Independent reporting on all aspects of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease Research Database
Independent reporting on all aspects of Lyme Disease
We started the LDRD to help educate people about Lyme disease. New developments in the quest to understand and defeat Lyme are continually replacing old news and attitudes. Here you will find an ongoing collection of the latest research, news and therapies. Listen to audio interviews with Lyme doctors, hear about specific protocols followed by healthy survivors of Lyme, and discover lifestyle support resources. Learn how we can help you.
Benefits of becoming a member LDRD members receive immediate access to all the free resources, plus additional, unique resources, including the Lyme expert interview audio series, the Lyme success stories interview audio series, pro-active health and lifestyle resources to help beat Lyme.
All of us who struggle with Lyme Disease can empathize. We see pieces of our own stories in other people's experiences. We've walked through many of the same doors, and been in some of the very same situations. Although each of our stories are unique, together they can help us understand the common threads that can, eventually, lead us back to vibrant health.
What is Lyme Disease? Lyme disease is a multi-system inflammatory disease that affects all the systems of the body, including the brain. Although every case is different, left untreated, Lyme disease can be devastating. Read articles on Lyme disease.
Causes and Risk Factors The specific bacteria that causes Lyme is a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, and it is believed to be primarily spread through the bite of a deer tick. Those who live near, or visit, densely forested areas are believed to be at higher risk of exposure to ticks, yet increasing medical evidence suggests that the bacteria can spread through other means.
Lyme Disease Symptoms Lyme can cause fever, headaches, body aches and crushing fatigue. Some patients develop a characteristic bull's eye skin rash at the location of the tick bite. Lyme can also affect the cardiac system and the brain, causing arrhythmia, vertigo, speech impairments such as stammering, and poor concentration. Palsy and facial paralysis are also symptoms of Lyme. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer mood swings, depression, and psychotic episodes such as hallucinations.
However, some people who have the disease do not develop symptoms immediately after being infected. It may take years for some people to become symptomatic. Some who have been exposed may never develop Lyme disease symptoms, and further, is not yet known how long the bacteria may lie dormant. Learn more about Lyme disease symptoms.
Tests and Diagnosis Currently, the recommended diagnostic tests for detecting Lyme disease are the Western Blot analysis, used to identify particular antibodies, and the ELISA, a general antibody test. Tests for the disease are unreliable. Negative clinical test results do not necessarily mean that the patient is free of Lyme or its co-infections. The bacteria appears to evade the body's immune system, as it is capable of changing into two, three or more shapes as it spreads throughout the body. Learn more about Lyme disease tests.
Unfortunately, it is common for people with Lyme to receive a misdiagnoses and thus remain untreated. The medical profession’s nickname for chronic Lyme disease is the Great Imitator, because symptoms mimic hundreds of other conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr virus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about Lyme disease diagnosis.
Lyme Treatment Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics. However, the strength and length of prescription of antibiotics is at the core of controversy in the medical community. Antibiotics given immediately after infection seem to work for most Lyme patients. During later stages of the disease, some patients have responded to extended courses of antibiotics, but extended courses are not sanctioned by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Current guidelines for treatment of Lyme published by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) state that it is reasonable to continue antibiotic therapy, in some cases, beyond the arbitrary 30-day course recommended by the IDSA. Learn more about Lyme disease treatment protocols.
Experts familiar with the complicated nature of diagnosing Lyme advise that if a person has had a tick bite, or exhibits symptoms characteristic of Lyme, they consult a Lyme literate medical doctor (LLMD) and begin treatment, even if test results are negative or pending.
Alternative Medicine Increasingly, LLMDs are treating patients successfully with alternative protocols, such as pharmaceutical and herbal antimicrobials combined, and other non-invasive methods, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Further, doctors are seeing fewer cases of relapse in patients who are treated with some of these alternative protocols. Learn about alternative Lyme treatments.
For Patients People suffering the symptoms and stress of Lyme disease need accessible information that helps them make sound decisions about the course of their own treatment. The Lyme Disease Research Database aims to be a resource for patients seeking education about prevention of the disease, support for identifying and alleviating Lyme symptoms, and news of current treatments, both conventional and alternative. Listen to interviews with Lyme patients.
For Health Professionals The Lyme Disease Research Database (LDRD) helps provide a platform for health professionals, LLMDs, researchers, patients, medical experts and other licensed health care practitioners to speak directly to others in the Lyme community. Health professionals share up-to-date information about therapies that are effective for their patients with Lyme disease. In addition, LDRD also showcases stories of patients who are successfully overcoming Lyme disease.
Disclaimer: The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. This material is not nor should it be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; nor does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of lyme-disease-research-database.com or any of its contributors. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history. Use the Lyme Disease Research Database at your own risk. The Lyme Disease Research Database will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.
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