Who to believe when doctors disagree? – Sarah


This month’s guest blog is by Sarah, from The School of Balance.

I first became ill in 2013. My health deteriorated fairly rapidly and over the next 2.5 years I saw consultant after consultant trying to establish the cause. I was diagnosed with an every growing list of chronic conditions and ended up on 21 prescription tablets a day, with no improvement.

I was never tested for Lyme disease, despite having the symptoms.

Finally a US Naturopathic doctor asked if I’d been tested for Lyme disease and explained many tests can be unreliable. After seeking advice on options from Lyme Disease UK I decided to pay privately and send my bloods to Germany.

I was shocked to find I was positive for both Lyme disease and some associated infections.

Initially, I was relieved as I eventually I thought knew what was at the root cause of all my issues. However, the NHS consultant refused to look at my private results. They insist my previous diagnoses are the only relevant ones. I sought the advice of a German doctor who confirmed my test results were strongly positive and my symptoms confirmed a clinical diagnosis.

So who is right?

I wasn’t going to make any rash decisions so I first reviewed everything the doctors had told me and then buried myself in the scientific literature. Reading research paper after research paper I realised the NHS advice seemed to ignore the last decade or so of science.

I have to accept that I have Lyme disease because:

  1. The NHS testing and diagnosis seems to be an issue (government reviews have been ordered into testing, treatment, transmission and the NICE guidelines).
  2. I have a very positive test result from a respected lab.
  3. I’ve gone directly to the scientific research myself rather than simply listening to opinion
  4. Other similar infections can exist in a chronic form so why couldn’t this one?
  5. There isn’t a confirmed cause for most chronic conditions, so it is possible that my issues have been triggered by pathogens.
  6. Having one trigger to my ill health seems to make more sense than suddenly becoming ill with multiple causes.
  7. I have many of the symptoms outlined by Dr Horowitz in his checklist.
  8. If infections are present in my body, there are treatment options. The other illnesses I have been diagnosed with can only be managed not treated.
  9. My health is still getting worse, which could point to an untreated infection.
  10. My quality of life is so poor almost anything is worth a go.

When you have two doctors with opposing opinions it’s difficult to know what to do. I found doing my own research and listing to my instincts helped me feel more in charge of my own health and healing, which has allowed me to make a decision. At the end of the day I’m the one living with this day in and day out. Who knows my body better than me?

If you are worried about Lyme Disease you can find out more about options to be tested here.


You can find many more blog posts by Sarah about her journey with Lyme disease on her website.