Choosing a doctor experienced to treat Lyme disease cannot be overemphasized
Oh, for the good old days, when Lyme disease was easy to diagnose and treat. Well, those days are over. As the illness has become increasingly challenging for clinicians and other tick-borne diseases continue to emerge, the role of doctors experienced in treating Lyme disease cannot be overemphasized.
Several factors can impact the likelihood that treatment will be successful for a patient seeking a doctor to treat their Lyme disease. According to a recent study, high treatment response was most closely associated with:
doctor treat lyme disease
- the use of antibiotics or a combination of antibiotics and alternative treatments;
- longer duration of treatment, and;
- oversight by a clinician whose practice focused on the treatment of tick-borne diseases.
These findings are based on data from MyLymeData patient registry, which was launched in 2015 and includes over 13,000 patients.¹ The participants in the study were clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease.
There are a number of reasons why oversight by a clinician, who is focused on treating tick-borne infections might be associated with a high treatment response. For purposes of transparency, my practice focuses on treatment of tick-borne diseases.
These medical practices have experience in diagnosing a growing number of manifestations of Lyme disease.
Moreover, the practitioners are typically more willing to use clinical judgment to treat Lyme disease, even when laboratory tests are negative. Tests for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses can be unreliable.
Lastly, these practices are experienced in treating a broad range of clinical manifestations. Their treatment modalities include longer treatment, higher doses, change in antibiotics, combination of antibiotics, and intravenous antibiotics.
Although, a primary care doctor or specialist can diagnose and treat Lyme disease, particularly if it’s in the early stage, treating more chronic cases of the illness can be difficult.
Unfortunately, as many as 1 in 3 individuals with tick-borne infections remain ill on follow-up.
The role of a practice focused on the treatment of tick-borne diseases cannot be overemphasized. All doctors play a crucial role in recognizing these complex infections and when needed, providing referrals to a practice which specializes in this area.
- Johnson L, Shapiro M, Stricker RB, Vendrow J, Haddock J, Needell D. Antibiotic Treatment Response in Chronic Lyme Disease: Why Do Some Patients Improve While Others Do Not? Healthcare (Basel). Oct 3 2020;8(4)doi:10.3390/healthcare8040383 Link to article at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712932/
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