Chronic Lyme Disease
The constellation of symptoms one might experience with Lyme disease is widespread. In fact, Lyme is commonly referred to as “the great imitator” because the presentation of symptoms can mimic many other illnesses and affect all systems in the body. This can be frustrating for both patients who often remain undiagnosed as they search for answers to explain their discomfort, and for doctors attempting to determine the underlying cause of his or her patient’s health concerns. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Low energy
- Poor memory and concentration
- Muscle and joint pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Immune dysfunction
Although often considered a hallmark symptom of Lyme disease, a Bull’s Eye rash (Erythema Migrans) is reported in fewer than 50% of patients.
Lyme disease should be considered in a differential diagnosis in those patients diagnosed with:
- Chronic fatigue
- Rheumatological disorders (i.e. Rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological disorders (i.e. Multiple Sclerosis)
- Any multi-system illnesses that are difficult to diagnose
The conventional treatment of Lyme disease often includes a course of antibiotics in the early stages of infection. This can be effective if caught and treated early. In the later stages and in more chronic situations, it may become more complicated and difficult to treat as multiple body systems may be involved and immune function can become compromised. In these cases an integrative and holistic approach to treatment becomes critical in restoring the body back to health by targeting the multiple infections associated with Lyme and simultaneously strengthening the immune system.
Healing Lyme Program
Dr. Leslie Vilensky and Dr. Sharina Brothers have completed the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society’s (ILADS) Physician Training Program and have worked extensively with patients dealing with Lyme Disease/Tick-Borne illness. Their approach is to restore balance and support the body in its inherent healing capacity. The aim of the Healing Lyme Program is to not only treat Lyme and all related co-infections, but also to make it an essential part of your care to speed recovery by supporting immune function, promoting healthy detoxification, and protecting and repairing the body during care which may include herbal anti-microbials as well as antibiotic therapy prescribed by your medical doctor. Dr. Vilensky and Dr. Brothers use nutritional and lifestyle counseling, homeopathic drainage, detoxification, and herbs/supplements tailored to the individual person affected by these infections. Patients struggling with Lyme Disease will recover more quickly with support not just aimed at killing Lyme, but also addressing the body’s ability to function optimally, including immune system function, detoxification capabilities, and gastrointestinal health.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of a deer tick infected with the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases today. The Center for Disease Control reports approximately 10,000 new cases per year, but due to the high incidence of undiagnosed and unreported cases, the number of those infected is likely much higher. A large percentage of those infected with the Lyme bacteria are co-infected with other pathogenic organisms, also transmitted by ticks and contributing to the symptom picture we call Lyme disease.
Contrary to popular opinion, Lyme disease is not only an issue for those living on the East Coast. Lyme disease is prevalent across the United States and throughout the world. According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s website, from 1996 to 2012, over 17,000 cases of tick-borne diseases were reported in Minnesota, the majority of which were Lyme disease. Statistics indicate that the incidence of reported cases in the upper Midwest, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, is second only to that of the Northeastern states.
Currently, there is no testing available that can exclude the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Therefore, the diagnosis is often a clinical one, making it extremely important to obtain a thorough health history, assessing for risk of tick exposure, as well as a thorough clinical evaluation, including physical examination and supportive lab work.
Initial Lyme Program Visit: $300 for 90 minutes. Online scheduling unavailable - please call to schedule. Includes the in-office interview and review of your health history and previous lab results, holistic assessment, nutritional counseling, and foundational treatment plan. Dr. Vilensky or Dr. Brothers may also recommend further laboratory testing at this time.
Follow-up Lyme Program visits: $180/hour (typically 60 minutes for adults, 45 minutes for children).