Chronic lyme disease does not exist, but if you say it does long enough, a scholar will begin to study it, and then others will cite 'emerging evidence', and journalists will 'teach the controversy', and soon enough doctors who don't want to get sued will sign off, no differently than California pediatricians gave wealthy parents vaccine exemptions to prevent autism during the first two decades of this century.

Like organic food and supplements, there is a clear gender divide when it comes to chronic Lyme disease. Obviously anyone can get Lyme disease, it is spread by ticks, but chronic Lyme disease to Lyme disease is like gluten sensitivity compared to being Celiac - it is subjective, not medical, even if you get someone to write it down on a piece of paper in a medical office.

An advocacy group for chronic Lyme disease awareness did a survey of people who are in their Lyme disease community. Unsurprisingly, they said doctors denied they have it until 'finally they got a diagnosis' and that legitimized their belief. They claimed more debilitating outcomes than men, and were more likely to claim they still have it 6 months after antibiotics cured them.

They say it took longer to get a diagnosis even though every doctor will recognize an erythema migrans rash and diagnose Lyme disease and put patients on antibiotics that day. What ethical doctors will not diagnose is chronic Lyme disease and this new survey seeks to create a 'growing body of evidence' it is real. What is ironic is that in advocating for a chronic form of this disease, and noting how women are being silenced, they step deep into the culture wars; "An implicit and inaccurate assumption underlying most medical research is that aside from reproductive matters, men and women do not differ substantially in their physiological and pathological response to disease."

 The lead author of the paper is the head of the advocacy group which supplied the data. Taylor  & Francis published it because the credit card cleared. That still doesn't make it science.