Frequently Asked Questions
Since 1988. He has treated over 11,500 patients for tick-borne illnesses.
Dr. Crist’s patients who follow his treatment plan and protocol typically do very well. Approximately ninety-seven percent of Dr. Crist’s patients get better.
Dr. Crist does not require a referral from another physician. Patients may schedule appointments themselves.
Testing is not required prior to having an appointment with Dr. Crist. Some patients have little to no previous testing before they attend their initial appointment. Patients who have had previous tick-borne illness testing and/or recent blood work are advised to bring the results to their initial appointment. Dr. Crist has testing he prefers. If he determines this testing is recommended for you, these tests may be collected at your initial visit.
Yes. In over 1,200 of Dr. Crist’s patients tested for Strep, about 59% tested positive. In general, about 15% of his patients have POTS.
Yes. Dr. Crist has treated patients with bioidentical hormones for about 20 years. He prescribes bioidentical hormones that are identical to the natural hormones produced in the body.
Yes, Dr. Crist treats patients for mold. Testing for mold toxins is very expensive, so few of Dr. Crist’s patients request testing. Patients usually prefer to follow Dr. Crist’s recommendations.
Yes. The earlier treatment is pursued the better. Unfortunately, several of Dr. Crist’s patients have been sick for months or years before they begin seeing him. Those patients still typically respond well to his treatments.
In Dr. Crist’s experience, screening tests (i.e., EIA, ELISA, IFA, etc.) are typically negative and of no use. He prefers Western blots be done as the screening test. Missouri has a distinctly different “babesiosis” called MO-1 (Missouri-1), and the germ (a piroplasm) cannot be grown in a laboratory, so a test cannot be developed. A negative test for babesiosis (Babesia microti, etc.) does not rule out babesiosis, based upon knowledge about MO-1. There are so many strains of bacteria, that there is not a test for every one of them. Dr. Crist has learned if only one significant antibody against the tick-borne illness bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) is found on an IgM or IgG Western blot, there is about a 97% chance his treatments will help the patient feel better.
In Dr. Crist’s opinion, patients with chronic pain, fatigue, brain, eye and neurological problems should be tested with Western blots from a reference laboratory. Tick-borne illnesses may imitate almost any symptom or disease, so many patients may be misdiagnosed.
About 15% of Dr. Crist’s patients remember a tick bite followed by a bulls-eye rash. Around 5% remember a tick bite followed by the onset of their symptoms. Even if a patient is unable to recall a specific tick bite or rash incident, most patients have at least one significant antibody on their Western blots.
The tick-borne illness bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi may be in the saliva (mouths) of ticks, so patients may be infected immediately. It is a myth about any certain length of attachment being required, after a tick bite.
Symptoms can be cured so that you may go on to live a symptom free life. It is the bacteria that will always be in your system. The infection may go dormant after your signs and symptoms are treated. There are many infections that are kept in remission by the immune system, after patients feel better.
Research in Missouri ticks found the tick-borne illness bacteria in seed ticks (Ixodes scapularis), wood ticks (Dermacenter variabolis), and Lone Star ticks (Ambyomma americanum), so Dr. Crist respects every tick bite. It is logical this may be true of ticks in several Midwestern and Southern states, not just in Northern states. Dr. Crist has many patients from all over, including from Wisconsin, Minnesota and New England, where Lyme disease is endemic.
In Dr. Crist’s opinion, a chronic infection with Borrelia burgdorferi may trigger an autoimmune response, and both infection and autoimmunity may coexist. For example, Dr. Crist treats some of his patients with Low Dose Antigen (LDA), and there are treatment options to try to turn down autoimmune responses to certain bacteria. Please visit our allergies page if you are interested.
Dr. Crist looks at the whole person with every patient who sees him. Most patients he sees are very complex, so there are many options. For example, many patients have felt better than they did taking antibiotics, simply by changes to diets that Dr. Crist recommended. He is a huge fan of therapeutic trials. If patients try herbs or other natural treatments and they feel better, that is patient oriented evidence that matters. Holistic recommendations that Dr. Crist’s gives are often alongside other protocols.
In the past, published medical research documented hundreds of cases that met the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) criteria for Lyme disease in Missouri patients. Later research indicated the disease in Mid-America is similar to, but different than Lyme disease. It is called a Lyme disease-like illness, borreliosis or Masters’ disease.