NEWS: Yale panel examines UNDER OUR SKIN and doesn't like what it sees
Yale University recently showed the Lyme documentary UNDER OUR SKIN, followed by a panel discussion. The three panelists, Durland Fish, PhD, Peter Krause, MD and Eugene Shipiro, MD, were all members of the controversial IDSA 2006 Lyme guidelines panel which was scrutinized in the film. They characterized the film as “misleading.”
News release from the Yale School of Public Health, May 9, 2011:
Yale Panel Examines Movie’s Conclusions and Claims About Lyme Disease
A panel of Yale experts examined some of the conclusions and claims about Lyme disease presented in the award-winning documentary film, “Under Our Skin.”
The 104-minute movie was considered for an Academy Award and is slated to be shown in 26 states this month on Public Broadcasting System stations. The film portrays real-life stories of several people who contend they are suffering from a chronic form of the tick-transmitted disease and who believe that their condition has been either ignored or inadequately treated by the medical establishment.
The film also questions the official medical guidelines on Lyme disease put forth by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which are corroborated by similar guidelines from four other medical societies in the United States and Europe. These guidelines do not support the concept that the Lyme bacterium persists despite standard antibiotic therapy and that it frequently results in chronic disability that requires long-term antibiotic therapy.
The three-member Yale panel was moderated by Durland Fish, Ph.D., a professor at the School of Public Health who conducts Lyme disease research. The panel screened the movie in Winslow Auditorium and invited questions from attendees from the Yale community.
While Lyme disease remains an important public health concern that is actively studied at Yale, panel members Peter Krause, M.D., and Eugene Shapiro, M.D., described the film as misleading, especially for people who become infected and may be influenced by the film’s often emotional content.
Krause and Shapiro argued that multiple research studies have found no scientific basis that the bacterium that causes the disease survives in the human body long-term after conventional therapy and, therefore, extended use of antibiotics, a treatment advocated by some, cannot be medically supported. They pointed out that several rigorous clinical studies have found no benefit to patients, and substantial adverse effects, from long-term antibiotic therapy.
However, Krause and Shapiro explained that most academic and practicing physicians do not deny the fact that there are some patients who have had Lyme disease who have persistent symptoms following their disease and that further research into the cause of this is needed.
Shapiro appeared in several scenes of “Under Our Skin” and both Fish and Krause had their photos and names shown in the film. All three were coauthors, along with 11 other Lyme disease experts, of the controversial IDSA guidelines on the clinical assessment, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease. The guidelines were investigated by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office but a special review panel formed as part of an agreement with the Attorney General’s office unanimously upheld all of the original guidelines last year, which is not mentioned in the film. The IDSA guidelines are made available to physicians to help them decide what treatments are best for their patients.
In response to the other panelists’ comments and audience questions, Abigail Dumes, a PhD candidate in anthropology at Yale who is conducting dissertation research on Lyme disease, cautioned that no issue related to Lyme disease is black and white. “Ambiguity is productive of contestation,” she said. She continued to argue that it is important to recognize that there is disagreement about Lyme disease within the scientific community and that there are significant communication barriers between the sides.
When asked by Fish whether they thought the showing of “Under Our Skin” on more than 100 PBS stations throughout the country was in the best interest of public health, Krause and Shapiro said that it should only be shown in conjunction with information from the CDC, NIH, and IDSA to provide viewers with a more balanced view of the issues.
Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the United States, but Fish warns that the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of Lyme disease is becoming a significant public health problem in its own right. Research into Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis is ongoing and many questions remain to be answered, panel members said.
- May 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm
"but Fish warns that the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of Lyme disease is becoming a significant public health problem in its own right"
But the misdisagnosis of MS (that was mine), CFS, fibromyalgia, Parkinson's, ALS, etc. isn't a significant public health problem? Or is the real problem that they haven't figured out a way to benefit financially from this yet? Properly treating patients is too much work. Much better to have passive income — checks that just show up in the mailbox every month.
- May 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm
"Krause and Shapiro said that it should only be shown in conjunction with information from the CDC, NIH, and IDSA to provide viewers with a more balanced view of the issues."
Maybe the ILADS should suggest appending some of its information to the IDSA guidelines to offer a more balanced view!
- May 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm
several people who contend they are suffering
- May 13, 2011 at 12:23 am
Lyme, we know (an interstitial corkscrew bacteria) similar to Syphilis/chronic wasting disease/Multiple Sclerosis/Autism, etc.
Just because Big Pharma and IDSA haven't produced an effective vaccine, they hide it for profits from chronic disease, deemed more important than protecting public health from a leading emerging epidemic causing more pain and suffering than HIV, Cancer and Congestive Heart Failure combined, even death. (Talk to any chronic Lyme patient, many bedridden, barely able to walk, talk, eat or sleep, we know the TRUTH – "the Biolevel (10) chronic pain from our bones to our brain is all in our heads."
- May 13, 2011 at 6:13 am
If those doctors that are so sure that chronic Lyme does not exist…..they should feel free to give us all a demo and let themselves be bitten by an infected tick. Keep good records…take a couple of doxi and then wait to see what happens next!!
