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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » "Lyme Disease, A Plague of Ignorance Regarding The Ignorance of a Plague," (Article)

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Author Topic: "Lyme Disease, A Plague of Ignorance Regarding The Ignorance of a Plague," (Article)
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An Oldie, but a Goodie article by Dr. Scott Taylor.

LYME DISEASE (Borreliosis)

A Plague of Ignorance Regarding the Ignorance of a Plague

Copyright 2004, Dr Scott Taylor, DVM, All rights Reserved

My objective for writing this report is to help inform the layman and the medical community about the extremely complex infection called Lyme disease. I have recently been infected with Lyme disease and I will share my experience and what I have learned about the complex nature of Lyme disease in this report. I continue to update this report and I foresee many revisions of it in the future as more information regarding Lyme disease surfaces. I have recently been introduced to a major medical breakthrough discovered by Dr. Trevor Marshall, research director at the Autoimmunity Research Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA. I have updated this version of the report to include this vital information.

Lyme disease (LD) is a seriously complex multi-system inflammatory disease that is triggered by the bacterial lipoproteins (BLPs) produced by the spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia. Borrelia are difficult to isolate, grow, and study in the laboratory. So, our technical knowledge of this pathogen is poor compared to our understanding of most bacteria that cause disease. Transmission of Borrelia occurs primarily through the bite of ticks. The disease affects every tissue and every major organ system in the body. Clinically, it can appear as a chronic arthalgia (joint pain), fibromyalgia (fibrous connective tissue and muscle pain), chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction and as neurological disease. LD may even be fatal in severe cases.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is primary based upon clinical evidence. There is currently no laboratory test that is definitive for Lyme disease. Many tests give false negative results. 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 a familiar name to most people, but their knowledge of it is very limited. Unfortunately, this is also true for most professionals in the medical community. There have been numerous reports in the media about it in the United States over the past 25 years. These superficial articles report something about small deer ticks transmitting bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The tick vectors are said to be mainly restricted to certain endemic areas of the United States, which are the Northeast and the upper Midwest. Frequently mentioned is the bulls-eye skin rash that develops following the bite of an infected tick. The disease is reported to begin with flu-like symptoms that progress to an arthritic and fibromyalgic condition. It is often said that Lyme disease can be readily treated with standard regimens of antibiotics. While these reports are partially true, they are also critically erroneous and very misleading!

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.

It is very unfortunate that most physicians don't know how to recognize and treat cases of Lyme disease, especially the illusive cases of chronic Lyme disease. I'm not just talking about general MDs being ignorant; I am also referring to specialists such as: rheumatologists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists, psychiatrists, and the most ignorant actually seem to be infectious disease specialists. I was extremely surprised by this plague of ignorance after I began my investigation of Lyme disease.

There are some key factors that exist in the medical community regarding Lyme disease; they go a long way in explaining why LD is often misdiagnosed and mistreated:

1. LD is frequently misdiagnosed. Physicians frequently overlook cases of Lyme disease simply because they don't know the complex pathogenesis of the disease. They don't understand that Lyme disease causes well over 100 different symptoms; the common arthralgia (the medical term for joint pain) is a LD symptom that most physicians are familiar with; however, it is only one of many symptoms caused by Lyme disease.

The clinical presentation of Lyme disease can be very subtle and complex. Most doctors don't know that laboratory tests are often useless and misleading. Results are frequently negative or inconclusive in individuals with borreliosis. The technology we have to deal with borrelia species is in need of significant improvement. The isolation and identification of borrelia is rarely successful; and no clinical laboratory test exists that can definitively diagnose Lyme disease.

This is why a diagnosis of Lyme disease is heavily based upon clinical information such as history, symptoms, and response to therapy. There is an art to medicine when dealing with Lyme disease. Lyme experienced physicians must use keen clinical skills and judgment when dealing with suspect Lyme disease patients. They thoroughly evaluate the patient's history and symptoms when seeking a diagnosis and are able to recognize even the subtle symptoms of complex Lyme cases. Most physicians don't recognize the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease and will rely solely on laboratory tests to confirm a diagnosis. Frequently these lab tests are negative and mislead the physician and patient to search for another cause.

Most MDs don't know that borrelia produce a large variety of toxic bacterial lipoproteins (BLPs) and they aren't familiar with the way these BLPs cause disease. Lyme disease specialists must use very keen clinical judgment when diagnosing cases of Lyme disease.

In defense of the ignorant physicians, much blame can rest on health officials and the medical establishments that are not giving clinicians the appropriate information they need to diagnosis these difficult cases of Lyme disease. The criteria being used to report Lyme disease by physicians is often set by state health officials and is often based upon the rigid criteria established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This CDC criteria was established for an epidemiological survey, which was designed to study the distribution of Lyme disease.

The two-step method of the CDC uses a screening immunoassay for all patients followed by a more sensitive and specific Western blot only if the screening test was positive. Unfortunately, this approach was originally intended for surveillance of Lyme disease in potentially asymptomatic patients, not for diagnostic purposes in patients with symptoms that are potentially related to Lyme disease. This criteria was not intended to be used as a standard for the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease; the CDC has clearly stated this.

Unfortunately, ignorant health officials and physicians continue to use these criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Click on Link for Remainder of Article:

[ 28. December 2008, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: FuzzySlippers ]

Posts: 503 | From Maryland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Thank you for posting this!!

Sick since January 1985. Misdiagnosed for 20 years. Tested CDC positive October 2005. Treating since April 2006.

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Thank You
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it is due to SCOTT's talk about fibro, cfs, ms, etc. that i went to an UNADVERTISED support group meeting and heard about LYME for 1st time.

so it is due to scott that i learned of igenex's western blot igm and igg blood tests and had them done! i was 1st person in this area to have sent to them and was POSITIVE ON BOTH!!

he's also how i learned of outstanding NOIR sunglasses; he ordered a pair of fancy ones, and me wrap-arounds; i wouldn't be without them when i go out! betty...a happy camper!

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