Is Lyme Disease Curable
The tick-borne illness can be treated with antibiotics, and most people make a full recovery within weeks or months. So why is there so much confusion?
In much of the country, spring and summer mean warmer weather and spending more time outdoors. Unfortunately, it also means that the ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria may be out in full force, especially in wooded or grassy areas.
About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported each year to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although experts estimate that 10 times that amount may actually be infected. Thats concerning, because if left untreated, Lyme disease can cause nerve damage, memory loss, dangerous inflammation around the heart, and other permanent health problems.
But the good news is that Lyme disease is also very treatableespecially when its diagnosed soon after symptoms begin. Lyme disease is always curable, Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, tells Health. The medications we have are very effective at getting rid of the infection. Heres what else you need to know.
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Key Points To Keep In Mind
- Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to the infection.
- Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected recently.
- Antibodies will persist in the blood for several months or even years after the infection is gone. Thus, the test cannot be utilized to determine if a patient has been cured.
- Infection with other diseases, including some tick-borne diseases, or some bacterial, viral, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false-positive test results.
- Some tests give results for two types of antibodies, IgM and IgG. A positive IgM should be disregarded if the patient has been sick for more than 30 days.
What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks
Keep the lawn and yard well maintained to prevent ticks from living near the home or workplace.
- Keep the grass mowed. Trim trees and shrubs.
- Remove leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
- Clean up and seal stonewalls and small openings around the home to help discourage rodents.
- Keep stacked firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings.
- Keep any pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
- Move children’s swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodland’s edge and use a woodchip or mulch foundation.
- Consider using hard landscape items such as woodchips, mulch, stones, gravel, tile, or metals.
- Create a border or barrier between the lawn, woods, or stonewalls to discourage deer and rodent activity.
- Widen woodland trails.
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What Is The Staging For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is categorized into three stages:
- Localized: Occurs within several days of the tick bite. Symptoms include redness and irritation at the site of the tick bite, along with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle aches.
- Disseminated: Occurs within weeks of a tick bite. If untreated, the infection spreads to other parts of the body and new symptoms occur.
- Persistent: Late infection, may occur within months to years after the initial tick bite. Arthritis and neurological symptoms are common in this stage.
Phase Three Later Months To Years
Also called late disseminated infection
Many infectious disease specialists believe that chronic Lyme disease does not exist, and that Lyme disease from a tick bite can be cured with a short course of antibiotics. It is possible that those who have undergone antibiotic treatments are suffering from the side effects of antibiotics, but more and more experts are coming around to the idea that Lyme disease can survive and cause long-term autoimmune symptoms when antibiotics dont work. We all know that antibiotics do not always work and can cause more problems.
- Arthritis symptoms swollen, painful joints
- Neurological symptoms numbness, tingling, shooting pains
- Cognitive symptoms brain fog, short-term memory deficits, confusion
- Mood disturbance depression
- Abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure
Facial paralysis sometimes occurs in this stage or stage two.
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What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience what’s called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally don’t prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but it’s not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.
Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.
Banderol And Cats Claw
These two herbs are commonly dosed together because they work synergistically with clinically proven action against Borrelia species, Greenspan says. The goals with any treatment with Lyme disease spirochetes, whether chronic or acute, is to have a combination of herbs to be effective with the shape-shifting behavior of this microbe.
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What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
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
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Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
- Report being bitten by a tick, or
- Live in, or have recently visited, a tick-infested area.
Reasons Why You Cant Get Rid Of Lyme Disease And Parasites
1. Still eating processed foods and sugar
This was easily corrected by eating a clean, nutrient-dense Paleo Diet. I dont eat anything that is in a package. All meals are made from scratch without sugar or additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial flavorings, taste enhancers , emulsifiers, hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few. Eating sugar and other junk is like throwing gas on the pathogenic fire. All of these alter the gut flora in favor of the bad guys. It is VERY important to change the terrain so that the good flora can win. Many with chronic illness have low stomach acid and are not able to digest and absorb valuable nutrients. You can read more about this here.
A junk food diet does not provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids required to heal a broken biochemistry. Remember, we are what we eat!
2. Foods producing an allergic response or linked to intolerance: most common are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, shellfish and nutsI am intolerant to gluten, grains and dairy I avoid soy and corn, and eat shellfish sparingly. It is really important to get tested for food allergies. It takes the guesswork out of what will cause harm.
3. Amalgam dental fillingsThese are extremely toxic and so many of us are having to deal with this today in order to recover our health.
I had mine replaced and would highly recommend this to everyone that has amalgams. You can read more about this here.
