Category Archives: Lyme Disease

Mimi’s Story: My Journey to Health

Written by

Five years ago, my life drastically changed. I was bitten by a tick while on the east coast at a picnic.  I found it within the hour and pulled it off. I did not see a bullseye, and it was not on me for more than 24 hours, so I decided not to take the course of antibiotics typically prescribed when you have Lyme disease. To this day, it is the biggest regret of my life. The last five years for me have been some of the most difficult of my life. The symptoms first started as plantar fasciitis. Then I had a frozen shoulder that I thought was from tennis. Then my right hip started hurting, then debilitating fatigue.  After a few months, I knew it was Lyme because my children and husband have had it. I went to get tested by a doctor in NYC who confirmed my […]

How Lyme Disease Can Cause Fibromyalgia

Written by

Originally Posted July 2016Updated June 2019 Fibromyalgia is the name given to the mysterious illness typically characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain. The original diagnostic criteria from the early 90s revolved solely around the amount of tender points an individual had and their location on the body – learn about fibromyalgia trigger points here. In recent years, however, this criteria has expanded to include a wider range of symptoms including fatigue, cognitive issues, sleep problems, psychological disorders, and other symptoms that often do not appear to have a medical explanation. Learn even more about fibromyalgia here. Unfortunately, being given a fibromyalgia diagnosis does little to actually help the person, since recognizing and labeling a set of symptoms does not necessarily identify the cause of the condition. This is certainly the case for fibromyalgia as well as the closely related chronic fatigue syndrome – learn about the difference between fibromyalgia […]

How Ticks Spread Lyme Disease and Other Illnesses

Written by

Although ticks are best known for the transmission of Lyme disease, they may also disseminate other illness. Knowing more about these small creatures, how they transfer disease to humans, and having a basic understanding of Lyme disease can help you better protect yourself against tick-borne illness. What Are Ticks? Ticks are small and, in some cases, nearly imperceptible creatures that belong to the arachnid family. These spider-like creatures have an estimated lifespan of about three years. However, depending on the specific type of tick, their life expectancy may be longer or shorter. During their lifetime, ticks move through four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Beginning as early as the larva stage, ticks suck blood form other animals to sustain themselves. Typical tick targets include rodents, birds, and deer. However, they may also attach to and feed on humans. There are hundreds of tick varieties but the majority of the […]

What is the Proper Treatment for Lyme Disease?

Written by

Excerpt from “Treating Lyme Disease” Treating Lyme disease is as equally complex as testing, because of the resiliency of the condition, the various forms that Borrelia Burgdorferi can assume, and a lack of comprehensive and multi-system treatment. For these reasons many people who have been previously treated for Lyme may still be suffering from an infection and its long-term effects. Even if Lyme is recognized and subsequently treated, symptoms may linger for an extended period of time. This is known as chronic Lyme disease and typically causes severe, long-lasting symptoms. Depending on the patient, symptoms will vary in severity. Many medical practitioners do not believe that chronic Lyme is a legitimate condition and simply brush it off as lingering symptoms. Unfortunately, this leaves many patients to suffer from an untreated and undiagnosed condition. If a case of chronic Lyme is not fully and appropriately treated, symptoms can reemerge months or […]

What Are the Proper Tests for Lyme Disease?

Written by

An Excerpt from “Treating Lyme Disease” There are two primary types of Lyme disease, both are equally difficult to diagnose, especially if the doctor discounts them as a possibility. Acute Lyme patients will often have symptoms even after they test negative for Lyme. Most of the medical community considers these types of patients as “post-Lyme syndrome,” however this is actually chronic Lyme – learn more about common myths surrounding Lyme disease here. Chronic Lyme requires very specific testing to be diagnosed and most doctors do not run these tests. The complexity of testing for Lyme and the divide in the medical community on what is acute versus chronic Lyme cause many patients to not get the care they need. Learn even more about Lyme disease here. Inadequate Testing Even when presenting with Lyme-related symptoms, doctors will often overlook Lyme as an option because Lyme has so many broad symptoms. Doctors […]

What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease Co-Infections

Written by

The impact of these co-infections if left untreated may include changes in physical and mental function, chronic health issues, and in some cases even fatality. Lyme disease itself is a serious condition but its frequent pairing with co-infections may pose an even greater threat to wellness. A Quick Look at Lyme Disease Lyme disease is a chronic illness with an impressive reputation for being difficult to diagnose and treat. The disease is caused by infection of a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, which has unique properties allowing it avoid detection and maintain impressive resiliency to treatment. Learn more about how Lyme disease evades the immune system here. Lyme causes notable dysfunction that may include hormone imbalances, immune disorders, and neurological issues, all of which may contribute to the development of even greater malfunction and chronic disease. Typically, Lyme is spread to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Although less common, […]

What is Lyme Disease?

