Setting The Stage For Chronic Inflammation
Though the immune system plays a key role in protecting cells of the body from microbe invasion, the health of cells is also a major player. When cells become chronically stressed, they are more susceptible to being invaded by intracellular bacteria and other microbes. There are five primary categories of factors that weaken cells and set the stage for the chronic inflammation associated with Lyme disease.
#1. Poor diet
When cells arent fed properly, they cant function properly. Processed foods sourced from grains, beans, and grain-fed meat are overloaded with raw carbohydrates and refined fats that disrupt cellular functions. On the other hand, theyre deficient in the nutrients that cells need to function properly. Poorly nourished cells cant properly defend themselves against microbes.
#2. A toxic environment
In the modern world, chronic exposure to low levels of toxic substances and free radicals in food, water, and air is hard to avoid. The list includes man-made toxins associated with petroleum products, free-radicals in processed food, and natural toxins such as mold. In addition, the acid and free radicals associated with inflammation are highly toxic to cells. Toxic substances disrupt cellular processes, damage internal working parts of the cells, and weaken cell membranes. Weakened cells are more vulnerable to microbe invasion.
#3. Chronic stress
#4. Physical stress
Emotional & Spiritual Healing
One of the first doctors I worked with once diagnosed with lyme told me that if I did not address the emotional / spiritual side of being chronically ill, that I would never get better. I wasnt really sure what this meant but started exploring how I could incorporate healing in this area. I dove deep, within and with various modalities and some of this may seem out there, but it worked for me. This part of your journey Is very individual so you need to dig deep and find what works for you as well.
What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Getting Lyme Disease
One of the most crucial is inspecting yourself and your children for ticks. If you do find a tick, dont just pinch it with your fingers and yank. Instead, carefully slide a pair of pointy tweezers between the skin of the person and the tick’s mouth. Pull the tick straight up and away from the bite site. Contact your health care provider for further guidance about new steps.
To avoid getting ticks on you to begin with, you can buy clothing thats been treated with permethrin , a substance that repels ticks. Also, the same bug repellant you use to repel mosquitoes can be helpful in preventing ticks to begin with. Leland recommends throwing your clothes in the dryer for ten minutes, and taking a shower once youre done with your hike or camping trip.
Though Lyme disease can feel scary, a little preparation before spending time outdoors, and some vigilance afterwards, can help greatly mitigated your risk.
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I Started My Journey To Recovery
When I first went to Be in Health, I had been sick for five years with the ‘mystery disease’. I was housebound for one year and had been diagnosed with Lyme for about four months.
It took the solid Biblical teaching at the For My Life Retreat to help me recognize that I was brokenhearted, which left all of my relationships undergirded with fear and trust issues. I thought that I had already overcome a childhood of neglect and abuse. I felt that because I had two engineering degrees, two beautiful kids, a husband of eighteen years, and a home, I was doing well. I was high functioning for years, and then I thought that I just randomly got sick. I had all of these issues under the surface, and I had no idea what to do with them or how deep they went. According to what the world would say these issues were normal. But God wanted to heal these issues rather than allow them to affect my spirit, my connection with Him and others, and my health.
I didn’t have to understand everything at the time. I just prayed about and dealt with the issues that I recognized as they came up. I had to want to obey scripture and work on my relationship with God. God led me to read the profiles of disease and then set them aside and not focus on them so that He could do the work in my heart that was necessary to deliver me from them.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
You should never treat Lyme disease with complementary therapies alone. Only proper antibiotic treatment can cure the disease and avoid complications.
Newsletters and Internet sites have cropped up in recent years advertising untested treatments to people with symptoms of post-Lyme disease syndrome or so-called “chronic Lyme disease” who are frustrated with standard medical treatment. Some remedies may be dangerous and ineffective. Always tell all of your doctors about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using.
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How You Get Lyme Disease
If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.
Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
Ticks don’t jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.
Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.
Has Niaid Looked At The Potential Benefits Of Long
Yes. NIAID has funded three placebo-controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of prolonged antibiotic therapy for treating PTLDS. The published results were subjected to rigorous statistical, editorial, and scientific peer review.
