Questions about LYME Disease, here are the answers.
1. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, and the disease is very prevalent across the United States.
2. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis and may cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms and should be used as a differential diagnosis in rheumatologic and neurologic conditions, with symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Somatization Disorder, and any difficult-to-diagnose multi-system illness.
3. A vaccine for Lyme disease is currently unavailable.
4. When used as part of a diagnostic evaluation for Lyme disease, “Lyme titer” should be performed by a special laboratory that is specifically known to read and report on Lyme results.
5. There has never been a study supporting that a 30-day antibiotic treatment would cure chronic Lyme disease. Short treatment courses (30 days) often have upwards of a 40% relapse rate.
6. Lyme disease has been called “the great imitator” and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of many patients with symptoms of rheumatologic and neurologic conditions.
BEST ADVICE: Be your own best advocate and be open and persistent with your doctor regarding your symptoms. Keep a detailed written record that includes prescribed treatments and their effects.