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A Natural Cure For Lyme Disease
- Read in app
Every year, at least 30,000 people and possibly 10 times that are infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, most in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain, memory problems and even temporary paralysis. In a small minority of cases, the malaise can persist for many months.
So its worrisome that in recent decades, Lyme cases have surged, nearly quadrupling in Michigan and increasing more than tenfold in Virginia. Its now the single greatest vector-borne disease in the United States, Danielle Buttke, an epidemiologist with the National Park Service in Fort Collins, Colo., told me, and its expanding on a really epic scale.
Whats behind the rise of Lyme? Many wildlife biologists suspect that it is partly driven by an out-of-whack ecosystem.
Lyme disease is transmitted by bites from ticks that carry the Lyme-causing bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks get it from the animals they feed on, primarily mice and chipmunks. And rodents thrive in the fragmented, disturbed landscapes that, thanks to human activity, now characterize large sections of the Northeast.
If humans have inadvertently increased the chances of contracting Lyme disease, the good news is that theres a potential fix: allow large predators, particularly wolves and cougars, to return.
They would help keep down the number of deer, which, although they dont carry the Lyme-causing bacterium, probably encourage its transmission.
When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they have recently received a tick bite. It is not possible to know whether a tick is carrying Lyme disease, and the symptoms may take weeks to appear.
The earlier a person receives a diagnosis and treatment, the higher the likelihood of a quick and complete recovery.
It is not always possible for a person to tell if a tick has bitten them. As such, people should also see a doctor if they experience any Lyme disease symptoms. A doctor will ask about the persons symptoms and duration and whether the person has spent time in tick-infested areas.
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Herbs For Lyme Disease Treatment
Herbs have been used as a medicinal treatment for thousands of years. Many people have turned to herbal remedies to help provide relief from Lyme disease when antibiotics didn’t completely help eliminate symptoms.
One research study found that a combination of doxycycline and baicalein provides additional healing benefits. According to a 2020 laboratory study, seven herbal medicines have been shown to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Scutellaria baicalensis
Garlic has antibacterial effects and may help prevent tick bites. One study determined that people who took garlic supplements reported fewer tick bites than the placebo group. Garlic essential oil has been shown to eliminate the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Garlic can interact with certain medications, so speak with your healthcare provider before using it to prevent or treat Lyme disease.
Steviaa natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plantmay be effective in treating Lyme disease. A study published in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology discovered that stevia extracts are more effective in killing Lyme disease bacterium in the lab than the standard antibiotics.
Conventional Lyme Disease Treatment
Healthcare providers often have difficulty diagnosing Lyme disease because many of its symptoms are similar to those of other infectious or autoimmune illnesses, such as the flu, arthritis or lupus. Several tests are now available for diagnosing Lyme disease. The most popular way of making a diagnoses is using a combination of the Western blot and ELISA tests, which measure specific antibodies in the blood. Some experts, however, feel that this testing has flaws and is not always conclusive.
Another test that may be effective in diagnosing Lyme disease is direct microscopy, which is done by fewer laboratories, including Fry Labs in Arizona. In my opinion, this is the preferred method. Its often performed by holistic health practitioners in combination with other physical exams.
Lyme Disease Prevention Tips:
Prevention and early treatment is very important for managing Lyme disease. Steps you can take to to prevent getting Lyme disease include:
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
- A tick is attached to your body and you are unable to remove the entire tick.
- You have a circular red rash that expands over the course of several days, especially if you know you were recently exposed to ticks. You may also have flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, stiff neck, fever, chills, or body aches.
- You feel very tired or have joint pain , irregular heartbeats, severe headache, or neck pain.
- You are pregnant or nursing and you think you may have been exposed to ticks.
How Do You Get Lyme Disease
Deer ticks are the common carriers and are primarily found in woodland areas. Because the bite is painless, it is typical that you will not know that you have a deer tick bite unless you see it.
Apart from deer ticks, you can get Lyme disease from other animals and insects. Mosquitoes, mice, and birds can transmit the bacteria either by being infected or by carrying ticks that are infected.
- This tick-borne disease can affect all ages.
- Park rangers may be prone due to the nature of their work.
- Hikers in woodland areas are also more prone.
- Cases of Lyme disease typically rise during the late spring or early summer.
- Individuals living in states along the northeastern coast are the most at risk.
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Early Signs And Symptoms :
- Erythema migrans rash A characteristic ring-shaped rash often termed Bulls eye
- Occurs in approximately 70% 80% of infected persons.
- Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days .
- Expands gradually over several days, reaching up to 12 inches or more.
- May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
- May appear on any area of the body.
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.
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Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.
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.
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