The National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC) website now lists the Lyme treatment guidelines from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society on their website. This listing is the most official listing of treatment guidelines in the nation, and lends official legitimacy to the work of those who treat patients with chronic Lyme disease.
There has long been a battle between two philosophies of treatment. On the one hand are those who espouse the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) guidelines - the ones which state that brief treatment of early Lyme is effective, and that chronic Lyme disease is not an infection but rather a syndrome which should not be treated with antibiotics. On the other hand are those who treat patients with persistent symptoms of Lyme disease with antibiotics, nutritional and detoxification therapies, following the ILADS guidelines which have now been legitimized by their inclusion on the NGC website.
The NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the US Department of Health. Guidelines posted on the NGC website must satisfy the standards of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
The ILADS guidelines, followed by most Lyme literate physicians, take into account the most recent scientific literature on the subject of Lyme disease, as well as careful patient assessment and follow-up. They recommend quite a different course of both diagnosis and treatment from the guidelines written by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).
"We not only recommend that clinicians perform a deliberate and individualized assessment of the potential risks and benefits of various treatment options before making their initial selection, we also recommend careful follow-up because this allows them to adjust therapy as circumstances evolve. This patient-centered approach should reduce the risk of chronic illness due to inadequate antibiotic therapy." said Elizabeth Maloney, MD, a guidelines co-author and provider of continuing medical education courses on tick-borne illnesses.
ILADS is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society dedicated the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and associated diseases. For more information, visit www.ILADS.org. To read the guidelines, click here.
To learn more about Lyme disease, click here.