagellum rotates causing the spirochete to actually move in a cork-screw fashion. This mode of motility allows spirochetes to literally "screw" themselves into and through the tissues of the body. They can also contract like a spring and move through tissue as they uncoil. Spirochetes hide their flagella from the host’s immune defenses, which are normally antigenic and would trigger an immune response if detected."
Did you think that ticks were bugs? I did.
"Ticks are bloodsucking external parasites that feed on humans, wild and domestic mammals, and birds. Ticks are not insects; they are 8-legged arachnids along with chiggers, spiders, and mites."
"Ticks are carried by a number of different host animals, not simply deer. The hosts for adult ticks are numerous and include: fox, coyote, dogs, cats, cattle, rabbit, skunk, raccoon, rats, squirrels, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and humans. Nymphs get on many of these same animals as well as larger animals typical for adults. Ground nesting birds including bobwhite quail, pheasants, turkeys and chickens are also tick hosts. Forty-nine species of migrating birds have been found to carry ticks, transporting them large distances and contributing to the national spread of Lyme disease. Potential minor vectors for Borrelia species include: chiggers, mosquitoes, biting flies and fleas. Cases of LD being contracted from infected pets are well documented; likely due to the pet bringing infected ticks into the home. Borrelia can also be transmitted in utero from an infected mother to a child during pregnancy. Congenital transmission can cause miscarriages, severe neurological disabilities, or other major system dysfunctions to the baby. Other modes of transmission probably exist that we are not aware of. I am personally concerned that transmission may occur through blood transfusions without authorities knowing about it."
According to Taylor, in order to understand how to treat Lyme disease, you must understand how borrelia causes disease. A key factor regarding borreliosis is Bacterial Lipoproteins (BLPs), which have a key component, Pam3cys. This triggers "an innate immune response that cascades into the disease borreliosis...The inflammation triggered by the fat-soluble BLPs toxins is responsible for most, if not all symptoms of borreliosis."
TO BE CONTINUED...
For the next half of his findings and summary of his report, please see next week's Friday Lyme disease post.