Lyme Disease Left Unchecked
Since ticks are so tiny, many people don’t even notice when they’ve been bitten. Because symptoms often mimic other health conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, dementia, fibromyalgia, and even brain tumor, Lyme disease is often referred to as “The Great Imitator” and can go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for years.
This leaves many people struggling to manage their unrelenting chronic Lyme with no answers in sight when treatments for these other diseases don’t end up working.
Symptoms of Lyme are global, spanning multiple body systems, especially the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems. Days to months after the tick bite, later signs and symptoms of Lyme can include severe headaches, fatigue, neck stiffness, erythema migrans rashes, arthritis with severe joint pain, facial palsy, abnormal heart beat, shortness of breath, dizziness, inflammation of the central nervous system, nerve pain, brain fog, and memory loss .
What’s more, unchecked Lyme is thought to trigger autoimmune conditions broadly, which would contribute to even more debilitating and wide-ranging symptoms.
How Long After Treatment Should The Horse/dog Be Re
Antibodies decrease slowly but gradually after the pathogen is cleared from the hosts circulation. Re-testing should not be performed too early. For horses/dogs with positive values for antibodies to OspF but negative values for antibodies to OspC , retesting should be done 3 months after the treatment was started. For horses with a positive OspC antibody value retesting can be done 6-8 weeks after the treatment started. At the time of retesting, a decrease of antibody levels can be expected in successfully treated animals. Serum antibodies may not have completely disappeared at this time. However, they should have dropped by about 40% of the original positive value.
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Difficulties Diagnosing Lyme Disease Can Lead To A Misdiagnosis
Since there isnt a single way to test for and confirm fibromyalgia, this diagnosis is normally given out when all other factors have been ruled out. Many doctors will test patients for Lyme disease during this period, but this condition can be very hard to diagnose. If a negative test is received, even months after a tick bite has occurred, doctors might wrongly assume Lyme disease isnt to blame for symptoms like pain, stiffness, fatigue, brain fog.
The most common lab tests, called ELISA and Western Blot, are used to detect any antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria transmitted by ticks that cause Lyme disease. However, these tests are only effective a couple of weeks after being bitten and may come back negative after this period even if the person is still infected. Additionally, not everyone develops the bulls-eye rash that often serves as a telltale sign that a person has been bitten by a black-legged tick.
Since Lyme disease can be so difficult to correctly diagnose, it is possible for a doctor to receive a negative test for Lyme and assume fibromyalgia is to blame for the symptoms. Without addressing the root cause of the issue, patients are unlikely to experience any relief from common treatments used for fibromyalgia until a proper diagnosis and treatment are given.
Easy Dietary Changes That Can Help With Lyme Disease
According to the NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are on the rise in New Hampshire. Nationwide, there are an estimated 300,000 new cases yearly. Thatâs a lot of Lyme disease! If you or someone you know are living with Lyme disease, you may be wondering if dietary changes can support your recovery. Just as the body can benefit from specific nutrition for other illnesses, so too can Lyme disease. In this post, we will look at 3 easy dietary changes that can help with Lyme Disease and support your recovery.
#1 Foundation Foods First
Before you look to add specific foods into your diet, the first step is always to assess your current plan and firm up the foundation. This may mean reducing or cutting out certain foods. In this category, we look for things that are known troublemakers. These are foods or substances that can trigger inflammation, weaken your immune system, upset hormone balance, upset blood sugar balance in general, they add to your total body burden so we want to avoid them:
- Processed/Packaged foods with additives and lots of ingredients
- Saturated fats, trans-fatty acids/hydrogenated fats
- Common allergens: wheat/gluten, eggs, fish, milk/dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, corn, etc
- Anything that is hard to digest or that makes you feel bad when you eat it
#2 Nutrient-Dense, Anti-Inflammatory Foods
#3 Add Fiber-Rich Foods
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Why Are We Hearing More About Lyme
So, why is there so much talk about Lyme disease right now? There are a few different reasons. First, Lyme is more common. CDC data shows us that cases of Lyme disease have significantly increased in the past 10 to 20 years. Researchers believe the major drivers for this increase in Lyme are the impact of climate change on broadening tick habitats and improvements in monitoring, detection and reporting of Lyme cases.
Also, celebrities like Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, and Justin Bieber candidly sharing about their battles with Lyme has brought this disease long overdue attention. But in my opinion, and from functional medicine’s perspective as a whole, we may be hearing more about Lyme for other reasons too.
