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After 6 years of being misdiagnosed by every doctor in the country I researched more about Lyme Disease and didn’t believe my false negatives that I was getting from my blood work. I never had a tick bite, I never had a rash or a bulls-eye that most people think signals Lyme Disease. Actually 50% of Lyme Disease patients never get a rash or a bulls-eye or see a tick on them! I had random symptoms that came and went so I thought it was all in my head or that I was just sore from my workouts and walking around NYC all day long. People often attribute the symptoms to stress, aging and the aches and pains of daily living so I didn’t think twice about it.
The scariest part about Lyme Disease is that it looks like Many other diseases and doctors often don’t realize this since the bloodwork often comes back negative for Lyme in many patients that actually do have Lyme. The symptoms change every hour and every day so it’s hard to pin point what’s going on and many doctors spot treat actual organs that are being infected instead of looking at the big picture that Lyme Disease is actually attacking all of your organs. Lyme causes fatigue, headaches, ringing in the ears, anemia, dizziness, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, tingling, numbness and burning sensations of your extremities (fingers/legs/toes), stiff deck, depression and anxiety.
I work with Dr. Richard Horowitz who is based in Hyde Park, NY and has treated more then 12,000 chronically-ill patients with Lyme disease. Many of his patients not only suffer from Lyme Disease but many other tick-borne infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Borellia Hermsii, Q-Fever, Anaplasma or Ehrlichia. For many people the usual treatment for Lyme Disease of 30 days of an antibiotic does Not cure them because you can’t just kill all the bugs in 30 days. It takes LOTS of heavy metal removal, hormone balancing, enhancing the immune system and detoxification. These ticks are literally dumping toxins into our bloodstream causing many symptoms and organ damage so it’s quite difficult for a doctor to spot an accurate diagnosis. Many doctors mistake Lyme for an autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis or they’ll say you have depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. I was at every doctor and hospital getting a new diagnosis and was put on steroids, pain killers, water pills and never felt relief. I had symptoms that came and went, good days and bad days and joint/muscle pain, tingling, numbness and burning sensations that traveled to a different part of my body every day.
As I mentioned above, conventional blood tests from the labs we are all used to going to for regular blood work are highly unreliable for Lyme Disease and other tick-borne infections. I had to learn this the hard way- after 6 years of pain and people telling me I was crazy and nothing was wrong with me, I started researching Lyme and discovered other labs that are specialized in Lyme Disease. I used Stonybrook Labs and IgeneX labs who are both in California (see my book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body for more info on lab testing) because they can detect at least two common strains of the organism. These labs are expensive, but what I’ve learned these past few years is that if you want accurate information, you’re going to have to go to the labs that are not in-network. The same goes for doctors. I wasted years of my life going to in-network doctors who only made me even more sick than I was- It wasn’t until I started researching other doctors who take the time to get to the root of the issue that I was able to start healing.
Another note worth sharing is that many doctors recommend eating a gluten-free lifestyle to lower the inflammation in your body. If you need ideas for gluten-free recipes, check out my Recipe Page.
If you think you may have Lyme Disease, I recommend finding a doctor who is well versed in Lyme Disease and specializes in this illness, such as doctors who belong to ILADS. I work with Richard Horrowitz in Hyde Park, NY who is an amazing doctor and has truly healed my Lyme disease. According to Dr. Horrowitz, author of the book: Why Can’t I Get Better?, he states “The blood tests for Lyme have been shown to be unreliable. Doctors have been taught to do a 2-step blood test, using an ELISA test followed by a Western Blot to establish the presence of the bacteria but these tests have been shown to be very insensitive and often miss at least half of the cases of Lyme disease. There are also over 100 strains of borrelia in the United States and over 300 strains worldwide; there is no commercially available test that picks up the presence of all of these different bacteria. The Lyme organism can hide from the immune system where the standard antibody tests fail to pick it up.”
It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes. Dr. Richard Horrowitz has been an incredible resource and doctor to me and has healed my Lyme disease. I admire him as a professional and as a person- he is smart, very talented and incredibly dedicated to the well-being of his patients; I am very grateful for having him as my doctor.