Lyme Disease - In the Lyme Light
What is Lyme?
Lyme disease was, unsurprisingly, first named in the village Lyme, Connecticut, USA in 1975. Lyme stands for Lyme Borreliosis. The bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi is carried in some tick bites and in fewer cases via horse-fly bites.
What are the symptoms?
Lyme has been associated with a myriad of symptoms due to its ability to attack multiple tissues. Everything from dizziness, brain fog, fatigue, to tingling, numbness, recurrent fevers and chronic pain may be caused by Lyme. It has also been linked to large array of auto immune conditions including but not limited to Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Hashimotos Thyroiditis and chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
How Do I Find Out if Lyme is the Cause of My Problems?
Traditionally testing for Lyme has tended to be a bit hit and miss. The conventional screening involves determining the pre-test probability based upon chance of exposure, presence of a classic “bulls eye” rash (present 50% of the time) and clinical symptoms. This is then followed by the “Western Blot and or serology testing.
The Problem With Conventional Testing
The problem however is that certain groups are susceptible to false negative or false positive results. Furthermore this approach does not classically include screening for associated co-infections such as Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Rickettsia, Bartonella and Babesia, nor does it consider Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Coxsackie-Virus, EBV, CMV, HSV, and HHV6 infections that may add to the complexity of multiple infections.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those with unexplained symptoms and those for whom Lyme (and associated co-infections) may remain unexplored or sub-optimally managed. In working with you, Integrative Physio’s practitioners factor in possible exposures and advise you as appropriate on specialized testing available for chronic infections associated with tick bites and/or a range of co-infections. State of the art technology and testing procedures are used to minimize the possibility of false negatives/positives and determine precise mixed-infections in relation to your symptoms, allowing for the design of an individualized protocol.
What Should I Do Now?
The most important thing is that you have your symptoms investigated clinically as symptoms of Lyme are complex and may well need conventional medical examination. It is best to proceed as follows:
1) Present your symptoms to your family Physician. Follow their referral route to clinical specialists as required. We will aim to work with your specialists if needed.
2) Call us to make an appointment for Functional Medicine. We will send you a pre-consult questionnaire to be completed on line. If you think you may have Lyme, please mention this and we will also send you a Lyme specific questionnaire generated by the specialist lab we work with
3) See our Functional Medicine practitioner: We will take a detailed history and evaluate whether there is a need for further testing/investigation
4) Testing: Our practitioner may recommend testing with specialised labs which we will then review.
5) Depending on your results we will work closely with the laboratory and your primary Physician to manage your condition from a Functional Medicine perspective to support your body in its healing process.
Please email us at Integrative Physioor call if you have any further questions and one of our practitioners will get back to you.