Lyme Disease - A Plea To Doctors
By Marjorie Tietjen
Lyme Disease is the fastest spreading vector borne disease in the country. The question must then be asked as to why this most serious degenerative neurological disease is essentially being downplayed, ignored and fraudulently misrepresented?
Doctors across the country are dismissing and turning away thousands of seriously ill patients. Many doctors even refuse to consider the possibility that those previously diagnosed with such diseases as ALS, M.S, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, BiPolar Depression, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, etc, may actually be infected with Borrelia Burgdorferi ( Bb... the causative agent of lyme disease ) and other coinfections. This microbe may be the main cause of various autoimmune diseases and other vague conditions or in some cases it may be a co-factor. Certain labs which look for the L form of Bb are finding this pathogen present in much of the chronic illness population.
Respected researchers , such as Lida Mattman ( author of "Stealth Pathogens" ), are finding it more and more difficult to find blood free of Bb for control purposes. Bb has not only been found in ticks but also in human tears, breast milk, semen, mosquitoes, cow's milk, fleas, mites....even well water and african dust. This attests to the extreme hardiness of the lyme spirochete.
Almost every patient we come into contact with is reporting that doctors are reacting very strangely when presented with the idea that the patient may be ill with Chronic Lyme Disease. Doctors are taught that there really isn't such an entity as Chronic Lyme Disease ( meaning chronic active infection ). This is a blatantly false teaching and I will list a couple of links later in this article which will prove that Lyme can be a persistant infection. The theory that Yale University puts forth to the medical community....and it is only a theory without proof to back it up....states that after three to four weeks of antibiotics a person is automatically cured. They contend that if on the 31st day , the day after treatment is stopped, then the patient no longer has an active infection but that it has suddenly turned into a disease of an autoimmune nature. This theory is absurd.. Testing is so unreliable that there is no way to prove the lyme spirochete has been totally eradicated. If the same symptoms persist...so should the treatment.
The mere mention of this disease to most doctors seems to trigger anger, fear, sarcasm, condescending attitudes, denial and often even explosive behavior. Patients often leave the doctor's office in tears, feeling they have been emotionally attacked. This of course only compounds the stress of this legitmate illness and often weakens the patient further. Many doctors tell the patient they are depressed and that they need antidepressants which will solve all their problems. Many of us are beginning to think that it's the doctors who need something to calm them down. I'm really not trying to be sarcastic and I don't want to come across as if I'm attacking the doctors. We realize they are also victims of the system. It must be very frustrating for doctors to be taught one thing and then have patients come in demanding something totally opposite to what the doctors have been told is Truth.
Are doctors frightened of something that the public is not aware of or is this abnormal behavior and resulting non treatment due to ignorance? Is there an intentional lack of education concerning this issue? It certainly seems so and I will tell you why it seems so.
Most testing for Lyme Disease is very inaccurate and therefore can not be used reliably in the diagnosis or "ruling out" of Lyme Disease. The Centers For Disease Control states that their very restrictive diagnostic criteria should only be used for surveillance purposes and not for diagnosis. However, my chief complaint is that no one is encouraged not to use this criteria. There is no promotion whatsoever of this stance of the CDC. As a result, a very large percentage of the population is left undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and untreated.
The Centers For Disease Control also states that Lyme Disease is a clinical diagnosis. This means that doctors should use their own judgement after considering the patient's symptoms and history. Laboratory testing should only be used as an adjunct.
Doctors need to educate themselves as to the extensive list of symptoms which are associated with Lyme Disease and it's coinfections. Once familiar with the general symptom complex it is very simple, even for lay people, to predict and conclude who is probably stricken with Lyme Disease. Reports from young doctors confirm the suspicion that not much is taught concerning Lyme Disease, in medical school. It's an unfortunate situation that doctors and patients alike have to seek their information from sources other than the mainstream. Patients are in the midst of this unprecedented controversy and are realizing that perhaps this lack of education is intentional. The studies and doctor's personal experiences are out there, which show unrefutably that Lyme Disease can be a chronic active relapsing infection. The medical authorities refuse to acknowledge this and continue to thwart proper diagnosis and treatment by refusing to educate doctors as to the facts concerning this disease.
The Lyme Disease pandemic is such an extreme problem in Connecticut that a special Hearing was held in February of 2004. The purpose of this Hearing was to bring to light the fact that Lyme Disease can be chronic and that Lyme Disease can and does sometimes remain an active an relapsing infection. The microbe which causes Lyme Disease is pleomorphic ( changes form) and as a result is very adept at evading detection. There may, at times, be autoimmune factors present but this does not exclude the fact that an active infection can be present along with autoimmune markers.
