Authored by Michelle McKeon
Lyme Disease, the devastating infection that affects more than a third of a million people each year, if treated immediately it can be cured by one of several possible antibiotics – many people, however, either never fully recover from the symptoms, or experience a relapse.
Chronic Lyme Disease, can be an ongoing condition that is highly debated in the medical and scientific communities. Others will appear to be completely cured and free from the disease, only to find the infection wreaking havoc on their bodies once more, several months or even years later.
In terms of relapse, it is said that dormant spirochete can spontaneously, and with little warning, begin replicating in the bloodstream. These leftover spirochetes can be likened to the remnants of a stubborn mold problem in your home, where cleansing the entire house from top to bottom and practically incinerating all pieces of clothing, leaves behind a solitary spore that raises a whole new army.
Why Mindset Matters
Some afflicted with Lyme Disease relapse have attested to the fact that, ironically, stressing about the possibility of a relapse can weaken the immune system, trigger a release of cortisol, and actually set the stage for one.
This creates a paradoxical situation, where mind-over-matter truly becomes a factor, and continuously worrying about your Lyme Disease symptoms returning can prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You need to believe that you’ll be fine, and take the preventative and proactive steps necessary to stave off another round of misery. That’s not to say that reading this article or looking for other useful information online is the wrong course of action – on the contrary, educating yourself about a delicate health subject is the best way to ease the mind and make informed lifestyle changes.
What’s especially important to note is that common conjecture in the medical field, as well as clinical evidence, suggest that ongoing antibiotic therapy will do little, if anything, to improve your chances of recovery after an extended period of time, or ward of a Lyme Disease relapse.
This means that taking antibiotics out of fear is not a long-term solution, and may actually do more damage to your body and quality of life than good. – I think this section should be removed
Relapse vs PTLDS – the Lyme community does not like the term PTLDS and if there are on going symptoms, it should be known as chronic Lyme
Needless to say, it’s important to know the differences between these two – they might appear to be one in the same, but the implications of each are completely opposite.
If you’re suffering from PTLDS, it’s likely that the bacteria is already gone from your body, but that your system is still continuing to fight-off the infection that isn’t there, similar to an autoimmune disorder. This condition needs to be treated by addressing the individual ailments – arthritis, fatigue, inflammation, memory loss, speech impairment, etc., rather than continuing to bombard the body with antibiotics.
Doctors, therapists and specialists who focus on this field can provide the necessary treatments to restore and improve bodily functions that fell victim to the crushing effects of Lyme Disease. Certain tests may be administered, such as an EKG, or CSF (spinal tap) as well as an MRI of the brain, to determine the extent of damage caused by the bacteria, and attempt to formulate a treatment plan. – I disagree with all of this
Relapse, however, means that the infection has actually taken hold of your body once more, and may need to be addressed with antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, or Cefuroxime. After a lengthy period of time, ongoing symptoms, or constant “relapses,” may be a strong indicator that you’re among the rare group of people who do not recover from Lyme Disease with antibiotics. At that point, it may be wise to change your strategy before damaging your health inadvertently. – I disagree with all of this
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases warns that such an approach could cause complications if the body is subjected to antibiotics for too long.
Talk to Your Doctor
Consult with a professional who specializes in Lyme Disease – even if you have to travel to another area or city where the disease is more prevalent and case studies are more abundant – if you feel symptoms coming on that you fear might be a sign of an imminent relapse.
Don’t jump to conclusions, however – most of the symptoms associated with Lyme Disease are similar to those of the flu, and numerous other common illnesses, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that dark days are ahead.