How do Naturopathic Doctors Test and Treat Lyme Disease?
It’s that time again… tick season, and with Lyme Disease rates increasing every year it is becoming extremely important to increase awareness about this illness. One tick bite, from the wrong tick, can lead to a host of debilitating symptoms.
The bacteria responsible for Lyme disease (Borellia) is amazing at concealing itself from our immune systems. It can take weeks after being infected before the immune system starts to recognize and fight it. The most commonly recognized sign of Lyme disease is a rash (also referred to as a “Bulls Eye Rash.” This rash begins at the site of the tick bite and is very itchy or painful. The problem is that most people don’t ever notice the rash, or they don’t question it because it doesn’t look like a bullseye and research shows that only 50% of those infected get a rash. Other people may simply get a summer flu. If you catch these symptoms and you are tested and treated, Lyme disease will go away and you probably won’t have any complications. However If not treated early, Lyme may become chronic. In these instances a myriad of non-distinct but debilitating symptoms can follow. Most people are diagnosed with something else like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, neuropathy or multiple sclerosis because there are not definitive symptoms of Chronic Lyme. It often takes years of ineffective treatments before these patients are diagnosed.
How do you find out if you have Lyme Disease?
The fact that Borrelia infection is able to conceal itself from the immune system makes it one of the most difficult bacterial infections to treat. This also affects its ability to be properly diagnosed. To make matters worse, Ticks often carry other bacteria, therefore more than one infection can be transmitted in the same bite. If these other infections are missed, it can make treatment even more challenging.
Conventional testing for Lyme disease looks for Lyme antibodies and it comes with a lot of false negatives. Therefore, if you have had a negative Lyme test in the past you could still have Lyme Disease. In order to have more conclusive testing you need to have a Western Blot test to test for antibodies or an Elispot test to test for immune cells called T-cells.
It is also important to be tested for common co-infections as this helps to guide and improve treatment outcomes.
How do Naturopathic Doctors Treat Lyme Disease Differently?
Treating Lyme Disease and other chronic infections is not straightforward. There is no quick fix solution. It takes a lot more than just antibiotics to clear the infection and get your health back. Often antibiotics alone will exacerbate symptoms without long term resolution. We use a top-down approach to heal the disfunction going on in your body, boost your immune system and effectively clear the infection. For this we use a step-wise program to address your body as a whole.
- Replace nutrients that are commonly depleted by Lyme disease and associated co-infections
- Boost the immune system
- Heal the gut
- Address inflammation with diet and supplementation
- Target active infections with herbs, IV therapy, Ozone therapy, and or antibiotics
- Support your mitochondria
- Address hormonal imbalances caused by the infection. This may include the use of bio-identical hormones or thyroid.
With our step-wise approach, we fight the infection while building your immune system and your overall health.
For more information about our chronic disease program, book a FREE strategy session.
Dr. Lisa Maddalena, ND
P.S. Please do not panic if you find a tick on yourself. It takes 16 hours or more for a tick to transmit the infection. Simply remove the tick as quickly as possible to prevent infection.