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Chronic Lyme Disease

Chronic Lyme disease is a term used to describe a constellation of symptoms that some experience after treatment for Lyme disease. It's important to note however like I discussed last week that early inappropriate medical intervention is crucial in minimizing the incidence of any chronic tick bite infection.

Some patients report ongoing symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain, cognitive difficulties, and neurological symptoms, even after completing the recommended course(s) of antibiotics for Lyme disease. However, many experts argue that these symptoms may be due to other underlying conditions or factors unrelated to Lyme disease.

The controversy surrounding chronic Lyme disease stems from several factors:

  1. Lack of Consensus: There is poor consensus among medical professionals on the definition, diagnosis, or treatment of chronic Lyme disease.

  2. Limited Evidence: Scientific evidence supporting the existence of chronic Lyme disease as a distinct clinical entity is limited. Studies have not consistently found evidence of ongoing active infection in patients with persistent symptoms after treatment. However this sometimes misses the boat given post-illness syndromes or more common than one's thought and in fact be due to a number of different causes.

  3. Overdiagnosis: Some individuals may receive a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease especially from non-physicians without clear evidence of prior Lyme infection, leading to potential overdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

  4. Potential misinformation: There is a significant amount of misinformation and controversy surrounding Lyme disease, fueled in part by advocacy groups and conflicting viewpoints within the medical community.

Numerous articles have been written on this. Here is an especially good one. Wong KH, Shapiro ED, Soffer GK. A Review of Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome and Chronic Lyme Disease for the Practicing Immunologist. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2022 Feb;62(1):264-271. doi: 10.1007/s12016-021-08906-w. Epub 2021 Oct 23. PMID: 34687445.

It's essential for individuals who believe they may have chronic Lyme disease to work closely with licensed physicians who are knowledgeable about the condition and to approach treatment decisions with caution, always fully considering the potential risks and benefits of any proposed interventions. It is also critically important for patients and physicians both to understand that often times tick borne diseases can include multiple different organisms And not just Lyme ( B. burgdorferi). This is why appropriate, early as well as follow up diagnostic testing and treatment is so key in minimizing or eliminating potential chronic health issues for our patients. If you have questions about this regarding your personal health, feel free to reach out to our Marshfield office linked below. ~ We Are Here for You

Chronic Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme Disease

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