- May 13, 2011 at 7:13 am
When they say further research, they mean into an immunological reaction. F them.
- May 13, 2011 at 8:21 am
Say what you will these 3 just want it gone they don't want to deal with it …. usda was behind it all they are trying to do is cover it up ….that's what they are paid to do ….
- August 19, 2011 at 1:18 am
And we should take their words for this when we already know they cared nothing for their conflicts of interest or their own credibility, a finding of Blumenthal's that they don't mention in the press release at all.
If Lyme were born outside Connecticut and away from yale's back yard this never would have happened.
My cousin is dying of Lyme and you are bastards, pure bastards. You are Pigs and no one trusts you, no one
- January 19, 2013 at 11:08 am
Clearly the IDSA panel and the CDC are both severely corrupted by
special interests who don’t care one iota about the best interest of
patients. They are much too greedy to care about facts or the best
interest of patients.
The fundamental problem is that these agencies are too easily bribed
by the deep pockets of those who have purely selfish financial motives. I
have seen many CDC websites on Lyme disease. It’s just one outright
bald-faced lie after another. They say it’s confined to a small geographic
region. They say everyone gets a bull’s-eye rash. They say it’s very easy
to eradicate with short-term antibiotics. They say large numbers of people
who don’t have it are misdiagnosed with it. They just keep lying and lying
- July 25, 2013 at 11:21 am
The US medical system is setup as a symptom treatment factory.
There is NO MONEY whatsoever in actually curing disease.
There is only MONEY for treating symptoms of disease.
This is why a for-profit healthcare system is absolutely the worst way to care for the health of a nation.
- August 24, 2016 at 1:05 am
So very true. Doctors prescribe medications to address symptoms. They are not paid to search for the root cause and address it instead.
My friend’s son, age 27, was in declining health. He could no longer work. His world was collapsing. Thankfully an amazing specialist in Wisconsin Dells, is treating him. 3 different strains of Lyme disease! Multiple rounds of antibiotics followed by rebuilding stages and probiotics have given him back his life. He’s able to work again and function.
Are antibiotics bad, in some cases, yes. As for me. I had heavy duty IV antibiotics after my appendix ruptured. Years later when my thyroid medication wouldn’t stabilize and I had chronic fatigue, signs of fibromyalgia, no one went back and said, hey, maybe those heavy duty IV antibiotics messed with your active vitamin balance. No one said, lets test the active nutrient levels in your body and see if something is off and more importantly why! A genetic mutation MTHFR is at play for me. Big pharmaceutical doesn’t want you to know this since its treated with just vitamin supplementation.
Read about methylation pathway, biotoxins, detoxification and genetic mutations. See how these all tie together and also how they help explain that some can kick Lyme easily and others suffer horribly.
The United States had the ability to be leaders and innovators in medicine, or more importantly preventive and restorative medicine. Let’s get back in the right track of finding the root cause of illnesses and healing the patient!
- November 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm
YALE CAN GO TO HELL! I have suffered with this disease for over a decade and it has devoured me. wake the hell up, or r they stuffing your pockets full of cash at many Lymies expense!
- May 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm
I was so healthy (cyclist), happy, successful… until three ticks from a nest in rotten wood bit my neck and leg. Later target rash was thought to be Shingles. Was over 7 mo before Lyme was mentioned. Now I can’t walk, have heart and kidney issues, twitch and itch all over. Too late for me, but not so many others.
- May 30, 2014 at 6:26 am
My wife has gone from a never sick person, doing something every waking minuet of the day, having 3 jobs she loved, and raising our beautiful children to a shadow over the course of just a couple years. Doctors have no idea how long she’s had it. We’ve spend thousands on doctors, she was diagnosed with everything from Meniere’s disease to questioning if it was just in her head. We know we live in a wooded area and have removed ticks from all 4 of us. We checked for this first and the test that is sanctioned by the CDC and insurance accepts came back “inconclusive”. Three years later, alot more money, and a specialist that is expensive (bless him though he’s had answers), and a test costing nearly a grand NOT covered by insurance and we have had an answer. Treatment though seems to make no changes. This NEEDS to be taken seriously. Petty bureaucracy is not the answer. From what i understood from the movie it is similar to Syphilis and there is a vaciene for that. I’m no doctor, but that seems fishy.
- April 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm
My first concern is when 3 so called experts from a liberal university discuses something controversial they will always take the political correct side. Anything government will always come from a secular bias. Never trust the liberal media and so called experts from a liberal university. They are very good at selective research and journalism.
My wife has Lyme obviously these three liars never had it.
- May 19, 2016 at 3:54 pm
I was misdiagnosed and mistreated for Bipolar for 15 years right near Lyme, CT, despite seeing several doctors IN LYME, CT and exhibiting classic symptoms of the disease. Discovered it incidentally by lesions on MRI and bloodwork that showed 8/9 bands positive for lyme but at least 15 years after symptoms first presented. These authoritative voices never seem to mention what happens if you contracted the disease and we’re NEVER properly treated. They are merely protect etching their livelihoods, don’t want to focus on any likely physical cause of many lucrative symptoms.
