Wisconsin’s ‘chronic Lyme’ patients embrace alternative treatments, rack up big bills

By Zhen Wang, Wisconsin Watch

 

Crystal Pauley, a former physician assistant, didn’t believe in so-called chronic Lyme disease — until she became sick.

Many health care providers reject chronic Lyme disease as a diagnosis. One 2010 survey found that just six out of 285 primary care doctors surveyed in Connecticut — an epicenter for the tick-borne infection — believed that symptoms of Lyme disease persist after treatment or in the absence of a positive Lyme test.

When Pauley worked for the La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, she remembered hearing about a friend from high school battling chronic Lyme in Australia. But she had her doubts. “I’m working in the medical field,” she said. “We’ve never learned about that.”

Years later, Pauley has changed her mind. Pauley tested positive for Lyme in 2020. She suffers from unrelenting fatigue, joint pain and brain fog. She walks up stairs sideways because of the unbearable knee pain. Pauley said she has become “pseudo-Lyme literate” because of her own personal journey.

Pauley belongs to a cohort of patients with Lyme-like symptoms but negative test results or patients with positive test results who suffer from lingering symptoms long after treatment. They call it chronic Lyme disease, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels it as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS). The CDC says there is no known treatment for the condition.

“Their symptoms are always real. They’re experiencing them,” said Dr. Joyce Sanchez, an infectious-disease associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin who treats Lyme patients with persistent symptoms.

“If someone is having physical symptoms and isn’t feeling listened to, then they’ll have mental health repercussions and then that will impact their physical well-being,” she said. “And then it’s a spiral that if you don’t address both components of health, you’re not going to make much progress on either side. And they will continue to feel sick.”

Wisconsin Watch talked with five Wisconsin patients, all women, who have been searching for validation and experimenting with personalized treatments as part of a long and sometimes grueling battle with the illness. The infection comes from tiny ticks primarily found in the northeastern United States, including in Wisconsin — which is a hot spot for Lyme, ranking No. 5 among states for Lyme cases in 2019.

One of the five tested positive for Lyme using a two-step testing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three others tested positive using a test not recommended by the CDC. The fifth woman was diagnosed as possibly suffering from the disease by a “Lyme-literate” practitioner.

Wide-ranging symptoms

All of the five patients share commonalities. They’ve never noticed the signature “bull’s eye” rash around the tick bite, the hallmark of Lyme disease, which is seen in 70% to 80% of patients. But relentless waves of rheumatologic, cardiac and neurological symptoms have flattened their lives. Some of them were previously fit and healthy.

Pauley, 37, who as a student cranked through medical textbooks, began having trouble remembering

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Dental anxiety: What to know

Apprehension and nervousness about browsing the dentist is a common set of thoughts that some individuals associate with oral care. When stress focuses all-around the dentist’s office environment, people today simply call this “dental nervousness.”

Dental stress and anxiety is a widespread event in the normal inhabitants. It is not a diagnosable problem, nor does it bring about any main disturbances to daily life.

Rather, it can result in a person to encounter physical or psychological signs and symptoms that a person may perhaps associate with checking out a dentist, which might cause them to keep away from the dentist entirely.

This article explores dental anxiety, coping methods, potential will cause, and extra.

Dental nervousness is a actual physical or psychological response to an predicted, potential risk that another person associates with a go to to the dentist’s workplace. It is a frequent reaction. In just one 2017 study, scientists found that of around 300 participants, 19% had significant concentrations of dental anxiety. They also acknowledged that past scientific studies had shown a common inhabitants fee of 50–80%.

Triggers of dental panic can consist of common merchandise at a dentist’s business office, these as drills or needles, or just the thought of the office environment in basic.

Dental anxiety can trigger a particular person to skip appointments or prevent likely to the dentist entirely, which could negatively affect their oral health and fitness and, hence, their general health.

