Lyme Disease is a Multisystemic Disease: It Needs to be Evaluated as Such

Elena Frid is neurologist and Lyme disease specialist. She lives in New York City. After opening her neurology practice in Manhattan, she quickly became aware of some huge issues many of her patients were facing. They either weren’t being given a diagnosis at all or they were given a treatment for a diagnosis that wasn’t effective (or had eventually caused them to plateau).

She could see there were major problems in the healthcare system, and she set about to address them.

She started by listening to her patients. She heard them when they voiced their concerns about a particular condition, including autoimmune diseases and Lyme disease.

It was a patient who recommended that she go to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Conference four years ago. When she came back home, she started treating Lyme disease patients in her practice.

The Uniqueness of Lyme

Lyme disease is an extremely complex illness that has many neurological effects on patients. It causes inflammation in the brain (autoimmune encephalitis) and peripheral nerves. There is an autoimmune component and an infection-induced component of the condition, which both need to be treated simultaneously for the therapy to be the most effective.

While early treatment is important for Lyme, adherence to treatment is the most important. Dr. Frid realizes that adherence can be difficult. It can be hard to stick to a treatment plan, especially when it affects your daily life. Patients may feel worse before they feel better, and that can be especially hard to handle.

Spreading the Message

Dr. Frid is now working to speak to current medical students and spread the message that they need to be more cognizant of multisystemic conditions and listen to their patients when they tell them what they are experiencing.

Lyme may be mistakenly diagnosed for conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, learning disabilities, or other neurological conditions. Dr. Frid encourages doctors to trust their gut when something is wrong. In these circumstances she says to

Keep digging and explore other possibilities.”

For patients, Dr. Frid tries to emphasize the hope she has for those battling Lyme. However, success in healing starts in the better education of medical professionals.

You can read more about Dr. Frid’s perspective on Lyme disease here.

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