Because tick-borne illness is complicated, chronic Lyme disease treatment must be comprehensive. Known as the great imitator, Lyme disease symptoms are similar to other illnesses and affect all systems in the body. Lyme literate doctors are knowledgeable and prepared to provide the highly personalized care chronic Lyme disease demands.
Lab testing for chronic Lyme disease
The treatment process starts with a Lyme literate doctor reviewing your medical history along with an extensive Lyme disease screening. This initial screening helps the doctor determine whether Lyme disease is a possibility. If so, the next step is to order accurate testing.
Lyme testing through IGeneX is widely used by Lyme experts. IGeneX is able to test for Lyme, Bartonella (a disease-causing bacteria carried by ticks), and other co-infections like Babesia and Ehrlichia. These tests are extremely sensitive and accurate, and are obtained from a blood sample.
A salivary cortisol test and comprehensive thyroid panel are also important because they can show the stress impact of Lyme disease throughout the body. Managing stress levels is key during Lyme treatment in order for your body to be able to heal properly.
Healing chronic Lyme disease with antibiotics and herbal treatments
The lab results determine the appropriate course of action for you. An integrative, Lyme literate doctor would likely first recommend the use of antibiotics or a combination or antibiotics and herbals.
Some of the most effective natural treatments for chronic Lyme disease include grapeseed extract, otoba bark and cat’s claw. Herbal treatments are a personalized medical intervention based on your immune system’s ability to handle the treatment. Some functional medicine doctors may also recommend antimalarial drugs for certain strains of Lyme which resemble malaria.
The importance of supporting the immune system
Treating chronic Lyme involves extensive immune system support. When the immune system is under stress it produces an overload of molecules called cytokines. In high numbers, cytokines can cause more harm than good by overstimulating the immune system. A functional doctor can help patients combat this by reducing cytokine activity.
Some people experience overstimulation of the immune system or candida (yeast) overgrowth due to the antibiotics. Telemedicine for Lyme disease is highly advantageous in these situations because you can notify your doctor immediately, making necessary adjustments without waiting for an office visit.
Lyme patients have unique experiences in the recovery process because Lyme disease can come with a variety of coinfections. They need customized treatment and frequent access to their doctor. This is most feasible with a telehealth Lyme expert.
What can be done virtually vs locally?
Treating chronic Lyme via telemedicine encompasses everything that’s done in a traditional doctor’s office visit. Telehealth Lyme doctors can review records, order labs, supplements, antibiotics, and provide close monitoring of your progress. They can evaluate symptoms of Lyme disease such as difficulty focusing, slurred speech, tremors, and skin rashes. You can also share photo documentation of your symptoms.
Locally, you have the option of visiting labs in person and seeing other local specialists when needed. At Vytal Health, your Lyme doctor will also require a recent clinical exam from your primary care provider before beginning treatment.
Ready to start treatment for chronic Lyme? Book an appointment with our Lyme specialist today.