Reduce Your Microbial Burden
When youre dealing with Lyme disease and coinfections, its not always easy to pinpoint which stealth pathogen is affecting your nervous system. In fact, its most reasonable to recognize that all sneaky microbes are capable of disrupting immune function and causing it to go awry.
When your bodys microbial burden becomes too great, your microbiome becomes imbalanced, driving inflammation and aggravating neuropathy. Thus, at the top of the priority list is decreasing the infectious load to normalize and calm the immune system.
When youre looking for natural solutions to lessen the impact of stealth pathogens, herbal therapy can play a critical role. Not only do herbs have antimicrobial properties, but they are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants as well.
Moreover, herbs dont disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome like synthetics medications do. Some of my favorite herbs with antimicrobial and immunomodulating properties to keep in mind include:
Why Are Antibiotics The First Line Of Treatment For Lyme Disease
The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can evade the host immune system, disseminate through the blood stream, and persist in the body. Antibiotics go into the bacteria preferentially and either stop the multiplication of the bacteria or disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria and kill the bacteria . By stopping the growth or killing the bacteria the human host immune response is given a leg up to eradicate the residual infection. Without antibiotics, the infection in Lyme disease can evade the host immune system and more readily persist.
Youve Gotten A Positive Blood Test
The fourth and final point to determine if your symptoms are due to Lyme disease is to ask your healthcare provider to run a blood test. Although there are several different laboratory tests to diagnose Lyme disease, these tests each have their pros and cons, and can miss establishing the diagnosis because they are not sensitive enough to always pick up the presence of the bacteria.
A bullseye rash is a classic manifestation of Lyme disease, and does not require a positive blood test, but less than 50% of people may get the rash, and it may be located in a part of the body where the rash cannot easily be seen.
If you suffer from chronic unexplained symptoms, including fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, follow this four-step approach and ask your doctor for a professional opinion.
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Treatment For Chronic Lyme Disease
Sometimes, people go through treatment for Lyme disease but their symptoms donât go away. If this lasts over 6 months, itâs known as chronic Lyme disease or âpost-treatment Lyme disease syndromeâ .
Doctors still arenât sure why some people get PTLDS. Some believe that getting Lyme disease may cause damage to your tissues or immune system. Others believe itâs because the bacteria that causes Lyme hasnât completely gone away.
There is little evidence that taking more antibiotics at this stage will help. They may actually be harmful. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating the symptoms youâre still having. This will be different for everyone. Some people could benefit from a medicine that relieves fatigue, while others may need a drug that can help with headaches or very sensitive skin.
More research is needed to figure out how best to treat PTLDS. Itâs something that can be frustrating. Just remember: Many people who have this condition do start feeling like their old selves after a few months.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease may be difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms mimic those of other disorders. In addition, the only distinctive symptom of Lyme disease, the red rash, does not happen or is not noticed by one-fifth of those who become infected. Many people cant recall having been bitten by a tick, because the tick is tiny, and its bite is usually painless.
If no rash is present, doctors will make the diagnosis on the basis of a detailed medical history, a careful physical examination, and laboratory tests to confirm their suspicion.
No test is perfect and the current testing for Lyme disease is no exception. Very early in the disease, testing will be negative as the body has not had time to develop a response that can be measured. Once the body responds, the positive test may persist for years even if Lyme is treated properly. Current research efforts are working to develop improved testing for Lyme disease.
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May Chang Tree Essential Oil
May chang is a flower tree native to China and Southeast Asia. The essential oil of may chang can also have a significant and lasting effect on Borrelia burgdorferi infection, as well having been used traditionally for the treatment of digestive issues, asthma, back pain, irregular menstruation, muscle aches and pains, and even cancer in some cases. May chang essential oil also has some antiviral and antifungal properties in addition to having an anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive effect that is well-suited to the treatment of autoimmune conditions.
May chang is also known as Chinese pepper or Mountain pepper, and essential oil from the Litsea cubeba plant may be referred to by these names as well. Previously, it was known as Tropical Verbena or Exotic Verbena, since the smell of may chang is similar to verbena.
