People who have had difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis of their ailments may feel that their doctors are not taking them seriously. Perhaps if they had MD degrees themselves, they imagine, the diagnostic process would be more productive.

A Medical Mystery

This is not always the case, however. Our guest, Neil Spector, MD, is a distinguished researcher and medical oncologist. But when he came down with troubling symptoms, the doctors he consulted told him he was suffering from stress. No one could figure out why his heart was racing and he had so little energy, but the diagnosis of “stress” followed him around. He had to become his own advocate.

Gone in a Heartbeat

Years later, his doctors discovered that his heart was barely functioning. It had been destroyed by Lyme disease that had been completely overlooked. He learned that unless he got an immediate heart transplant, he could be gone in a heartbeat.

What can we learn from Dr. Neil Spector’s successful struggle to overcome his Lyme disease misdiagnosis?

Detecting Lyme Disease Earlier:

Since listening to Dr. Spector’s description of the difficulty he had with the blood tests to detect the infection, there has been some progress on blood tests that can be used for early detection of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) infection. A team from George Mason University has just announced its results.

A multi-university team has also developed a multi-antigen test that should be helpful for early diagnosis (Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Dec., 2015). But for any of these tests to be useful, a doctor needs to suspect Lyme disease and order the test.

This Week’s Guest:

Neil Spector, MD, is the Sandra P. Coates chair in breast cancer research and an associate professor of medicine as well as pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University Medical Center. He co-directs the experimental therapeutics program for the Duke Cancer Institute, and is a Komen scholar. His book is  Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing.

Listen to the Podcast

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  1. Jo Marie Thompson
    Norwalk, WI
    Reply

    The gem I took away from this show is that tick borne microbes have lived in happy symbiosis with us for millenia. We only began becoming sick from them when our lifestyles became so distorted and unhealthy. These physicians each likely lived with the microorganism for years (by their own report) before becoming sick as a result of living the terribly (and ironically) unhealthy life of the modern physician. We have so much more control over our health than we like to admit. It is often easier to blame a health care system which is clearly not designed to bring even it’s own practitioners any form of “health,” than to take responsibility for our own health by ensuring that we receive basic healthful requisites such as adequate sleep, a balanced work life, and nutritional food. We would like instead to forego these basic requisites to health and subsequently demand that technology and the health care system fix our broken immune systems for us. I look forward to the day that a cultural overhaul addresses both our broken attitudes to health and our broken health care system.

  2. Robert
    Wild Rose. Wisconsin
    Reply

    8 yrs I lived with misdiagnosed Lyme and it has pretty much made my life horrible. I wish I knew what I know today 12 yrs ago. I hope
    and pray that Dr. Richard Horowitz will change the way Lyme is diagnosed in the U.S..

  3. Nicholas P.
    Arlington, Virginia
    Reply

    I was a healthy and fit 57 year-old on July 29, 2003, when I found a tick on the outside of my right ankle, as I was changing my socks after work. Two days later I had excruciating neck pain that lasted a full day, but when I went to be checked at our HMO’s weekend urgent care, I heard, “You don’t have to worry about Lyme disease, because that tick’s too big.”

    Over the next five days there developed a small red circular spot — it increased in size from a dime to a nickel to a quarter — on my ankle where the tick had been; then the inside of the red spot faded, leaving a pink circle surrounding a dot. We were about to leave for our annual two-week road trip to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, to visit family. I called our HMO provider to seek advice on taking the trip: “You don’t have to worry. Even if you have a tick disease, two weeks without treatment won’t matter.”

    In October, 2015 I finally was released from 12 years of severe chronic pain with Naloxone, but my body has been deteriorating steadily, at a glacial pace, and life has been stolen from us by medical mistakes and ignorance.

    From the start, after we had to demand referral to a doctor that knew Lyme disease, my body never responded to the blood tests, because my F2 iGG subclass immune response does not allow any antibody production. The only proof I have that caused a look for the infection was a bright red, circular blotch that developed on my abdomen, 21 days after the tick was found, and my daughter and my brother had the presence of mind to photograph it.

    • Jean
      Reply

      I am 75 years old. I know that I will have months of hard bicycle work in my future. Thank you for the information.

