Tuesday, April 17, 2012
M.S., Parkinson's, or Simply Lyme Disease?
Have you been experiencing symptoms of illness, knowing that something is wrong but the doctors cannot seem to find the answer and have begun looking at you as a psycho case?
The symptoms constantly change and migrate. They may begin as nagging nausea or swollen lymph nodes for long periods of time, but then you find that you're used to the doctors saying they can't find anything wrong and you get settled into your life again.
Of course, once your able to get along with the nausea and swollen lymph nodes (or whatever symptoms you begin with), along come migraines, unbelievable fatigue, stiff joints, loss of memory, speech impairment, tremor, and seizures. This becomes the process of your life...if you can call it living.
This is exactly what I've experienced over the past (at least) 8 years, although they say I most likely have had Lyme for up to 20 years. During my series of ill years I experienced five bouts of mono, was misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, told I had Lymphoma, misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, experienced depression, anxiety, misdiagnosed with plausible Multiple Sclerosis, and more.
I wouldn't take PLAUSIBLE as the diagnosis.
What was the final diagnosis?
Through a string of events, including physical, mental and spiritual, I was able to visit a doctor who ran some tests (ELISA and the Western Blot) that showed positive for Lyme Disease.
Why didn't I get tested for Lyme Disease earlier in this series of illnesses? Well, on a follow-up with one of my other physicians, I found that he actually tested me with the ELISA test and it came back negative, which is very common as testing for Lyme is not completely accurate.
Click Here For Statistics By The CDC
note: The CDC acknowledges that their statistics are not necessarily accurate. In fact, the numbers from independent sources tell us that Lyme disease numbers are higher than AIDS.
Based on where I live, the doctors were not likely to test me. However, when I look at those statistics and look at my resulting diagnosis, I take other statistics into perspective, which make me exclaim about why there is not an alert for doctors to perform the simple blood test for Lyme Disease.
Take, for example, the fact that Lyme Disease mimics symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.
MS World Map Link
"Multiple sclerosis (ms) is the most common, disabling, neurological condition, to affect young adults in the world today."
If you have a patient who you suspect has MS and have prescribed a lumbar puncture that does not come back as positive for anything abnormal, even with brain lesions (which can occur with Lyme Disease), wouldn't you test the patient for Lyme Disease before stating that they must have PLAUSIBLE MS and prescribing injections that may cost them thousands of dollars per month (not to mention lasting side-effects)?
What about Alzheimer's? Tremor and memory problems along with similar symptoms that may cause a doctor to diagnose someone with Alzheimer's can occur with Chronic Lyme Disease (being infected with Lyme Disease for a length of time).
Alzheimer's Site Link
"Every 72 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s"
Parkinson's Disease is the same as the above diseases. This is a disease that is very hard to diagnose and there is actually not a very firm procedure of diagnoses. Wouldn't doctors be wise to perform a simple blood test to verify that the symptoms are not Lyme Disease?
Parkinson's Disease Link
"How is Parkinson disease diagnosed?
The process of making a Parkinson disease diagnosis can be difficult. There is no X-ray or blood test that can confirm Parkinson disease. A physician arrives at the diagnosis only after a thorough examination. Blood tests and brain scans known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be performed to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms. People suspected of having Parkinson disease should consider seeking the care of a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson disease."
Fibromyalgia is another mysterious diagnosis, and a growing number of people are being diagnosed and treated with medication on a daily basis.
Fibromylagia Statistics Link
"Prevalence Rate (Fibromyalgia): approx 1 in 73 or 1.36% or 3.7 million people in USA"
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is another mysterious illness, yet I found a quote regarding Lyme Disease under "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" on the following link.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Link
"Lyme disease and related tick-borne infections. Lyme disease does not always present acutely with a rash, and less than half of sufferers recall a tick bite (the nymphal deer tick is the size of a poppy seed, and secretes an anesthetic to prevent the host from feeling its bite). Furthermore, the characteristic joint pain is not always present. For these reasons Lyme can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in its later stages, at which point symptoms are virtually identical to those of CFS. The accuracy of blood tests for Lyme remains highly controversial, especially since they depend on an effective immune system response, which many researchers believe is compromised by the disease. As a result, some clinicians believe Lyme is under-diagnosed."
If you know anyone with symptoms as I have listed above, please have them tested for Lyme Disease. Finding you have Lyme disease can relieve a lot of stress from yourself (a loved one) and your family. The treatments may take time to work, however, just think of the consequences of continuing down the road of a diagnoses of Parkinson's or Alzheimer's instead of a simple diagnoses with an actual treatment and hope for the future.
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