An estimated 300,000 Americas are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year and these numbers are rising according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The disease is spreading worldwide and since its national surveillance in 1982, each year the number is increased by 25.
43 countries across the USA had high incidence of Lyme disease in between 1993 and 1997. By 2012 this number was increased to 182. It is spreading all over the country not just in its normal spots of the northeast United States.
The countries which have high incidence are increasing more than 320 percent and it is present in countries in which this illness was never recorded before all of the researchers write.
According to CDC, the climate change is one of the biggest reasons why this illness is all over us. Eliminating predators have allowed Lyme disease to spread and become more prevalent .
Deer gets all the blame for spreading the tick- borne disease but in this case rodents are the threat. According to Richard Ostfeld, disease ecologist the white-footed mice, as its researches declare are host for the tick and the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
It is important to know that ticks are not born with the spirochetes of Lyme. They pick up the bacteria while they are feeding from infected host. White- footed mice on the other hand infect 75-95% of the ticks that feed on them and the deer infects just 1%.
Sprawls and hunting eliminated many of the mice’s natural predators while allowed the population to grow and the infected ticks to follow. Ticks are epidemic this year in certain areas of the United States, Illinois for example.
17 states according to CDC are identified as high risked. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota are among them.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease refers to illnesses transferred by biting or blood-sucking insects. The bacterium responsible for Lyme infection is Borrelia burgdorferi, a “cousin” to the spirochete bacterium that causes syphilis.
Many still attribute transmission of Lyme disease exclusively to ticks (in the US, the black-legged deer tick, Ixodes scapularis; in Europe, the castor bean tick, I. ricinus.).
But according to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt — one the leading authorities on Lyme disease — the bacteria can also be spread by other biting or blood-sucking insects, including mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, and mites.
Common side effects of tick bites include an itchy “bull’s eye” rash, pain, fever, and inflammation.
However, you don’t have to get the hallmark “bull’s eye” as this rash occurs only in about half of those infected, so absence of such a rash does not exclude the possibility of a tick bite.
Symptoms of Lyme disease typically start out with:
– Recurring fever
– Achy muscles and/or joints
– Unrelenting fatigue
– Headaches / migraines
If left untreated, the disease may progress to muscle spasms, loss of motor coordination, and even intermittent paralysis, meningitis, or heart problems. For a more complete list of symptoms, refer to the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance. Lymedisease.org has also created a printable Symptom Checklist.
The B. burgdorferi spirocheteis shaped like a corkscrew, which allows it to burrow into and hide in a variety of your body’s tissues. It can also live intracellularly (inside your cells), which allows it to evade antibiotics.
For this reason, some doctors recommend giving antibiotics along with Plaquenil in order to change the intracellular pH. The organisms can also take up residence in biofilms, or in an encoated “cyst” form.
All of these different morphologies and clever evasion capabilities explain why Lyme infection can cause such wide-ranging multisystem involvement and why treatment is so difficult.
This also explains why recurrence of symptoms can still occur after standard antibiotic protocols. Complicating matters further, ticks can also infect you with a number of other disease-causing organisms, such as Bartonella, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Babesia.
These organisms can travel with Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme) and each organism causes a different set of symptoms. According to Dr. Klinghardt, many Lyme patients have one or more of these co-infections, which may or may not respond to any given treatment.
The Lyme bacterium has yet another stealthy survival mechanism. While most bacteria need iron to survive, the Lyme bacterium has adapted to survive without iron, using manganese instead.
This allows it to evade your body’s natural immune system defenses that destroy pathogens by cutting off their iron supply.
If you’re looking for a film about Lyme disease I recommend UNDER OUR SKIN. This film has changed the landscape of the Lyme epidemic, bringing unprecedented awareness in an engaging and accessible way. UNDER OUR SKIN exposes a hidden story of medical and scientific malfeasance and neglect.
