Chronic pain or illness? Rule out lyme’s disease.

I’m not one to brag about myself, but in this case I will because it proves a point.

Today, I recieved this message from a patient I saw several months ago.

“I don’t know if you remember me but I saw you a few months ago. I was having abdominal pain and chronic fatigue. I finally went to a doctor in New Jersey who specializes in Lyme disease and got diagnosed. I am feeling much better since being on antibiotics!

Here is a website she recommended for the most current info on Lyme disease.

Columbia University Lyme’s Disease Research Center

Thank you for your attentiveness when I came to see you; you were the first doctor to take me seriously. I can’t tell you how frustrating this has been.”

I’ve only been in practice five years now, but I have seen dozens of people in her situation. She came to me with pain throughout her body, chronic fatigue and illness, and just knew she didn’t feel right. However, she was diagnosed with fibromylagia and chronic fatigue syndrome by her doctor and wasn’t really offered too much in the way of treatment other than the usual meds for those issue (which aren’t very effective in most cases I’ve seen).

I wrote a letter to her doctor giving her my opinion that something else was going on. At the time, I was thinking Epstein-Barr Virus or something similar, since she had this condition in the past. I didn’t hear from the doctor or patient until this email this morning. I wasn’t really surprised given cases like this I’ve seen in the past.

So, what can we learn from this? First, be careful with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Those really aren’t a diagnosis, but rather they are symptoms. In isolated cases there may end up being no good diagnosis, but usually these symptoms are due to something. I’ve personally seen people do better by changing their diet or avoiding certain foods like wheat or dairy. For others it took seeing a Lyme’s specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

A special note about Lyme’s disease – Most practitioners (general family practice and specialists alike) don’t know how to properly diagnose and treat this issue. The usual tests can sometimes be negative even if you have Lyme’s (false positive). Also, conventional treatment is usually limited to one month of antibiotics, however most Lyme’s experts will treat for several months, and in one case I’ve seen, a few years.

I’m no Lyme’s Disease specialist, but if you suspect this may be an issue for you, feel free to contact me. I have the name of a few specialists I can recommend.

Sometime in the near future, I plan to devote one entire post to the possible signs and symptoms of Lyme’s Disease. For now, check out the link above for the Columbia University Lyme’s Disease Research Center.

(Dr. Touchinsky is a chiropractor in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County . In addition to treating people for neck pain and back pain, he focuses on helping people overcome a variety of health issues through healthy lifestyle and nutritional counseling. If you have an issue you’d like help with or would like a second opinion, call the office at 570-366-2613 to set up an appointment.)

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