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Lyme Disease Demystified: A Functional Medicine Guide to Long-Term Healing


Reviewed by Dr. Andrew Peteresen of Forum Health Utah

Discover Lyme Disease symptoms, stages and treatment options.

From symptoms to diagnosis and ongoing treatment, Lyme disease can be an intricate to navigate alone. Using a functional and integrative approach can be helpful in understanding the cause, what symptoms to look out for and treatment options to regain health and vitality.  


Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and most commonly transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. If you often enjoy outdoor activities, you should be particularly cautious, as ticks thrive in wooded, grassy areas. 


If infected, the bacteria can wreak havoc on your body if not promptly diagnosed and treated so recognizing the symptoms early is key. 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease manifests in various ways, often mimicking other conditions, making it challenging to diagnose. 


Common symptoms include:

  • Fever 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle and Joint Aches 
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes


Other, more subtle signs that can easily be missed include: 


  • Cognitive Difficulties 
  • Neuropathy 
  • Mood disorders  

Stages of Lyme Disease and their progression.

Lyme disease progresses in three stages.  

  1. The early localized stage, the infection remains in the site of the tick bite.  

  2. If untreated, it advances to the early disseminated stage, where the bacteria spreads throughout the body.  

  3. In the late disseminated stage, severe complications, including joint inflammation, neurological abnormalities, and heart problems, may arise. 

For many, the untreated complications of Lyme disease can be debilitating. Diagnosing at the earliest stage and beginning treatment can make all the difference! 

Conventional vs Functional Diagnosis and Treatments for Lyme Disease

The issue with Lyme disease and conventional medicine, is that it mimics the symptoms of other illnesses making it difficult to pinpoint. Lyme disease is often the underlying cause of another diagnosed disease, most commonly:  


  • Fibromyalgia  
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s 

Working with a functional medicine provider that is experienced in going beyond seeking a diagnosis, who understands the complexity of Lyme disease is key to finding the best treatment.  


Conventional treatments for Lyme disease often involve antibiotics alone. Functional and integrative medicine takes a holistic approach, integrating conventional medicine with alternative therapies.  


Functional medicine approaches can complement conventional treatments to help you recover from symptoms more quickly and effectively. 


  • Start with a Functional Medicine Evaluation: schedule a visit with your Forum Health provider if you suspect yourself of having Lyme disease or have already been diagnosed with another chronic condition.  

  • Dietary Supplements and Nutraceuticals: herbal supplements, dietary modifications, and detoxification protocols. 

  • Functional Diet & Nutrition Coaching: A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, along with supplements like omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics, can support the immune system. 

  • Emerging Therapies: From IV therapies, to SOT, to vagal nerve stimulation and more. Your Forum Health provider can help you select the ideal therapies for your recovery. 

Additionally, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation can help manage pain and improve overall well-being. 

Preventing Lyme disease is possible and the best defense against chronic illness.

You can take proactive measures such as wearing protective clothing, using tick repellents, and conducting thorough tick checks after outdoor activities. Creating tick-safe zones around homes and investing in pet treatments can further reduce the risk. 


Lyme disease, with its complex symptoms and potential complications, demands a vigilant approach. By understanding the symptoms, causes, stages, and complications of Lyme disease, and by exploring a combination of conventional and natural treatments, you can navigate this challenging condition.  


Prevention, coupled with informed decision-making, empowers you to continue your journey toward optimal well-being.

Ready to start your path towards healing and recovery?
Schedule an appointment today