The controversy and confusion about Lyme diagnosis and treatment leaves many Coloradans undiagnosed, undertreated, and vulnerable to long-term, preventable, health problems from Lyme and tick-borne infections. Currently, many Coloradans already sick from neurological or untreated infections must drive hours or even travel out of state to receive access to evaluation, diagnosis and adequate treatment.
The National Guidelines Clearinghouse removed the IDSA Lyme Treatment Guidelines (in February, 2016) because the guidelines were out of date. Their official statement:
“It was removed from the NGC database because the guideline no longer met the NGC Inclusion Criteria pertaining to date. More specifically, the NGC inclusion criteria require that all guidelines represented in the NGC database have been developed, reviewed or revised within the last five years. All guidelines that no longer meet these criteria are removed from the NGC site on an annual basis.”
Currently, the only NGC endorsed treatment guidelines specific to Lyme disease in the U.S. are the peer reviewed Evidence Assessments and Guideline Recommendations created in 2014 by ILADS.
ILADS offers an annotated appendix with comparisons of the IDSA and ILADS guidelines.
Lyme disease may not have a traditional presentation. In December 2013 the CDC published a report on three sudden deaths caused by Lyme Carditis. Patient 3 “complained of episodic shortness of breath and anxiety during the 7–10 days before death. No rash, arthralgia, or neurologic symptoms were noted. A physician consulted 1 day before death prescribed clonazepam for anxiety.” Patient 1 “described a nonspecific illness with malaise and muscle and joint pain during the 2 weeks before death.”
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) offers a Physician Training Program. Their goal is to foster excellence in care for Lyme disease patients, addressing the challenges and changes in effectively diagnosing and treating tick-borne diseases. Scholarships are available. Visit the Physician Training Section for additional opportunities.