What’s the Big Deal?



Caught early and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease is usually a short-term health issue.

So what’s the big deal when Lyme goes unrecognized and untreated for weeks, months, or years? How bad can it get? Here are a few points to consider:

Lyme and other illnesses carried by ticks can be positively horrendous.


To make matters worse, the medical community is divided. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) states that no Lyme bacteria survive after a short course of antibiotics; any symptoms after that must be residual damage or the result of something else. Unfortunately, doctors who follow this won’t treat patients even when they are getting sicker and sicker.

The International Society of Lyme and Associated Diseases (ILADS) asserts that Lyme bacteria can persist—and persist in causing illness. Killing bacteria with a longer course of antibiotics, according to the ILADS treatment guidelines, is the way to go.

All I can say is, I believe antibiotic treatment saved me. I believe it’s just a matter of time before research results knock IDSA off their pedestal.

Lyme Disease is a growing health threat everywhere. In the U.S. alone, some 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme Disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But that’s just a preliminary estimate; research is underway to refine the numbers, with the expectation by many doctors treating Lyme that the actual number is much higher. Reports of Lyme continue to rise across the globe.

Untreated Lyme can be a frightening story, as told by many sufferers including science writer Paula Weintraub in her book Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic. Check out her article “Why You Should be Afraid of Lyme Disease”  here.

This infection can impact every system in the human body. And illness isn’t usually sparked by Lyme bacteria alone; one tick can transmit a number of nasty things. That’s why you’ll hear the term “tick-borne illness” instead of Lyme.

Infections spread by ticks can lead to myriad devastating symptoms, both mental and physical. The longer the bacteria roam the body, the more entrenched they become—and the longer it can take for treatment to improve your health.

A recent survey indicated that quality of life for chronic Lyme patients can be worse than that of people with other serious illnesses like diabetes or congestive heart failure. 

Incredible but true: Misinformation about Lyme means countless people aren’t getting treated soon enough to avoid the nightmare of chronic Lyme, even though it’s treatable.

People are told so many things erroneously:

“You didn’t see a tick bite or get a bull’s-eye rash so you aren’t infected.” The truth? As many a half the people diagnosed never saw a tick; many more never got the rash.

Or, “You can’t have Lyme, it doesn’t exist in our area” — when in fact Lyme does occur where they live.

Or, “Your test is negative, so you don’t have Lyme.” Lyme testing is imperfect; a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no Lyme infection.

If you’ve had any of these experiences, it would be great to hear from you in the comments section (see link up top). People from more than 100 countries have visited this site. We can all learn from each other.

Chronic Lyme can be prevented if you get proper treatment right after a tick bite. But both patients and doctors have got to have the right information.

That’s why I’m committed to learning all I can to help get the word out. I hope you are, too.

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5 thoughts on “What’s the Big Deal?

  1. Jeannie McCarthy October 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm Reply

    I’m just confused. My daughter had a fever and that well-known target rash so I took her to her pediatrician who WAS concerned when he saw the bulls eye and tested her. YES she was positive! We live in a beach community – not the forest- and I was literally SHOCKED.

    She was 3 years old, and her doctor gave her antibiotics for an entire month. That was it.

    She is now 11 and brilliant thriving- this was literally a BLIP on the radar.

    I’m just thinking now………she has AWFUL eczema. We moisturize and try everything but she’s soooooo rough like sandpaper.

    I wonder if there was a possible connection? Otherwise, she is a happy, beautiful, VERY intelligent young woman. Oh also she will be 12 shortly and no signs of puberty? I didn’t start until 13 so it’s fine I’m told by both pediatrician and friends….. Thank you.

    • LifeLoveLyme October 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm Reply

      Hi there, boy how lucky that so many years ago your pediatrician knew that it takes more than 14 days of antibiotics to be safest! The climate is getting better, but even today there is so much misinformation and there is so much research needed to find answers, even in the medical community. And I’m not a doctor and can’t give medical advice, but you could locate a Lyme doc in your area through the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, http://www.ilads.org, which also offers doctors training and treatment guidelines about which meds to prescribe and how long they should be taken. Love your photo!

    • Robin May 9, 2016 at 7:16 am Reply

      Jeannie, did you use probiotics while your daughter was on the antibiotics? I would recommend several months of a good probiotic to help with your daughter’s eczema. I am a holistic nutritionist and there is a lot of science now indicating that eczema, as well as many other allergies and autoimmune disorders, are triggered by an imbalanced microbiome (gut bacteria). Jarrow is a pretty good brand to use. Do a little research and you will find some good products out there. Hope this helps!

  2. cherie July 14, 2016 at 7:52 am Reply

    Robin, I appreciate that tidbit about eczema, I have a couple kids who have that.

    Thanks for the blog, I do have a son who just got diagnosed in June of Lyme. He had headaches for 5 years. He is in the thick of it now. Body aches, bones hurt, can’t sleep, stomach hurts from meds, noise bothers him and he is also psychotic (we think from antidepressants we put him on for the headaches, ugh). He missed out on school last year because he couldn’t concentrate. I think we finally have the right doctor in place here in MN to help him. God bless all of you who are hurting, what an ugly disease.

    • LifeLoveLyme July 19, 2016 at 9:13 am Reply

      Being a mom is the toughest (and most rewarding) job there is — except being mom to a very sick child. So glad you’ve found your way to a good doc; wishing your son good health.

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