Healthy Cells Equal A Healthy Body
The human body is a complex collection of living cells. When all the cells in the body are healthy and working in unison, you feel well. Symptoms occur when cells are stressed. Sometimes the symptom points to the source of stress: for example, joint pain indicates that cells in the joints have been taxed or injured. Symptoms like fatigue, however, suggest that cells throughout the body are overburdened, and communications that unify cellular functions have been compromised.
Fortunately, cells can recover from being stressed its what healing is all about. Cells can repair internal damage, and even when theyre injured beyond repair, other cells in the body can divide to make replacements . That is, if the stress resolves or is relieved.
Chronic illness occurs when stress never resolves, and our cells dont get a chance to recover from being overworked. There are many different chronic illnesses because different cells in the body can become chronically stressed in different ways.
The immune system plays an enormous role in the healing process. Its responsible for removing old and abnormal cells, cleaning up cellular debris and dead microbes, clearing foreign substances from the bloodstream, and purging toxins from the body. During chronic illness, cellular turnover is increased to the point that the immune system becomes overtaxed. When the immune system cant do its job, all cells in the body suffer.
What To Do If You Have A Blacklegged Tick Bite
Remove the tick by pulling it directly out with fine-tipped tweezers. Lift upward with slow and even pressure. Dont twist when removing it. Dont crush it or put soap or other substances on it. Dont apply heat to it.
Place the tick in a resealable container. See if you can identify what kind of a tick it is.
Immediately after removing the tick, wash your skin well with soap and water or with rubbing alcohol.
Not all ticks carry Lyme. The Lyme bacteria is transmitted only by blacklegged ticks in their nymph or adult stage.
Save the tick to show your doctor. The doctor will want to determine if its a blacklegged tick and if theres evidence of feeding. Ticks enlarge as they feed. Your risk of getting Lyme from an infected tick increases with the length of time that the tick fed on your blood.
Pull the tick out with tweezers and save it in a resealable container for identification.
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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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite
Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.
What Is Lyme Disease
Dr. Andres Romero, MD, infectious disease specialist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA shares, “Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness, that means a human host acquires the infection after a bite from a tick. It is limited to certain regions in the country, predominantly the New England and mid-Atlantic areas, but cases have been reported in other regions. In order to transmit the infection the tick needs to be attached to the body for 24 hours or more. As expected, a person is more likely to acquire the infection during the summer months when outdoor activities are more common. Hence, if you live in a high incidence area, it is important to check all areas of the body for ticks after any outdoor activities to ensure none is attached.”
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Getting Diagnosed Isn’t Always Straightforward
Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial infection, is pretty uncommon in London , so I was sure there was some kind of mistake.
The Independent reports that there are around 1,000 diagnosed cases in the UK every year, most commonly in rural areas, compared to the 300,000 annual reported cases in the US. If it’s not diagnosed early, it can lead to neurological problems like Bell’s palsy , as well as memory and heart problems, according to Mayo Clinic.
It turns out the rash on my inner left thigh was actually where I’d been bitten while sitting on the grass in St James’s Park in central London that June, a month before my hospital visit.
A rash with a red ring around the site of a tick bite, known as erythema migrans , which appears three to 30 days after being bitten, is one of the main telltale signs of Lyme disease.
Learn The Stages Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease occurs in three stages: early localized, early disseminated and late disseminated. However the stages can overlap and not all patients go through all three. A bulls-eye rash is usually considered one of the first signs of infection, but many people develop a different kind of rash or none at all. In most cases, Lyme symptoms can start with a flu-like illness. If untreated, the symptoms can continue to worsen and turn into a long-lived debilitating illness.
Stage 1: Early Localized Disease
Symptoms with early localized Lyme disease may begin hours, a few days or even weeks after a tick bite. At this point, the
infection has not yet spread throughout the body. Lyme is the easiest to cure at this stage.
Symptoms may include:
- skin rash, which may or may not look like a bulls eye
- flu-like illness, including chills and fever
- muscle soreness and joint pain
- swollen lymph nodes
- sore throat
Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme
Early disseminated Lyme may occur several weeks or months after the tick bite. Bacteria are beginning to spread throughout the body. In addition to flu-like symptoms, this stage is often characterized by increase in symptoms such as:
- pain, weakness or numbness in the arms, legs
- vision changes
- heart problems, such as palpitations, chest pain
- rash may appear on body
- facial paralysis
Stage 3: Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Find a LLMD
Lyme Symptom Tracker App
Get started with your diary
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What Chronic Immune Dysfunction Looks Like
Typical Chronic Immune Dysfunction symptoms include fatigue, decreased stamina, stress intolerance, feeling flu-like, muscle pain, joint pain, and sleep disturbances. Also common are temperature fluctuations, digestive dysfunction, mood changes, brain fog, skin rashes, a range of neurologic symptoms, and allergic-type reactions.
