Having Lyme disease is a unique journey. No two Lyme patients will present the same symptoms therefore, treatment must be tailored to fit the individual, level of sensitivity, and degree of illness. In healing chronic infection, there is no "magic bullet".
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete—a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is actually a “syndrome” and not a straight forward bacterial infection. For those of us unlucky enough to have Lyme or for those who treat it, Lyme disease is now on your radar and you see it is everywhere. What was once believed to be only Borrelia infection (Lyme disease) is now recognized to be a combination of multiple infections hence the term, Tick Borne Disease. Tick Borne Infection is an epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 3-400,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the US every year. That’s 1.5 times the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer, and six times the number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS each year in the US. However, because diagnosing TBD can be difficult, many people who actually have Lyme may be misdiagnosed with other conditions. It is now estimated that Tick Borne Disease (TBD) will affect 35% of the global population by 2050. Ticks carry many different strains of Borrelia as well as a combination of multiple organisms called Co-infections. These include: Babesia, Bartonella (19 different species), Erlichia, Anaplasmosis, Mycoplasma species, Chlamydia Pneumonia, Rickettsia, Borrelia Relapsing Fever, Powassan virus. On top of this the patient may have the following chronic viruses: HHV6, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr and Powassan virus. Since each person can be infected with a varying combination of bacteria, now two cases will look alike.
How do people get Tick borne illness?
Most people get Lyme from the bite of the nymph, or immature, form of the tick. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Because they are so tiny and their bite is painless, many people do not even realize they have been bitten. Other co-infections can come through biting flys, mosquitos, fleas and lice. If pregnant women are infected, they sometimes pass Lyme disease to their unborn children. Some doctors believe other types of human-to-human transmission are possible but little is known for certain. The lyme bacteria has been found in all body fluids.
FAR REACHING EFFECTS OF LYME/TBD.
Lyme and TBD can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart. Patients with TBD are frequently misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, seizures, PANS, and autoimmunity. Psychiatric illnesses are also common such as panic disorder, OCD, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, psychosis, PTSD, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. Chronic lyme is a neuropsychiatric illness. Cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms are common in Lyme disease/TBD. Symptoms negatively impact academic, professional, interpersonal and family functioning.
Where is Lyme/TBD disease found?
Lyme disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica. It is found all across the United States, with a particularly high incidence in the East, Midwest, and West Coast. Rates have increased significantly over time.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
It is estimated that 35% of lyme disease cases are missed with standard ELISA testing. Also, less than 1/3 of people will have the classic Bulls-Eye rash or Erythema Chronicum Migrans after a tick bite. Diagnosis can be elusive. Many sick patients do not test positive on lab tests. Therefore the diagnosis must be made by a Lyme literate physician who can read the clinical signs and symptoms. Misdiagnosis delay the correct diagnosis and treatment as the underlying infection progresses unchecked. Testing is constantly evolving and there are many good tests available to test the most common infections. However, a negative test, may be a false negative and if symptoms are present, treat anyway. I use a combination of of lab tests including IGENEX and DNA CONNEXIONS, clinical history and current signs and symptoms. I believe that a large majority of people have been exposed to these infections but don’t come down with the illness. It can take an acute stressor that precedes the onset of TBD. These stressors may include mold exposure, pregnancy, periods of high stress which set the stage for the bacteria to multiply. The microbial load then becomes overwhelming to the immune system
What is Lyme or Co-infection Treatment?
Often the person being diagnosed with Lyme or co-infections is in a depleted or toxic state which must be addressed for a person to respond to Lyme treatment. Also, chronic inflammation from infection puts stress on the adrenals, thyroid, liver, gall bladder, lymphatics, spleen and digestive system. In complex illness, there will be many layers that need to be addressed and will be different in each person.
My approach to treating chronic infection.
1. Supporting the toxic or weak organ systems. Looking at genetic influences that create a susceptibility for chronic illness.
2. Treating the infection with combinations of antimicrobials either antibiotic, herbal, Low Dose Immunotherapy or intravenous therapy.
3. Reducing inflammation through herbs, diet or supplements
4. Reducing exposure to compromising factors such as EMF, mold, pesticides, allergens, or heavy metals.
5. Treating biofilms. Biofilms are polysaccharide matrixes that form around infections protecting them from harsh antimicrobials such as antibiotics. If a person is not responding to treatment, biofilms may need to be addressed with herbs or enzymes capable of breaking down the layers of biofilm.
5. Lifestyle and nervous system management. Toxic or stressful life situations must be addressed. Since Lyme affects the nervous system, quieting the nervous system is a key component in healing – meditation, rest, getting 8 hours of sleep, self-acceptance, and dealing with previous trauma.
6. A healing diet – Organic, reduced carbohydrate and sugar intake, free range, grass fed meat, dairy and eggs. Various diets may be recommended depending on the individual’s needs such as: Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Low histamine Diet, Low Fodmaps diet, Autoimmune diet, or the GAPS diet.
Save the tick and send immediately for testing.
Here is the link for free testing in California. http://www.bayarealyme.org/lyme-disease-preve…/tick-testing/