Lyme Disease: A Dubious Diagnosis?

Lyme disease is certainly a real illness. It is a bacterial infection chiefly transmitted by deer ticks. It can cause rashes, swollen joints and inflamed nerves.

However, doctors around the U.S. are currently diagnosing ailments such as back pain, poor concentration and fatigue as a chronic form of Lyme disease that can evade standard treatment. Doctors often order months or years of intravenous antibiotics to such patients. Others, however, believe there is little evidence that Lyme disease underlies these problems.

Some say that Lyme is tragically underdiagnosed, that tests endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are unreliable, and that research into the disease will provide cures for many devastating illnesses.

However, according to the Los Angeles Times:

“... [T]he nation's largest professional organization for specialists in infectious disease scrutinized the evidence and concluded that there is ‘no convincing biologic evidence’ for a Lyme infection that persists and continues to sicken despite the recommended treatment ... [Whereas] long-term antibiotic therapy found it can cause serious, even life-threatening problems. In one study, one-fourth of the patients suffered severe problems linked to the treatment, including blood clots, infection and the loss of a gallbladder.”

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