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Am I seeing the right doctor for chronic Lyme?
7 Vital questions to help determine if the doctor you're seeing, or planning to see, can truly help you achieve remission from chronic Lyme Disease
As sad, unfortunate, and true as it is, the overwhelming majority of people with chronic Lyme Disease spend energy they don't have, money, and precious, valuable and critical time on doctors who simply don't understand the ins and outs of treating chronic Lyme Disease. As a result, these chronic Lyme sufferers end up seeing an absurd and completely unnecessarily high amount of doctors. In the end, this amounts to nothing more than a complete waste of critical time. Time that has since allowed the body to degenerate and weaken even more as Lyme Disease and any possible accompanying coinfections become more oppressive.
There is one simple rule to adhere and follow and that is don't mistake good intent for knowledge. It is an all too common mistake that costs those attempting to find the right doctor to treat their chronic Lyme Disease, valuable resources (i.e., time, money and energy). Logic dictates that just because a doctor has good intent to treat, it doesn't mean they have the appropriate and crucial knowledge to combat chronic Lyme Disease.
So how does one truly determine if the doctor they're seeing or planning to see is the right one? Well one can never truly know for sure, even if the doctor claims to have put others in remission. This is because everyone's body is under different circumstances and responds to different treatments uniquely. However, one can surely build up enough blind faith in a doctor and trust they're on the right route to remission by asking the doctor these 7 vital questions.
1. Do you believe or acknowledge chronic Lyme Disease exists?
Lyme Disease when caught early enough can be completely killed with antibiotics. Lyme Disease that has been allowed to fester within the body and can not be eradicated with three weeks on antibiotics is chronic. That's the difference between the two.
Reason for asking: This question is the deal breaker. It's the first question that should be asked and will determine right then and there if the doctor is worth your resources. If the doctor you're seeing doesn't acknowledge that chronic Lyme Disease exists, walk out the door. It's as simple as that.
2. Do you treat biofilms and cyst forms of Lyme Disease?
Biofilm is a protective coating that Borrelia generates from the protein fibrin our bodies generate. It provides immunity from antibiotics and the immune system. Besides generating a biofilm, Borrelia has the capability to transform into a cyst which also provides immunity from antibiotics and the immune system.
Reason for asking: You don't want a doctor who treats chronic Lyme Disease with antibiotics alone. Antibiotics and the immune system will only readily attack exposed and vulnerable spirochetes, which is just one half of the infection as a whole. The remaining half are untouchable to antibiotics and the immune system as they're cleverly concealed within a biofilm or as a cyst, which is believed to be the number one cause of a relapse. Though some antibiotics have cyst busting properties, special drugs and herbs are designed to combat these deceitful tactics utilized by Borrelia.
3. Do you treat coinfections?
Coinfections (e.g., bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal) are infections that accompany Borrelia with the same malicious intent to destroy the human body. Some coinfections are transmitted via the same tick bite in which one received Lyme Disease. Others may be obtained through the food we eat, air we breathe or the ground we walk on. Some coinfections may simply already be naturally occurring in our digestive tract but become unruly when the system that keeps them in line becomes compromised.
Reason for asking: Coinfections can be just as damaging to the body as Lyme Disease and in doing so, prohibit one from regaining the good health at the rate in which one could and should be. It's rare when a person who has Lyme Disease doesn't possess at least one coinfection. A good amount of the symptoms you may be experiencing may actually be caused by a coinfection and not just Lyme Disease. So it would make sense to address all of the root causes of your symptoms and not just one. Remember that the remedy that may be used to kill Borrelia may not be the appropriate remedy for a coinfection. In fact, it may actually perform the opposite intention and assist its manifestation.
4. Do you impose detoxification methods?
Detoxification is essential for maintaining homeostasis within the human body. In fact our bodies are quite good at it as evolution has granted the human body many essential tools and tactics for doing so but it has its flaws and weaknesses.