Help Clients Recover From Lyme Disease With Diet And Nutrition
Optimal nutrition is essential for Lyme disease recovery. Read on to learn how you, as a dietitian or CNS, can help your clients with Lyme disease ease their symptoms and lead a healthier life with a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet.
Lyme disease, contracted from the bite of a black-legged tick carrying Borrelia bacteria, is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. At least 300,000 people are newly diagnosed each year in the U.S., and a shocking 1.5 million have chronic Lyme disease.
As a clinical nutritionist working with clients who have Lyme disease, Ive seen firsthand how a Functional Medicine approach based on simple dietary changes can boost energy, support cognitive function, and alleviate chronic inflammation, reducing the impact of Lyme disease on my clients lives. While nutrition cannot cure Lyme disease, it can ease symptoms and improve your clients overall health, complementing their Lyme treatment protocols and accelerating the healing process.
For people with Lyme disease, making simple dietary changes can help boost energy, improve cognitive function, and reduce chronic inflammation. Find out how clinical nutritionist Lindsay Christensen uses diet and nutrition to support clients with Lyme. #nutrition #functionalmedicine
- Trigger autoimmunity
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How Are Lyme Disease And Fibromyalgia Connected
Many people assume getting a diagnosis for fibromyalgia and being put on a treatment plan is the beginning of the end to their painful symptoms, so it can be frustrating when traditional medications, such as Cymbalta, Savella, or Lyrica dont provide relief. However, the symptoms of Lyme disease and fibromyalgia are very similar. It is also possible for people to be diagnosed with both Lyme disease and fibromyalgia at the same time.
Lyme disease is currently the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. While it was previously estimated by the CDC that less than 300,000 people get Lyme disease each year, this number has more recently risen to 476,000 people being diagnosed and treated for the condition.
A doctor who understands both Lyme disease and fibromyalgia can make a more accurate diagnosis and identify which factors are likely contributing to your symptoms. Even if you have seen other medical professionals in the past, making an appointment with someone who specializes in Lyme disease allows you to backtrack and see if any more obvious signs have been overlooked.
While both conditions can be chronic, a customized, comprehensive treatment plan can help address symptoms of both Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. An integrative approach is often the best for patients with chronic conditions as it considers all aspects of ones health and uses various evidence-based treatments to achieve better overall wellness.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms can start anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite. They may look different depending on the stage of your infection. In some cases, you wonât notice any symptoms until months after the bite.
Early symptoms include:
Without treatment, symptoms can get worse. They might include:
- Severe headache or neck stiffness
- Rashes on other areas of your body
- Arthritis with joint pain and swelling, particularly in your knees
- âDroopingâ on one or both sides of your face
- Inflammation in your brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
What does the rash look like?
Some Lyme rashes look like a bull’s-eye with circles around the middle. But most are round, red, and at least 2 inches across.
The rash slowly gets bigger over several days. It can grow to about 12 inches across. It may feel warm to the touch, but itâs usually not itchy or painful. It can show up on any part of your body.
How small are ticks?
Ticks come in three sizes, depending on their life stage. They can be the size of a grain of sand, a poppy seed, or an apple seed.
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What Are The Long Term Side Effects Of Lyme Disease In Dogs
Depression symptoms or other unusual changes in behavior. Swelling of the lymph nodes close to where the tick bite occurred. Difficulty breathing or raspy, strained breaths. Long-term kidney issues that lead to vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, increased urination, and a host of serious side effects.
Many Lyme Patients Do Well Avoiding Gluten And Dairy
In my clinical experience, most Lyme patients are better off avoiding gluten and dairy, along with the other inflammatory foods mentioned above. Gluten may exacerbate inflammation in people with Lyme disease by increasing intestinal permeability and inciting an inflammatory response. Gluten and dairy proteins share some structural similarities, which may explain why some gluten-sensitive Lyme patients also react to dairy products.
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How Do I Know If I Have Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an illness caused by a tick bite–specifically, the bite of the black legged tick or deer tick. Some of these ticks carry a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The tick transfers the bacteria to a persons bloodstream through the bite. The tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before this can happen.
Over time, untreated Lyme disease can cause serious problems with the heart, joints, nervous system, and memory. Youre most likely to get infected during spring and summer. So before you rush outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun, take some time to review Lyme disease symptoms and when you should see your health care provider.
