CTV News, Calgary, Canada: Lyme disease – the ongoing battle

 Karen Owen, CTV Calgary    Published Tuesday, June 3, 2014 1:39PM MDT    

One tiny tick can ruin a life.

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from an infected blacklegged tick.  The bite itself can go unnoticed, but the disease can be difficult to ignore.

Many Canadians, who are seriously ill, believe Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed and under-treated in this country.

They are hoping a private member’s bill could help bring the situation to light and result in a national strategy, of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is behind Bill C-422 and she says “this bill represents the first ray of light for many who have been suffering for years.”

Nelson Gourlay has Lyme disease.  He says the bill is “a step in the right direction, even if it just gets awareness out. Yes, Lyme is in Canada.”

Gourlay searched for years for a diagnosis that would explain a long list of symptoms, including excruciating pain and unrelenting fatigue.

Gourlay finally received confirmation


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  1. I have Lyme disease. I lived in chronic illness for almost a decade. Saw 14 doctors in our medical system and was months away from having my large intestine removed. I went private health care and was finally properly diagnose with having Lyme disease. Doctors had diagnosed me with “drug resistant” ulcerative colitis, but within weeks of Lyme treatments my symptoms completely disappeared and my gut completely healed.

    If you have been tested for Lyme in Canada, you have not been tested!! There is only one lab in North America that does full panel Lyme testing and it is a Lab out of California called IGeneX. Doctors in Canada do not have the resources to screen for Lyme as our labs do not test all strains of Lyme bacteria.

    The first course of action for people with auto immune diseases is to put them on immunosuppressive drugs and steroids. This is devastating for people with Lyme as it allows the bacteria to overtake ones system and then becomes chronic Lyme which is very long and costly to treat. Every person with an auto immune disease must be tested for Lyme prior to any treatments that could further devastate. We need a change in legislation that gives doctors the awareness and resources to ensure they do not prescribe immunosuppressive drugs to patients with Lyme disease!!!

    There is a bigger problem than awareness when it comes to Lyme disease… and that is, we cannot go to our doctors and ask for proper testing. If one wants to be tested for Lyme, you must pay out of pocket (about $1500.00) and get tested yourself. I get calls every other day from people who have a negative Alberta Lyme test, a positive IGeneX Lyme test, and fighting to find a doctor who will take them seriously and treat them. Chronic Lyme take years to treat – and our doctors have no idea how to even start addressing this devastatingly serious issue.

    I am passionate about this issue. I narrowly made it through this disease with all my organs intact – and want to fight this cause to a change where every Canadian with an auto immune disease is properly screened for Lyme.

    Our heath care system was prepared to spend millions in my lifetime for my medical care. And, I would have still lived in chronic illness, not being able to work at my full capacity, further reducing system revenue by not being a tax payer to my full potential.. We also need to start having a discussion about what Lyme is truly costing our government. Take even 20% of MS suffers out of the medical system and back to productive tax payers…

  2. I have Ulcerative Colitis and tested positive for Lyme Disease via IGenx. I’m in the process of reading Stephen Buhner’s books on Lyme Disease and its Co-Infections (e.g. Mycoplamsa and Bartonella). Interestingly, there appear to be many people Crohn’s and who also have Bartonella. Given that Lyme Disease and it’s co-infections behave as stealth organisms in the body and Bartonella likes endothelial tissue (in addition to red blood cells, liver, bone marrow, and endothelial heart tissue) I wonder if it sets up as a biofilm in the gut. I’m on the Buhner protocol for Lyme, (suspected) Mycoplamsa, Bartonella, and Babesia. It will be interesting to see if my UC will go away for good.

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