Written by

An Excerpt from “Treating Lyme Disease: Learn about proper testing, treatment and what to expect” Lyme disease is a condition caused by the bacterial infection Borrelia Burgdorferi. It was discovered in the 1970’s in Old Lyme, Connecticut when residents reported an outbreak of arthritis in their town to Yale scientists. Originally Lyme was thought to be an arthritic condition; it took several years of research to discover the cause of the symptoms. It is estimated that there are over 30,000 reported cases per year, but sadly 80%-90% have no idea they are even infected. Thus, the incidence is likely many fold higher. Many people suffering from Lyme are often misdiagnosed with a wide range of chronic illnesses because of the multitude of symptoms. Lyme disease is skyrocketing even in areas that supposedly have a low incidence of Lyme. The most Lyme prone regions are the coastal northeast, Mid-Atlantic States, Wisconsin, […]

Is Lyme Disease is on The West Coast? The Answer to This and Other Lyme Myths

Written by

Originally Posted April 2015Updated May 2019 Due to the numerous misconceptions surrounding Lyme disease, it can be difficult to know what is true and what is not. The misconceptions and falsehoods surrounding this disease range from its prevalence to its diagnosis and treatment. In order to better understand the truth about Lyme disease, it’s important first to have an understanding of what exactly the disease is. What is Lyme Disease? Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete (spiral-shaped bacteria) Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick; however, some recent studies have shown that it may also be transmitted by mosquitoes. The carriers of the bacteria are the deer ticks, also known as the black-legged tick and the western black-legged ticks. The disease affects multiple areas of the body and is known as “The Great Imitator” because it mimics various other diseases such […]

What to Look for in a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor)

Written by

Originally Posted October 2014Updated May 2019 It’s possible you may not know you have Lyme disease because the typical diagnosis is a “bulls eye” rash — a red rash with another ring of red around it. Many people don’t remember being bit by a tick or ever getting such a rash. If you don’t have or remember the rash, don’t discount the fact that you could have Lyme disease. If you search the acronym on the Internet, you won’t see very many doctors listed, but rather a list of referral sites. These sites can be a good tool to find a doctor, but you must remember to do your own research as well. To make that process a little easier for you, we’ve listed some top things to look for in a LLMD. What are the Doctor’s Qualifications? That seems pretty easy, right? Well, yes and no. You’re still going […]

Everything You Need to Know About Lyme Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Written by

Originally Posted April 2016Updated May 2019 Maybe you’ve heard more about it in the media lately and wonder what the fuss is all about. Or maybe you’ve recently been diagnosed and want to educate yourself. Or maybe your loved one is suffering and you want to learn more. Whatever your experience with Lyme disease might be, the information out there can be overwhelming, confusing, contradictory, and even controversial. At Holtorf Medical Group, we are committed not only to treating complex illnesses and offering hope for the chronically ill, but also to educating others about these conditions and what treatments we use. Here is an overview of the history of Lyme disease as well as a summary of the most current knowledge available on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments. Hopefully it will answer many of the questions you might have, as well as offer resources for further reading. What Exactly is Lyme […]

11 Things You Need to Know About Lyme Disease

Written by

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme is tremendously difficult to diagnose and subsequently treat. This complex condition is perhaps one of the most underdiagnosed diseases in the United States. Poor recognition and awareness of this disease is in part due to a widespread lack of understanding and familiarity with Lyme. Increasing individual knowledge of Lyme may help reduce the occurrence rate, improve diagnosis, and promote more effective treatment. The following Lyme facts explain various aspects of the condition that everyone should know. 1. Lyme is caused by a bacterial infection of Borrelia Burgdorferi. These spiral-shaped bacteria known as a spirochete affect multiple organs resulting in a wide range of symptoms including: fatigue, neck stiffness or pain, jaw discomfort, muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, vision problems, digestive issues, headaches, and lightheadedness or fainting. Most Lyme patients experience lingering and […]

How to Find a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD)

Written by

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi and can mimic virtually any disease often leading to misdiagnosis such as CFS, Fibromyalgia, MS, depression, bipolar, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Due to the non-specific symptoms associated with it, Lyme disease can be difficult to both diagnose and treat. In order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment protocol you need to seek out a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD). Read this to learn more about to what to look for in a LLMD.