Lyme Disease Halifax

Lyme Disease – Information on Lyme Disease- Life stories of Lyme disease

Browsing Posts tagged ottawa

The Lyme doctor

By Joanne Laucius, OTTAWA CITIZEN May 9, 2013

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Lyme+doctor/8363919/story.html#ixzz2Tb0Tiw9w

Dr. Ernie Murakami says denying chronic Lyme is ‘a big, major lie.’ Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider , Vancouver Sun

Dr. Ernie Murakami says he treated 3,000 patients for Lyme disease before he was forced into retirement.

The B.C. physician can no longer prescribe the long-term antibiotics he believes are necessary to treat chronic Lyme. But retirement hasn’t stopped him for directing people to physicians in the U.S. and Europe who diagnose and treat Lyme disease.

By his own count. Murakami has offered free advice to more than 7,000 people looking for help. He will be in Ottawa May 13 for a speaking engagement.

Murakami was the subject of a College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. investigation that began in 2005 and agreed to retire in 2008. He says his story has frightened physicians from treating chronic Lyme with long-term antibiotics.

In the world of conventional medicine, few agree that chronic Lyme exists. They maintain that Lyme is a convenient explanation for chronic fatigue and mysterious pain that is hard to diagnose, backed up by conspiracy theories and an increasingly powerful Lyme advocacy lobby.

In September 2011, the influential medial journal The Lancet published an essay authored by 13 medical experts from institutions like Harvard Medical School and Yale University who argued that people searching for information on the Internet see the websites of Lyme advocates and doctors as reliable sources, drawing attention away from evidence-based medicine.

Long-term antibiotic treatment is profitable for “Lyme-literate” doctors, they wrote. And it can be falsely reassuring to patients to believe they have a chronic infection so they don’t seek diagnosis and treatment for something else.

But Murakami says denying chronic Lyme is “a big, major lie.”

And he’s not backing down.

Murakami says diagnosing Lyme is a matter of a clinical diagnosis — that is, observations and reports from the patient about the symptoms, not just lab tests.

“I wouldn’t have wasted the past five years without some credibility,” says Murakami, who had studied bacteriology and immunology and got interested in Lyme when he treated a patient, a student who had been planting trees, in his practice in Hope B.C., about 160 kilometres east of Vancouver.

He had studied syphilis and says Lyme is similar in that it is also caused by a spiral bacteria called a spirochete.

According to Murakami, there are a couple of problems in the system: First, many people who are bitten by an infected tick don’t notice it and only go to see a doctor if they develop the telltale bull’s-eye rash. He says fewer than half of those who go on to develop Lyme actually get the rash.

Secondly, the approved test for diagnosing Lyme is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, known as the ELISA test. This is a two-step process. Only those who test positive in the first part of the test go on to the second part of the test, known as the Western blot test.

Murakami says the ELISA test often produces false negatives so many people who have Lyme are not being diagnosed — and those who are diagnosed get only a 30-day course of treatment as recommended by the guidelines.

He maintains that months and even years of antibiotic treatment are often necessary to kill all the pathogens. Conventional medicine frowns on long-term antibiotics to treat Lyme — although this is sometimes done for decades at a time to treat acne, according to Murakami.

The other issue is that the magnitude of the problem is hidden because people are not getting diagnosed, he says.

Lyme diagnoses are much higher in Washington state just across the border from B.C., while multiple sclerosis diagnoses are much higher in B.C. Murakami believes some people are being mistakenly and unnecessarily treated for MS when chronic Lyme disease is behind the symptoms.

There is also a big differences on both sides of the border in terms of the proportion of ticks carrying the infection, with officials in states bordering Canada claiming a higher rate of infection for their ticks than neighbouring Canadian jurisdictions, says Murakami, who is skeptical that American ticks are more likely to be infected than their Canadian counterparts.

B.C.’s health ministry has extended the right to prescribe antibiotics to naturopaths and some patients are turning to this option, says Murakami. Ontario naturopaths can’t prescribe antibiotics, and there is currently no indication this is likely to happen in the foreseeable future, according to the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Murakami says he knows of five people who have committed suicide because they are overwhelmed and depressed by chronic Lyme.

“The medical world has a big divide. We owe it to the public to sit down and talk.”

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Lyme+doctor/8363919/story.html#ixzz2Tb1FxVCq

http://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/my-battle-with-lyme-disease/

Case in point, I had a follow-up at the doctor from the infectious disease office last week. I had some questions.

Our conversation went like this:

Me: ”Now that I have been treated for Lyme disease, what are the chances I can get it again? Am I completely immune to it?”

Doctor: “I don’t know.”

Me: ”Oh. How many people a year in Ottawa are infected with Lyme disease anyways.”

Doctor: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay.”

Doctor: “So listen. If you have any other symptoms, it’s important you come see us immediately.”

Me: ” What symptoms should I be looking for?”

Doctor: “I can’t tell you that.”

Me: “Okay. I’ve been doing some research online. I’ll just use that as a guide.”

Doctor: “No, you should never trust anything you read on the Internet about this.”

Me: “…..”

To sum it up, I have to be on the lookout for symptoms the doctor won’t tell me about, and I can’t use the Internet to help me. So if I get a fever next month, is that a symptom of Lyme disease, or do I have a basic fever? I don’t know, and I don’t think doctors in Canada know either.

…follow James progress as he raises awareness in Canada…. have a peak at his blog… it’s great !!

http://cycleforlyme.com/progress.htm