Tobacco To Turn Off Ticks
Birds get ticks, too. The house finch has developed a strategy to fight ticks. A study in the Avian Biology journal has shown that breeding house finches use cigarette stubs to “proof” their nests. The nicotine wards off parasites, but sadly the neurotoxin can also have negative effects on the chicks.
Ticks – a plague for humans and animals alike
Patients Turning To Herbal Remedies
Because patients are currently turning to herbal remedies to fill the treatment gaps left by antibiotics, this research is a critical step in helping clinicians, as well as patients, understand which ones may offer the most potential benefit.
According to this study, carried out by Prof. Ying Zhangs group at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the seven herbal medicines that have the ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes are:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Uncaria tomentosa
- Cistus incanus
- Scutellaria baicalensis
It is important to note that each of these products have the potential to produce significant side effects in patients, and should be taken only under advisement of a clinician knowledgeable of their capabilities and toxicities.
Of these products, the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication, while doxycycline and cefuroxime and other active herbs did not. This extract has been used for the treatment of malaria as well as the tick-borne infection Babesia, a malaria-like parasite.
This study is believed to be the first time this extract has been documented to have a potential impact on B. burgdorferi, and additional laboratory and clincial studies should be conducted to investigate the potential role Cryptolepis sanguinolenta could play in the treatment of Lyme disease.
Chronic Lyme Disease Survivors Share How They Beat Their Illness
Chronic Lyme disease can be a tricky disease to beat. Unlike short-term, acute Lyme, which most doctors treat with a few weeks of the antibiotic Doxycycline, there is no standard treatment for chronic Lyme. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people beating it every day. The trick is just to experiment until you find what works for you.
“Don’t be afraid. How you think about this impacts how you approach it, and thus impacts your prognosis,”Kristin Reihman, MD, family medicine doctor and author of Life After Lyme, tells Bustle. “I know âbecause I’ve seen it both in myself and in my patients â that a holistic approach which takes into account not only the infections in your body but what you’re eating, how much you’re sleeping, how much water you’re drinking, what you’re doing about past trauma, whether you are surrounding yourself with loving, supportive people â all those things matter and are within your control. Optimizing your lifestyle really can empower the immune system to start doing its job again.”
To find out what kinds of solutions work for chronic Lyme patients, 13 people who have either put chronic Lyme into remission or drastically reduced their symptoms reveal what they did.
Read Also: What Are The Co Infections Of Lyme Disease
Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and whether youâve been exposed to a tick. They might also run a blood test. In the first few weeks of infection, the test may be negative because antibodies take a few weeks to show up.
Hopefully soon, there will be tests that can diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks after youâre exposed. The earlier you get treated, the less likely itâll get worse.
Don’t Miss: Can Lyme Disease Cause Spinal Stenosis
Chelation Therapy For Lyme Disease
Its done using a type of medication called a chelator or chelating agent. This medication binds to metals in the bloodstream, collecting them into a compound that can be processed by your kidneys and released in urine.
Chelation therapy is an effective treatment for a buildup of heavy metals. But theres no evidence that heavy metals contribute to Lyme disease, and chelation therapy wont treat the underlying infection.
What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:
- Delay in diagnosis
- Increased severity of initial illness
- Presence of neurologic symptoms
Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.
In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.
Don’t Miss: Motel 6 East Lyme Ct
Testing Testing Can You Find Me
Tests for Lyme disease focus on measuring a patients antibodies, rather than the bacteria itself, in a process known as serologic testing. The US Centers for Disease Control require two-tiered testing to establish a Lyme disease diagnosis, and both tiers need to come back positive for a diagnosis to be confirmed.
Due to the complexity of the process, there are significant ambiguities in testing best practice across the medical system. Writing in The Atlantic, Meghan ORourke describes how her doctor sent her bloods to three labs, two of which gave a positive reading on one part of the test but not the other, and the third of which came back negative on both parts. ORourke was informed she probably had Lyme disease, despite not meeting CDC guidelines for a Lyme diagnosis.
