Dr. Garth Nicolson, one of MedHelp's most popular experts will be back to
answer your autoimmune-related questions for a limited time, beginning on
December 3, 2012. ONLY autoimmune-related questions will be accepted and
We cross-promote on many communities when Dr. Nicolson comes to MedHelp because oftentimes our members have more than one condition and/or are looking for information and this post is helpful for them.
Yes, I agree, more information is good -- there are some people who arrive here having been told that a couple of weeks' antibiotic treatment for Lyme is all that is necessary, and any continuing symptoms are an over-active immune system that needs to be suppressed by steroids -- meaning that they now have an auto-immune condition, and no longer a bacterial infection, despite continued and even worsening symptoms of Lyme and continued positive tests (if any re-tests are even done).
Long-term antibiotic treatment is standard for some other bacterial infections such as Hansen's disease and tuberculosis (18 months treatment is common), because their causative bacteria, like Lyme, have a long and slow reproductive cycle, and it is when the cell wall is disrupted during division that the antibiotics are most effective in killing the bacteria. Thus two weeks of antibiotics to treat Lyme is often not effective -- and worse, follow-on steroid treatment simply stops the immune system and causes the patient to decline further and more quickly.
Because there are a fair number of people who come to this site after two weeks of antibiotics plus possible steroid treatment, we try to explain the confusion and conflicts within the medical community on this matter, so that the visitors here can decide whether to pursue a second opinion.
Some time back, this Lyme site was even reclassified by MedHelp as part of the 'autoimmune disorders' category. After some discussion, that was reversed, and I think those old, wrongly classified messages are largely buried now by the passage of time, but my post above was simply to clarify that Dr Nicholson's presentation flagged here does not mean that Lyme is definitely an auto-immune disorder -- which a number of our visitors here have been told flat-out by their docs is settled science.
We are careful here to say we are not medically trained, and our collective goal is help people who are suffering with Lyme and its co-infections (as we personally are or have been) to understand the conflicts in the medical community and the developing nature of Lyme diagnosis and treatment.
Thank you for the information, and I hope you understand why I posted the clarification: simply to avoid confusion in the minds of those dealing with Lyme.
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