Lyme Disease: What to Look For
If you become ill within a few weeks of a known tick bite, see your health care provider right away. And even when you arent sure if youve been bitten by a tick–but have the symptoms of Lyme disease and have been in the great outdoors–you should check in with your provider. Immature deer ticks cause most infections they are very tiny and many people are bitten without being aware of it.
Shortly after infection, Lyme disease can cause:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A bulls-eye-shaped rash at the site of the bite, which can appear within a few days or up to a month after the bite
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
Building Knowledge, Enhancing Care
When Should Someone Consider Doing A Detox And What Would The Benefits Be
Judy Rocher says: Detoxification should be an ongoing daily routine, as we are constantly being exposed to a wide variety of toxins. Many degenerative diseases have been linked to build up of toxins in the body, including Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Preventing build up of toxins in the body can prevent premature ageing, ensure clarity of thought and prevent memory loss which is a common symptom as people get older.
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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!
Gastrointestinal Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The spirochete that causes Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi and the associated tickborne infections such as Bartonella and Babesia can directly affect any organ system in the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. About 80% of the immune system is located around the digestive tract, so digestive health influences the immune response. Gastrointestinal symptoms of Lyme disease range from food intolerances to constipation.
Rarely does acute Lyme disease cause gastrointestinal symptoms, but occasionally nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and abdominal pain can occur. More commonly, digestive symptoms such as constipation, gas/bloating, and abdominal discomfort occur in chronic or late-stage Lyme disease. Lyme bacteria can directly infect the gastrointestinal tract causing inflammation that creates digestive symptoms. In turn, digestive issues can cause immune dysregulation increasing susceptibility to chronic infections. Whether digestive problems are a result of Lyme disease or increase the susceptibility to chronic infections, it is essential to address the underlying issues to restore health more quickly and effectively.
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Later Signs Of Lyme Disease
What if Lyme disease isnt detected early on? The longer that disease-causing bacteria linger in the body, the more they disseminate, and as these microbes spread to tissues throughout the body, they can trigger a litany of symptoms. CDC says these may include:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes. These lesions may pop up on other areas of the body
- A type of facial paralysis known as Bells palsy
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Knees and other large joints are vulnerable
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
You might have persistent or episodic symptoms, says Dr. Green. Pain that seems to move through the body? Thats common too. The hallmark of late Lyme is migratory joint pain: today my right knee hurts and tomorrow Im limping on my left ankle, and, oh, my third finger of my right hand swelled up, and, oh, my neck has swelled up, she says.
In rare cases, Lyme disease bacteria can enter the tissues of the heart. This complication, called Lyme carditis, can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain.
Can An Animal Get Infected Despite Being Vaccinated
Yes. This has been observed that some animals can still get infected after Lyme vaccination. This can be due to a low immune response of the respective animal and/or a very high exposure rate or Lyme prevalence in the area where the animal lives. A yearly check of the OspA titer is recommended for a vaccinated animal to ensure that the animal responded with high OspA antibodies to vaccination. Please indicate the name of the vaccine and when it has been last applied on the accession form.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. You get it when the blacklegged tick, also known as a deer tick, bites you and stays attached for 36 to 48 hours. If you remove the tick within 48 hours, you probably wonât get infected.
When you do get infected, the bacteria travel through your bloodstream and affect various tissues in your body. If you donât treat Lyme disease early on, it can turn into an inflammatory condition that affects multiple systems, starting with your skin, joints, and nervous system and moving to organs later on.
The chances you might get Lyme disease from a tick bite depend on the kind of tick, where you were when it bit you, and how long the tick was attached to you. Youâre most likely to get Lyme disease if you live in the Northeastern United States. The upper Midwest is also a hot spot. But the disease now affects people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
How To Manage Inflammation In Lyme Disease
Infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial cause of Lyme disease, and co-infections causes the immune system to launch a profound inflammatory response. While antibiotic treatments, such as doxycycline and cefuroxime, can destroy B. burgdorferi, these drugs do little to mitigate the inflammatory response launched in response to these microbes. Left untreated, Lyme-induced inflammation damages cells, tissues, and organs, inducing widespread bodily dysfunction.
While the CDC offers recommendations for Lyme disease treatment from the antimicrobial perspective, it makes no recommendations as to how affected individuals should manage the inflammatory side effects of the illness. Functional medicine, on the other hand, offers a unique set of tools for managing Lyme-associated inflammation, including nutrition changes, lifestyle changes, and natural anti-inflammatory compounds. These holistic interventions can significantly improve Lyme disease inflammation, creating a strong foundation for healing.
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