These trials were designed to ensure that several key parameters were addressed:
- The susceptibility of B.burgdorferi to the antibiotics used
- The ability of the antibiotics to both cross the blood-brain barrier and access the central nervous system and to persist at effective levels throughout the course of therapy
- The ability of the antibiotics to kill bacteria living both outside and inside mammalian cells
- The safety and welfare of patients enrolled in the trials
The first clinical trial, which included two multicenter studies, provided no evidence that extended antibiotic treatment is beneficial. In those studies, physicians examined long-term antibiotic therapy in patients with a well-documented history of previous Lyme disease but who reported persistent pain, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. Those symptoms are common among people reporting PTLDS. Patients were treated with 30 days of an intravenous antibiotic followed by 60 days of an oral antibiotic.
In 2016, a clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands also concluded that in patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease, longer term treatment with antibiotics did not provide additional benefits compared with shorter term regimens.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular rash around the tick bite. The rash:
- usually develops around 3 to 30 days after you’ve been bitten
- is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board
- will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised
- may get bigger over several days or weeks
- is typically around 15 cm across, but it can be much larger or smaller
Some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body.
Around 1 in 3 people with Lyme disease won’t develop a rash.
Some people with Lyme disease also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:
Remember to tell them you’ve been bitten by a tick.
Understanding The Acute Inflammatory Response
Suppose youre walking barefoot in the yard one summer day and accidentally step on a sharp piece of glass hidden in the grass. Pain alerts you to the injury and you stop to assess the situation. If the wound isnt deep, youre up to date on your tetanus vaccination, and a rinse in the sink reveals no foreign objects in the wound, you place a bandage over the area, and youre back on your way.
Swelling occurs because blood vessels dilate to allow an influx of WBCs and flush the area with fluid. Macrophages and arriving WBCs engulf debris, foreign matter, and microbes that have entered through the open wound, and destroy the material with potent free radicals and hypochlorous acid. Its a noxious process that causes collateral damage to normal cells, but its part of the healing process.
Once the injury is contained and the mess is cleaned up, WBCs migrate out of the area. Surviving cells repair damage from the injury and the inflammatory process itself. Gradually evidence of the injury disappears like nothing had ever happened.
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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.
What To Expect At Home
Home care for dogs with Lyme disease is relatively straightforward. Doxycycline is usually given by mouth twice daily for at least 30 days. Improvement in the dogs symptoms should be noted within 24-48 hours. If the dogs condition fails to improve in 72 hours or worsens at any time, call your veterinarian.
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Solvents Chemicals & Pesticides
I also tested high for solvents and attribute this to living near the freeway in San Francisco and on Wilshire Blvd for years in Los Angeles. We used to get black soot on our patio and we were breathing that in our home to. Always be very conscious of where you are living and dont live too close to freeways or busy roads. Also make sure to have a chemical free home and buy organic to avoid pesticides. Moving away from the freeway and living by the beach as well as all the detox I was doing fortunately cleared the solvents from my body.
It is very important to use non toxic cleaning products and beauty and skin care products as well as we want to limit our chemical exposure while trying to detox and heal.
How Does Lyme Disease Work
The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease when it get into your bloodstream. You may experience a variety of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection.
Early on, typical symptoms of Lyme disease include fever,chills, headache, joint aches and most distinctively a spreading rash thatresembles a bulls-eye.
But if itisnt identified and treated within 36 to 48 hours, the infection can spread toother parts of your body, including the heart and nervous system.
The later,more serious stages of Lyme disease can lead to neurological damage andarthritis.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Acute And Late Stage Lyme
One reason chronic Lyme disease is harder to detect and treat than Lyme at earlier stages is that chronic Lyme disease symptoms are more wide-ranging and varied. Chronic Lyme disease can cause symptoms of early Lyme disease such as fatigue and muscle aches to recur, but it can also cause new symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
What Are The Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Treatments
Antibiotics, like all medications, have the potential for side effects. Any antibiotic can cause skin rashes, and if an itchy red rash develops while on antibiotics, a patient should see their physician. Sometimes symptoms worsen for the first few days on an antibiotic. This is called a Herxheimer reaction and occurs when the antibiotics start to kill the bacteria. In the first 24 to 48 hours, dead bacterial products stimulate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can cause increased fever and achiness. This should be transient and last no more than a day or two after the initiation of antibiotics.
The most common side effect of the penicillin antibiotics is diarrhea, and occasionally even serious cases caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. This bacterial overgrowth condition occurs because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. It can be helpful to use probiotics to restore the good bacteria and microbiome balance.