Chronic Lyme thus becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any ache or ailment could be a symptom and blood test results can be interpreted as indicative of Lyme disease against official guidelines, or even confirm the presence of the disease when it isnt there.
Bite prevention expert Howard Carter says: Antibodies to Lyme disease take a few weeks to form if you have an early test and youve got a puncture mark or have removed the tick yourself you can get a false re-assurance, so you really need to wait for six weeks before requesting a blood test.
How To Improve Heart Health
Anytime you have something irregular with the heart, you should have someone check it out, advises Dr. Rawls. The threshold for being evaluated for heart symptoms should be pretty low. In other words, if your heart feels off youre experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat, or something else get to a doctor as soon as possible.
While testing can help pinpoint whats going on, it may not always be spot on the first time youre evaluated, and you might need to be persistent in pursuing a diagnosis. From one patient to another, Stewart says, When it comes to something serious like your heart, dont stop searching for answers. Trust your instincts, and dont ignore it.
Once you know what youre dealing with, you and your doctor can establish a plan of care, which may include antibiotics, particularly in the acute stages of Lyme disease. Other drug therapies include beta blockers and antiarrhythmic drugs, which might be necessary to stabilize your heart rate and prevent abnormal rhythms. However, those drugs can come with a long list of side effects, and the length of time you could be required to take them will differ from physician to physician and the severity of your illness.
1. To improve the hearts electrical rhythms and the strength of its contractions, and to enhance blood flow:
- Krill oil or fish oil, potent anti-inflammatories
Don’t Miss: How Do You Diagnose Lyme Disease
How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can avoid Lyme disease by avoiding tick bites, checking for ticks, and removing ticks promptly, before they become lodged in the skin. Some tips:
Avoid tick playgrounds: Ticks like low-level shrubs and grasses, particularly at the edges of wooded areas. If youre hiking, try to stay in the center of the trail and avoid bushwhacking. Walk on cleared paths or pavement through wooded areas and fields when possible.
Dress appropriately: Long pants with legs tucked into socks and closed-toed shoes will help keep ticks away from skin. Light-colored clothing helps make ticks visible.
Insect repellant: Products that contain DEET repel ticks but do not kill them and are not 100 percent effective. Use a brand of insect repellent that is designated as child-safe if your child is 1 year or older. For infants, check with your pediatrician about what brands are safe to use. You can also treat clothing with a product that contains permethrin, which is known to kill ticks on contact.
Shower after outdoor activities are done for the day. It may take four to six hours for ticks to attach firmly to skin. Showering will help remove unattached ticks.
- all parts of the body that bend: behind the knees, between fingers and toes, underarms and groin
- other areas where ticks are commonly found: belly button, in and behind the ears, neck, hairline, and top of the head
- anywhere clothing presses on the skin
What Is Lyme Carditis
Lyme carditis occurs when Lyme disease bacteria enter the tissues of the heart. This can interfere with the normal movement of electrical signals from the hearts upper to lower chambers, a process that coordinates the beating of the heart. The result is something physicians call heart block, which can vary in degree and change rapidly. Lyme carditis occurs in approximately one out of every hundred Lyme disease cases reported to CDC.
Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Lyme Flare Up
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I found a tick embedded in my skin, but I cant get it out. What should I do?
- Ive been bitten by a tick. Do I need to be seen?
- Do I need a blood test to confirm Lyme disease?
- Which antibiotic is best for me?
- How long will I have to take the antibiotic?
- What tick or insect repellent should I use for me or my child?
- How long will the symptoms last?
- What should I do if I still dont feel well a long time after I was bitten?
A Reasonable Approach To Post
If you are being treated for PTLD, there is no magic bullet to treat this problem, but here are some important steps to consider:
- Choose a doctor you trust and who can work closely with you.
