Post-Lyme disease syndrome appears to be an uncommon, but well-documented malady for patients positively diagnosed with Lyme. “Chronic Lyme Disease” likely represents a host of other misdiagnosed and/or un-diagnosed illnesses.
Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome
Post-Lyme disease syndrome (also known as “post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome” or PTLDS) is defined as a relapse or continuation of symptoms after successful antibiotic treatment of a Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Some cases, characterized by arthritic joints, appear to represent an autoimmune disorder triggered by the bacterium that surfaces even in the absence of the spirochete.
“The Great Imitator”
That is what PTLDS is frequently called. Many other illnesses exhibit similar symptoms:
- ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- MS – multiple sclerosis
- Herpes encephalitis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Depression and other psychiatric disorders
Chronic Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme Disease is a frequent catch-all diagnosis for patients experiencing PTLDS symptoms, but who have no documented history of infection by B. burgdorferi.
Science and Fiction
Not surprisingly, conspiracy theories and misinformation about Lyme abound, in part due to changing conclusions and facts provided by the medical community. There is suspicion of the influence of pharmaceutical and insurance industries on the U.S. healthcare system, and growing distrust of traditional medicine in general. Please, seek science before rumor, and consider the agenda of alternative sources, too.