Lyme disease

This digitally-colored scanning electron micrograph depicts a grouping of numerous Gram-negative, anaerobic, Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the pathogen behind Lyme disease. Credit: CDC/Janice Carr.


What Is Lyme Disease?


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted primarily by Ixodes ticks, or deer ticks, and black-legged ticks. Over 300,000 patients are diagnosed annually with substantial indications that there are many more patients who have not been diagnosed — identifying and treating this infection is a growing challenge.


Although far less recognized, even the diagnosed cases of Lyme disease outnumber the cases of breast cancer and HIV/AIDS.


So, how do you recognize Lyme disease? That too can be a challenge.

While a bulls-eye rash is a classic indication of a tick bite, many patients do not show this symptom, and many don’t test positive for the disease with traditional lab tests. Patients often do not even know they have been bitten. Lyme disease is considered a “great imitator” because of the many symptoms that manifest from it and the wide range of co-infections it creates.

The disease affects people of all ages and in many walks of life. There is particularly high incidence throughout the U.S. Specific regions of the country, particularly the East, Midwest, the Southeast, and the West Coast are heavily impacted by the disease. The tick-born disease is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete that can affect any organ in the body, including the nervous system, brain, muscles, joints, and the heart.

With such a pernicious disease, the more rapid the diagnosis, the better the outcome for patients. Misdiagnosis allows the infection to progress unchecked. Patients with Lyme are often misdiagnosed as experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid issues, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and psychiatric illnesses.

Initial infection results in acute Lyme. Acute Lyme disease symptoms include:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle aches
  • Low-grade fever

If Lyme disease isn’t treated early, spirochetes can spread to different parts of the body and conceal themselves. Weeks, months or years later, patients can develop severe problems.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) regards Lyme disease as treatable with just a short course of antibiotics. IDSA guidelines assert that spirochetal infection cannot stay in your body after a short course of antibiotics. The guidelines IDSA relies upon, however, are out of date.

Following more current guidelines, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) views Lyme disease as the cause of persistent infection in patients. ILADS recommends treating patients through individualized treatment protocols, with therapy based on co-infections, symptom severity, and the response of the patient to treatments. Protocols are as varied as the symptoms that can occur.

Late-stage or chronic Lyme symptoms can include:

  • Chronic infection, fatigue and pain
  • Chronic flu-like symptoms
  • Headache, joint pain
  • Neck stiffness and creaking
  • Arthritis
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Brain fog or loss of cognitive function
  • Speech impairment
  • Heightened sensitivity and agitation to noise and sound
  • Severe depression, inability to concentrate, and other mental health disorders
  • Sleep disorders or trouble sleeping
  • Visual changes or blurry vision, “floaters” in eye, impaired vision
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Numbness
  • Tingling, tremors
  • Chest pain, irregular heart beats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty catching breath
  • Bladder issues
  • Reproductive issues
  • Gastrointestinal dysfunction

Other complications can also occur, from chronic staph and mold infections to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and systemic candida. With so many issues arising from Lyme, getting the correct diagnosis as soon as possible is the key to healing. Remember, because standard Lyme disease tests are so insensitive, just because you received a negative result doesn’t mean you don’t have Lyme. In fact, at least 20 to 30 percent of Lyme patients receive false negative results. So what’s the solution? Improved testing and disease specific questionnaires.

Traditional ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing) and Western Blot testing are both often unreliable. Other tests, such as IGeneX, are considerably more accurate.

Along with testing, finding a Lyme-literate caregiver is vital for your health.

Antibiotics, herbal and alternative medications are all treatment regimens you and your health care provider should consider. There are a variety of treatment approaches — and the most successful options vary with every patient. Multiple antibiotics, including antibiotics infused through an IV, are one approach. Others combine herbs, diet and other modifications to your lifestyle. Controlling inflammation and suppressing tick-borne bacteria is the ultimate key to restoring immune function. Utilizing both types of treatment consistently until all symptoms have resolved is vitally important. If you stop therapy too quickly, Lyme can continue to spread throughout the body.

One thing for you to remember about Lyme disease is that breaking the cycle of immune dysfunction is truly important to create healing. Herbal therapy, vitamin C IVs, ozone therapy and other treatments that restore balance and wellness support this. Because antibiotics can wipe out beneficial intestinal flora, it is also important to look at probiotics and herbal supplements as an option.

Overall, Lyme is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat. The best way to eradicate the disease is to have early and thorough testing, find a Lyme-educated medical provider, and utilize a range of therapies to eliminate Lyme and the co-infections the disease can cause.

Source List:

Summertime Lyme?

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , 300-209   1Z0-803   AWS-SYSOPS  , 100-105  , JN0-360   CAS-002   350-029   70-243   70-462   70-270   350-029   350-050   LX0-104   350-050   000-017   70-270   c2010-657   1Z0-051  , 74-678   70-533   500-260   300-209  , 350-080   MB2-704   VCP550   PR000041  , 210-065   70-347   70-486   70-980   1z0-808   350-018   000-080   70-417   70-413   70-178   350-029   350-030  , 2V0-621D   70-487   70-461  , N10-006  , 300-115   220-801   CISSP   642-732  , MB2-704   N10-006   200-101   300-070