Dr. Raffety specializes in the identification and treatment of acute and chronic lyme disease. Aggressive antibiotic treatments are used when necessary. Their approach centers on treating the whole person. In addition, the immune system, inflammatory properties, symptom relief, endocrine imbalances, pre-existing diseases, toxic exposures, and co-infections are all addressed. Please see the articles on lyme disease.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, usually from the bite of a tick or an insect. Some parts of the country report more cases of lyme disease than others. The epidemiology of what we call lyme disease has been traced back as far as the 1800’s. Lyme disease was recognized in this country after an outbreak in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. Dr. Steer discovered that the disease was being transmitted by the bite of the Ixodes dammini tick. In 1981 Willy Burgdorfer identified the bacteria as a corkscrew bacterium. The bacteria was later named after Dr. Burgdorfer as Borrelia burgdorferi.
In an acute exposure early antibiotic treatment is believed to be curative. Sending the tick in for testing for the presence of lyme disease is one way to determine exposure. If symptoms occur after a tick bite, the best course of treatment is a 6-8 week antibiotic course. Treatment of chronic Lyme Disease is much more complex and requires a lyme specialist.
Does Lyme Disease Exits in Oregon?
Yes, lyme disease does exist in Oregon. Some areas of the state seem to have a higher rate of occurrence such as Southern and Eastern Oregon. Ticks from Oregon have been identified by DNA testing as positive for borrelia bacteria.
Lyme Disease Symptoms.
The acute symptoms from a lyme infected tick bite include a “bulls eye ” rash in 50 % of people. Some sources rely exclusively on the presence of a rash to diagnose lyme disease. Unfortunately not all people produce a rash. Flu like symptoms, high fever, and joint pain are also characteristic of an acute infection.
There is controversy about the prevalence, and accuracy of diagnosis, of what is called chronic lyme disease. The symptoms can mimic other diseases and may be misdiagnosed. Lyme disease has been labeled the ‘great mimicker’. The most common symptoms are roaming joint pain, headaches, twitching, numbness in the body, weakness in muscles, Bell’s palsy, visual changes, light sensitivity, shortness of breath, night sweats, memory loss, confusion, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, extreme fatigue, swollen glands and unexplained fevers. Lab testing is suggested but is not always accurate in identifying the presence of lyme disease. This makes it very difficult to arrive at a diagnosis. Many doctors have to resorted to a “clinical diagnosis”. This means that when the medical history and the clinic symptoms are most characteristic of Lyme disease, then Lyme disease is diagnosed..
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Please feel free to print out the Lyme Screen Screening Form below.
If you scored between 21 and 45, you possibly have a tick-borne disorder and should see a health-care provider for further evaluation.
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