Many patients do not understand the importance of provider experience with Lyme disease, but choosing an inexperienced practitioner can lead to misdiagnosis and years of bad health and frustration. At our functional medicine clinic near Milwaukee, our Lyme literate practitioners have diagnosed and treated thousands of cases of Lyme disease. A Lyme literate practitioner is someone who possesses extensive knowledge, experience and skill with Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
Our practitioners explain the importance of provider experience with Lyme disease
Provider experience with Lyme disease matters for many reasons. The Lyme literate practitioners at our functional medicine clinic near Milwaukee explain three of the reasons.
- Inexperienced providers often misdiagnose Lyme disease. Traditional medical doctors and other clinics rely on the Western blot test and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to diagnose Lyme disease. These tests miss about half of the cases, leading to misdiagnosis, a primary reason why provider experience with Lyme disease matters. Often, patients with Lyme disease are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or other autoimmune diseases, especially if they do not display the characteristic Lyme disease rash. Only 20-30% of patients develop the rash, so practitioners should not rely on finding this symptom.
- Many practitioners totally rely on antibiotics for treatment. A study at Columbia University with mice found that antibiotics alone often cannot cure Lyme disease, yet many providers still rely on these medications to treat the disease. In this case, provider experience with Lyme disease matters because knowledgeable practitioners, like the ones at our functional medicine clinic in Milwaukee, understand that Lyme disease needs to be treated with a comprehensive treatment plan that is based on an individual’s needs and goes above and beyond antibiotics alone.
- Ignoring the effects of Lyme disease on the immune system often leads to more health problems. Finally, provider experience matters with Lyme disease because many traditional doctors and other providers do not understand how Lyme disease affects the immune system. The disease lowers a patient’s immunity, making them vulnerable to coinfections and other health problems. It is vital to address the patient’s issues with immunity if he or she is to return to optimal health.