  4. Sue
    Florida
    Reply

    Although I am sorry that Dr. Spector had this experience, this must not serve as a support for Chronic Lyme doctors and I, therefore, must add my voice. I had the opposite problem. I WAS diagnosed with Chronic Lyme by an LLMD, and within one month, he had projected that my entire lineage had Lyme Disease. I was treated with Doxycycline, and since that was not my problem, I started having extreme symptoms. I was in the emergency room three times in two weeks. I was told it was a Herx reaction by the LLMD. This was not true. I was getting worse because that is not what was wrong with me and I was not getting the correct treatment I needed, which I fear is what most people that have “Chronic” Lyme Disease are going through.

    Most of these doctors diagnose based on symptoms, and have the freedom to judge very vague symptoms as Lyme. I also think that the other part of the problem is that with unspecified symptoms there are so many diagnoses possible, and finding out the true cause is hard.

    However, I continued to research what could possibly be wrong with me and once I was on the correct medication and stopped the Doxy, I immediately started feeling better. So, yes, Dr. Spector, thank you for pointing out that you must be your own advocate and figure out what is causing your symptoms. It could be Lyme, but most likely is NOT “Chronic Lyme,” and if you are pumping yourself with antibiotics, you are only making things worse. It is my hope that I might save someone, anyone, from falling into the same trap that I did. It could save your life. Do your research.

  5. ariel
    USA
    Reply

    my doctor refused to test me for lyme! My friend who is a doctor but not a medical one. Told me that had the symptoms. My friend has lyme. I found some doctors that specialize in lyme,
    However, they did not take my insurance and was at least 2 1/2 hours away. I found a lyme dentist he was 6 hours away and did not take my insurance. I cannot find the link to send comments to me on this article.

    • ariel
      usa
      Reply

      i forgot to add that i because insurance does not pay , I cannot go to these doctors.
      it is so sad that many doctors do not accept insurance or recognize lyme disease.

  6. Calista
    Dorothy, NJ
    Reply

    That was a great & most interesting show!! Thanks!! My third child, a girl who has a mosaic ring 22 chromosomal defect (she was no 31 to be diagnosed with this chromosomal defect known in the world population) got Lyme Disease in 1995. We live here in South Jersey which is a hot bed of the disease.

    I’m not so sure she got the Lyme from a tick the first time around, since there was no evidence of a tick on the back of her leg where the bull’s eye rash occurred. We were out West when the first diagnosis came in. Thankfully, the doctor at the clinic knew that what was wrong with her, even though there were very few cases at that time frame out there. We knew there was something seriously wrong, as she was sleeping 14-16 hrs. a day, running a fever & just not feeling good, even though she couldn’t really tell us what was going on, as she was mentally like a 2-3 yr. old.

    That summer she was on 3 mos. of oral meds, and then we did a month+ of IV antibiotics. The following June she was at the infectious disease doctor’s for a check-up & There she had a tick on her shoulder, and it is was Lyme disease again. We had a repeat performance of treatment. Both times she complained about the foot where the first bite was–that it ‘hurt,’ and the 2nd time she would have frequent stiff necks. Since she isn’t smart enough to be a’ hypochondriac’ & we could only go on exhibited symptoms. We knew she had long term-pain, etc. It was after the 2nd time that her sleep patterns drastically changed & she would sleep 2-3 hrs. & then be up 21 hrs. totally wired. We’ve talked to other ‘normal’ individuals about their Lyme symptoms & problems & so many have related the same thing.

    Her 24/7 care has been a real challenge for us & the Lyme disease has really changed many things about her. She had it one more time within the last 5 yrs. & that time the doctor only did a month of oral meds. I’ve seen the documentation suggesting that it is not only ticks that are carriers, but mosquitos as well & there’s been question that fleas & lice can be part of the carrier cycle.

    One doctor here in the area pooh-poohed the reality of Lyme disease until his daughter-in-law contracted the disease & he’s done a real about- face of treatment, care, etc. It is a very real thing & I can’t imagine the frustration of this doctor (Neil Spector) knowing how crummy he felt & not getting treatment. I understand they are improving the diagnostic blood tests since when my daughter was first diagnosed. The doctor she had was frustrated because he said that the test wasn’t telling whether the titres were up or down—did she need more treatment or was she getting better?

