Lyme disease: One woman’s mission

Author Laura Piazza of Sunapee, New Hampshire, has chronic Lyme disease, a condition that changed her life, and has her speaking out.

“In light of my experience, including a misdiagnosis, I now strive to arm people with the knowledge they need to keep themselves healthy.”

Laura will give a free educational program about Lyme disease in Sunapee, at the Safety Services building on Sargent Road, on May 9, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by Abbott Library, will focus on providing usable information about: prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Laura set out to learn all she could about the illness after finally learning, yes, she had Lyme disease. This came after many years of symptoms, confusion and doctor visits.

In late 2010 she published Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook that she co-authored with her mother Gail Piazza. The whole foods cookbook follows a doctor-written anti-inflammation diet that benefits Lyme patients and those with any inflammatory or auto-immune condition.

Prevention is the best defense

Laura says Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are preventable and now travels the state speaking about her history of misdiagnosis and educating the public with prevention techniques and informing them how the wait-and see approach can have dire consequences.

Lyme disease is the number one infectious disease in the USA, she says.

“Yet medical practitioners and patients harbor many misconceptions around diagnostics and treatments. For example, many doctors around the state will tell you to wait for symptoms, including the infamous bull’s eye rash, and then they’ll prescribe antibiotics.”

“Other doctors, however, will treat, as a preventive measure, with 30 days of antibiotics because they believe the wait-and-see approach is too risky,” Laura added.

“I was not aware that a wait-and-see approach could result in a chronic and difficult-to-treat illness. Looking back, I wish I had known about the different standards of care when it comes to tick-borne illness.”

At the event in Sunapee, Laura will hand out materials about Lyme prevention, answer questions and speak about common concerns, such as: What to do if you find an attached tick.

Laura will also discuss the role of nutrition in battling illness and offer light refreshments from her cookbook, Recipes for Repair. She will have copies available for purchase at a discounted rate and will be donating 10% of the night’s sales to the Library Capital Campaign Fund.

For more info…

>> Go to www.RecipesforRepair.com — for Laura’s prevention tips and news and events.

>> To register for the Sunapee program, visit www.abbottlibrary.org or call 603-763-5513.

Spring into the season, tick season, armed with knowledge

Free Lyme disease educational event in Milford, New Hampshire

If you live in New Hampshire, you likely know one or more people with Lyme disease. So, it’s discomforting to learn the tick season is off to an early start. Ticks are active, and the tick population is likely to increase this year.

New Hampshire is already among the highest ranked U.S. states for Lyme disease per capita.

Prevention is our best defense against Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, says Laura Piazza of Sunapee.

Piazza, a chronic Lyme patient and co-author of the health book Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook, along with naturopathic doctor Julia Greenspan, of Greenhouse Naturopathic Medicine in Amherst, want to arm people with knowledge.

To raise public awareness, Piazza and Greenspan will present a free educational program on Lyme disease at The Toadstool Bookshop, 586 Nashua Street, Milford, on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 1 p.m.

“There is often confusion or misinformation about how to best protect against ticks, as well as what to do when finding a tick attached or what to do if symptoms develop after a bite,” says Piazza. “We’ll talk about the misconceptions and discuss prevention, what people can do to guard against tick bites when going outside.

Piazza and Greenspan will also discuss best practices for patients undergoing treatment.

About Greenspan and Piazza

Greenspan is a member of ILADS, International Lyme and Associated Disease Society, and herself is in treatment for Lyme disease. She treats people of all ages with Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses and will offer the viewpoint of both a patient and practitioner.

Her practice offers a unique approach in the amount of time spent with each patient and offers the diverse services of botanical medicine, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, intravenous nutrient therapy, exercise therapeutics, and lifestyle change to patients.

New Hampshire Magazine named Greenspan one of the top doctors in Alternative Medicine in N.H. for 2011 and 2012.

Piazza will share her experience of misdiagnosis and will discuss an important part of treatment — lifestyle and nutrition.

Recipes for Repair is a whole foods cookbook coauthored by Laura Piazza and Gail Piazza, a renowned home economics consultant. The recipes follow a successful, doctor-written anti-inflammation diet. The recipes are all-natural, free of cane sugar and refined or artificial ingredients.

New Lyme Disease Cookbook Provides ‘Recipes for Repair’

For Laura Piazza, Sunapee, learning to live with a chronic health condition—Lyme disease—has opened a new chapter in her life, that of being a cookbook author and publisher. With help from her mother, Gail Piazza, Laura has just published Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook, now available from Peconic Publishing, Sunapee.

The book includes 151 recipes designed to help anyone feel better through healthier eating, explains Laura. It is especially helpful for people with Lyme disease and other ailments, as it supports an anti-inflammation diet developed by Kenneth B. Singleton, MD, MPH.

Laura became familiar with Dr. Singleton’s work and his 2008 book The Lyme Disease Solution when researching her own chronic Lyme disease. The results inspired Laura, a professional photographer and graphic designer, and Gail, a home economics consultant with a master’s degree from NYU in Food and Nutrition, to combine talents and propose a companion cookbook to Dr. Singleton.

Laura Piazza, Sunapee, and her mother, Gail Piazza, the authors of Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook.

The idea resulted in Recipes for Repair: A Lyme Disease Cookbook, a collection of recipes that use all-natural whole foods and provide for nutritional and delicious meals that everyone can enjoy. Many vegetarian, low-sugar, and gluten-, dairy- and egg-free recipes are included.

A personal journey

Although Laura’s diagnosis of Lyme disease was confirmed only two years ago, she has lived with the unpredictable disease for more than fifteen years. She first experienced symptoms in 1993, when a freshman in college. Several years later, after college, she was re-infected and had another severe bout that landed her in the emergency room with a 105-degree fever and aches and pains. This time around, she found a tiny tick on her body. However, she received limited treatment.

Laura’s personal journey led her to search out Lyme-literate doctors and practitioners and to learn all she could about this tick-borne, inflammatory disease. She also joined a support group in Manchester where she found encouragement and inspiration.

Now 35, Laura has learned to live with chronic Lyme disease. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: