Confusion about the symptoms, origins, and transmission of Lyme disease has allowed some to unscrupulously exploit patients. Lyme disease quackery takes many forms and some quacks may not even set out to deliberately deceive their patients or customers, believing instead that their medicines and treatments are all a patient needs to cure Lyme disease. The term ‘quackery’ is derived from a quacksalver, or a person who boasts about their unproven solutions and potions to heal medical ailments. Occasionally a person labelled as a quack will actually be in possession of an important medical breakthrough that can, and does, heal patients, but the majority of quacks are simply deceptive or deceived themselves.
Lyme Disease Quacks are not Innocuous
Some quacks associated with Lyme disease cures also peddle salves for conditions such as AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. Aggressive advertising of their products and deliberate targeting of vulnerable people can mean that some patients stop following medical advice and taking their prescribed drugs that are often helping them manage their illness instead turning to expensive and unproven treatments that could be harmful. Some fake cures or treatments do little harm other than to patients’ bank balances and pride when they discover themselves duped, whereas other quacks defraud their patients of considerable sums of money, delay lifesaving treatment, and may be responsible for the worsening of a patients’ condition, the development of a new ailment, and even premature death in some cases.
Lyme Disease Quackery – Testing and Diagnosis
Lyme disease quackery often focuses on ways to eradicate the bacterial infection at the root of the illness and often hinges on the idea that infection is present despite no longer being detectable in blood tests or tissue analysis. The idea of seronegative infection is key for purveyors of Lyme disease quackery. Patients undergoing standard Lyme disease blood tests may not show evidence of infection and are, therefore, denied antibiotic treatment on that basis. However, there are many Lyme disease doctors and quacks willing to subject patients to costly and protracted treatments even in the face of seronegativity and no real evidence to support a diagnosis.
To bolster their position, some practitioners have resorted to setting up renegade testing laboratories using non-standardized or verified Lyme disease testing methods, or sending patients’ samples to be tested at such labs. Results from these unapproved Lyme disease labs vary considerably but some are closely aligned with medical suppliers who then provide patients with intravenous line equipment and other paraphernalia deemed necessary for their treatment.
Professional Lyme Disease Quacks
Many Lyme disease quacks are professionally accredited but have moved away from the rest of those working in their given field, so much so in some cases that they begin to consider themselves martyrs and see every opposing voice as oppressive and part of a wider Lyme disease conspiracy. For frustrated patients who still feel sick despite being told by a procession of orthodox doctors that they are no longer infected with Lyme disease, these quacks-turned-martyrs become heroes and heroines willing to offer any treatment and reassurance at a very difficult time.