- March 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm
How are you doing Curtis? After all that time not diagnosed. Have u had treatment? Any improvement?
- March 25, 2017 at 11:41 am
Very timely question… Oh my gosh, YES! I was lucky to find a great LLMD in July that took my insurance, been on different antibiotic protocols for 7 months, which helped, but the most important change that alleviated me of 99% of my symptoms was the ketogenic diet I started at the beginning of this year at the suggestion of a therapist… Within two days of the diet, cluster headaches, insomnia, stabbing knee pain, irrational anxiety, confusion, irritiability and brain fog were gone and have not returned. Some foot and knee pain has crept in but only when I deviate from the diet, so I don’t any more. And light weight lifting, stretching (I like Forrest yoga, couldn’t do yoga without shooting pain before) helps a lot.
Went to the doctor yesterday, and everyone in the office was amazed at my sudden recovery. I was on oral antibiotics for 7 months, I believe they helped a lot but not anywhere near as alleviated my symptoms as a strict keto diet did. My doctor even credited it a lot more to the diet than the antibiotics based on what he saw.
I believe I owe my recovery to antibiotics as well and think they are a very important tool for fighting bacteria, but I credit my remarkable alleviation of symptoms to the diet because I was in complete agony despite moths and months of antibiotics (possible herxing?), whereas the strict diet protocol eliminated all of my symptoms within two days and they have not returned in almost three months. If I deviate from the diet even slightly, they creep back in. I am now taking at least a short break from the antibiotics.
I think it is irresponsible to act like diet doesn’t matter in treating any illness. To me it is always curious why diet is not a factor in clinical studies of symptoms. I wonder if the keto diet can fight the bacteria by starving them of glucose? There obviously needs to be more research in regards to efficacy of treating neurological Lyme, and I think taking a multi-faceted approach is the best way. I do not mean to imply that diet alone can cure it, but I really think it is the most effective thing at keeping symptoms at bay based on my experience. Sugar and carbs are probably the worst things to feed a body with this type of bacterial infection, yet it constitutes the overwhelming majority of American diet. Again, the proof is in the pudding, I FEEL mostly cured, although I recognize that bacterial infection is likely not (or maybe ever wiill be) eradicated.
- April 24, 2017 at 10:55 am
Hi Curtis, I’ve read all these post.. my heart goes out to you all! Very heart wrenching! I am in fear that my mother has contacted these disease…. we live in the beautiful state of NC, unfortunately the struggle is real with TICKS here and I can begin to tell you how many I have seen my mother throughout the years pull off of herself. Two yrs ago she had tendon surger in her left foot, from there on she’s slowly developed so much inflammation and pain all over, but especially in her limbs. It’s like she has severe RA and has developed neuropathy (diabetes does NOT run in our family) so this is very odd. She’s to the point she’s tired of running to doctors appts, she feels like that’s her life now and sadly NOBODY can give her any explanation as to what’s truly going on and all most of them want to do is push pain meds over to her. Can you give me some insight on how to go about getting her tested? I feel so helpless and I am trying to do whatever I can to get a answer. Thank you and I pray that your journey continues well towards recovery.
- April 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm
I’m trying to help my sister be tested for the same in Pennsylvania. It seems more difficult to find anyone who will test it in areas where it is not commonly accepted to be endemic to that area (odd that many doctors don’t recognize that modern humans travel, or the effects of climate change on the expanding range of such vector-borne diseases), and it was hard enough for me to get tested in Massachusetts (I was not even properly informed of the results until about 6 months later when I went to my doctor for another tick bite! and they said oh yeah don’t worry you’ve already had Lyme, can’t get it twice, which of course is not true either).
Anyway, to your question, try to get the Western Blot test (more info here: https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/lyme-disease/diagnosis/) … if a doctor refuses to give one (as was the case for my sister), I suggest stating to the doctor that there was a known bite by a tick and a rash had developed and since subsided, if that’s what it takes. I suggest being relentless and take ownership of your medical journey and records — demand copies, results of everything, etcetera (I have found cases since doing this where doctors have outright lied or withheld results from me!), and if Lyme is likely based on symptoms and/or tests, you may then want to seek out an LLMD (lyme literate doctor) who can properly test you if you can’t at least get a Western Blot test and will likely test for other lovely coinfections that exist in the gut of the tick ( I tested positive for babesia as well). The problem being there are doctors in every field preying on people for money rather than trying to help them actually heal, and even though I was lucky to find a good affordable LLMD who accepted my insurance, some of these tests are still expensive and also not covered by insurance. But the return on investment, at least in my case, is worth it, because again I have never felt better.
Again, I attribute this to the ketogenic diet (keto diet), which I have now been on for over three months with practically zero of my previous numerous and debilitating symptoms from Lyme. It may not work for everyone but I feel it is worth the attempt if you are able to adhere to a diet like keto devoid of glucose (sugar/carbs) and high in fat and anti-inflammatory foods. Food is medicine!
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