The treatment of Lyme disease is one of the most contentious issues in medicine with people coming from two very different sides of the topic.
In his blog, My thoughts on the future of infectious disease and medicine, Infectious disease physician, Dr Steven LaRosa described some “soul searching” he did recently concerning “the sizable number of poor souls who continue to suffer symptoms after what is considered standard of care treatment”.
In a segment from the radio show, Dr LaRosa talks to me about Lyme treatment and the need for more clinical trials.
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- Lyme disease: Locally acquired cases up in Toronto
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- Hawaii mumps cases rise, Outbreak could continue another year
2 thoughts on “Lyme disease treatment: Some thoughts”
Dr. LaRosa’s call for a clinical trial of the combination therapy is based on sound reasoning, and there’s no rational argument against giving it a shot. Certainly, many other clinical trials have proceeded with much less chance of success. Stevia would be problematic if we’re talking about an intravenous therapy, because I don’t believe there’s a sterile pyrogen-free stevia dosage form and stevia is not a pure substance. But if we’re talking about oral stevia, anybody can go down to Trader Joe’s and buy a container of stevia powder. You can swallow it by the spoonful and it won’t hurt you. It would be very useful information to have a clinical trial of standard of care against standard of care plus stevia.
The controversy arises because there’s a large industry of “Lyme-literate doctors” practicing medical quackery. Nobody disputes that many Lyme disease victims experience long-standing neurological complaints after standard of care. But that is not evidence of a persistent infection that requires long-term high-dose antibiotic treatment. Some neurological damage takes a long time to resolve or may never fully resolve. Nevertheless, these quacks convince their victims that they have such an infection in the absence of any evidence that such an infection exists. When years of treatment at very high prices yield no results, they claim there’s multiple coinfections requiring more treatment with more types of antibiotics. It’s a big moneymaker for these quacks, and that’s why they push for the symptom-based ILADS diagnostic criteria which would allow for diagnosis of Lyme disease in people who never had Lyme in the first place. Dementia can be a result of long-term untreated Lyme disease, but by far the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. If all AD cases could be diagnosed as Lyme disease, that would be a landslide of money for these quacks. That is why proponents of evidence-based medicine oppose the ILADS criteria.
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