  7. Dr. Charles
    Ahoskie NC
    Reply

    Lets be very careful about over-extrapolating with this case history, while praising “Lyme Disease Aware” doctors and denouncing the medical profession in general without understanding the pathophysiology of Lyme and like intracellular diseases AND RATIONALLY and cost-effectively using that pathophysiology in our treatment.

    Intracellular pathogen infection in general activates a nuclear factor NF-kB to induce the transcription of a set of reactive oxygen species generating enzymes. These enzymes generate superoxide (the one electron addition to the outer shell of oxygen), a free radical with an unpaired electron that aims thermodynamically to be paired with another electron or “be lost” from the outer shell of oxygen and be “donated” for redox reactions that, in turn create other reactive species such as hydrogen peroxide and the hydroxyl radical.

    So there is “Initiation” by the intracellular critter of the generation of INTRACELLULAR reactive oxygen species that are “normal signals” for cellular function in physiological quantities BUT “abnormal signals” in pathophysiological quantities as initiated by intracellular critter infection. The design of this “defense” is to kill the critter as it likely does BUT the unintended consequences are, in part, described by the following cascade:

    Intracellular infection —-> “oxidative stress” as discussed above —> activation of NF-kB —> MORE and sometimes much more oxidative stress —> effects on mitochondria, neurons, the endothelium……cardiac cells……etc such that there is PROPAGATED all sorts of pathophysiology including a switch in high energy molecule production, in part, from the mitochondria to the “glycolytic pathway” as occurs in normal aging causing extreme fatigue or at least unusual fatigue; endothelial dysfunction, neurovascular dysfunction, regional blood flow abnormalities…..etc causing arthralgia, polyneuropathy, accentuated fatigue……etc; radiculneuritis from neuron dysfunction and chronic inflammation causing weird and disabling neurological symptoms.

    Yes diagnosis is needed BUT if one understands the above pathophysiologies it is possible to effectively treat some of these consequences of these pathophysiologies by addressing them directly RATHER than loading people INPPROPRIATELY with tons of IV antibiotics for years of very expensive therapy.

    For instance I have seen patient with “chronic lyme disease” that have been treated for literally decades with IV antibiotics that do have a very very very expensive anti-inflammatory effect BUT did not get at the underlying PROPAGATION PATHOPHYSIOLOGY.

    What is very inexpensive, for instance, to treat the CHRONIC and very bothersome radioculoneuritis symptoms that can result from intracellular pathogen infection?

    Answer: Benfotiamine, a fat soluble derivative of vitamin B-1. I have seen patients with “chronic lyme disease” for literally decades who have been treated with IV antibiotics ad nauseum (literally and figuratively) but still have episodes of severe radioculoneuritis pain. I ask them to take Benfotiamine 300 mg before breakfast and 300 mg before bedtime. In 2 to 3 weeks their chronic severe radiculoneuritis pain is down to zero or close to it. Now that does not mean it is “cured”. It can flare and it is likely that continued rx with Benfotiamine will be necessary. However this treatment can be had for as little as 12 dollars a month.

    What can treat the extreme fatigue of “chronic lyme disease”? One rx that can help (but not necessarily “cure”) is: Ubiquinol + Pycnogenol that shifts high energy molecule production back to mitochondria and away from the glycolytic (and reactive oxygen molecule) pathway.

    Benfotiamine, Ubiquinol and Pycnogenol should be in a first aid kit for prn (usually very safe) use by people who have the onset of unusual fatigue or radicuoneuritis pains.

    AND when you get a rash on your body, whereever, take a smart phone picture of the rash and go to your doctor right away and ask your doctor: could this rash be caused by an intracellular pathogen that is treatable with antibiotics at its ONSET?

    A clinical diagnosis of lyme disease or other intracellular zoonosis infection can be possibly be made by the primary care physician, an appropriate antibiotic be initiated AND Benfotiamine, ubiquinol, Pycnogenol started to avoid the chronic complications of an intracellular zoonosis infection.

