And that is wrong.
Also, after observing the debate for ten years, I feel safe in saying that if the "LLMD" approach is to cure blithering idiocy through extended iv therapy, it is not working, based on what you can read online.
(But why does every Lyme essay, from either side, have to start out with Galileo? Poor Galileo).
(Lifted from RR):
Chronic Lyme Disease: Belief over Science
http://www.nehealthadvisory.com/2010/08 ... er-science
In 1633, Galileo discovered firsthand what happens when science conflicts with belief. He was convicted of heresy against the Catholic Church, in large part because he made an astonishing observation—the earth was not the center of the universe; instead the center of the universe was the sun, and all the planets revolved around it.
I started thinking about Galileo after talking with infectious disease experts about chronic Lyme disease. Despite the scientific and medical evidence to the contrary, there are people who believe they need long-term antibiotics to manage their symptoms even though experts say that this long-term treatment may actually be harmful.
In 2006, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) issued guidelines on diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. In the recommendations, the IDSA said that there is no evidence of a chronic form of the disease requiring long-term antibiotics. However, not everyone agrees.
The issue is so contentious that Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal challenged the 2006 Lyme disease guidelines. As a result, an independent review panel spent more than a year studying the evidence relating to Lyme disease and its treatment. The panel included an ombudsman that the Attorney General helped appoint, so that there would be an added level of independence and oversight.
After analyzing more than 1,000 studies and listening to the testimony of people from all walks of life, the panel unanimously agreed that the IDSA’s 2006 Lyme disease guidelines, which are based on the highest-quality medical and scientific evidence available, are correct. In fact, they are corroborated by guidelines and statements by other U.S. and European medical scientists.
Once again, science and belief are in conflict. Science counters some people’s belief about using antibiotic treatment for months and even years to treat chronic Lyme disease.
Diagnosing Chronic Lyme Disease
I asked two infectious disease specialists about this disconnect between science and belief, and they gave me a lesson in human nature.
“There are a lot of people who are not getting satisfaction from the health care system because they don’t have clearly defined medical illnesses that someone can put a name on and say, ‘You have this and it is due to this,’” says Dr. Gary Wormser, chief of infectious diseases at New York Medical College, who practices at Westchester Medical Center.
These people suffer from vague symptoms that include cognitive dysfunction, aches and pains, fatigue, etc., and either a doctor can’t figure out what is wrong with them or they don’t accept the diagnosis the doctor gives them.
They want to feel better and medicine is failing them.
“Can you imagine their relief when someone who has been suffering for years with fatigue and other issues, and every doctor has thrown up their hands and said, ‘I don’t know what is wrong with you’ goes to someone who says, ‘I know what is wrong with you. You have chronic Lyme disease and I know how to treat you.’ Wouldn’t that be a relief to you?” Wormser asks.
To really confuse things, there is a small group of patients diagnosed with Lyme disease who suffer from a post-infectious syndrome. They are no longer infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but they have residual achiness, fogginess, fatigue and a general feeling of malaise, explains Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
But antibiotics won’t help them because they are no longer infected with the bacteria. Studies have shown that approximately one-third of people who suspected they had chronic Lyme disease got better when they received a placebo (a sugar pill or fluid) they believed was an antibiotic.
Lyme Disease: The Basics
Lyme disease is not an easy disease to get. Fewer than 30,000 people a year develop Lyme disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The particular ticks that spread Lyme disease are only located in certain states. About 95% of the cases occur in 12 out of 50 states. And the tick that transmits B. burgdorferi takes three or more days to infect people. So, if you take your dog for a walk in the woods and see a tick crawling on your arm when you get back into the house, and you remove it, there wasn’t time for it to give you Lyme disease.
A person with early Lyme disease usually—but not always—gets one or more red circular rashes. They also may have fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.
Some people suffer from later manifestations of Lyme disease, and they have pretty serious symptoms: arthritis, nervous system problems such as numbness, pain, nerve paralysis and meningitis. They also can have irregular heartbeats and have problems with memory or cognition, fatigue, headache and sleep disturbances.
Whether in the early or late stages, Lyme disease is treated with a two- to four- week course of antibiotics. Sometimes patients with late Lyme need a second course of antibiotics, but they don’t need antibiotics for months and years.
This is from the CDC:
“Several antibiotics are effective for treating Lyme disease. These are usually given by mouth but may be given intravenously in more severe cases. Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely. Most patients who are treated in later stages of the disease also respond well to antibiotics. A few patients may have persistent or recurrent symptoms and may require a second four-week course of antibiotic treatment. Longer courses of antibiotics have not been shown to be beneficial in patients who have been previously treated and have chronic symptoms.”
The Ill Effects of Antibiotic Overuse
Anyone who takes unnecessary antibiotics for a long time puts the rest of society at risk because they will develop antibiotic-resistant organisms, which they can spread to other people. If they have to go to the hospital for any reason and they share a room with other patients, they can pass those antibiotic resistant organisms to them. Then when antibiotics are needed to cure another serious infection, they might not work.
“We regard antibiotics as a precious commodity that is overused, and we are starting to lose them because of this overuse,” says Wormser, reminding me that antibiotics are not as benign as many people think. Because just about everyone in America has taken at least one course of antibiotics, people believe antibiotics can’t hurt them.
But plenty of people suffer real side effects from antibiotics, including rashes, diarrhea, nausea and yeast infections; others can end up with impaired kidney or liver function, and antibiotics can damage other organs, too. A person taking IV antibiotics can develop a blood infection.
Sometimes the side effects are deadly. There was a report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases of a woman who believed she had chronic Lyme disease and who was taking antibiotics for a long time. The antibiotics killed good bacteria in her digestive tract and allowed Clostridium difficile bacteria to thrive. She developed C. difficile diarrhea and died.
Some of the practitioners who specialize in treating chronic Lyme disease do not accept health insurance, so patients have to pay all the expenses out of pocket. And these treatments go on for a very, very long time.
“This is something I am very passionate about and it makes me incredibly angry,” says Auwaerter. “I have seen a large number of patients who have spent significant amounts of money to continue treatment for something that is not Lyme disease.”
Some of them eventually do get a definitive diagnosis, Auwaerter adds, and often it’s a serious problem. “I’ve had patients with severe problems, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis (swelling of the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin and other tissues) and hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body), all of which I’ve diagnosed this past year in my clinic in people who were labeled as having ‘chronic’ Lyme disease.”