Natural Lyme Disease Treatments Part 1
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infectious disease cause by bacteria, most often transferred from a tick bite. While it used to be less common in places like Arizona, it can now be found in any state.
The most common sign of infection is a bulls-eye rash that begins after a tick bite and may last up to one week. In 25% or more cases, people never develop a rash, but still contract the infection.
The symptoms of Lyme disease can mimic almost any other condition, but some early symptoms may include fever, headache or feeling tired all of the time. Eventually it can spread throughout the body and cause joint pain, severe headaches, joint stiffness, heart palpitations and the inability to move parts of your face.
Medical diagnosis of Lyme disease is in its infancy. Unfortunately it is a diagnosis that is mostly diagnosed via symptoms, with lab tests missing over half of all cases. The process for lab testing usually starts with an ELISA test, if that is positive or almost or borderline , then usually a Western blot test is used. The ELISA is accepted as a poor test and misses many cases as does the Western blot. Testing for Lyme disase can get expensive as the ELISA and Western Blot cost approximately $100 each and the more definitive test called the IgeneX that tests for co-infections runs from $400-$700.
Hopefully your insurance covers some of this, but I wouldnt bet on it.
Treatment Round #: Antibiotics
My initial Lyme treatment looked like a whole lot of antibioticsdoxycycline, plus two others that were supposedly beneficial for combating common Lyme co-infections. And this was fine with me. Given the severity of my symptoms, I was willing to try anything. Plus, at the time, I didn’t really know I had any other options.
Because I’d likely had Lyme for years by the time I began treatment, it took some time for me to notice any results. But soon, there was no question the drugs were working. After three months, I had less pain after six months, I could walk around the block and after nine months, I could go on a 2-mile hike. All told, I was on this combination of antibiotics for about two years , after which I felt completely symptom-freesomething I never, ever expected.
And I felt pretty great for about a year. But then I’d start to feel a bit more achy than usual after walking my ankles and knees would get red, hot, and painful I started to notice that old tingling sensation in my arms and legs and eventually, I was struggling to walk again. My Lyme was re-emerging even after lengthy antibiotic treatmentand apparently, that’s not uncommon. This, I’ve since learned, is partially due to the spirochete shape of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease , which allows some forms of the bacteria to essentially burrow deep into your tissue and lay dormant only to re-emerge later when conditions are more favorable.
Azlocillin Comes Out On Top
The drug, which is not on the market, was tested in mouse models of Lyme disease at seven-day, 14-day and 21-day intervals and found to eliminate the infection. For the first time, azlocillinwas also shown to be effective in killing drug-tolerant forms of B. burgdorferi in lab dishes, indicating that it may work as a therapy for lingering symptoms of Lyme disease.
Pothineni and Rajadas have patented the compound for the treatment of Lyme disease and are working with a company to develop an oral form of the drug. Researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial.
Rajadas is also a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California-San Francisco.
Other Stanford co-authors are Hari-Hara S. K. Potula, PhD, senior research scientist postdoctoral scholars Aditya Ambati, PhD, and Venkata Mallajosyula, PhD senior research scientist Mohammed Inayathullah, PhD and intern Mohamed Sohail Ahmed.
A researcher at Loyola College in India also contributed to the work.
The study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Laurel STEM Fund.
- Tracie White
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Initial Signs And Symptoms When First Infected Are Very Similar To That Of The Flu Leaving Many Cases Undetected
When initially infected, typical signs and symptomsincluding fever, body aches, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and Erythema migrans are very similar to that of the flu and can often be dismissed as such, leading to undetected infection.
If left untreated or improperly treated, Lyme disease can spread to the heart, joints, and nervous system, causing symptoms ranging from stiff neck, swollen joints, and muscle pain to heart palpitations, headaches, psychiatric symptoms , irritable bladder, cognitive decline, insomnia, and night sweats.
Who Is Most At Risk
Your risk of Lyme disease may be higher if you:
- Spend time in heavily wooded areas where there are ticks
- Spend time outdoors in summer and fall
- Are young, children and young adults are more likely to get Lyme disease.
- Live in the coastal northeast, as well as in Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and Oregon, where the majority of cases show up
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When Inflammation Becomes Chronic
Imagine if the acute inflammatory process was going on in tissues throughout your body and it never resolved. Thats exactly what happens with the chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease.
The driving force is bacteria invading cells. Its not an all-out invasion like you would find with an acute infection, such as pneumonia, however. Its an insidious migration of bacteria into tissues throughout the body in the brain, heart, joints, muscles, kidneys, intestines, everywhere.
When Lyme bacteria enter the bloodstream from a tick bite, WBCs gobble up the bacteria in an attempt to get rid of them. The bacteria, however, have sophisticated ways of staying alive inside the WBCs. Instead of eradicating the bacteria, the WBCs unintentionally become transport vehicles to distribute bacteria to tissues throughout the body.
On arrival, the bacteria surface and infect other cells. Its not as much a deluge of invasion as it is a random sprinkling. Tissues throughout the body become peppered with cells that have been infected with bacteria.
The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are intracellular, which means they infect and live inside cells. The cells provide nutrients to make new bacteria as well as protection from the immune system. Once the bacteria have used up the resources a cell has to offer, they surface and infect other cells.
The Best Natural Treatments For Chronic Lyme Disease
Were deep into the heat of the summer and with sweltering temperatures everyone is heading out-of-doors for some sunshine and relief. Being known as a Lyme Disease doctor in NYC, these warm weather months brings us a wealth of Lyme-related questions. Were so often asked the best natural treatment for Lyme especially for people suffering with long-term cases, known as chronic-Lyme.
