Is Chronic Lyme Disease More Debilitating Than Other Chronic Illnesses? New CDC Survey says Yes.

A recently published patient survey found that those with chronic Lyme disease experience significantly lower health quality status compared to those with other chronic diseases. In a study of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease, the Lyme patients reported a poorer quality of life than patients with other chronic diseases (including diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis).

Although the full impact of this disease is not widely understood, this study suggests that the majority of patients with chronic Lyme disease have severe symptoms, require a great deal of medical care, and suffer a low quality of life with high disability and unemployment rates. Furthermore, Lyme patients reported more damaging mental and physical health days, a significant symptom disease burden, and greater activity limitations. It is not surprising that these symptoms can lead to greater impairment in ability to work, increased utilization of healthcare services, and greater out of pocket medical costs.

Most Lyme survey participants reported suffering from three or more symptoms that were either severe or very severe, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, and other types of pain. Over 40% of respondents reported they were currently unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% reported they had been disabled at some point in their illness.

Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Common symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

If life with chronic Lyme disease becomes unmanageable and debilitating, you might find your symptoms greatly interfere with your ability to work. Unfortunately Lyme disease is not widely recognized, and insurance companies do not always understand the difficult nature of this disease. This means you must be your own best advocate, and demand proper diagnosis, treatment, and insurance coverage for your disease. If you have questions about your long term disability insurance policy, or have experienced a long term disability insurance denial for chronic Lyme disease, contact our office for a no-cost consultation.

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For more information on these new survey findings for chronic Lyme disease, see:

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