The fight for better Lyme disease awareness and treatment is on. The Quebec Lyme Disease Association has been holding rallies in Canada because they want Quebec doctors to get up to speed, have better tests and better treatment. The push for better Lyme disease treatment and awareness is not just in Canada, but right here in the US. On May 22, 2014, a group of protesters led by Josh Cutler, a father of two who was disabled due to Lyme disease, stormed in front of IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) headquarters in what Jessica Bernstein from Truthout magazine hails, “A desperate attempt to change IDSA policies that prevent them from receiving care.” This matches with what we have found clinically in our practice; patients are truly in need of better care and are demanding better treatment. The solution as we see it is straightforward medically but controversial politically. Physicians require a clearer understanding on the limitations of the CDC and then the training to clinically and properly diagnose and treat their patients via an integrative functional medicine assessment and treatment model. Unfortunately, many physicians feel that if they haven’t heard about something it doesn’t work or it is a waste of time. This can best be summarized as blind pride, hidden under the fear of the unknown and following the status quo. We understand that these changes will not come without a fight for power at the medical board level in various states because we have been battling this very same fight for years on behalf of our patients.Jessica Bernstein wrote an eye opening article called, “Irate Lyme Disease Patients Storm ‘Dinner Party’ at IDSA Headquarters,” in which she describes the underlying problem linked to the chronic infection debate. She says, “Much of the strife between IDSA Lyme researchers and patients centers around the notion of a chronic infection. The IDSA contends that the Lyme bacterial infection is always eradicated after a simple two to four week course of antibiotics.” This statement by the IDSA is simply not true. Lyme disease has co-infections which can cause a variety of challenges and many won’t just go away with a few weeks of antibiotic treatment. We know that Chronic Lyme exists because so many of our patients have come to us with lingering problems – with most of the chronic sufferers having taken antibiotics to no avail. The time is now to demand better treatment – the protestors have already gotten the message to government officials, but it usually falls on deaf ears. We believe that patients need to become empowered on their own. Some additional and startling information from the same Truthout article is that, “Seventy-seven peer-reviewed studies from 1977 to 2012 show that the Lyme infection can persist despite recommended treatment.” As a medical group we are not surprised at this because Lyme disease has co-infections like Babesia, Bartonella, and Epstein Bar, just to name a few, which can cause Lyme disease to persist in chronic Lyme disease along with co-infectious complications for patients. As if that wasn’t enough, standard treatment can be blocked by pesky biofilm, a slime that protects infections. It is so crucial to get the right treatment and only by rocking the boat will this get done. Bad policies and limited awareness have in been place for a while now especially when it comes to chronic disease and complex infections like Lyme disease. In our experience, our doctors have to think outside of the box to solve this problem for our patients, and if the patient receives proper testing and treatments it can make all the difference. Any questions or comments on this article? If so, please contact us.
 Bernstein, Jessica. “Irate Lyme Disease Patients Storm "Dinner Party" at IDSA Headquarters.” Truthout. May 30, 2014. http://truth-out.org/news/item/24027-irate-lyme-disease-patients-storm-dinner-party-at-idsa-headquarters