    Lets avoid the “expertise” of chronic lyme disease “doctors” if we can by smart and timely action by THE PEOPLE with their primary care physician with whom they have trust.

    Otherwise we are just adding to the bankruptcy of our health care system, ad nauseum.

    • Holly
      Wellington, Fl
      Reply

      Dr. Ahoskie,

      Your reply is very interesting. I have been sick with lupus and sjogren’s for 5 years, with cranial neuropathies, occipital and other cranial nerve -graines that are disabling. I have 24/7 LOUD tinnitus and have around 20 positive ANA’s.

      I just did a stint at Shands and when they went to do my lip biopsy, the salivary glands were all completely disintegrated. He had never seen anything like it. He had to go under my nerves to find 4 glands. I failed salivary flow test with having 0.0001 amount of saliva as opposed to the normal 3 to 4. I failed all of my schirmer tests, have dementia-type forgetfulness, and psychotic episodes. Because my lip biopsy came back negative, Dr. Reeves at Shands said I have nothing and positive ANA means nothing.

      I have normal spinal fluid and MRIs. I am at my wit’s end. Can I get the drugs you mentioned from my pharmacist? I’ve fought this autoimmune illness for so long. The tinnitus alone is so loud, it would have done most people in. I am 46 and am so so tired of the joint pain, occipital nerve pain and mania, etc. I don’t leave my house. How do I find a doctor like you in south florida? I was a very successful photographer/artist but can no longer lift my camera due to my cranial nerves.

  8. Maureen
    Greensboro, nc
    Reply

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this. I have been sick for 16 years. I have been encouraged today.

  9. Jane S.
    Canada
    Reply

    I’d have to echo what many of the posters are saying here:

    There is so little interest, time and/or money in the medical community to treat chronic illness – even in general – that things like Chronic Lyme can go undiagnosed for years or decades.

    Doctors need to be unshackled, to be free to use best judgement in the absence of a positive lab test. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – where there’s inflammation, there’s infection.

    We have so far to go, those of us who have been suffering for years, and few advocates. I’ve had to be my own doctor for the past 15 years. It’s maddening.

  10. JR
    Texas
    Reply

    Thank you, Dr. Spector, for sharing your story. I hope the medical establishment listens to you and wakes up. Part of the problem with getting a positive Western Blot is the labs are not even testing for bands 31 and 34, which are highly specific for Lyme. That is a crime, highly unethical in my opinion. If someone has those bands on their test, they can be almost 100% sure they have Lyme. 31 and 34 are the bands the vaccine companies are using in their Lyme vaccine, yet the labs won’t even test for those, unless you use one of the tick-borne specialty labs. This is only one of the things that needs to change in helping people get accurate diagnoses.
    PS Please come to Texas and tell the doctors here a thing or two! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard patients say their doctor told them “There is no Lyme in Texas.”

    • rick
      Reply

      With the latest news on the antibiotic Cipro, could it be that these people are not suffering from Lyme disease at all and they are actually suffering from antibiotic-induced trauma to the central nervous system?

    • Ellen
      Dallas, Texas
      Reply

      There is a Lyme Lab at Texas A & M University. Texas does have Lyme, probably underreported at this point and doctors do seem slow to admit that we have it here.

  11. C
    Ny
    Reply

    Very interesting read. Positive testing, did not treat it the best, now living with symptoms when told no active infection. Been down the cardio route so fully I even had a heart Cath. Hope it’s not in my heart.. But how would they tell! Really sucks

  12. KB
    South Carolina
    Reply

    Thank you so much for doing this show. I have read his book, and it is excellent. We are truly suffering in the south from lyme and other tick borne diseases. I have been dealing with 4 infections, including Lyme Disease for 4 years. Please have Kerry Clark from the University of North Florida on your show. The Southeast is left out of all stats, and we are truly having problems here. The deniability is amazing!

  13. Leslie
    Michigan
    Reply

    My current diagnosis is “polymyalgia rheumatica” which I see as no diagnosis at all but rather a Latinized description of my symptoms. I did have the classic “bull’s eye” rash. After many requests, I finally got a test for Lyme which came back negative. I did not realize just how misleading that could be.

