Dr. Saxton, located in Marble Falls, Texas, is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS) and has completed additional specialized training through their physician training program. She has found a love for working with patients with Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. It is caused by a spirochete—a corkscrew-shaped bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi that is most commonly spread by a tick bite. Up to 50% of the time, someone with Lyme disease does not remember a tick bite. Ticks are not just located in wooded areas and tall grasses as they can be found on pets, at beaches, in lawns, etc. Many people may think of Lyme as a disease isolated to the East Coast of the United States, but it has been documented and found throughout the United States and worldwide, from over 60 countries. Also, there are also known ways that Lyme disease can be transmitted to people.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 476,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States. Diagnosing Lyme can be challenging, and many experts believe the actual number of cases is actually much higher. It frequently goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and Lyme has been called “The Great Imitator”. It can affect any organ or system of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles, joints, and heart causing a range of symptoms. It is not uncommon for patients to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, autoimmune illness, psychiatric disorders, or neurodegenerative disease, all of which are descriptive and do not address the root cause of the illnesses.
What Are Some Common Symptom Of Lyme Disease?
Symptoms of early Lyme disease may present as a flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweat, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, and joint pain). Some patients may present with Bell’s palsy as well. Lyme has the reputation of presenting with a “bull’s-eye rash”, however only 25% of patients who go one to develop chronic Lyme had a rash (Original date from Steere’s published work) and often times a rash may be solid or have a different presentation than the classic “bull’s eye” appearance.
There are some screening questionnaires that can be used to help assess the likelihood a patient is suffering from a tickborne illness.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
The most common Lyme tests look for antibodies developed from exposure to the bacteria, but they’re notoriously inaccurate, with numerous published reports in the medical literature of patients with severe, progressive illness despite normal-appearing tests. There is also considerable debate about the use of CDC criteria (a strict testing criteria) as a diagnostic standard for Lyme, as there are 10 times as many Lyme cases being diagnosed as captured by its criteria. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which amplifies DNA of the pathogen is another method used for testing and screening for Lyme and co-infections.
How Does Dr. Saxton Approach Treating Tickborne Illnesses?
The treatment for patients with underlying chronic tickborne disorders is very individualized. One protocol does not work for everyone. Dr. Saxtons tailors each patient’s treatment regimen individually. These may include herbals, antibiotics, combo therapy, peptides, supplemental support, and IV therapies.