Why Lab Tests Are Unreliable for Diagnosing Lyme Disease
Often times, Lyme disease ends up misguided by as fibromyalgia by certain conventional doctors. Lyme disease’s presentation is in orthopedic forms and affects the larger joints.
When immune reactions and the microbes are situated in the tissue, the infection is presented as “dispersed, vague pain” and due to it Lyme is difficult to diagnose and the doctors go on the wrong path.
Lyme also imitates many other disorders such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sometimes when nothing unusual is represented in patient’s blood tests “It is all in your head” is the sentence which is said to patients from the psychologist.
White blood cells are the ones which are infected by the spirochete. This is one of the reasons why the blood tests are so unusual. Usually tests determine the normal function of these cells to produce antibodies.
If they are infected they will not respond to infection appropriately. The Borrelia infection is less likely to show itself on a blood test.
If you want the tests to be useful, first, you need to treat yourself from it. When your immune system will begin to respond normally, then the antibodies will show themselves on a blood test. Basically said – you need to be treated from it before the diagnosis can be made.
Standard blood tests cannot detect it so this is why I recommend the specialized lab called IGeneX. Over there they test people for more outer surface bands. They also test for co- infections as Babesia and Erhilichia.
But if the test comes out negative from these co- infections that does not mean that you are not infected, there are many more strains that tests can detect.
Controversy is present over treatment for Chronic Lyme
Most of the doctors today acknowledge that Lyme disease is real but there is still controversy present over whether or not Lyme can persist and become chronic and whether the treatment with antibiotics is effective.
- Many doctors who come from Disease Society of America do not believe in chronic Lyme and will not treat Lyme patient more than four weeks.
- On the other hand, the doctors from International Lyme and Associated Disease do believe in Lyme and its persistence and will treat their patients beyond period of four weeks.
- But, the insurance companies will not pay for the extended use of antibiotics due to their alliance with the Infectious Disease Society of America.
- I do not see the reason personally why physicians would skip the ongoing infection with knowledge that these organisms are capable of evading detection and are known to operate by stealth.
- I am witness of chronic Lyme, it does exist. This comes from my experience with my girlfriend Erin who was diagnosed with Lyme in 2013. For 14 years, she was suffering from range of hard to detect symptoms.
- At the Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is opened new research center attached to rheumatology division. It is created for investigation of chronic Lyme. There is hope for all, no matter for how long you have it.
The leading Lyme researcher, Dr. John Aucott, said that this affiliation with Hopkins gave attention and resources. He and other will continue to further explore, if the infection is hiding or is developing new disorder.
Also he and others will explore is there a genetic component or other bacteria or virus involved.
- I personally do not believe that long-term antibiotic treatment is a wise choice for most chronic Lyme sufferers. I recommend exhausting every natural alternative before resorting to long-term antibiotics as it will seriously impair your gut microbiome. They also leave you open to yeast or fungal co-infections, which are already common in the disease.
Eliminating the beneficial bacteria in your gut with antibiotics will also seriously impair your natural immune function, and may raise your risk of antibiotic-resistant infection, which could be life-threatening. A gentler solution to conventional antibiotics is the Nutramedix line of herbal antimicrobials. This was developed by one of my alternative medicine mentors, Dr. Lee Cowden, and is often termed the “Cowden Protocol.”
It is not thought to cause resistance because this protocol cycles various herbal antimicrobials. The use of antifungals like fluconazole and nystatin may be appropriate and helpful when a secondary yeast infection is present. Ideally, you would focus on boosting your immune function with a healthy diet and antioxidants such as astaxanthin. A compounded drug called low-dose naltrexone (LDN), known to help your body fight harder, may also be beneficial.
Below is a summary of Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt’s basic treatment strategies. For more comprehensive details on his full treatment protocol, please see this previous article: “Dr. Klinghardt’s Treatment of Lyme Disease.” You can also visit Dr. Klinghardt’s website, where he posts his more current treatment protocols and recipes.
