Who’s At Risk And Where Are Ticks Found
The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:
- for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
- from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
Sufferers Try Unconventional Treatments
Cashman, living in Cataract, Wisconsin was also diagnosed with Bartonella, or Cat scratch disease, and went through five years of systemic, holistic treatments, which included a host of herbs, antibiotics, a high dose of vitamin C and supplements. She also received ozone therapy and laser therapy for pain relief. She is now nearly symptom-free, but still deals with spine stiffness.
Stevens found two Lyme-literate doctors in Wisconsin who are versed in both Western and alternative medicine. She said she was co-infected with Relapsing Fever, Babesiosis and Bartonella. She said her treatments are highly individualized, and her doctors tweak her therapies from time to time. At one point, Stevens was on more than 40 types of herbs and supplements.
Im living proof that I got better as a result of all those herbal treatments, she said. I was not on antibiotics for four or five months.
Bertolasi turned to a Lyme-literate doctor who also treats one of her friends with similar symptoms. Besides Lyme, she was also diagnosed with Bartonella. She has completed a 14-month course of antibiotics. Now, besides taking herbal supplements, Bertolasi follows a strict diet excluding alcohol, dairy, gluten and sugar to reduce inflammation in her body.
She said she is at least 80% better than about a year ago. Her memory has somewhat returned. Still, brain fog waxes and wanes as does pain in her joints and lower back.
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Symptoms Of Post Treatment Lyme Disease
- Include severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, & cognitive problems
- Can significantly impact patients health and quality of life
- Can be debilitating and prolonged
Our research indicates the chronic symptom burden related to PTLD is significant. Although often invisible to others, the negative impact on quality of life and daily functioning is substantial for PTLD sufferers.
The chronic symptom burden related to Lyme disease is considerable, as shown on the left side of the graph above, and statistically significantly greater than the aches and pains of daily living experienced by the control group, on the right.
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Support Your Joints And Brain
Borrelia can cause extensive damage to collagenous tissues in the body, such as skin, tendons, and ligaments. Vitamin C is a cofactor for enzymes involved in collagen synthesis. Optimize your vitamin C intake by consuming foods such as bell peppers, citrus fruits, berries, and broccoli.
The brain is severely affected in many cases of chronic Lyme disease, referred to as neuroborreliosis. Lyme infection promotes brain inflammation and impairs energy production in neurons, making it difficult to think clearly and maintain a balanced mood.
Vitamin B12 and DHA are two nutrients necessary for healthy brain function. B12 is supplied through meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, while DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that we can consume through seafood, such as wild salmon and sardines.
There are many other nutritional factors that can support healthy brain function in Lyme disease, but vitamin B12 and DHA intakes are two of the most important.
How To Treat Lyme Disease Naturally
Those afflicted by Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite, often exhibit symptoms of the infection days to weeks later, including fever, headache, fatigue, malaise, and join swellings akin to arthritis. In 70% of those infected, a rash may present around the bite location, which sometimes resembles a bullseye.
While many cases of Lyme disease result in a full recovery with the help of antibiotics, others do not, especially if the infection is discovered later on.
When Lyme disease goes untreated, severe symptoms may develop. Some examples include chronic joint pain and swelling, extreme fatigue and memory loss, pain or numbness in the hands or feet, heart palpitations or heart conduction problems, and many others. Consequently, getting tested and receiving treatment is imperative.
A powerful adjunct to Lyme disease treatment is hyperbaric oxygen therapy . Through a variety of mechanisms, HBOT can be used to enhance the treatment of an acute Lyme infection, as well as reduce the ongoing symptoms of those struggling with chronic Lyme.
Recent Research Has Seen Positive Results When Evaluating the Effectiveness of HBOT on Patients with Lyme Disease
Promising findings such as the aforementioned have influenced more and more patients to turn to HBOT for help with their ailments.
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How To Remove Ticks
Tick bites aren’t always painful. You may not notice a tick unless you see it on your skin. Check your skin and your children’s or pets’ skin after being outdoors.
To remove a tick:
The risk of getting ill is low. You don’t need to do anything else unless you become unwell.
Hoping To Recreate The Success Of Others
I pursued every single treatment I read about, hoping to recreate others success in my own life. I even ended up across the world in India for an experimental stem cell transplant, thinking if the elusive cure wasnt in my country, it had to be in someone elses.
I never experienced the full recovery I was after.
It was about a year after my epic treatment in India, when I relapsed, that I finally stopped the searching. I just stopped. I stopped pointing to symptoms and syndromes, and the perceived external causes of those.
I quickly came to an epiphany: What if running all over trying to find the cure is actually steering me away from what I really need? What if each persons cure is a perfectly orchestrated succession of following their own intuition and no one elses path at all?
These questions were not easy to look at, but they were necessary. I began to gently analyze all the ways in my life that I had always been driven by fear that I wasnt good enough and that I wasnt doing enough.
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Antimicrobial Herbs To Suppress Microbes
Many herbs have antimicrobial effects against borrelia, bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma, and more. In fact, recent research from Johns Hopkins University has shown that herbal therapy may be more effective at combating borrelia and babesia than medications. The following is a list of herbs to help form the basis of your Lyme protocol.
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.
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Who You Really Are
Almost a decade later, with Lyme in my distant past, I see everything so clearly. Wellbeing comes down to this simple rule: You must become who you really are. You must follow your own path. There are elusive cures everywhere but your cure will always be unique. No one gives you the magic formula or the key to reveal it.