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My Long Road To A Lyme Diagnosis
I could write a freakin’ book about my pre-diagnosis Lyme experience. Not to sound dramatic, but it was basically a nightmare playing out in slow motion. For your own sanity, I’ll give you the condensed version.
Personally, I don’t remember a tick bite, and like many Lyme sufferers, I never got the bull’s-eye rash or flu-like symptoms so often touted as “classic” signs of Lyme disease. Instead, my whole ordeal began with a sharp, stinging sensation in my left ankle after a day of walking in New York City, where I’d just begun my first “big girl” job. It hurt, but I didn’t think much of it, and about a week later I was told I had tendinitis that would resolve relatively quickly. But then my other ankle started to hurt, and after a few months, the pain extended to the bottoms of my feet, my knees, and even my arms. Sometimes it would feel like electric currents were running through my toes when I stood up. After a while, I began to question my tendinitis diagnosis, but after about five “second opinions” and countless tests , doctors had no real explanation for what was going on. In the words of one of my least favorite doctors, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.”
What Is Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Post Treatment Lyme Disease represents a research subset of patients who remain significantly ill 6 months or more following standard antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease. PTLD is characterized by a constellation of symptoms that includes severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive problems such as difficulty with short-term memory, speed of thinking, or multi-tasking. In the absence of a direct diagnostic biomarker blood test, PTLD has been difficult to define by physicians, and its existence has been controversial. However, our clinical research shows that meticulous patient evaluation when used alongside appropriate diagnostic testing can reliably identify patients with a history of previously treated Lyme disease who display the typical symptom patterns of PTLD.
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How Herbal Supplements Can Help
The best way to gain the level of phytochemical protection you need to help your immune system win the internal battle against invasive microbes is to take herbal supplements specifically, standardized botanical extracts.
Standardized botanical extracts take herbal supplements to the next level. Theyre made with wild plants or plants that have been cultivated to enhance their phytochemical content and are grown in an environment that doesnt introduce unwanted chemical toxins. The extraction process also yields the greatest concentration and the widest spectrum of phytochemicals in the plant. And the final product is standardized to a concentration of one or several key phytochemicals in the plant, so you know what youre getting.
Below are a few of my favorite herbs for mitigating the systemic chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease. Though all of the herbs have value in suppressing microbes and reducing inflammation, three of the herbs mentioned below Japanese knotweed, cats claw, and Chinese skullcap were found in a 2020 study from Johns Hopkins University to have greater activity against Borrelia burgdorferi than the antibiotics, doxycycline and azithromycin.
Two Standards Of Care For Lyme Disease Treatment
There is significant controversy in science, medicine, and public policy regarding Lyme disease. Two medical societies hold widely divergent views on the best approach to diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. The conflict makes it difficult for patients to be properly diagnosed and receive treatment.
One medical society, the Infectious Diseases Society of America , regards Lyme disease as hard to catch and easy to cure with a short course of antibiotics. IDSA claims that spirochetal infection cannot persist in the body after a short course of antibiotics. The group also denies the existence of chronic Lyme disease.
In contrast, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , regards Lyme disease as often difficult to diagnose and treat, resulting in persistent infection in many patients. ILADS recommends individualized treatment based on the severity of symptoms, the presence of tick-borne coinfections and patient response to treatment.
LDo believes that patients and their doctors should make Lyme disease treatment decisions together. This requires that patients be given sufficient information about the risks and benefits of different treatment options. Then, patient and health care provider can collaborate to reach an informed decision, based on the patients circumstances, beliefs and preferences.
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Does Lyme Disease Go Away On Its Own
It’s certainly possible for people to get Lyme disease and to clear the infection on their own, without treatment, said Dr. Kuritzkes. “But it’s better to be treated, because some of the complicationslike arthritis and myocarditis and damage to the central nervous systemcan be very serious.”
The type of bacteria that causes Lyme disease is in the same general family as the type that causes syphilis, said Dr. Kuritzkes. “That doesn’t mean anything similar in terms of transmission, but syphilis has several different phases, with primary and secondary and tertiary symptoms,” said Dr. Kuritzkes. “The infection can hide out in the body for a long time and can cause problems down the road if it’s not treated.”