If you hadnt already guessed, the default diagnosis for this morass of symptoms is fibromyalgia, when pain is the primary symptom. Or, if fatigue predominates, its labeled myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Both are conditions, not diseases, and thus, are considered to have no known cause or treatment by the conventional medical community.
If a patient presenting with CID symptoms has any history of tick exposure, some providers may consider the possibility of Lyme disease. On the surface, this might seem like a much more attractive diagnosis than fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue because it has a recognized cause , which implies a condition is treatable with antibiotics.
Unfortunately, this only applies to acute Lyme infection. Chronic Lyme disease is actually another consequence of CID, in which immune reaction is dysfunctional, and the entire microbiome is disrupted. Concentrations of borrelia are low and embedded deep in tissues where antibiotics cant reach them. As a result, treating chronic Lyme isnt much different from treating fibromyalgia or ME/CFS.
Who Is The Peer Support Program For
If you or a loved one is living with Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne illness, you know first-hand the physical and emotional challenges that are associated with this condition.
The Lyme disease journey can be difficult to navigate especially for those who are living with chronic symptoms. Having someone who is knowledgeable and has experienced the many challenges of living with Lyme disease as a guide to support you through the journey is an invaluable resource. This program is for anyone who has been affected by Lyme disease or other tick-borne illness patient, caregiver, or family member who may need one-on-one support or want to volunteer to be a mentor.
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What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
My Experience With Antibiotic Treatment For Lyme
When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease, my first response was standard: Try antibiotics. But every time I started a new round, I was absolutely miserable by the second week.
Nausea, abdominal discomfort, and feeling generally terrible all over increased until I was forced to stop the drug. Probiotics didnt help, and I had the same response to different types of antibiotics. While some people tolerate antibiotic therapy better than others, it became obvious that I would have to find a different solution.
I later discovered that my experience was not unique many people seem to have the same response to oral antibiotics. I also met numerous people who had undergone 6-9 months of intravenous antibiotic therapy, only to be right back where they started within a couple of months of finishing.
Though there may be some logic in using antibiotics for 2-4 weeks during acute infection, many people develop symptoms despite initial use of antibiotics. And as I came to know the microbe better, I began to understand why antibiotics are not necessarily a good treatment for chronic Lyme disease. Though some people do overcome Lyme disease with antibiotics, those results arent consistent enough to be considered reliable. To date, no clinical studies have shown benefit from long-term antibiotic therapy for chronic Lyme disease.
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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
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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Chronic Lyme: What Happens When Lyme Goes Untreated
The Lyme community typically uses the term chronic Lyme disease to describe a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that crop up after getting Lyme disease and persist for months to years after infection.
The risk of chronic Lyme increases the longer a Lyme infection goes untreated or undertreated. In other words, patients are more likely to recover fully if their Lyme infection is detected and treated as early as possible after the discovery of a tick bite. This stage is usually marked by symptoms such as fevers, chills, muscle aches, and sometimes rashes.
When left untreated or undertreated, however, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body and affect:
- The central nervous system
- Muscles and joints
As Lymedisease.org points out, these symptoms can evolve, disappear, and reappear at different times.
You May Be Misdiagnosed
Doctors told Jackson they suspect shes had Lyme disease for most of her life, but she was only successfully diagnosed two years ago. Jackson says Lyme disease is known as the great imitator, and due to a severe lack of information about the infection, it can go misdiagnosed for years.
The very first doctor I went to was a Lyme Literate doctor and I was officially diagnosed a few weeks later, says Jackson. Usually, people with symptoms of Lyme are bounded around from doctor to doctor, oftentimes for years, undergoing needless procedures and invasive tests.
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Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts
Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.
If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.
If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.
Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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Symptoms I Have Experienced
bladder pain * burning nerves * stabbing sensations * heart rhythm irregularities* chest pain like someone kicked in my sternum * confusion * apathy * anxiety * difficulty making myself think* cant concentrate * troubles speaking * cant think of word * pain * getting lost going somewhere familiar * leg pain * arm pain * head pressure * insomnia * fatigue * cant drink alcohol random hives on legs * vision is messed up * numbness in legs and arms * weakness everywhere * paralyzed feeling * head pressure * neck, back and shoulder pain * pelvic pain * rectal pain * tremor * visible shaking * seizure like activity * TIA * menstrual problems leading to hysterectomy * twitching * need to lay down suddenly * fainting * low blood pressure * vertigo * facial flushing * hallucinations * rage-like anger * paranoia * dark thinking * panic attacks * agoraphobia * trouble swallowing * unexplained bruising * sound sensitivity * heat intolerance * cold intolerance * dizziness *
These are the symptoms I thought of just off the top of my head.