In summary, there are five basic steps to his protocol:
1. Evaluation of all external factors. External factors include electrosmog, EMF, microwave radiation from wireless technologies, and molds.
2. Remediation and mitigation of external factors. Once external factors have been assessed, they’re remediated and mitigated. (Please refer to our previous article on mold remediation.) To mitigate microwave radiation, Dr. Klinghardt recommends shielding the outside of your home with a graphite paint called Y Shield. Inside, he uses a special silver-coated cloth for your curtains. Patients are instructed to remove all cordless telephones and turn off all the fuses at night, until they have recovered from Lyme disease.
3. Addressing emotional issues. Emotional components of the disease are addressed using Energy Psychology tools, including psychokinesiology (PK), which is similar to the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but more refined and advanced.
4. Addressing parasitic, bacterial, and viral infections. Dr. Klinghardt addresses the parasites first, followed by the bacteria and the viruses. “The Klinghardt Antimicrobial Cocktail,” which includes wormwood (artemisinin), phospholipids, vitamin C, and various herbs, is an integral part of this treatment. He addresses viral infections with Viressence (by BioPure), which is a tincture of Native American herbs.
5. Addressing other lifestyle factors. Nutritional considerations and supplements are addressed.
Nutritional Supplements That May Be Useful in the Treatment of Lyme Disease
The following table lists a number of nutritional supplements found to be useful in the treatment of Lyme disease by those embracing natural methods.
Probiotics to improve immunity and restore microflora during and after antibiotics
Curcumin is helpful at reducing neurological toxins and brain swelling
Astaxanthin to neutralize toxins, improve vision, and relieve joint pain, common in Lyme
Whey protein concentrate may help with nutrition, often poor in Lyme patients who don’t feel well enough to eat properly
Grapefruit seed extract may treat the cyst form ofBorrelia
Krill oil to reduce inflammation
Cilantro as a natural chelator for heavy metals
Serrapeptase helps to break biofilms
Resveratrol may treat Bartonella, a co-infection and also helps detoxification
GABA and melatonin to help with insomnia
Artemisinin and Andrographis, two herbs that may treat Babesia, a common co-infection
CoQ10 to support cardiac health and reduce muscle pain and brain fog
Quercetin reduces histamine (often high in Lyme)
Transfer factors can help boost immune function
Considering how difficult it is to diagnose and treat Lyme disease, I strongly recommend taking preventive measures to prevent infection in the first place. This includes the following recommendations:
– Avoid tick-infested areas, such as leaf piles around trees. Walk in the middle of trails, and avoid brushing against long grasses path edgings. Don’t sit on logs or wooden stumps.
– Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves, to make it easier to see the ticks.
– Tuck your pants into socks, and wear closed shoes and a hat — especially if venturing out into wooded areas. Also tuck your shirt into your pants.
– Ticks, especially nymphal ticks, are very tiny, so do a thorough tick check upon returning inside, and keep checking for several days following exposure. Also check your bedding for several days following exposure. Ticks must typically remain attached for at least 24 hours for the Lyme disease bacteria to be transmitted into your blood stream, so early removal is important.
– If you have Japanese barberry on your property, you may want to consider getting rid of it. As noted in a recent Forbesarticle:
“This popular shrub has pretty red color and is easy to grow — so much so that it is invasive, choking off native plants in its path. Deer favor native shrubs, leaving the thorny barberry alone.
And the microclimate around the barberry also favors the tick’s reproduction and that of the white footed mouse, an intermediate host in the transmission cycle, resulting in an aptly described ‘tick nursery.’ So rid your property of barberry and go with native plants as much as possible.”
I do not recommend using chemical insect repellants directly on your skin as this will introduce toxins directly into your body. If you use them, spray them on the outside of your clothes, and avoid inhaling the spray fumes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list indicating the hourly protection limits for various repellents. Also beware of using toxic insect repellants on your pets. Misuse of Spot-On flea and tick products can be lethal. For safer alternatives, see Dr. Karen Becker’s recommendations.