Lyme Disease Treatment

Dr. Roush is a member of ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) and specializes in the treatment of acute and chronic Lyme disease. Dr. Roush utilizes a whole person, integrative approach that includes both aggressive antibiotic therapies when appropriate as well as supportive measures that reduce symptoms and improves the overall health of the Lyme patient. These include but are not limited to immune support, hormone balancing, pain management, and sleep support. Dr. Roush believes that while antibiotics may be necessary to help a patient with Lyme, comprehensive naturopathic therapies are often required to encourage complete healing.

What is Lyme?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, usually from the bite of a tick or an insect. Some parts of the country report more cases of Lyme disease than others. The epidemiology of what we call lyme disease has been traced back as far as the 1800s. Lyme disease was recognized in this country after an outbreak in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. Dr. Steer discovered that the disease was being transmitted by the bite of the Ixodes dammini tick. In 1981 Willy Burgdorfer identified the bacteria as a corkscrew bacterium. The bacteria was later named after Dr. Burgdorfer as Borrelia burgdorferi.

In an acute exposure early antibiotic treatment is believed to be curative. Sending the tick in for testing for the presence of Lyme disease is one way to determine exposure. If symptoms occur after a tick bite, the best course of treatment is a 6-8 week antibiotic course. Treatment of chronic Lyme Disease is much more complex and requires a Lyme specialist.

Symptoms of Lyme
The acute symptoms from a Lyme infected tick bite include a “bulls eye” rash in 50% of people—a clear center with the reddish lesion occurring around the circular edge. Some sources rely exclusively on the presence of a rash to diagnose Lyme disease. Unfortunately not all people produce a rash. Flu like symptoms, high fever, and joint pain are also characteristic of an acute infection.

The prevalence and accuracy of diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease is controversial. The symptoms can mimic other diseases and may be misdiagnosed. Lyme disease has been labeled the ‘great mimicker’. The most common symptoms are roaming joint pain, headaches, twitching, numbness in the body, weakness in muscles, Bell’s palsy, visual changes, light sensitivity, shortness of breath, night sweats, memory loss, confusion, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, extreme fatigue, swollen glands and unexplained fevers. Lab testing is suggested but is not always accurate in identifying the presence of Lyme disease. This makes it very difficult to arrive at a diagnosis. Many doctors use understanding the medical history and the clinic to diagnose Lyme disease.