My first Lyme patient was in 2002. Since then the science and understanding of treating Lyme Disease naturally has exploded. Still, with all of the advancements, if there is any one disease that has an incredible amount of confusion surrounding it, it is Lyme Disease. Of the 50 different Lyme specialists around the country who I have worked with, shared patients with and co-treated patients with, there were 50 different protocols, treatment approaches and ways of getting to the root of correcting it. Often Lyme Bacterium is not the only problem in the sickest patients, there are layers of underlying potentials that can complicate returning to normal health. Identifying and understanding these layers is imperative to climbing out of the shadows.
We have learned that beating Lyme is not that difficult if you understand that the treatment is very individual. This is why there are so many approaches. The requirement to executing a successful and corrective Lyme protocol is understanding of the various weaknesses in the patient and knowing how to correct them. Realizing that our immune system is capable of handling the infection is important. But that is only the case if all of the systems of the body are functioning optimally.
Most Lyme Literate Physicians agree that “The Bug Bomb” (antibiotic treatments) are not the most effective course of action to treat the chronic lyme patient. In most cases the use of aggressive antibiotic therapies for years will cause more harm than good. But again, each and every case is unique. With an acute lyme infection certain courses of antibiotics are warranted as part of a successful protocol.
Lyme Disease has a sneaky way of acting like any number of other conditions, from neurologic disease to immune dysfunction, from psychiatric symptoms to chronic fatigue and arthritis symptoms the potentials are extensive. Fortunately, there have been many advancements in the diagnosis of Lyme Disease and this has improved identification of the hard to diagnose problems. We average about 10 Lyme patients a month in my practice. Some of these patients have been suffering and are medicated for decades with a mis-diagnosis of auto-immune, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or neuralogic disease. Most of these patients have had absolute life changing experiences once they put their bodies natural abilities ahead of the trickery of the Lyme infection.
Do you have transient neurologic symptoms that have no expected cause?
Do you have any auto-immune symptoms or are you always tired regardless of the amount of sleep ?
Are there areas of skin that show abnormal bumps, scales, rashes or pigment changes?
Do you have depression or anxiety that there is no circumstantial reason for?
Have you had an insect bite with a strange rash and have symptoms but the blood test for lyme was negative?
Have you been told you have chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia?
Do you have any medical symptoms that your physician has no answer for?
Is your gut telling you that something is not quite right, do you have chronic yeast symptoms?
These symptoms and many more all have the possibility of being Lyme Disease and or co-infections. What is concerning to me, is that if these symptoms are overlooked, ignored or merely controlled with a medication, they will invariably manifest as a disease state later in your life. True “health care” is focused on identifying the route of the disease state and correcting the imbalance to prevent future problems. If you do have Lyme Disease the course of action is clear.
In my office, we use a functional medicine history and exam coupled with blood work to determine secondary imbalances in your system. Lyme testing will be performed via blood work, and clinical correlation if you have not already been diagnosed.
On a personal note, my office had to close and my life was changed when I succumbed to Neuro-Lyme disease. I have an incredible compassion for and sensitivity to helping you to resolve this threatening infection.
It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, your consultations are held directly with Dr. Shaw, not an untrained individual, a staff member, a questionnaire or a computer program. You will not be signing up for a “program” and paying money up front for services not yet rendered. Your health care journey in our office is unique to your specific needs.— Dr. Conan Shaw Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Pittsburgh PA