Throughout America and Canada, many patients are being told all their medical conditions are in their head. Their fatigue, joint pain, memory loss, flu-like symptoms and nervous system disturbances are all hypochondriac symptoms. This explains why so many are suffering, unable to get the correct diagnosis, adding to the controversy surrounding diseases such as chronic Lyme disease complex, which is characterized by a massive misdiagnosis of tick-borne disease, not to mention a wrongly treated patient base that now plagues over 300,000 new cases each year. Welcome to the controversial world of idiopathic, autoimmune and chronic illness, where patients who continue to suffer with poor quality of life are caught in the middle. In this article we will provide helpful insights so that patients can receive the help they so desperately need.
Lyme disease is perhaps the best example of how the medical industry misdiagnoses or completely misses many terrible, often life-threatening diseases. For example, the infectious disease specialists are told straight from Mendel’s Infections disease textbook that patients cannot have chronic Lyme disease if the lab tests (western blot test and ELISA test) come back negative. Mandel’s textbook itself encourages doctors to look for another disease or another diagnosis. But these tests are immune system sensitive tests that miss well over 50 percent of cases. Why? Simply put, a patient’s immune system is far too compromised or weak to respond in many chronic cases, so the test returns with a false negative. Therefore, the immune system must be tested first to include more detailed infectious profiles with a correct patient history and symptom list. This is the most accurate way to achieve the correct diagnosis and help the patient towards improving quality of life. Too many people suffer needlessly this way, but luckily there is much better way to go. So what does this grave misdiagnosis translate to? A massive diagnostic influx of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases and neurological conditions that are all idiopathic (meaning these conditions have no real know cause or causes.) Remember, fibromyalgia was believed to be in everyone’s head until Lyrica was mass-marketed and prescribed, allowing pharmaceutical companies to do what they do best: making billions by managing symptoms, never really healing patients and keep them on expensive medication for a lifetime. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, more drug prescriptions will be filled as the government will pay the bill and encourage a lifetime of symptomatic care. However, this does little for treating the real underlying causes of disease, merely managing symptoms. And this is the case for far too many diseases, not just Lyme. In recent decades, there’s been an explosion of symptom-managing medication prescribed, including antidepressants, pain killers, sleep aids, steroids and newer tumor necrosis alpha blocker drugs that block pain and inflammation by suppressing the immune system. These drugs are all huge profit makers for pharmaceutical companies. There’s only one problem – these medications treat absolutely nothing. Sure, they make your pain or other symptom temporarily disappear, but unless you manage the root cause, the problem will never disappear. This is simple logic. What we are saying is that the previously mentioned conditions often fall under infectious diseases. It’s proven when profiles from bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites come back positive on these patients. In our understanding of Lyme disease complex it involves infections, heavy metal and chemical toxins that further complicate the diagnosis and treatment, stumping even some of the best-trained Lyme literate doctors. But if all standard physicians and specialists are testing for is autoimmune disease markers, inflammatory markers and rheumatologic diseases while giving suppressive medication, how can a patient ever really get well? They may not even know what they really have! With the addition of the Affordable Care Act, the quality of diagnosis and time spent with your doctor will decrease to meet the overwhelming needs of the population. We expect to reach all-time highs in incorrect diagnoses and misdirected treatment regimens. So what happens when people get accurate testing for diseases such as chronic Lyme disease complex and work with the few doctors trained to treat this complex of infections? In our experience, an overwhelming number of patients have a massive improvement in quality of life and a great turnaround in their health. The reason for this is simple: when you test and treat all infections and clinical complications, patients finally get a breakthrough and get their life back. With only a small group of doctors, most offices require years of treatments. Using mainly IV antibiotics, our team is accomplishing much more in just several weeks of care by customizing the treatment plan for each patient. The main reason for this is the clinical experience and many number of cases helped that give us so much experience and confidence. As for the patient’s bottom line, those that have found the correct Lyme literate doctor and get treatment, see improvement. Those following the Center for Disease Control or infection disease specialists (who have little to no experience in treatment of this disease) never really improve. Instead, they live with a lifetime of whatever disease they’ve been pigeonholed into, because their doctor needed to find a diagnosis for the patient that fits, usually one that is only managed with a lifetime of prescriptions. It really seems that the entire system is mainly designed for symptomatic care and enriching the pharmaceutical global business. Many of the drugs discovered today don’t work much better than their predecessors, but the standard is tested to the placebo, not to the latest and best-approved drug. In addition to that, many doctors spend less than 15 minutes with their patients, yet somehow they are going to find and treat the cause of a very complex chronic disease. Really? Let’s just be honest, we have a divided system of medicine and doctors throughout the world: those that are trained to treat causes of chronic disease and those who focus only on medication-based symptomatic care. You as a patient have to decide what you really want out of your health and healthcare provider. In all fairness, many doctors don’t have the freedom to treat their patients as they would like because medical boards and federal organizations apply political and financial pressure. The reality is sometimes hard to hear, but ask those that have been in the middle of this debate and they tell you it gets pretty ugly. There are so many doctors who have differing opinion than the CDC, as well as much more clinical experience than CDC and so-called experts in treating these diseases. So after a patient has been told they’re crazy, sent around to various specialists, and is given one of the above diagnoses, finally the well-trained Lyme literate doctor can run in-depth testing for all infections, co-infections, immune dysfunctions, chemicals, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies and gathering a detailed patient history. And when corrected, their life is vastly improved. Lyme disease may just be an example, but it’s an important one. Patients deserve to get well, not suffer just because the infectious disease community hasn’t figured out latent chronic infections like Lyme disease don’t have textbook presentations or descriptions. Yet, they are very real, needing to be treated correctly so patients can get their life back. We’re passionate about the subject, because this is what we do everyday: help our patients heal. If you have any questions about chronic Lyme disease complex or other idiopathic conditions and our unique and helpful approach, feel free to contact us.