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Times-Call guest opinions | |: Morganne ScheuermanFunctional medicine is the only real cure for Lyme disease

Daily Times-Call - 3/3/2020

Mar. 3--By Morganne Scheuerman

The nation was shocked by Justin Bieber's recent diagnosis with Lyme disease. A few months prior to his announcement, I was diagnosed with the disease myself. Living in Colorado can put a lot of us at risk, since ticks and disease-spreading mosquitoes plague our local grasslands and mountains. Many conventional tests and methods of diagnosis are unreliable at best. Blood tests require several vials of a patient's blood, and doctors admit that they aren't reliable detectors of several strands of Lyme disease.

Long-term symptoms of Lyme include intense muscle fatigue, depression, loss of short term memory, weakness, and unusual sensitivity to light and sounds. In addition to these symptoms, I was struggling with anxiety, nausea, and chronic stomach pain. A lot of people with Lyme disease can endure their symptoms for years without being accurately diagnosed by conventional doctors. It is for this reason that functional medicine provides the best route for healing.

In his documentary, Justin Bieber gives viewers a glimpse at his treatment. He mentions his use of nonconventional methods such as an oxygen chamber and supplements. I have also pursued a nontraditional route.

When my symptoms became excruciating, my parents flew me back from college and took me to a conventional medicine clinic near my house. The test results were inconclusive since the nurses didn't draw enough of my blood and they admitted that they probably wouldn't have found the Lyme anyway. We were finally referred to Dr. Billica, who used various tests to recognize the pattern of Lyme disease in my system. Dr. Billica is a functional medicine practitioner who practices in Fort Collins, and his specialty is treating Lyme patients.

Lyme is a word that scares most people even when they don't fully understand what it means. It's difficult to admit when you have it, since peoples' reactions are often those of fear or disbelief. As hard as it may be to diagnose or recognize, about 300,000 Americans are estimated to contract Lyme disease annually. Western medicine provides temporary fixes such as painkillers or antibiotics laced with adverse side-effects. Even those who go into remission are told that Lyme disease is incurable, so it will lie dormant in your body forever. Those who are able to suppress the disease through traditional medicine often have flare-ups throughout their lives, or fall back into worsening symptoms when they are old.

How could such an easily contracted disease be impossible to cure? Perhaps we've been pursuing the wrong treatments. Holistic and Eastern medicine have been used for thousands of years to treat warriors, athletes, and even astronauts. These practices look at the root of a person's suffering instead of providing relief from the symptoms. Even anxiety and depression are often just your body's cry for help. We've been taught that symptoms exist on their own, so they need to be suppressed or relieved. Instead, we need to adopt the mindset that symptoms exist to alert us of a much bigger issue.

It is an accepted fact in all medical communities that anxiety and depression often exist as side-effects of physical illnesses. Today, the epidemic of anxiety and depression among adolescence has caused us to view them as isolated problems, instead of warning bells. Realizing that the disease in a fallen world contributes to our psychological health can help us become aware of what our bodies need.

God has provided us with natural healing agents. Functional medicine incorporates herbs, psychological healing techniques, safe antibiotics, and hormone therapy into an accessible medical plan. Functional medicine has already cured me of painful diseases and their accompanying side-effects. I want everyone to have access to this kind of healing. Conventional medicine has a time and a place, but functional medicine is the only real cure for Lyme disease.

Morganne Scheuerman is pursuing her bachelor's degree in professional writing from Grand Canyon University, where she will graduate in the spring of 2021. She is currently taking a semester off to regain her health and explore other avenues of writing. She lives in Firestone.


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