May chang essential oil can be taken in the following ways to treat Lyme disease:
- Apply topically by diluting 3-6 drops in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Focus on applying the oil to areas where you are experiencing pain or fatigue, or if you arenât experiencing pain, apply it to the back or abdomen.
- Dilute 3-6 drops of may chang essential oil in 1 teaspoon of an edible carrier oil, such as extra virgin coconut oil, and then put a few drops of this mix into a capsule to take internally once a day.
- Diffuse and breathe in the may chang essential oil to relieve emotional or mental discomfort, and to remove pathogens from your environment.
How Is It Treated
An initial episode of Lyme arthritis should be treated with a 4-week course of oral antibiotics. Patients with persistent joint inflammation and pain after the first course of antibiotics may require a second course . In some cases, joint swelling and pain can persist or recur after two courses of antibiotics. The cause of persistent arthritis is unknown but is thought to be driven by immunologic factors. Additional antibiotics have not been shown to improve these symptoms, and patient referral to a rheumatologist should be considered.
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Regression And Other Symptoms In Children
Children are the largest population of Lyme patients.
The CDC study of reported Lyme cases from 19922006 found that the incidence of new cases was highest among 5- to 14-year-olds . About one quarter of reported Lyme cases in the United States involve children under 14 years old .
Children can have all the signs and symptoms of Lyme that adults have, but they may have trouble telling you exactly what they feel or where it hurts.
You may notice a decline in school performance, or your childs mood swings may become problematic.
Your childs social and speech skills or motor coordination may regress. Or your child may lose their appetite.
Children are more likely than adults to have arthritis as an initial symptom 01267-2/fulltext#sec0040 rel=nofollow> 25).
In a 2012 Nova Scotian study of children with Lyme, 65 percent developed Lyme arthritis . The knee was the most commonly affected joint.
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.
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Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
What Does Lyme Arthritis Look Like
When Lyme disease is diagnosed in an acute stage with symptoms occurring soon after a tick bite, oral or intravenous antibiotic therapies may be sufficient for the majority of people to recover from LA. However, if treatment is delayed, due to circumstances like inadequate testing or misdiagnosis, arthritic symptoms caused by Lyme disease may develop weeks to months after initial exposure to infection. Additionally, research suggests that approximately 10% of people treated in the acute stage will continue to experience arthritis as well. But is that estimation really accurate?
In actuality, 10% percent is a ridiculously low number, says Dr. Bill Rawls, Medical Director of RawlsMD and Vital Plan. With poor testing measures for Lyme disease, we have no way to accurately evaluate patients, so that figure isnt correct. Its likely much higher.
Though there are discrepancies in the prevalence of LA, there are some frequent characteristics that can be seen in many patients. They include:
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Facts About Lyme Disease In Pa
Ticks thrive in the countryside of Pennsylvania in particular, and according to a study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , Lyme has a greater likelihood of occurring where suburban developments encroach on existing forest. This is thought to be because the white-footed mouse that is the most important animal in the Lyme disease transmission cycle can live without too many predators under these circumstances.
Notable statistics of Lyme disease in PA include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
For some people, a telltale sign of the disease is the red bulls eye-shaped skin rash that presents in some, but not all sufferers, within three to 30 days after being bitten by a tick.
Often, these first signs are missed when youre infected with Lyme disease and are dismissed as the flu or some other virus. This is very worrying because if antibiotic treatment isnt begun when the first signs of the disease present, your condition can become more serious.
Joint pain is another issue that can occur with Lyme disease. In the worst cases, over several weeks, nervous system and heart issues can develop. If left untreated, you may suffer from arthritis and neurological issues. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, when Lyme disease is untreated, more than half of all sufferers will develop sporadic arthritis bouts.
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.
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How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Joints
Lyme disease is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria transmitted from the bite of an infected blacklegged tick . A bulls-eye shaped rash is an easily recognizable sign of this tick borne disease however, if the rash doesnt appear or goes unnoticed, Lyme disease is often confused with other conditions due to the common nature of its flu-like symptoms.
Lyme disease can typically be treated with a course of antibiotics however, if left untreated, the infection can develop into a chronic disorder affecting the heart, joints, and nervous system. Once the disease reaches this stage, the infection may be managed, but the damage it has caused can be irreversible. .