    You and your listeners may also be interested in a July 1, 2013 article in The New Yorker magazine by Michael Specter, “The Lyme Wars”. Perhaps you might want to do an interview with him, or with two people mentioned in the article: Dr. Richard Horowitz of Hyde Park, New York, a “Lyme literate” doctor, and David Roth, a managing director of Blackstone Investment Group in New York, a Lyme patient and activist who supports scientific approaches to end the Lyme wars.

  14. daisy
    Winter Haven FL
    Reply

    It’s almost a week later, and I’m still thinking about Dr. Spector and all that he endured to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. The fact that it happened to a physician is so scary, because the rest of us don’t have the same knowledge base and experience to fall back on. So glad that he found answers and hopefully, this show will encourage others to continue to seek medical help when they don’t get the answers that feel right. God bless him for sharing his story.

    • Dolores
      Land O' Lakes, Florida
      Reply

      The argument seems to be whether Borrelia can set up a chronic infection. In addition, we have scant research that elucidates all the pathogens injected into us by various vectors and we do not know how these pathogens synergistically interact. For instance, since Borrelia does not require Iron for its dastardly deeds and instead utilizes Manganese, what role do other pathogens play in providing Manganese to Borrelia. If one studies many of the tick borne pathogens, you realize that quite a few can move from the acute to chronic phase. That is not being addressed either. We need next generation sequencing to ascertain all of the pathogens that are being transmitted and Coxiella burnetti, Mycoplasmas, Chlamydias and Brucella can also switch to a chronic phase as well as many others. Borrelia hermsii and burgdorferi can cripple the immune system, causing immune dysfunction and then we see most of the opportunistic infections that are in immune compromised people including those with AIDS. Auto antibodies seem to be produced in those with Borrelia and other co infecting agents.

      Deer can kill off B garinii without any antibody production. Host response to these blasted spirochetes is varied. Article says that Borrelia is capable of activating both CCP and ACP.

      Superevasion sites may occur on other powerful down regulators of host immunity, too. The concept of a microbial superevasion site is valid not only for down regulators of immunity, such as FH, but also for host immune activator molecules such as immunoglobulins.

      http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1003308

      Very interesting article that talks about immune compromisation of both cellular and humoral immunity and the auto antibodies that they found in lyme patients. People near me have autoantibodies to mitochondria and anti parietal cells of stomach, which produces intrinsic factor necessary for absorption of B 12. … Also interesting is that anti parietal cell antibodies and Hashi are mentioned elsewhere. Anti parietal cell antibodies are also discussed vis a vis infection with H. pylori. Atrophic gastritis and lyme too.

      …I would get all these tests…Western Blot for Borrelia, also test for Borrelia hermsii, Borrelia recurrentis, and Babesia duncani and microti and Quest can test for duncani, Bartonella henselae and quintana, Brucella, Tularemia, Coxiella burnetti or Q fever, many rickettsias ie Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Typhus, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, EBV, CMV, all Coxsackie viruses, and now Powassan virus and its cousin Deer Tick Virus, HSV 1 and 2, HHV 1-8 if available. Parvovirus B -19, Papillomaviruses, Toxoplasmosis, Chlamydias and Mycoplasmas and get genetic tests for hypercoagulation like Mthfr and Factor V leiden, and test all your IgG subclasses 1-4, and CD 57 and C3a and C4a and CBS mutations and HPU/KPU and mold testing since so many of us have issues with mold. ECP or eisonophil cationic protein seems to suggest to docs that you have babesia. Also transfer growth factor b-1 and Beta Strep. High CD 57 counts may be associated with Beta Strep. Heavy metals have a part in this and we are low in Secosteroid D or vitamin D and some are low in Potassium and others iron. Many are deficient in all amino acids. Our hormones are a mess and the whole HPA Hypothalmic pituitary axis is the problem. We can have probs with our adrenals and thryoid…we do not convert T4 to T3 and in my case I have high reverse T3 or rT3. We are quite low in testosterone as well. Check out every hormone in your body, amino acids and vitamins and minerals. There are over 100 viruses we can get from a tick and also many parasites. The labs that insurance covers can’t find a parasite when we can see it under the microscope. Quest at Nichols Institute in Valencia California can culture samples and might even be able to distinguish Brucella suis from melitensis or arbortus. We also need an MRI of our brain with and without contrast. Many lymies are showing up with pituitary adenomas and pheomchromocytomas. Make sure that you do not have these. I have spent years trying to figure out what is in us and so far this is what I have seen. Unfortunately when your physician may take years to order all the necessary tests. Make sure you get tested sooner rather than later. One more thing …..you may get tested for Brucella today and 2 years from now may show up IgM positive. The immune system is overwhelmed with all these pathogens.

