Lyme disease: We've been hearing about it a lot lately, on the news, online, and from friends.
That's because the disease has spread rapidly across the country in recent years. The number of counties in the U.S. reporting a high incidence of Lyme has surged by 320 percent since the '90s. And the CDC suggests that the number of Lyme disease cases may be 10 times higher than the officially reported number, with an estimated 300,000 incidences each year in America.
Lyme is often called "The Great Imitator" because its symptoms can mimic many other diseases, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. (In fact, some researchers have questioned whether Lyme could actually be a trigger for some of those diseases.)
Sadly, partly for this reason, people with Lyme are frequently misdiagnosed. And those struggling with chronic Lyme are often told that it's all in their head, or that they're simply "just depressed."
As a functional medicine practitioner, here's what I wish more people knew about Lyme disease: