An Uncertain Future

Ainsley Miles, Staff Writer

Treatment for Lyme Disease is a long and tedious journey that does not come without emotional and physical repercussions. Lyme disease is difficult to treat, and it is not curable in all cases. The intensity of the treatment varies from patient to patient, as it is based on these factors: the spirochete load (the bacterium), duration of the infection, and the presence of any co-infections. Sometimes the spirochete can live for a long time, and often with periods of dormancy, so the duration of treatment can vary. According to Dr. Nick Dupuis, who is currently employed at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, treatment varies depending on when patients present with Lyme. This disease can be diagnosed as early localized (days to weeks), early disseminated (weeks to months), or late disseminated (years after initial infection). Depending on the length of having the infection before seeking treatment, the disease can be difficult to cure. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid this disease taking over the body. Patients with severe cases can often lose jobs, have a loss of coordination, and have to leave their family behind to seek treatment. Not every case of Lyme is the same, nor every treatment method the same, so many patients have difficulty finding the right treatment for them. People diagnosed with Lyme can also have a strict diet as part of their treatments, as some types of food can trigger symptoms. There is a high focus in the protein group, as well as fiber, with the most limitations on carbohydrates in order to prevent yeast overgrowth. Those affected with Lyme who are following diets usually cannot eat any starches, sugars, and only a limited amount of fruits as they contain high amounts of sugars. No single treatment methodology has been discovered, as in order to fully treat the disease doctors must address all active infections, as well as any other issues. Chronic Lyme Disease predominantly affects the nervous system, so it is hard to diagnose without a barrage of tests. Doctors have to be innovative with treatment technology, because they have to adjust their path of treatment based on each patient’s background with the disease, as well as other supplemental illnesses or conditions. In general, doctors choose four main antibiotics for Lyme: Tetracycline, Penicillin, Cephalosporins, and Erythromycin. Each antibiotic addressed different aspects of the disease, so in some cases a combination of these drugs will be the most effective. The treatment of Lyme Disease is an area that should be getting far more clinical research and attention. It is a disease that often evades diagnosis, and it could possibly be affecting hundreds of thousands of people without them even knowing it. If people have ever been bit by a tick, there is a possibility that they could have Lyme. It is of utmost importance that people get to learn everything about the disease in order to protect themselves and the people around them. If there are more doctors and researchers talking about this silent epidemic, then it will gain attention.