A 58 year old woman came for a Lyme consult 10 months ago. She had been diagnosed with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. She suffered with joint pains affecting her knees, ankles, hands and elbows. In addition she suffered with chronic fatigue headaches visual changes, neuropathy, forgetfulness, impaired cognitive processing and night sweats. She was interested in exploring an alternative explanation of her symptoms because her daughter had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her rheumatologist had prescribed Methotrexate, Suflasalazine and Celebrex. Baseline laboratory studies showed a very borderline ANA 125, a normal rheumatoid factor and an elevated CRP of 11.5. She has consistently tested negative for Lyme disease. She has had positive IgG and IgM 41 bands and IND 31 and 39 IgG bands per Igenex.
She has been treated for Lyme disease and Babesia based on clinical symptoms. In November her CRP was 3.8. Another set of labs was ordered today.
Today, 10 months later- she has no joint pain. Her memory is back to normal. The sweats are gone. Minimal neuropathy remains. Her psoriasis has resolved. She takes Plaquenil and is off Methrotrexate and Sulfasalzine. Incidentally, I have observed clearing of psoriasis in several other patients treated for Lyme disease.
What has she been on? Biaxin, Zithromax, Plaquenil, Mepron and now Minocin. She is allergic to penicillin.
For the sake of argument, let us posit the standard rheumatology opinion. She never had Lyme disease. Antibiotics helped her because of non specific anti-inflammatory properties and modification of cytokine responses.
The patient came to me on a powerful immune suppressing drug, Methotrexate, which is known to have serious complications, including cancer. And besides, the drug wasn't helping her. She improved with antibiotics. Rheumatologists have argued with me, claiming that long term antibiotic therapy is dangerous. Millions of teenagers take chronic antibiotic therapy for acne. I fail to see any merit to these arguments.
OK- LLMDS are wrong. It is not Lyme disease. It is something else. It doesn't matter what you call it. It works and it is much safer than "standard" therapy.
Apparently ego trumps the best interest of the patient.