Lyme is becoming recognized as an increasingly common illness worldwide.  Last year the CDC revised its estimate of the number of new cases of Lyme upward from 30,000 per year to more that 300,000 per year!  The state of Arizona admitted that we actually have homegrown Lyme in our ticks, and that new cases presenting in Arizona are not all the result of travel.  Even more alarming is the recognition that Lyme has been present, at least in the Northeast and Midwest, for a very long time.  Many boomers are now beginning to wonder if their chronic arthritis, neurological symptoms and fatigue may be the result of playing in the woods or on farms as children.

And making diagnosis even more complicated and confusing :

a) There is no officially accepted, 100 percent sensitive test for the presence of Lyme illness.  Try to imagine what it would be like if there was no definitive test for HIV.  A positive test could be called false positive, and a negative test could mean you really did have it but were too sick to mount antibodies.  Its not hard to see how upset and anxious possible sufferer’s would be!

b) The symptoms are non specific.  Dr. Shoemaker has shown that you cannot distinguish mold from Lyme on the basis of symptoms alone.

c) The existence of chronic Lyme is hotly disputed by the IDS (Infectious Disease Society) and many top notch academic physicians while clinicians treating Lyme, and their patients, find it extremely common.

d) The tick carries other bacteria, such as Babesia and Bartonella, which are equally debilitating and usually not treated by the commonly used acute antibiotics.

This beautifully filmed video, THE SILENT EPIDEMIC,  explores the worldwide spread of Lyme illness and the resultant treatment controversies in a gripping documentary style.  It is well worth watching, both for those just starting on the path of diagnosing your own “mystery illness” or if you simply want to know more about the true worldwide prevalence of this very tricky spirochete.  I learned that borrellia has more DNA than any other bacteria.  Perhaps it has more intelligence (although an onion has more DNA than a human so correlating intelligence with DNA content is a treacherous path :-)?


This cartoon is a very funny parody of the current state of Lyme treatment.  It many ways it also mocks the current allopathic treatment of any mystery ‘multiple neurofibroarthriticalgitic fatigue syndrome’ including biotoxin illness.  Funniest line, when the patient starts crying about being given multiple pharmacological medications that only treat symptoms- “Come now, Mrs. Preston, must I also add antidepressants to your regimen”.

(Photo credit @CCARLE 2014)