Lyme disease treatment can be a controversial issue depending on which part of the world an individual is from. While the disease is recognized and diagnosed in North America, the same cannot be said of other places in the world. Australia for instance, does not recognize the condition as a disease despite the growing number of Australian being diagnosed with the condition.
Due to this, access to the leading lyme disease treatment has been difficult for many patients and many individuals now seek treatment outside of their residing country.
As a treatment option whole body hyperthermia is now seen as a popular and effective option for advanced stage Lyme disease patients. Literally hyperthermia refers to reaching a body temperature which is higher than normal and is typically brought on by illnesses like a fever or suffering from a heat stroke.
However, it is also a carefully controlled heat treatment administered on patients for different medical purposes. Hyperthermia is a common treatment administered on cancer patients and has found recent success in treating chronic Lyme disease as well.
The treatment is still considered experimental in the US for Lyme disease treatment even though it is being practiced widely in Germany and other European nations as part of an integrative approach to Lyme disease treatment.
Even though German hospitals have delivered successful results in addressing advanced stage Lyme disease cases, the practice still holds certain risk factors for patients.
While it is accepted that most normal tissue are not damaged during hyperthermia therapy, if temperatures are below 111 Fahrenheit. However, given the different characteristics of tissues, higher temperatures may occur in various spots.
Things to Consider Before Trying Hyperthermia
Before making the big decision to try a new lyme disease treatment, it’s important to look and assess the risks and concerns involved. Many countries have not approved the use of hyperthermia as a form of treatment for lyme disease patients. This is mainly because this treatment is fairly new and requires further research and studies in order to be deemed safe. Here are the three top things to consider if you are considering hyperthermia to treat lyme disease.
1. Associated Risks or Side Effects With Hyperthermia
Case studies and tests have shown so far that some patients may experience a number of side effects as a result of using hyperthermia. This may result in blisters, burns pain or discomfort. Other side effects of whole body hyperthermia may also include vomiting, nausea and some diarrhea.
While many of these side effects may only be temporary, whole body hyperthermia may cause more severe side effects including cardiac and vascular disorders. Therefore the treatment may not be recommendable for all patients and an assessment on whether you are a suitable candidate for the treatment will be done beforehand.
Likewise whole body hyperthermia can pose health risks for elderly patients in particularly. Although rare, some of the more dangerous risks associated with this form of treatment include thermal shock, brain edema, acute circulatory insufficiency, acute respiratory distress syndrome, heapto- renal syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation.
2. Hyperthermia Treatment for Lyme Disease Costs
Administering whole body hyperthermia treatment for Lyme disease requires special equipment along with medical professionals and a treatment team skilled at using it. For this reason, the treatment costs can add up for patients making it an unrealistic option for many who cannot afford to foot the associated medical bills.
This may be one of the reasons why the treatment is not available to Lyme disease patients in Australia and many patients realize that they will need to travel overseas to get this type of treatment.
Traveling overseas for treatment patients will need to consider flight costs, accommodation, food and insurance expenses as well as maintaining rent and other costs back at home while you are receiving treatment. Patients will not be able to work during treatment and may also need to take off work after for a short period of time. This may also affect the household income.
3. How Safe is Whole Body Hyperthermia?
With any form of treatment for any disease, patients are most concerned about whether or not it is effective and how safe the treatment is. This needs to be reviewed with consideration to a number of factors. Firstly, the patient’s health and history of treatment, the patient’s age and any other health issues as well as any side effects the patient is currently having from other drugs and therapies to treat lyme disease.
Given some of the risks associated with whole body hyperthermia lyme disease treatment, supervising medical staff always carry out stringent physical examinations such as pulmonary function test, ECG, blood count and coagulation before accepting patients for systematic whole body hyperthermia.
It’s important to note that the treatment is carried out in specially developed units under intensive control, which is considered a fairly safe treatment for lyme disease patients who are able to meet the health requisites for whole body hyperthermia.
Like with other treatments, hyperthermia may cause side effects and these need to be considered before making a decision on the treatment. Speaking to your health profession is the best option to minimize the risks involved and to be more aware of some of the considerations you may need to have if you are looking at hyperthermia lyme disease treatment.
1. Hyperthermia Fact Sheet: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/surgery/hyperthermia-fact-sheet#q4
3. Whole Body Hyperthermia at 43.5-44°C: Dreams or Reality?: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6310/
4. Hyperthermia a cure for Lyme Disease: http://healthspaceclinics.com.au/blog/hyperthermia-a-cure-for-lyme-disease