The Centers For Disease Control had to be sternly persuaded to attend the Connecticut Hearing. Attorney General Blumenthal strongly advised the CDC to send out special warnings or notices to doctors, labs and health departments, for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the enforcement of their statement that the CDC criteria should not be used for diagnosis. I recently contacted the CDC to ask what progress had been made in this area. I was referred to an article in a magazine put out by the CDC which supposedly states very clearly that doctors should not use the CDC criteria for diagnosing lyme, using the Western Blot. According to them this is their big effort to educate. The CDC official agreed to send me the link to this article...however I never received it. I then e-mailed the CDC ,for more specifics, and have yet to receive a reply.
The extent of misdiagnosis and morbidity concerning Lyme Disease is staggering. Despite the undistributed statement regarding their diagnostic criteria, most doctors and labs are basing their conclusions on these very restrictive guidelines or parameters. In addition testing for antibodies in tertiary late stage Lyme Disease is almost futile due to many factors which interfere with the antibody response. A more reliable test...such as the Bowen Test, isolates the actual L form of the Lyme microbe.
Why isn't there an extensive campaign on the part of the CDC to educate in this most crucial matter? It makes no sense that this agency is not doing so. This can lead one to the conclusion that perhaps the use of such restrictive testing criteria keeps the extent of this pandemic under wraps, to the benefit of pharmaceutical companies and other corporations.
In the past we have held medical conferences for doctors, lab technicians and nurses, in the local hospitals. Invitations to all doctors were given to the hospitals to pass out to their physicians. In all cases doctors were conspicuously absent. Our speakers were very well known and respected doctors who specialize in Lyme Disease. They offered very valuable information to the lab technicians, nurses and patients who did attend. Evidently the medical doctors were just not interested, they were pressured into not attending or they were never given the invitations.
Doctors, many times, express the idea that they don't have enough time or energy to investigate into the many diseases currently afflicting our world. This is certainly understandable but perhaps the root cause of many diseases involves only several microbes which present themselves differently in each individual. This appears to be the case with Lyme Disease...the second "Great Imitator" next to syphilis....another spirochetal disease.
It is our hope that more of those in the medical profession will take it upon themselves to investigate both sides of this issue. It is vitally important to keep the mind open to the experiences, research and protocols of those lyme literate doctors who are working in the trenches with the realities of Lyme disease. Experience is always the best educator. And most important of all....good doctors always really listen to and believe in their patients. Effective physicians tell how they have learned more from their patients than from anywhere else. After all, the patients are the ones experiencing the disease first hand. It is interesting to note that many lyme literate doctors have experienced Lyme Disease themselves and therefore understand the enormity and complexities of the disease. Most of us are not "just depressed" nor are we hypochondriacs. Lyme Disease can affect every body system and as a result the number of symptoms which can be experienced, is overwhelming. The fact that many patients are glibly told their symptoms are due to depression, is doing them a great injustice. Lyme Disease can cause depression, anxiety and many many other neurological manifestations....but the point is...these patients need antibiotics....just as syphilis patients need antibiotics...to eradicate the source of their problems. Antidepressants just cover up the symptoms which allows the infection to simmer and progress below the surface.
I blame the medical system which appears to be educating doctors towards their own selfish purposes. The insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies play a very large role in the medical system and in the education of doctors. We all know that corporations don't have a conscience and don't care about the individual. They care about profits and that's what motivates them. We know that drug companies profit greatly by promoting many symptomatic treatments for one disease rather than a single curative treatment. Doctors are also divided up into so many subspecialties that it makes it very difficult for one doctor to ever see the patient as a whole person and to be able to discern the connectedness of the many symptoms which present in Lyme Disease.
For example.....a single patient may be separately diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, heart palpitations, irritable bowel, seizure disorder, TMJ, foot pain, conjunctivitis, acid reflux.... and also be separately treated for each and every condition, with either surgery or symptomatic treatments. This approach is extremely inefficient, costly and very dangerous. Many times the basic underlying cause of all these symptoms or so called diseases, is found to be due to one organism such as babesia, borrelia burgdorferi, different strains of mycoplasma or even a combination of these microbes. Why isn't testing for these organisms routine when someone presents with a chronic illness....especially when the patient is from an endemic area?
For more clues as to why the medical system is set up in this crazy fashion, please visit
For those of you who are sincerely concerned about the welfare of your patients and the future of your own family's health, please take the time to study and ponder the following links.
"Lyme Disease: The Sensible Pursuit Of Answers" By Kenneth Leigner
Especially note the "Persistence File" near the top