Chances are you may know someone with Lyme disease and you’ve heard of all the potential debilitating consequences of it or you are experiencing it first hand. There are various factors that contribute to the severity of symptoms and a lot of controversies in both diagnosis and treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread through the bite of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. The white blood cells are one of the primary cells that get infected with Lyme spirochetes. The spirochete releases bacterial lipoproteins, which are neurotoxic with the potential to cause memory problems, burning neurological pain and numbness. Although not proven, some experts in the field believe Lyme can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her child as well as through intercourse. It is important to note that not all ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi. If you get bit by a tick, the best measure to take it to safely and slowly remove it with a tick twister, making sure the head stays intact. It is important to save the tick so it can be tested for Lyme and co-infections. Co-infections include Babesia, Ehrlichiosis and Bartonella. These co-infections further complicate the symptom presentation.
The standard of care for treatment of Lyme disease is two weeks of Doxycycline antibiotic treatment immediately after being bitten. The longer you wait the greater the chances of Lyme disease spreading. Symptoms associated with Lyme disease vary from person to person. Some people will present with the typical bull’s eye rash while others will feel flu like symptoms with weakness and a mild fever, muscle and joint pain, headaches, or extreme fatigue. Symptoms follow after an incubation period that may last between two days to three months and in some cases the bacteria goes latent and does not affect the person until years later. More long-term complications may include varying degrees of neurological symptoms, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s. Joint pain, gut issues and a weakened immune system may be the result of co-infections.
Why do some people express severe symptoms of Lyme disease while others do not? The severity of symptoms is related to the degree of toxicity in the body, which up-regulates the bacteria into higher pathogenicity. Toxicity exposure may come from the diet, external environment, and emotions. Unprocessed emotional issues will make the body very acidic, which becomes the perfect breeding ground for dis-ease. A proper detox is needed to free the body of a high toxic burden. Avoid putting more toxins in the body through diet and personal care products. This will also help to reduce the overall inflammation occurring in the body.
There are several contributing factors other than co-infections that affect Lyme disease such as parasites, mold, heavy metals, electromagnetic smog and secondary infections such as Mycoplasma, Candida, Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Mold is a big obstacle to cure in Lyme disease. According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, “Mold in the home gets by a factor of hundreds of times more virulent if it is exposed to microwave from incoming cellphone radiation or wireless internet.” Many microbes naturally inhabiting us may become more aggressive and illness producing when exposed to electromagnetic fields.
By definition, the herxheimer reaction is a release of endotoxins. An endotoxin is a toxin that is present inside a bacterial cell and is released when the cell disintegrates. This "die-off" reaction occurs with the attack on bacteria, including borrelia, yeast and syphilis. The die-off is caused by antibiotics and antimicrobials. Herxheimer was originally discovered by two doctors- Adolph Jarisch and Karl Herxheimer.
The herxheimer reaction releases toxins that results in an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8). A reaction which occurs when large quantities of toxins are released into the body as bacteria die (through the use of antibiotic or natural antimicrobials). Also known as a "herx" or "die-off" reaction, these toxins may overwhelm the body. Typically, the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins occurs faster than the body can remove the toxins via the natural detoxification process performed by the kidneys and liver. The intensity of the reaction reflects the intensity of inflammation present.
To reduce the herxheimer reaction open the detox pathways. Increase glutathione, the liver's primary detoxification agent and improve gut flora via probiotic supplementation. Reduce the body's overall inflammation and quench oxidative reactions created by toxins.
Although many treatments are geared towards treating the Borrelia, it is not the Borrelia that needs to be treated, but rather the toxicity in the body. Eat organic as much as possible, drink three liters of natural spring water a day to flush toxins out, and only put organic natural products on your skin. A long course of intravenous (IV) antibiotics may not always be the answer. Some experts believe that long-term antibiotics impair the immune function and help to drive the spirochetes deeper and should only be used in rare circumstances. Instead, nutritional IV’s may be a better option as they are used to boost and support the immune system. Treatment should also include dissolving the biofilms because the spirochetes burrow deep into the biofilm layers. Biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms where cells adhere to each other and to a surface. Chelation is used to address heavy metals and mercury fillings in the mouth must be removed.
There is no quick fix for Lyme disease treatment. The longer the person has Lyme the longer the treatment to restore the body. Prevention and awareness is the best option. Wear trousers tucked into your boots and long sleeve clothing when hiking outdoors. Use non-toxic insect repellants and always check yourself for any signs of ticks after spending a long day outdoors.
The Tick Twister removes the tick quickly and painlessly and reduces the risk of infection due to the unique way in which it removes the tick itself. The less you squeeze the tick the better. If you suspect you have Lyme disease, visit a qualified doctor who is able to diagnose and treat you properly.
If you can't make it to the clinic, get your Tic-Kit.
Check out this recent article by Mind Body Green, The 4 New Things You Have To Know About Lyme Disease.