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Reasons To Choose Herbs
Plants have to deal with a wide range of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, just like any other living creature. Not having an immune system, plants deal with the problem by producing a sophisticated spectrum of biochemical substances called phytochemicals. Instead of one chemical, like an antibiotic, a medicinal herb contains hundreds of phytochemicals that suppress microbes in different ways therefore resistance is almost unheard of, even with very long-term use. Some herbs provide more potent antimicrobial properties than others. While herbs would never be a good choice for treating a life-threatening illness like pneumonia, they are perfect for suppressing stealth microbes associated with chronic illness.
Different herbs offer a slightly different range of benefits, therefore multiple herbs can be used together to cover for all possible stealth microbes involved. In fact, this is the preferred way of doing herbal therapy . This provides for a wide spectrum of activity against a wide range of microbial threats. You can think of it as an orchestra of healing the sum of multiple herbs is more powerful than each herb individually.
Over the millennia, humans naturally selected certain plant substances for use as medicines. These plants, now known as medicinal herbs, have chemistry that meshes well with human biochemistry. Not surprisingly, medicinal herbs are well tolerated by most people and can be safely used for extended periods of time.
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Management Of Joint Pain
There are natural ways to alleviate joint pain naturally and with the help of a Lyme literate doctor.
1. Weight Loss
Arthritis research has found that you are putting extra pressure on your joints, especially the knees if you are overweight. By losing weight, even in small amounts, can relieve that pressure.
Even if you dont need to lose weight, exercising is crucial in managing joint pain. This is because exercise keeps your joints flexible and strengthens the muscles around the joints.
3. Hot and Cold Therapy
Switching between hot and cold treatments directly to the area of pain is another way to manage joint pain. For example, taking a hot shower or applying a heating pad can reduce stiffness, while a cold pack can reduce inflammation.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
The food you eat does matter. High fat, sugary, processed foods make inflammation in the body worse. Changing your diet to anti-inflammatory foods will reduce your physical and psychological symptoms associated with Lyme disease and joint pain.
Fish, ginger, garlic, broccoli, walnuts, berries, and other fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory diet examples. Also, drink a lot of water, which can flush toxins from your body.
5. Herbal Supplements
Understanding Lyme At The Cellular Level
To truly understand Lyme disease and why herbs are the best solution, you have to think at the cellular level. More than anything else, Lyme disease is an assault on cells of the body.
The human body is composed of trillions of living cells. Everything that happens in the body results from the actions of cells. Symptoms occur when cellular functions are compromised. The type of symptom reflects the types of cells being affected.
When the borrelia spirochetes spill into the bloodstream from the tick bite, their one goal is reaching tissues of the body. The immune systems job is keeping them from getting there.
As soon as the bacteria enter the bloodstream, white blood cells of the immune system immediately begin engulfing and destroying the bacteria with potent acid. Sometimes, however, the bacteria are able to turn off that process and stay alive inside the WBC. The compromised WBC unwittingly becomes a Trojan horse that transports the bacteria to tissues throughout the body even across the blood-brain barrier into the brain.
Despite their mechanisms of persistence, casualties on the bacteria side are high and most of the bacteria are eliminated. All it takes for success, however, is a few bacteria reaching tissues of the body joints, brain, heart, everywhere. Once on site at tissues, the remaining spirochetes immediately begin scavenging nutrients, such as collagen from joint tissue and myelin from nerve tissue to create more spirochetes.
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Hunting For Alternative Drug
Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for Lyme disease patients with lingering symptoms, Rajadas and his team began hunting for a better alternative in 2011. In 2016, they published a study in Drug Design, Development and Therapy that listed 20 chemical compounds, from about 4,000, that were most effective at killing the infection in mice. All 20 had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for various uses. One, for instance, is used to treat alcohol abuse disorder.
In this most recent study, azlocillin, one of the top-20 contenders, was shown to eclipse a total of 7,450 compounds because it is more effective in killing B. burgdorferi and causes fewer side effects. Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can affect various organs, including the brain, skin, heart, joints and nervous system, and cause heart problems and arthritis if untreated. Symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle and joint pain.
Traditional antibiotics, such as doxycycline, are effective as an early course of treatment for the infection in the majority of patients, but it remains unclear why these drugs fail to treat 10% to 20% of patients, Rajadas said.