Dr. Joe Jemsek (www.jemsekspecialty.com) discusses the controversy surrounding Lyme disease and what action needs to be taken to provide patients with better care.
Lyme Disease is more generally associated with Arthritis by the general public, that is if they think about it at all. In fact my main symptoms were arthritis and muscle weakness but as my illness progressed I developed various Peripheral Neuropathies. It is interesting to read what Dr Jemsek has to say about the Disease and the Patient.
A tick bite can expose a person to a variety of bacteria and other microorganisms that may make one sick. This can occur after a single bite or through multiple tick bites. In this overview, we will focus on the particular bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi (Bb) that is known to cause Lyme disease and is acquired from a tick bite. If antibiotics are not taken or are inappropriately administered soon after a bite from a Bb-infected tick, the patient is at higher risk for illness, which may occur suddenly or surface at a later time.
Finding the attached tick is difficult because the tick that carries this bacterium is very small and tick bites may occur where they are not easily seen. Often times, the tell-tale rash that can result from a tick bit, called erythema migrams, does not develop. Hence, a patient may not know they were bitten by an infected tick. They may soon begin to feel symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain and spasms, sensory aversion, gut and bladder problems, bizarre neurological symptoms and memory loss. It is not unusual for cognitive difficulties to progress to the point that patients experience the inability to find their way home from everyday places, such as the grocery store and post office.
Most patients that come to the Jemsek Specialty Clinic have seen 5 to 15 doctors for the symptoms listed above. They have seen neurologists, psychiatrists, rheumatologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, and internal medicine specialists. They have often been treated for one of more of their individual symptoms without knowing the cause of those symptoms. When treatment for their symptoms is stopped, the symptoms typically re-emerge. This is not unusual if one stops taking high blood pressure medicine, the blood pressure usually rises again.
On the matter of the IDSA review
IDSA Review Panel Results Called Highly Suspect
"There is no justification for relying on flawed science for continuing its recommended guidelines and arming insurance companies to deny health benefits to insured Lyme victims. If the panel was not prepared to recognize the studies that support longer courses of antibiotic treatment for chronic sufferers, it should have included a call for continued scientific study of this topic among its suggestions. It is time for the IDSA doctors to stop defending their reputations and get back to the work of helping sick people to get well."
Although the above video was of 2009 Into The Light Gala I had not started this blog then and it is something I wanted to post about. I remember Dr Jemsek saying that of the top 20 chronic illnesses in the USA they only know the cause of two Helicobacter Pylori a bacterial infection causing stomach ulcers and HIV a viral infection.
How many patients went under the knife for a stomach ulcer unnecessarily and how many AIDS patients died before HIV was accepted? Already Lyme disease is a greater epidemic in the USA than HIV.