Lyme disease treatment in Northeast Wisconsin

FOND DU LAC (WFRV) - As the weather warms up, ticks will become more common and that means the danger of Lyme disease.

If you are bitten, there are only three places in Wisconsin where Lyme literate doctors can work.

One of those locations is in Fond du Lac at the Fox Valley Wellness Center.

One woman who spoke to Local Five News, pays a visit to the Center and says her journey has been a struggle.

Her name is Jackie Lukens, she is a married mother of two and was bitten by a tick three years ago.

"I started getting really stroke like symptoms, then headaches and light and noise sensitivity, " Lukens said.

Jackie spoke with five different doctors and they gave her a different diagnosis.

All five diagnosis turned out to be incorrect.

But through close friends, she found a doctor who helped change her life, Dr. Steven Meress with the Wellness Center.

Dr. Meress founded the clinic back in 1999 and he is considered one of the foremost "Lyme-literate" physicians in the country.

To date, he has treated over 1200 patients with Lyme Disease a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society or ILADS for short.

According to Dr. Meress, the most important part of treating Lyme disease is the diagnosis.

"A person may come in with several tick exposures and the doctor will run a lyme test and it comes back negative and they will say you don't have lyme disease," Meress says.

He continued to say, "That's a mistake because if the test was 100% you could make that statement, but it's not."

Lyme disease can affect the following parts of the human body: the nervous system, joints, skin, the heart and the brain.

If the disease is left untreated, the results could become fatal.

For Jackie, she knew getting treatment was important and thanks to Dr. Meress and the Center, they could start treatment right away.

"I came here in January of 2014, he found that it was lyme and several infections and we started various treatments, " Lukens said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 300,000 people are diagnosed with lyme disease every year.

Dr. Meress believes the number is higher, due to so many people going undiagnosed or being improperly diagnosed for years.

He also says it is very easy to bring lyme disease into your home, you don't even need to venture into a wooded area.

"They are everywhere, if you have an animal and they go outside they could pick up a tick and then they come inside and sleep in your bed now you have a tick illness," Dr. Meress said.

Wooded areas, pine trees and tall grassy marsh areas are just a few of the places where you can come in contact with ticks.

The treatment of lyme disease has also been controversial.

According to the CDC, it is considered to be experimental, therefore treatment is not covered by medical insurance.

Treatment can also be done in several ways, the three main ways consist of Hyperbarics, IV fluids or herbal supplements.

Once properly diagnosed and treated, most people who have lyme disease can live a normal life, providing proper supplements are taken and a person's basic health is still closely monitored.

To find out more about the Fox Valley Wellness Center and the services they offer, you can visit their website here: http://www.foxvalleywellness.com/


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