      http://www.sophia.org/antidiuretic-hormone-adh-vasopressin-tutorial

      Whole HPA is a mess. ADH is not normal in lyme patients. We also need to be tested for all the opportunistic fungal infections of AIDS patients.

      How the immune system is crippled should be one aspect of research and then BosR and oxidative stress is another area to be researched and the fungal synergy needs to be explored.

      We are discovering new pathogens all the time in people bitten by ticks. Powassan and Bourbon are two viruses now showing up. Candidatus neo ehrlichia mikurensis in Sweden is another new rickettsia. What role does Midichloria Mitochondrii or its Midichloria like organsism Montezuma play in human disease. We see antibodies being produced to Montezuma that is being injected from a variety of ticks as well. It is time to get busy researching this world wide epidemic and stop fighting and harming very ill people. People remain ill and a short course of any antibiotic is not going to eradicate all pathogens.

  15. Barbara
    Illinois
    Reply

    If Dr. Spector knew what the problem was, why didn’t he just treat himself? He’s a doctor, he could have gotten all the dox he wanted. If it’s illegal for a Dr. to treat him/herself, one would have to wonder what is more important; following the law or self preservation?

  16. Grateful
    Nags Head, NC
    Reply

    I am uplifted that this is getting some attention, and the comments are welcome reads. It has been more than a dozen years that my family member has suffered severe and constant headache and abdominal pain, disordered sleep and anxiety. After consulting many neurologists/psychiatrist/ENT/pain management/gastroenterologist…… and undergoing test after test, we were left to our own devices, as no doctor seemed willing to reach for an answer. We found a “Lyme Literate Doctor”–LLMD, five hours away, who was willing to examine symptoms despite the fallible testing system. This disease is complex and challenging for all, and antibiotic treatment can exacerbate the symptoms. DNA testing can shed light on why some medications, vitamins, supplements are appropriate or not. There is a stigma to Lyme disease which is perpetuated by the medical infrastructure/insurance/CDC/other agencies’ guidelines for what qualifies as Lyme, and this helps destroy lives, while the bacteria is busy hurting brains, hearts, joints and more. Thank you for airing this important program (and future ones) about this emerging epidemic.

  17. Angel
    Durham
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story Dr. Spector. What a blessing that you were able to receive help. As one who has suffered with navigating the politics of Chronic Lyme for almost 7 years now, losing my dearly loved career and hobbies, and almost losing my life on numerous occasions, it saddens me to see that you work for an institution that still does not help the general public who are suffering and/or dying. Perhaps your story will educate others, and begin saving lives-today…

  18. Sara M
    Raleigh
    Reply

    Your guest described my medical experience and many sypmtons as well as the frustration. Thank you for your show.

  19. Bob
    Flordia
    Reply

    I had Lyme disease for 3 years before going to Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) that used a ZYTO to diagnose my disease. Western medicine sent me to infectious disease specialist who ordered the Western Blot (the standard test) which did not identify the disease. I was told that they have changed the parameters of the test and there are now LOTS of false negatives. I had all the symptoms, but not the test results. Doctors are not to believe their eyes and ears, but blindly follow a test. But back to my history. Since I had a headache that was continuous 24/7 only varying in severity. They sent me to neurologists who scanned my brain, tested my nerves, injected my scalp with botox, and sent me psychologists. I was constantly growing weaker, more lethargic and fuzzy minded. Finally I sought out a DOM that spent time looking at listening to me and physically testing me before testing with the ZYTO. After identifying 6 strains of Lyme bacteria, I asked my MD for the antibiotic since the cause of my problems had been identified. She told me that since the Western Blot did not identify legally she could not write a script.