What we need to remind ourselves is that we are always right where we need to be.
Lyme disease patients now ask me the hardest questions Ive ever had to answer. Now that you know what you know, could you have healed without antibiotics? Without stem cells? What would you say to someone who is just starting?
Recovery From Early And Late Stage Lyme Disease
If you see a round or oval rash with a bulls-eye on your body, that can be a sign of Lyme disease, but not everyone develops or notices the rash. That makes Lyme disease easy to overlook, but treatment is more likely to be simple and effective in the early stages of infection compared to later stages.
Treatment by stage is as follows:
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The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease
Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.
Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
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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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
Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Stage 3 or late disseminated Lyme disease is the final stage of the disease. A person may enter this stage if they did not receive treatment for Lyme disease in the early stages, or if their symptoms persisted despite treatment. As such, doctors sometimes refer to this stage as chronic or post-treatment Lyme disease .
Stage 3 Lyme disease can occur after an infected tick bites a person.
A person with stage 3 Lyme disease may experience additional symptoms, including:
- severe joint pain and swelling, known as chronic Lyme arthritis
- heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, due to Lyme carditis
- inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- mental fogginess
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Support Your Gut Health
Many individuals with Lyme disease have gone through multiple rounds of antibiotics. While antibiotics can offer significant benefits to many Lyme sufferers, they also reduce levels of beneficial microorganisms in the GI tract. This allows less desirable opportunistic and pathogenic organisms, including various yeasts and bacteria, to proliferate.
The resulting imbalance in the gut microbiota can compromise immune function, digestion, and nutrient absorption. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that Borrelia may directly infect the gastrointestinal tract. It is thus crucial to support the health of your gut if you have Lyme disease.
A growing body of research indicates that diet profoundly impacts gut health. There are certain foods you should prioritize to support your gut health, including:
What If Symptoms Persist
Sometimes, you can do all the right things and still wind up perplexed as to whats going on or what to do next. The good news, however, is there are still several options to consider.
First, do you need to add additional herbal support to combat coinfections? Some herbs to think about include:
Second, do you need the assistance of a heroic therapy more potent interventions for when you feel like nothing else is moving the needle? For Lyme disease, the ones youre most apt to be prescribed or recommended are:
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Late Persistent Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease continues without a diagnosis, you can develop serious symptoms months or even years after the tick bite. This is late persistent Lyme disease. One common symptom is arthritis of the knee, which sometimes spreads to other joints. Symptom flares can last as long as six months.
You may have some of the same symptoms as early disseminated Lyme disease, including fatigue, memory problems, and inability to control your facial muscles. You may also have heart palpitations. Rarely, people develop meningitis. You may have a headache and stiff neck, but meningitis from Lyme disease is not fatal.
Recovery from late stage Lyme disease takes 4 to 6 weeks for most people. You will take oral antibiotics for about a month. After a month, if you still have symptoms, especially neurological symptoms like memory loss, your doctor may give you antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
If the infection affects your heart, you may need a temporary pacemaker. Very rarely, heart problems from Lyme disease can be fatal.
The majority of people, about 90%, recover fully from late stage Lyme disease. Arthritis from Lyme disease can sometimes cause permanent joint damage, but this is not common.
My Own Story Of Infection And Recovery
In 2012, I became sick with Lyme disease. It was mostly the strain of bacteria that causes arthritis. In fact, several members of my family were infected after one of our grandchildren returned from India sick with Lyme there she was properly diagnosed but in Canada it was a struggle getting proper treatment. Her Indian test results were dismissed by Toronto infectious disease doctors, and her Canadian test results came back as negative because it excludes testing the Borrelia species found in India. Fortunately, all of the infected people in my family were able to recover from this particular Lyme virus through treatment with Bioresonance therapy.
Then in 2016, I became sick with Lyme disease a second time. After moving to Manitoulin island in 2015, we were exposed to untreated rainwater for some months from our cisterns where rainwater is collected it is our only source of bathing water . I suspect the rainwater must have contained traces of bird droppings . Skin contact is quite sufficient to cause infection . Testing showed that I was infected with more than 40 varieties of Borrelia, of which the Burgdorfer strain is only one. All of these varieties have the ability to invade the brain with Lyme infection.
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Antimicrobial Herbs And Spices
In recent years, the scientific community has begun to study the anti-Borrelia effects of natural compounds. Cinnamon and oregano extracts have been found to inhibit the production of Borrelia biofilm. Garlic oils and hydroxytyrosol, a phenolic phytochemical in olive oil, inhibit the growth of persister Borrelia. Regularly incorporating these functional foods will not only add flavor to your clients diets but may also make them less hospitable hosts!
Wellness Is Within Reach
Treating Lyme disease requires persistence as you slowly chip away at layers of dysfunction and cellular stress factors. While it can be overwhelming, whenever you get stuck, go back to the basics and look for the areas where you might have gotten off track.
Review this recovery roadmap, and do weekly self check-ins. Remain consistent with your protocol and celebrate all of your healing milestones no matter how big or small they are. Soon, youll find yourself turning the corner.
Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme. You can also learn about Dr. Rawls personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After graduating from medical school, Dr. Bill Rawls practiced conventional medicine for 15 years. However, when Lyme disease and fibromyalgia disrupted his career at age 45, he was forced into the world of herbal and alternative medicine. He has since restored his healthand has a passion to help others do the same. Read his story »
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