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What is a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor?

Updated on November 22, 2011

Do you need a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD)?

If you have tested positive for Lyme Disease or another tick borne disease, it may be necessary for you to find a specialist in oder to receive effective treatment.

Your typical general practitioner may be happy to begin your treatment, but if there is any chance that you have had Lyme long term, it is essential that you work with a specialist for treatment.

If you suspect you have Lyme, but have not tested positive,remember that the blood tests are typically only accurate 60% of the time. You could still have Lyme and an LLMD will look at all of your symptoms in order to give you a proper diagnosis.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to find a qualified Lyme doctor to treat your illness. The longer the disease goes untreated in your body, the more difficult it may be to recover. I know this from experience. I was misdiagnosed almost seven years ago. I am currently ten months into the right treatment after being diagnosed. I have suffered years of daily pain, and this disease has cost me thousands of dollars.

Unfortuantely, the medical community is not in agreement regarding the proper treatment of Lyme Disease, which makes it difficult for patients to receive the best possible care.

Tick that carries Lyme Disease
Tick that carries Lyme Disease

What is a LLMD?

A LLMD is a doctor who has taken the time to educate themselves on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease and the multiple possible coinfections that often effect patients. They are specialists in treating Chronic Lyme (which many doctors refuse to admit exists).

Are you wondering if you should trust you general practictioner to treat you? In a word, NO. If you were bitten by a tick, developed a rash and went straight to the doctor to get treated and no longer have any symptoms, then you may have nothing to worry about.

I was bit. I developed a strange rash that I didn't identify as a Lyme rash. Two weeks later I got a headache that wouldn't go away (for years). I was tested for Lyme multiple times. I had a variety of symptoms beyond the headache, but the daily headache was unbearable. I saw neurologists. I saw chiropractors, acupuncturists and Naturopathic Physicians. I was diagnosed with New Daily Persistent Headache and there was no cure.

The right diagnosis would have saved me years of pain.

Finding a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor

  • The best way to find a LLMD is through a personal reference. If Lyme is prevalent in your area, ask around. It is likely that someone you know has already been through this.
  • Contact your local Lyme Support Group (if there is one). In my case, I live in Connecticut, so there are many support groups, but only a few Lyme Literate Doctors. If you suspect your child has Lyme, you will need to research further to find a pediatric Lyme specialist.
  • Search at the Lyme Disease Association. Once you register, you can search for a doctor in your area. This is a non-profit organization that provides the latest news and information about Lyme Disease.
  • Explore the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) website: www.ilads.org or call them at 301-263-1080. They also offer extensive information for paitents, as well as a physician training program.

Educate Yourself About Lyme Disease

Take the time to educate yourself about the symptoms of Lyme Disease, the possible treatments and the politics surrounding this disease. The more you know about this disease and what you can do to make your treatment more effective, the better.

The fight against Lyme Disease is a long road for many people. The sooner you get on the right path, the quicker you can begin to recover. The best way to do this is to find a specialist who can help with all aspects of your recovery.

Comments

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    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks donotfear. I am still struggling, still trying to beat this! It is very confusing for patients because of the conflicting information out there. The wrong treatment can really set you back. I'm looking forward to reading your hubs about Lyme. Such an important topic. :)

    • donotfear profile image

      Annette Thomas 

      7 years ago from Northeast Texas

      I'm glad you wrote about this, as I was a victim of Lyme disease. I've written several hubs on my struggle and have been involved in activism to get the treatment guidelines changed. I know how difficult it is to get the right treatment. Good article.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks! I hope it will be helpful to someone struggling with getting a Lyme diagnosis and the right treatment.

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Very worth reading.

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