    So the DOM made me a homeopathic treatment. Then we used a herbal treatment. (see Dr Cowden support program) After a year I tested clear of the Lyme bacteria. But the effects of the disease continue and recovery is slow, uneven and discouraging.

    I am so disappointed in our bureaucratic approach to medicine and not allowing doctors to use their eyes, ears and minds to treat their patients. I have quit all allopathic medications and big pharma trained physicians. My health is now in my hands with the guidance of a healer.

  20. MJWilkie
    NYC
    Reply

    While I would not have wished the experience on Dr. Spector, I’m glad that an M.D. had the opportunity to see how ordinary patients get treated routinely.

  21. JAS
    New York, U.S
    Reply

    “There is no more wasteful entity in medicine than a rushed doctor…” — Dr. Sandeep Jauhar/Cardiologist quoted in the New York Times. “Time” is now the elusive missing antidote in our broken health care system. So grateful to the doctors that speak out; now all we need are health care insurance executives who put human life before profit… Health care, healing and human life should not be under any “profit” system: period. “Time” is the new healing medicine that eludes us all, patients and caregivers… Too bad Big Pharma can’t bottle time and stick it in a pill…

  22. Nancy
    frederick,md
    Reply

    In your article you say that “No one could figure out why his heart was racing and he had so little energy.” In my case, the problem is that no one is willing. Physicians for the most part have no interest in helping patients with chronic problems.
    They refuse to order needed diagnostics and opt instead for tests with a high probability of false negatives so there is an excuse to ignore treatment. They seem to be unable to grasp the scientific concepts of sensitivity or specificity and can not understand that there exist false negatives in most if not all tests. The academic desire to identify the exact etiology of a disease process may be scientifically fulfilling but does not always serve patient needs. Response to treatment is being ignored and human lives are being destroyed.
    According to NIH and the infectious disease specialty as a whole, chronic Lyme disease does not exist as a disease entity and the disease simply resolves it’s self over time. Please inform your speakers heart and my brain so that we may be cured by this highly scientific “magical thinking.”
    100% of my progressive degenerative CNS disorder resolved with the proper dose and combination of antibiotics but since the organism defies identification, treatment is being withheld in favor of disease.
    Currently, in the field of veterinary medicine, we still believe in helping sick animals to get well and identifying the exact pathogen causing a devastating infection is secondary to the individual animals health. Unfortunately, at least in Maryland, human patients are not given the same priority or respect or credibility as dogs or cats or horses.

  23. Faith
    India
    Reply

    Vera P Mursic, Formation and cultivation of Borrelia burgdorferi Speroplast-L-form Variants, Infection 24 (1996);215-226, shows that penicillin (beta lactam) induces Bb to produce L-forms: ONE microbe to MANY L-forms with potential to evolve to MANY original and variant forms to escalate infection and continuing depletion of nutrients essential to host immune function and to parasite cell wall synthesis – cause continuing replication as cell wall-less forms like mycoplasma. Initial mono therapy with a drug that induces the production of L-forms can create a chronic disease state. Evolving L-forms can be sensitive to different substances at different stages of growth. Effective treatment can require a sustained titre value of multiple substances. Post 1970, the role of L-forms and variants is largely ignored – no practical application of the information in the many earlier and current published articles.

    • Judy
      Pennsylvania
      Reply

      Having just had some bloodwork for Lyme after some years of symptoms that were unresponsive to therapy, I am wondering what would be the appropriate medicine combination to treat Lyme, particularly if it might be long-standing. We have had many animals on our farm with Lyme disease and most of our neighbors have it as well, so it is a distinct possibility that is what I have. I am a retired medical practitioner and familiar with the foibles of medicine. For years, the doctors here (even in the huge teaching hospital here) have refused to diagnose Lyme because “the insurance doesn’t recognize this disease” Well, it is a real disease, and it doesn’t go away without treatment. I am particularly interested in the combination of medicines to prevent the production of L-forms of Borrelia. A friend of ours died recently of heart failure at a young age with no family history and only medical history of lyme disease, untreated. I wonder if it was related to this sad outcome.

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