You Are Not Your Diagnosis: The Lyme Disease Label

Often, a patient receives a diagnosis and treatment for a particular condition, and afterward, the diagnosis sticks to them like a label. And then what happens, is the patient may attribute any continuing or future symptoms to the original diagnosis without getting to the root of the problem.

This was the case with Lori M., a patient of mine who went to her primary care physician with symptoms of dizziness, extreme fatigue, episodic pain occurring mainly in the neck and shoulders, and panic-inducing disturbances. Her doctor made a diagnosis of Lyme disease and put her through an aggressive 74-day course of antibiotics to kill the spirochetes.

Clinically, this course of treatment should have been sufficient. However, once she finished the course of treatment, she continued to experience frequent mood swings including depression, dark periods, lack of productivity and anxiety. These recurring symptoms reinforced the Lyme label and caused her to become increasingly isolated since nothing seemed to work.

Antibiotics weren’t helping her get better and she was still experiencing dizziness along with a sensation that bacterial spirochetes were replicating in her brain. In an attempt to help her mood swings, she had taken doctor-recommended anti-anxiety medications that had caused her to feel numb to life. This, of course, was an unacceptable way to live and she decided that she wanted her health issues treated in a more natural, holistic way.

The First Step to Healing and Recovery

When she came to me, she continued to wear the Lyme disease label and repeatedly requested that we work on that specifically. From experience I know that a catch-all diagnosis like Lyme is rarely the fully story on a person’s health. After she filled out my in-depth symptom survey and forensic workup, it was revealed that there were other conditions and problems that needed to be addressed.

While the extensive antibiotic treatment had actually killed the spirochetes, it had created other intestinal problems and a widespread fungal infection called Candida. A person’s medical history often plays into their current issues, and I discovered Epstein Barr and mononucleosis in her background. These contribute to chronic fatigue and widespread pain.

We also uncovered issues including a pronounced drop in morning blood sugar causing irritability, and an elevated total cortisol load with an evening spike that contribute to nighttime worries and wakefulness. We also detected heavy metals and chemicals bound to lymph ducts and thyroid tissue that presented as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In addition, there were emotional issues; we discovered that the emotional aspect stemmed from a childhood trauma that continued to haunt her.

Delving deeper, beyond the superficial Lyme diagnosis, it became clear that these other root problems were major contributors of her health issues and needed to be addressed immediately. I started Lori M on a course of homeopathic remedies and nutrients coupled with in-office treatments that focused on her total wellbeing. By focusing on them and shedding the Lyme label, she was able to see improvements while continuing to concentrate on her emotional recovery.

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