While antibiotics are can be very helpful for the newly infected, they may be a poor choice for those struggling over many years. Frequently, natural remedies that target pathogens while boosting the systems of the body have a greater impact than antibiotics and come with little or no side effects.
Heres a short-list of some our best alternative treatments and natural remedies for Lyme disease.
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Natural Solutions For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of one of several types of ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash that looks like a red bulls-eye. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Typically, a diagnosis of Lyme Disease means rounds and rounds of strong antibiotics which kill of the good gut bacteria which are a major contributor to a healthy immune system.
However, I have found it is nothing more difficult for the body to eliminate than any other stressor such as heavy metals, and it does not have to be a scary chronic condition. In fact, often the reason people cannot get over their Lyme infection completely is BECAUSE they have heavy metals or other toxicity suppressing their immune system. Once those are removed it is quite easy for the immune system to get rid of the infection.
Lyme seems to have both a bacterial and a parasitic component, and antibiotics only address the bacteria portion. When I work with Lyme clients, we address both components, providing plenty of support for the lymphatic system to clean out all the junk, and clients start feeling better right away.
In clients with a history of Lyme , I find they generally do have a low level of Lyme remaining in their body due to other toxins being present. Within a few months of being on their customized nutrition program the infection is able to go away completely.
How Do I Remove A Tick
You should know how to remove a tick just in case one lands on you or a friend. To be safe, remove the tick as soon as possible.
If you find a tick:
- Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to your skin.
- Pull firmly and steadily on the tick until it lets go of the skin. If part of the tick stays in your skin, don’t worry. It will eventually come out. But call your doctor if you notice any irritation in the area or symptoms of Lyme disease.
- Swab the bite site with alcohol.
Note: Don’t use petroleum jelly or a lit match to kill a tick. They won’t get the tick off your skin quickly enough, and may just cause it to burrow deeper into your skin.
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Move A Little Every Day
Yoga and Pilates are excellent but arent for everyone. The idea is to do something you enjoy. I also love taking walks and breathing in the fresh air and do this whenever I can get outside.
If youre stuck inside try some slow, gentle stretches or resistance training. And if you can do more and your doctor says its okay, then go for it!
Natural Tick Repellants To Protect Your Family
There are many natural tick sprays that do not use DEET but contain essential oil of chrysanthemum or cedar, which is effective in repelling ticks and other insects.
Insect Shield is a company that treats special clothing/gear for outside activities with tick repellant and lasts seventy washes. Regardless of precautions taken, it is important to perform tick checks on yourselves, children, and pets after being outside. Pay special attention to the hair line, arm pits, belly button, back of knees, and groin.
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What Is Lyme Disease
The first known cases of Lyme Disease popped up in Lyme, Connecticut in the 1960s and 70s, but the cause of the strange illness wasnt identified until the 1980s. It was discovered that the cause of the disease was bites by ticks, which carry the bacteria that trigger Lyme. Since then, cases of Lyme Disease have been escalating and spreading throughout the country, causing concern to public health officials and residents alike.
Today, about 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease are reported to the CDC each year, but there are probably a ton more cases that go unreported. This disease is a big concern for everyone, especially those that live in the northeastern and upper midwestern US .
Being Aware Is Crucial To Preventing Lyme Disease
Several factors must be taken into consideration to prevent Lyme disease:
- Knowing where you are most likely to pick up ticks
- How to keep your lawn and pets free of ticks
- Preventing a bite if a tick hitches a ride on you or your children
- Identifying the ticks that put you at most risk
- Removing the tick promptly and properly
- Knowing the symptoms of an infection
- Recognizing the flaws in testing and the rate of misdiagnosis.
That’s a lot of information to digest! Still, being aware of all of these factors is crucial in protecting your family.
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Lyme Disease Natural Treatment Safety
If you decide to explore natural treatments for Lyme disease, talk to your doctor about the risks beforehand. Natural treatments, just like traditional treatments, can still be toxic or dangerous. But in combination with medical treatment, a complementary approach might improve health.
For example, a product called bismacine contains an injectable form of bismuth. This is a type of metal thats a common ingredient in some digestive aids. But bismacine contains a higher dose of bismuth thats injectable. Injecting a high dose of bismuth can cause bismuth poisoning, which can lead to heart and kidney failure.
Other natural treatments may interact with other medications or supplements you take. Your doctor can help you confirm whether any medications you currently take will interact with treatment youre interested in trying.
Other Natural Treatments For Lyme Disease
The treatments discussed above are only some of the natural treatments that claim to treat Lyme disease. According to a 2015 study looking at the alternative treatments found during an Internet search, other natural treatments people use for Lyme disease include:
- saunas and steam rooms
- bee venom
The investigators noted that theres no research backing up these treatments, any many dont have a logical rationale behind them.
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What To Expect At Your Provider’s Office
Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms look like those of other illnesses, and there is no definitive lab test for Lyme disease. About 20% of people with Lyme disease do not get a rash. Tell your doctor if you think you may have been bitten by a tick. Your doctor may order these tests:
- ELISA test, which detects antibodies to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This test may result in false positives.
- Western blot test, which detects antibodies to proteins of the bacteria
- Polymerase chain reaction , which detects bacteria in joint fluid and is used for people who may have Lyme arthritis.
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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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.
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Holistic Lyme Disease Treatments:
The goal of all of our Lyme disease treatments is build a restorative foundation by fixing the bodys immune system and riding it of infectious agents. Typically, the first steps include healing the gut, balancing flora that have been damaged, and rebuilding the immune system to prepare your body to fight against Lyme and co-infections. Since Lyme can be so difficult to kill, weve found that a multifaceted approach is the most successful in combating Lyme disease.
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