Beating Lyme: Understanding and Treating This Complex and Often Misdiagnosed Disease

Beating Lyme: Understanding and Treating This Complex and Often Misdiagnosed Disease

Beating Lyme: Understanding and Treating This Complex and Often Misdiagnosed Disease

Beating Lyme: Understanding and Treating This Complex and Often Misdiagnosed Disease

Synopsis

More than 30 years after it was first diagnosed, Lyme disease remains one of our most misunderstood illnesses. This frequently misdiagnosed infection is spreading at an alarming rate and, if not treated early, can cause debilitating symptoms. More than 1.7 million people in the United States, and many others in Europe and Asia, currently have Lyme and are unaware or can't find the right treatment. Finally, Beating Lyme offers those who struggle with it the guidance to get the help they need. A respected health author and educator, Constance Bean is an authority on this elusive illness. In 1993 she was diagnosed with Lyme and has spent the past 14 years researching its treatments and diagnoses. In Beating Lyme readers will find comforting, hard-won advice on such topics as: - what Lyme is and how to recognize the symptoms - what to do after a tick bite - how to protect family and friends - how to get the best treatment and what to do if insurance won't cover it - living with long-term Lyme disease Compassionate and thoroughly researched, this is a book that will help both doctors and patients understand and conquer this complex illness.

Excerpt

>Beating Lyme covers the fascinating, yet completely trivialized, relationship between infections, and the consequences of the chronic pain syndrome that inevitably ensues when Lyme disease is not correctly diagnosed.

My interest in this field of medicine stems from my fascination with the ability of the bacterial and viral organisms to inhabit the human body, yet not destroy it. These infections set up an environment for themselves that enhances their survival, yet does not kill the host.

Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) enters the body via the skin, travels to local nerves and lymphatic channels, penetrates the blood stream, and can rapidly invade the brain without the host even knowing. Bb has been isolated from the spinal fluid of victims hours after a tick bite when the host is completely asymptomatic!

It then sets up house inside cells, evades detection, but also starts playing games with the immune system. In some people it causes nonspecific activation of all immune cells resulting in a clinical presentation that looks exactly like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and many other autoimmune diseases, including sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, ALS, and lupus.

In these people, whom I affectionately call “Balb C mice (those who develop lupus when infected with Lyme and have negative testing for Lyme serologies), we need to treat both the infection and the manifestations. Sometimes the autoimmune diseases are so extreme that all . . .

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