Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Experts of Lyme Disease: A Radio Journalist Visits the Front Lines of the Lyme Wars

Author: Sue Vogan and Foreword by Warren Levin, M.D.

Sue Vogan's new book, The Experts of Lyme Disease, is a compilation of 10 transcribed programs from her radio show, "In Short Order". The show mainly deals with the subject of Lyme disease and related topics. The purpose of this book is to archive the important Lyme disease information which has been discussed on this program.

The ten guests who were picked for her first book (one of a series) are: Dr. Daniel Cameron, President of ILADS; Dr. Ken Singleton, author of The Lyme Disease solution; Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, author and researcher; Tami Duncan, founder of the Lyme-Induced Autism Foundation; Les Roberts, author of The Poison Plum; PJ Langhoff, author of the series, "It's All In Your Head"; Scott Forsgren, The Better Health Guy; Constance Bean, author of "Beating Lyme: Understanding and Treating This Complex and often Misdiagnosed Disease"....with Dr. Lesley Fein; David Kocurek, PH.D. with The Texas Lyme Disease Association; and Betty Martini, founder of Mission Possible International.

"The Experts of Lyme Disease" contains a wide variety of information, describing many different aspects of the Lyme disease conundrum. The first chapter begins with Dr. Cameron. He speaks about The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and how they claim that chronic Lyme infection does not exist. He shares this thought...."By not expanding on clinical judgment and patient values, the IDSA guidelines try and kill the idea that a doctor that goes to medical school can use their own judgment." It seems that medical guidelines are becoming more of a "rule of law", made to circumvent the whole concept of clinical diagnosis.

Dr. Ken Singleton stressed the importance of the inflammation factor in Lyme disease and how diet can help the patient deal with this problem. Dr. Shoemaker raises the issue of bio-toxins and the role they play in preventing patient improvement. Getting rid of the mold in ones environment is often a huge factor in recovery.

Tami Duncan talks about the connection between Autism and Lyme disease. She tells us that informal studies show that from 20 to 30% of autistic children also have Lyme disease. Of course, due to the poor accuracy of testing and reporting, this number could be low. Tami brings out another important point to consider: Many mothers of autistic children are sick before or during pregnancy with such disease labels as M.S, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc. Lyme disease often plays a role in these chronic conditions. In fact, these same mothers very often test CDC positive for Lyme disease.

David Kocurek speaks about his negative experiences with the Texas Medical Board and how they basically govern themselves , with no oversight. Constance Bean tells about her own struggles with Lyme disease, which led her to write the book "Beating Lyme'. She wants to help others to avoid misery she went through.

Then we have Scott Forsgren. Most Lyme patients know Scott due to his dedicated research and reporting on natural health therapies. He also suffers from Lyme disease. In fact, most people who are active in the Lyme arena have a past history with this diabolical disease. Having Chronic Lyme Disease can be a long scarey road to travel, however.... it helps to know that folks like Scott, others in this book and thousands of concerned people across the globe, are being driven by this illness to bring to light the seriousness of this epidemic.

PJ Langhoff is another Lyme patient and author of several books. In The Experts of Lyme Disease, PJ tells us a bit of her experience and shares with us some of the reasons she feels that Lyme is being misdiagnosed and why the patients are being denied antibiotics.

In chapter 9 of Sue's book, she interviews Les Roberts, the author of The Poison Plum. Here we have another author who was led to write a book in response to the trials he experienced with Lyme disease. The Poison Plum is listed as fiction but most people who have had experience with the symptoms and politics of this disease, realize that Les's book reveals the real, often bizarre world of Lyme disease. It is a spell binding thriller which is unfortunately more truth than fiction. I enjoyed reading Les Robert's account in Sue's book of how he came to write The Poison Plum.

The last guest in The Experts of Lyme Disease is Betty Martini, who has been very instrumental in warning about the dangers of aspartame. The interview includes the idea that aspartame can make the Lyme condition can cause the body to turn against itself.

I had a few questions for Sue about her book and her Radio show "In Short Order". She answers some of these questions below.

How did you come to write "The Experts of Lyme Disease: A Radio Journalist Visits the Front Lines of the Lyme Wars"?

My publisher, BioMed Publishing Group came up with the idea, since the radio program "In Short Order", has gained popularity. There was a need to preserve the knowledge of the experts.

"In Short Order" has been on the air now for three years. How did it get started?

I was interviewed about my Lyme disease book, NCO: No Compassion Observed. A couple of weeks later I was asked to consider doing a radio show dealing with Lyme disease and that's how "In Short Order" came to be.

In Short Order is now with out of Seattle, Washington. Tell me a bit about the show.

The show airs Mondays, 9PM EST, and is sponsored by Master Supplements, Inc.- the makers of Theralac, Enzalase and TruFiber - the supplements I personally use. The show can be heard on HDFM, Ipod, cell phone (free by calling 704-631-4060, press # 1 for mobile radio and # 9 to enter the 4-digit station ID code 2795), and the internet. The number of listeners are estimated to be 200,000. The folks at Contact Talk Radio have been wonderful to work with.

Why do you feel that this book is important to the Lyme disease community?

It preserves the expert's knowledge and can be shared with family members who may not understand the disease. The book will also provide needed information to victims and to their physicians, who may need to hear from Lyme literate doctors, in order to learn the best effective treatment protocols.

This is the first book in a series....who might we see in book two?

Stephen Buhner has been asked, along with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and Garth Nicolson, PH.D. There will be ten more great interviews in each book to come. I believe there will be two books per year and if a reader wants to see a specific interview featured, they should let me know. The books and the radio show are for the readers and listeners, so their input is welcome.

When will the new book in the series be out?

I believe we are looking at February 2009.

You have some other interesting news - a new magazine?

Yes, Peer Observations. It's an extension of the radio show. With so many experts and only one hour per week (I am already booked quite a few months ahead), I had to create another way to get the information to those who need it. It will be written for and by professionals but patients will also be able to take away much useful information. For more details, those interested can visit . The more information we present, the better off we will be.

Sue Vogan knows how to ask questions to get to the heart of the subject being discussed. She has worked hard to include on her show, guests who are making a difference. I know I have enjoyed tuning in over the past three years and have learned alot from the interviews. Now these interviews are recorded and are a part of written history.

Review by Marjorie Tietjen

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