Reason for asking: Unfortunately there is an effect caused by the killing of the Lyme Disease bacteria and many of its coinfections known well as the Herxheimer Reaction. In a nut shell, when certain foreign invaders are killed, they release toxins post humous as a last ditch effort to win and assist their fellow comrades. These toxins in excess over burden the liver and in turn, force it to push these toxins back into the blood stream to lighten its work load. Hence a herx. The reality is that a herx can actually kill a person so it's ultimately an imperative and beyond wise to detox just as much as one is killing off invaders. You'd be surprised to realize that probably well over 90% of the time you're feeling bad while on treatment is actually because you're not detoxing enough, if at all.
5. Are you I.L.A.D.S. trained?
ILADS is an acronym for the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and according to their website, "is a nonprofit, international, multi-disciplinary medical society, dedicated to the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of Lyme and its associated diseases. ILADS promotes understanding of Lyme and its associated diseases through research and education and strongly supports physicians and other health care professionals dedicated to advancing the standard of care for Lyme and its associated diseases." (courtesy ILADS.org)
Reason for asking: ILADS has the most up to date and essential information on research regarding Lyme Disease and uses it to educates physicians (e.g., medical doctors and naturopaths). A doctor who is ILADS trained understands the ins and outs of treating a person with chronic Lyme Disease but that doesn't mean a doctor who isn't ILADS trained doesn't.
6. What is your track record?
All doctors have a track record in the back of their mind regarding their ability to successfully treat a person.
Reason for asking: Don't be shy! Ask the doctor you intend to see or are already visiting, what their track record is like. Ask them have if they've treated other people for chronic Lyme Disease. Then ask if the doctor if they were able to help those people achieve remission. Most doctors will allow a free consultation before you invest your money in them, so use this time wisely to inquire about a deciding factor. Do remember that you are a customer and paying for a service.
7. Do you diagnose on a combination of lab results and symptoms?
The (antibody) testing for Lyme Disease as many know is very inaccurate and flawed. One can yield negative results countless times and still possess full blown Lyme Disease and coinfections. Also many symptoms that manifest as chronic Lyme Disease can also mimic other well known diseases and conditions.
Reason for asking: A doctor that understands the complexity of diagnosing Lyme Disease will take both lab results and apparent symptoms into consideration. He should be able to interpret lab results without the influence of the CDC (Center for Disease Control). The CDC standards for diagnosing Lyme Disease are completely outdated and worthless and have given way to many people not receiving the appropriate treatment, let alone the appropriate and essential diagnosis. As a result, many unsuspecting people who have chronic Lyme Disease unknowingly walk away from the bomb defuser while the bomb is still strapped to their chest.
Points to remember!
- The more expensive a doctor is doesn't necessarily indicate a greater level of expertise in treating chronic Lyme Disease. Some doctors can charge well over $600 for the initial visit and even worse is insurance may not help cover the cost.
- Be wary of doctors who are in it for the money. Lyme Disease is undoubtedly the hardest endeavor any of us had to face in our lives and that can breed desperation. You'd be foolish to believe there aren't any doctors preying on desperate chronic Lyme sufferers for a quick buck!
- You may need to drive 6 hours to see the appropriate doctor. It's really not uncommon at all for a person with chronic Lyme Disease to travel an extensive amount of miles to visit the doctor that could provide the answers.
- Many doctors are booked for weeks or even months for an initial visit. Don't let their their long wait fool you. An extended wait for an initial visit with a doctor may indicate a good track record but it could also imply they're the only doctor in that area that specializes in chronic Lyme Disease. If you can't wait a couple of months, cancel your appointment but not before you have an appointment scheduled with another doctor.
The most important piece of information to remember is that your life and all the treasures that belong to it are at stake here. Listen to your body and be one with it. The worst move you can make it to let your body down, right when it needs you the most. Follow your heart and listen to your instincts when it comes to finding the right doctor. There isn't a doubt in all of the minds unwillingly forced to endure the detrimental effects of Lyme Disease that the level of difficulty it breeds is well alive. You've got to keep moving forward for the privilege that is life, the privilege to exist, the privilege to be, even if it's for nothing else.