Lyme Literate Doctors (LLMDs)
LLMD stands for Lyme-Literate Medical Doctor. Any kind of licensed medical doctor can be called an LLMD. They don’t all belong to the same medical specialty. Earning the unofficial LLMD designation comes with practicing medicine according to the diagnostic and treatment guidelines of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (or ILADS).
There are also LLNDs, which is Lyme-Literate Naturopathic Doctors, for people with Lyme who chose to follow a natural treatment route.
Why is it important to see an LLMD?
It’s natural to think that any medical doctor should be able to diagnose and treat Lyme disease. Or at least refer you to a doctor who can treat your condition. But unfortunately Lyme diagnosis and treatment is a political hot potato, not only in the United States but all over the world.
One group, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), believes Lyme can be treated with 2 weeks of antibiotics. If you have symptoms after that, you have something they call Post Lyme Syndrome, read as “it’s psychological or psychosomatic; you still can’t have Lyme” ILADS, on the other hand, recognizes the complexity of Lyme and the associated co-infections that also come with it.
Many doctors know little or nothing about Lyme. If you present with symptoms that they know, they’ll test, diagnose, and treat for that, thus they will treat the symptoms and not the cause. If your tests come back negative, they’re clueless what to do next (but that usually doesn’t stop them from giving you some other medication to try). You could be in for a long, expensive, frustrating journey of misdiagnoses and mistreatments. It’s a sad story that’s happened to hundreds of thousands of people with Lyme Disease.
If you think you might have Lyme, whether or not you remember a tick bite, and you want your symptoms taken seriously, you should see an LLMD.
How to find an LLMD
It would be great if there were public lists of LLMDs – there aren’t unfortunately. Most LLMDs try to keep a low profile because some of them have been reported to their respective state medical license boards for the “unorthodox” long-term use of antibiotics to treat Lyme. Some have been heavily fined and had serious problems with the laws. A few have lost their licenses to practice medicine and have had to move to other states. Luckily, there are LLMD’s all over the U.S and nowadays, more and more LLMD’s doctors can be found across Europe.
So you won’t find any public online Lyme forums where you can ask for or talk about Lyme doctors by name. Instead you have to ask for LLMD names for where you live and forum members will private message you with the information.
If you’re looking for an LLMD and happen to live in the states please visit – Doctor (LLMD) Requests.
Please take your symptoms seriously if you think you have Lyme. Treated early, you can get rid of it much easier. But once it becomes chronic (or persistent, as they call it), it can cause you months, if not years or decades of ongoing debilitating symptoms and even develop certain other complications.
Posted in Lyme Disease