Social Media Efforts Shine Light

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Social media efforts shine light on Lyme Disease

By Jason Clough

Published: July 6, 2015, 5:28 pm Updated: July 6, 2015, 5:35 pm

Gayle and Gene shine light on Lyme disease

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – A major social media campaign is shining the light on Lyme Disease, and now major celebrities are getting involved.

Singing sensation Avril Lavigne just announced she is struggling with Lyme Disease, and many other are participating in the #LymeDiseaseChallenge which now trending strong on Facebook and Twitter. Local Clearwater infection disease specialist, Dr. David Minkoff, thinks the awareness campaign is important.

SLIDESHOW: Lyme Disease: Symptoms and prevention

“I don’t believe people realize what a serious and under-reported Lyme Disease is,” said Dr. David Minkoff of LifeWorks Wellness Center. Minkoff uses a specialty lab out of Arizona to test patients for Lyme Disease.

“We do that as part of our routine screening of people and many times you can see these organisms,” said Minkoff.

Most cases of Lyme Disease are caused by a bacteria carried by deer ticks. People many time don’t realize they’ve been infected and often times the conditions are linked to other health related issues like Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, the flu and even pregnancy.

Minkoff pointed out that it’s extremely important for doctors to know exactly what they are dealing with, in addition to other underlying conditions a patient might be dealing with before mapping out a treatment plan.

Patient Stephanie Stapleton went from one doctor to the next before finding Dr. Minkoff. When she finally researched him as a Lyme Disease expert in our area, she had hit her breaking point in dealing with symptoms linked to the disease.

“Full on arthritis was moving through my body, at times I was unable to move, and it would radiate pain,” said Stapleton.

Stapleton was so beaten down she had gotten to the point of sitting her family down and preparing them for the worst. “I felt like I was going to die,” she said.

That’s why Dr. Minkoff feels using advanced lab testing is so critical. “For patients it’s the relief of holy smokes someone finally found something on me and I’m not crazy makes such a huge difference,” said Minkoff.

After a series of treatments, Stapleton went through a complete transformation, and says she is now free of Lyme Disease.

“I’m brand new,” she said.

To take part in the Lyme Disease Challenge to raise awareness and funding for improved Lyme Disease diagnosis and Treatment get ready to chomp into a slice of lime.

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