Lyme epidemic causing healthcare crisis

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb 24, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- An ongoing battle over the
diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is pitting doctors against doctors, prompting health insurance companies to deny medical claims at an alarming rate, and leaving suffering patients stuck in the middle.
Read the full press release here.

Legislative Forum Announcement

This Lyme legislative forum will provide education about the various ways Congress works and an opportunity to share your ideas and concerns. Meet other leaders from across the country and create a national dialogue on Lyme and tick-borne disease. This is a forum and everyone is encouraged to participate. This event is for anyone who wants to represent their Lyme community. What you will learn about the legislative process will be useful in your state activities, as well as our national efforts.

Please respond to the survey with YOUR ideas. We want to include everyone’s concerns and suggestions in the discussion. Also, please respond as quickly as you can. We can keep the preferential Holiday Inn rate only until the 27th of February.

Date: March 28, 2009

Keynote: Congressman Frank Wolf


Sessions include:

- Experienced former Congressional aides and Lyme Leaders

- Understanding the Legislative Process and the Need for Hearings

- Appropriate Goals and Objectives in the U.S. Congress

- Substantive Issues in Lyme Legislation and Congressional Solutions

- IDSA Guidelines Review Panel Input Process & April 27th Hearing

- Presenting a United Front Sessions will be facilitated by20faculty of the

George Mason University, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution


Your ideas on what we need from Congress and how to achieve it are welcome. Submit your suggestions at
or call NatCapLyme at (703) 821-8833; (301) 980-6788 or (703) 435-2080.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn, Ballston

4610 N Fairfax Drive, Arlington VA 22203, 1-800-HOLIDAY (1-800-465-4329)

Reserve by February 27 for the NatCapLyme Special Promotional Rate of $85.

Anti-inflammatory diet can help

Inflammation is an immune system response to stress and toxins. Our bodies deal with Lyme infection by sending more blood to the irritated areas. The main features of inflammation are redness, swelling and pain.

It's difficult to eliminate the
borrelia bacteria, so inflammation results, causing pain and wrecking all sorts of other havoc. On top of that, we must deal with the psychological or physical stress caused by the pain. And aside from the toxins that accompany and make up the borrelia bacterial complex, dealing with environmental toxins is generally a daily effort.

Antibiotics and herbal protocols are excellent help, but what else can be done about inflammation? This is where some people with chronic illnesses turn a critical eye on their diet and nutrition. And many claim that an anti-inflammatory diet can be a huge help in maximizing their healing protocols and helping to alleviate the intensity of Lyme symptoms and flaring herxes.

So, you're starting to feel a little normal after such a long fight with Lyme. Don't surrender to that deep dish cheese pizza! (Of course, a little treat now and then does the body good.) Steam delicious veggies instead, such as Swiss chard, kale, or mustard greens. Fix organic brown rice or rice noodles to go with them. If you can tolerate it, a bite of organic dark chocolate can make a yummy dessert.

Watch this blog for interviews with nutritionists and herbalists who work with Lyme patients, and delectable recipes for an anti-inflammatory diet. Remember, you don't have to change the way you eat forever -- you just have to give your body a break for a while, so your immune system response can strengthen. Eliminating foods made with wheat and dairy -- or at least, limiting them -- may boost your energy and reduce inflammation and pain.

Bring testing into the 21st century

How many times have you wondered why the flawed technology of the Western blot and the ELISA are still the standard test for Lyme? Hasn't anyone figured out a better, more sensitive test by now? New research is being done with twenty-first century technology, such as genomics and proteomics. More sensitive tests mean that greater numbers of people infected with borrelia would have a chance to begin treatment before Lyme enters the later stages. A person who tested negative for Lyme with the Western blot may actually test positive when tested for certain protein markers.

Pamela Weintraub, author of
Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, and senior editor at Discover Magazine, pulls no punches in a recent post about the IDSA's choice of panelists. The panel that has been assembled seems likely to merely reaffirm the old guard, and not consider new University-based scientific research.

"As someone who has traveled the country for six years interviewing these scientists to write my book,
Cure Unknown, I can tell you unequivocally that many of the top researchers at the top institutions in the world do not think the original IDSA panel got it right," writes Pamela.

"Are recommended
treatment protocols truly curing most of those with early, invasive borreliosis, as IDSA contends?"

"The answers won’t be found in the twentieth-century technology of the Western blot, by today’s standards crude yet still trotted out by IDSA as evidence absolute that they are right. (The Western blot for Lyme is so flawed that even its major manufacturer says he has found numerous "band" patterns more accurate than the one in use today.) Instead of relying on flawed 20th century technology, we must look to the science of the twenty-first century, including state-of-the-art genomics and proteomics that allows for the sequencing of every gene and protein involved in every stage of Lyme. With evidence of this calibre we won't have to fight over the truth: We will know what's going on."

Stay tuned for more
LDRD interviews with top researchers, such as Dr. Eva Sapi of the University of New Haven. Dr. Sapi directs the graduate studies program for research into Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.