- If your doctor agrees to start antibiotics for several months, make sure you talk about the risks and cost, as this can be dangerous and expensive.
- Make sure not to rely solely on antibiotics. The evidence for a benefit from antibiotics is weak, and we rely mostly on physicians clinical experience and interest in the disease to design a personalized therapeutic plan. For some, a more holistic approach may be the way to go.
- If you try supplements, ask about their source and purity, as they are not FDA-regulated.
- Consider looking for services in medical school hospitals or clinics where they may have programs with ongoing research on how to diagnose and treat Lyme.
You May Like: What Is The Best Treatment For Lyme Disease
Tackling Lyme Disease: How Researchers Plan To Disarm Ticks
The treatment options for chronic Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness, are still limited. But now, researchers are pursuing a new approach: Eliminating the cause directly at the source.
Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria can trigger chronic diseases but a remedy may be in sight
Lyme disease may eventually be a thing of the past, says Kim Lewis, professor of biology and director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University in the US city of Boston.
The reason for this optimism is the rediscovery of a chemical that is deadly to the bacterium causing the tick-borne illness but harmless to animals. But more on that in a moment.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, which lurks in small rodents such as rats or mice, as well as in deer. They do not show symptoms of the disease. Ticks serve as vectors, meaning they become infected when they feed on blood from these animals and transfer the bacteria to new hosts such as humans.
What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
Don’t Miss: Laser Treatment For Lyme Disease
How To Remove A Tick
A tick must remain attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to spread Lyme disease. The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to remove a tick as soon as possible.
The blacklegged tick that spreads disease-causing bacteria resembles a tiny spider. Young ticks are around the size of a poppy seed, while adult ticks are around the size of a sesame seed. Ticks of all ages are reddish-brown.
Below are some steps for tick removal.
- Step 1: Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Avoid squeezing the tick.
- Step 2: Using the tweezers, pull the tick carefully and steadily away from the skin. Avoid yanking or twisting the tick, as this could cause its mouthparts to remain in the skin.
- Step 3: After removing the tick, dispose of it by putting it in some alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
- Step 4: Apply antiseptic to the tick bite.
Little Hope Of Improvement
There’s currently no plan for getting rid of the ticks for good, and it wouldn’t be an easy task either. The little parasites are quite robust and can survive a cycle in the washing machine as well as time in the freezer. If you have a tick bite, make sure your encephalitis vaccination is up-to-date.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease How Is It Diagnosed
Treatment For Neurologic Lyme Disease
Facial palsy is treated with oral antibiotics and Lyme meningitis/radiculoneuritis can either be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, depending on severity . Most patients respond well to antibiotics and fully recover.
Varying degrees of permanent nervous system damage may develop in people who do not receive treatment in the early stages and develop late-stage Lyme disease.
The following regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a patients age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions.
Look How Far Ive Come
My initial Lyme test was, in the words of my doctor, lit up like a Christmas tree. Pretty much everything on it was positive: 2 different strains of Lyme, babesia, bartonella, and mycoplasma. I was a mess.
This summer I had a repeat test. Everything came back negative. While this doesnt mean Im definitively negative for Lyme, it certainly indicates weve been able to reduce the load enough that its not showing up on the tests. Ill likely need to continue some level of treatment for quite some time.
There are many Lyme specialist who dont believe its ever possible to be completely cured of Lyme. Its a sneaky bacteria and good at hiding. Many believe, the best you can get is to effectively put yourself in remission and strengthen your immune system. This keeps the Lyme bacterial load low enough that the symptoms are kept at bay.
Another fantastic result of treatment has been a huge decrease in inflammation. My c4a levels were 20,749 when I was first diagnosed. Thats a lot. . At the beginning of this year, after about a year of treatment, they were down at 17,594. This September, I was delighted to see my levels down to 4,090. Im inching closer to being back in the normal levels.
Don’t Miss: Do Antibiotics Get Rid Of Lyme Disease
When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.