Dental nervousness vs. phobia vs. concern

Dental stress is not the similar as either dental worry or phobia. Even so, several scientific studies use worry and stress and anxiety interchangeably, which can make it challenging to identify precisely which problems researchers are referring to.

Dental concern happens thanks to a certain, recognised bring about. For case in point, a human being with dental worry can identify accurately what they are frightened of, these types of as the drill or needles in their mouth.

By comparison, dental anxiety is a additional generalized fear of the not known that someone associates with the dentist’s office environment. This could be thanks to not being aware of if some thing is completely wrong, stressing about specified treatments, or recalling agony from prior visits.

The two dread and stress and anxiety can lead to emotional, bodily, cognitive, and behavioral responses in a person.

Dental phobia is an excessive, persistent, and unrealistic anxiety or terror linked to heading to the dentist. The Diagnostic and Statistical Guide of Mental Wellness Disorders (DSM-V) acknowledges dental phobia as a precise type of phobia.

By contrast, researchers have famous that dental anxiousness ought to likely be grouped as portion of panic ailments in the DSM-5 rather than a specific dentist-relevant nervousness.

All three can direct to a particular person avoiding the dentist’s business office or skipping appointments

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests a individual acquire the next actions to support alleviate their dental panic:

  • Distraction: Distractions can help a person serene down for the duration of a dental exam.
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9 Best Treadmills for Walking in 2022

Choosing a treadmill can be challenging with so many products on the market. That’s why we’ve narrowed down some options based on the following criteria:

  • Features and training options. We chose treadmills based on price, features, and class options, as well as basic components like weight capacity, max speed, and incline.
  • Quality. All the treadmills below are designed to be durable and reliable with standard safety features.
  • Price. We included treadmills to suit a variety of budgets.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s safety and business standards.

Best overall treadmill for walking

Sole F63

  • Price: $$
  • Specs/size: 82 x 35 x 66 inches (208 x 89 x 167 cm)
  • Screen size/display quality: 6-inch LCD screen
  • Weight capacity: 325 pounds (147 kg)
  • Max speed: 12 mph (19 kph)
  • Max incline: 15 levels

The Sole F63 is a great option if you’re looking for a mostly no-frills walking treadmill. It costs less than some higher end options but still comes with all the standard features of a treadmill and the ability to stream classes. It’s also foldable in case you’re tight on space.

While it doesn’t include a touch screen to stream classes, it does have some built-in programmed workouts, as well as a media rack to hold an external tablet if you want to stream classes that way.

Your purchase comes with a free 30-day trial of Studio, Sole’s streaming platform. After 30 days, it costs $39 per month or $399 per year.

Shipping isn’t free, but there’s a lifetime warranty on the motor and frame.

Best incline range

NordicTrack EXP 10i

  • Price: $$$
  • Specs/size: 80 x 35 x 59.25 inches (203 x 89 x 95.4 cm)
  • Screen size/display quality: 10-inch HD smart touch screen
  • Weight capacity: 300 pounds (136 kg)
  • Max speed: 12 mph (19 kph)

This treadmill is a great option for those who are limited on space but seeking plenty of interactive options to mix up their treadmill walking routine.

In addition to a high definition touch screen, it has the ability to stream a wide range of classes with experienced elite trainers from iFit, which you can try for free for 30 days before you’ll be required to renew at $39 per month.

It offers several incline levels, similar to other treadmills on the market, but has a unique ability to go down to a -3% decline for downhill walking or running. This can be beneficial for building strength, as it activates the quads, glutes, shins, and shorter calf muscles.

Downhill walking allows eccentric contraction in the leg muscles (also known as lengthening of the muscles), which research has shown to be beneficial for preventing muscle deterioration and decreased muscle function (1, 2).

It comes with free shipping and a warranty of 10 years for the frame, 2 years for parts, and 1 year for labor.

Best budget-friendly treadmill for walking

ProForm City L6

  • Price: $$
  • Specs/size: 29 x 70.25 x 44.5 inches (74 x 178
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