Largely due to the focused efforts of an ever expanding group of health care practitioners working hard to better define and cure Chronic Lyme Disease, there now exists accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, offering recovery and life beyond this elusive disease. Although much of the public is not yet aware that Lyme Disease has become a national and global epidemic, there’s an increasing awareness and understanding that has allowed for the suffering patient to have hope for diagnosis, treatment, and full recovery.
Healing Chronic Lyme Disease and Your Nervous System
by Pamela Costello MD PC
Holistic Neurological Physician
Lyme Disease is transmitted by a biting insect, often a tick, and is caused by a spiral shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. As insects and those organisms that get bitten by them (deer, pets, humans), migrate and travel, this disease recognizes no boundaries. The diagnosis of Lyme Disease is a clinical one, in conjunction with supportive lab testing, a physical exam, and thorough history taking. This diagnosis now includes a number of co-infecting organisms, known to travel within the transmitting insect with the Borrelia bacterium – specifically Babesia, Bartonella, Erlichia, and a number of other associated bacterial and viral species. Each organism causes it’s own set of symptoms.
Chronic Lyme Disease is a Lyme infection that has been either incompletely treated, or the diagnosis has been missed altogether. The organisms can go on to invade the tissues of the nervous system, often causing damage that can lead to debilitating illness. The organisms causing Lyme Disease, as well as many of the co-conspirators such as heavy metal and other environmental neurotoxins, have a great affinity for the insulation that surrounds or comprises much of the nervous tissue of our brain, spine, and nerves. Many cases of Chronic Lyme Disease are contracted from a remote exposure, including the possibility of an infection from mother to fetus.
The elusiveness of correctly diagnosing Lyme Disease has been the result of a number of factors, many of which are due to widely held misconceptions by both health care professionals and the public. This perfect storm of misinformation includes the overall poor sensitivity of standard available lab testing in detecting the organisms, the general lack of awareness of the wide array of clinical manifestations, and the widespread confusion over appropriate, effective treatments.
What we now know, and is important for the public to know, is that many of the most severe maladies affecting the nervous system today are actually related to an occult Lyme Disease infection. Neurologic and pain syndromes such as Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, the Autism Spectrum, Attention Deficit Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Dementia (including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Neuropathy, chronic neck and low back pain, chronic headaches and mental fog, are often an acquired manifestation of a missed diagnosis of a Lyme Disease infection. While there are many other known contributing factors to these clinical syndromes, Lyme Disease is often a hidden, treatable, conspirator.
Once a chronic Lyme infection is suspected, the next step is to seek a licensed health care professional who is formally trained to diagnose and treat Lyme Disease. You can inform yourself of the complexities of this disease through organizations such as ILADS (International Lyme Associated Diseases Society) before seeking professional care. Such organizations provide both current and accurate information on the disease, as well as provide a tremendous resource of sponsored ‘Lyme Literate’ practitioners, support groups, and other valuable references.
As an ILADS trained and sponsored physician, as well as a practicing physician of holistic integrative neurological medicine, I effectively diagnose and treat Chronic Lyme Disease. If you feel you might be suffering from a chronic Lyme infection, or might have been recently infected, you may contact my office for an appointment at 505-503-8325 or go to www.ILADS.org for further helpful information. Additional information and links can be found on my website atwww.drpamelacostello.com.