Avatar universal

The metamorphosis of an ND

An ND was mentioned in another thread and because I knew him personally and was treated by him for years I found his metamorphosis very interesting.

He states in his web site:
"For two decades, [name deleted] practiced in a busy community-based family medical center, treating individuals and families from birth to old age. His emphasis on patients experiencing chronic illness grew. As he became aware of the prevalence of chronic Lyme disease and related conditions he realized the important part they play in chronic illness."

Very true. His main interest in the family medical center was Chronic Fatigue. A friend and myself (we had met while members of a CFS support group)  later found out that we actually had Lyme disease. We contacted the ND who had recently moved to a larger integrative medical group and asked him if he wanted to know about Lyme disease.

He showed interest and we 'fed' him article after article about Lyme. The three of us would occasionally meet for lunch, sometimes in his office when he only had 15-30 minutes for lunch, and talk, talk, talk.

He was astounded by the 'proof' we showed him---- PubMed articles and like----- and began treating some of his patients with long term antibiotics. My friend and I were just two of them. In his home state he could rx abx since he worked in an office owned by an MD. That MD was not particularly interested in treating Lyme disease (more money in IV infusions for chronic fatigue). But he allowed the ND pretty much free rein in what he did. Thank goodness.

Then, the next step----- I asked the ND if he were interesting in joining ILADS and he replied that he was. So---- he was mentored under my LLMD and joined ILADS.

Next step------ the two (with full disclosure to each other) jointly rx'd IM bicillin. There are some details I'll leave out here----not pertinent to the NDs metamorphosis.

Next step in the NDs saga"

As I followed him via the Internet, sporadically. His presentations at conferences and symposiums etc. were about integrative medicine, concentrating mostly on the alternative side of medicine. Chronic fatigue still has a large presence on his web site and his lectures/presentations.

As we know people who have 'discovered' what 'disease' they have (CFS, MS to name a couple) are loathe to explore other reasons for their illness. Some CFSer probably do NOT have Lyme. Some MS people do not have Lyme. But I had CFS and was eager to 'explore' another reason for it----- one that might result in a 'cure'.  Some of those people even get angry when a person offers a 'possible' exploration.

Now that ND is well known for his treatment modalities for CFS and other chronic illnesses.

But I can't help but wonder if he might not, privately, be willing to treat with abx for a person with Lyme. That's what he did for many years. My own interactions with him were great. We considered each other a 'friend'. I told him politely that I ONLY wanted abx. He willingly complied. And I got better. He can take a lot of credit for that.

Moral? If there is one. You never know if an ND is willing to treat for Lyme (with abx) until you ask.

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Avatar universal
I read of a teenage girl with late stage Lyme who was struggling to get treated. She had gotten bit by a tick, got a bulls eye rash, and got 3 weeks of doxy from her doctor.  Either the doc failed to communicate the importance of finishing the meds or the girl was in denial, because she stopped after a week because she didn't like the upset stomach the meds gave her.  She (and her family) is now paying a very steep price for her cavalier attitude toward the meds.

I think oblivious patients are a part of the problem, too, when they don't finish their meds.  They think they don't "need" them anymore as they feel fine.
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Avatar universal
"you run the risk of a drug-resistant infection if you only kill off the weak ones and allow the stronger ones to develop immunity to medication, as Rico notes above."

Thank you, IDSA!
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Avatar universal
I've known people who said things like:  "Oh, I stopped taking the antibiotics after a few days [instead of the prescribed length of time, usually measured in weeks] because I was feeling better, and I didn't want to get dependent on the drugs."

Where to start.

1 -- you can't get 'hooked' on antibiotics -- they are not addictive

2 -- you run the risk of a drug-resistant infection if you only kill off the weak ones and allow the stronger ones to develop immunity to medication, as Rico notes above.

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Avatar universal
Not just that but from a former commissioner of the FDA:

""In 2011, drugmakers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics for livestock — the largest amount yet recorded and about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. The rest was for human health care."

I feel that 'antibiotic resistance' is a topic that deserves it's own thread and will start one.


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Avatar universal
Excellent and important clarification!  

"Over prescribing" is becoming misunderstood to mean giving a patient too much or "unnecessary" abx.  

What this really means is that abx are being given to patients with viral infections, and the abx taken fails to eradicate other contagious bacteria the person is carrying, probably asymptomatically, leaving the drug resistant bugs to flourish.

No one really knows how many incidents of "unnecessary" antibiotics have resulted in drug resistant bugs.  But it is well known that when a patient stops an abx after they feel better, but before all the bugs are gone, drug resistant bugs are left behind.  

I've always wondered how "unnecessary" abx can result in drug resistance.  If the person has a contagious bacteria, then they need MORE abx, not none at all.

The underappreciated cause of drug resistance (aside from extensive use in animals) is giving patients too little abx.  This is how docs learned the hard way that tuberculosis survives well beyond the point that the patient looks and feels well. But because Lyme isn't contagious, leaving behind drug resistant bugs through undertreatment isn't a public health problem. It's only a problem for the infected patient.

I read a horrifying story of a patient whose doc would only give her a week's worth of antibiotics for an infection (rather than the usual 10-14 days) because he didn't want to cause drug resistant bacteria.  I wanted to scream at that doc! He got it backwards!  And of course there are the horrifying stories of people who die of bacterial infections after doctors refused antibiotics, incorrectly thinking it was a viral infection.

I think because I only had a week of Augmentin 875 when I first got Lyme, I was left with the more robust and drug dodging bugs, which made my later infection worse than if I'd never been treated at all.

I personally think that if the IDSA doesn't change it's message about "over prescribing" antibiotics, the situation is going to get worse as more patients are undertreated and more patients suffer severe consequences of insufficient or no treatment.

There's my harangue on using drug resistance as an excuse not to treat patients properly!
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Avatar universal
"over prescribing leads to antibiotic resistant forms of bacteria."

... only if all the bacteria are not eradicated, such as by ending treatment before all of the meds are taken.
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Avatar universal
Some are willing, but are being highly restricted because over prescribing leads to antibiotic resistant forms of bacteria.  Mine couldn't prescribe anymore without seeing me again, for example, and then could only give me a scrip for a certain # of days, can't recall how many.  Didn't matter anyway, I find the natural way is working better.  Thanks Lord for leaving me in the midst of this bountiful forest!
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4939681 tn?1361299299
Great post!  Mine has pretty much the same metamorphosis story and though he was suggestive of other approaches, when I asked for abx he complied without hesitation with a 2 month supply.  After seeing the LLMD, my husband and I have pondered the thought of just sticking with the ND, since he charges 1/2 as much, but I'm in a leave no stone unturned mission right now, so I felt the recommended LLMD was a must.  We'll see if anything comes of it.  So far, the only difference between my LLMD and ND (besides cost) is the blood testing, but who knows if my ND would've done it bc I never asked.
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