What is Lyme Disease?
Generally, Lyme Disease (LD) is an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It can be contracted by a bite from insects such as ticks, fleas and mosquitos. However, It has been shown to be transmitted via blood, an STD and pass from mom to baby (congenital Lyme).
I consider LD to be an UMBRELLA of illnesses because most everyone that has LD has co-infections and other health issues. Getting bit by a tick and not getting treatment immediately can cause a lifetime of severe and chronic disabling symptoms.
Sadly, the misinformation from the CDC about LD and the inaccurate testing has caused millions of people to suffer unnecessarily. Your regular doctors are uneducated. Your doctor may test you for LD but over 50% of the tests come back with false negatives. And don’t believe you doctor when they say it’s a false positive. It’s really rare. I read it’s less that 1%. Read about the testing here. You can do testing on your own at DNA Connexions or Igenix. DNA Connextions is $650 for the lyme panel and it tests the DNA of the bacteria and not immune response. It worked better for me. Igenix is a blood test you can buy and go to a lab and get.
How do I prevent Lyme Disease?
- My Blog Post 5/15/17
- Use protection when outdoors.
- I use deet free products with Lemon-Eucalyptus essential oils. I use sprays from Kesh Naturals and spray from Amrita Auromatherapy and bracelets on amazon from Qhiti
- I also made my own lotion with essential oils and coconut oil and shea butter. I whip it all together and put in dark glass jars.
- Consumer Reports advice on Bug Repellants, May 13, 2015.
- How to Prevent and Treat Tick Bites
- Treating clothing with Permethrin.
- Wear light color pants.
- Tuck pant into your socks.
- Do not rub against bushes.
- Do not sit on branches or tree stumps.
- Do tick checks after being outdoors!
What do I do if I get bit?
- Safely remove the tick. Do not put anything on it. Carry tweezers hiking. Get it out right away.See how here.
- Get the tick tested. There are many organizations that test for free like, Bay Area Lyme Foundation
- Rash is 100% confirmation you have Lyme Disease – It’s recommended to do 6-8 weeks of antibiotics (doxycycline) but see a Lyme Literate MD to get proper treatment and advice. Or go to ILADS.org to read their recommendations.
- Summer Flu after being outdoors is the first sign of LD.
- Do not take the wait and see approach. The rash may disappear but that does not mean the infection is gone. Get to a Lyme literate doctor. A short course of antibiotics has not shown to rid the infections.
What are some options to determine whether or not I have Lyme Disease?
- You can start with your Primary Care Physician but they are uneducated and a negative test does not mean you do not have it. Not matter how many times they run it.
- Lyme is a clinical diagnosis.
- Go with your gut! Don’t just accept any diagnoses. Ask what is causing my symptoms. So if they say “we don’t know what causes your symptoms” or there are no known causes for XXX. Leave the office and get to a Lyme Literate MD or do your own test. And, if you are told you have any of these move on: Chronic Migraine, Fibromyalgia, ALS, MS, Alzheimers, Depression, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many more….. These labels are given based on symptoms they are not the cause.
- The only doctor that can rule out LD is a Lyme Literate doctor.
Determine the root cause of your symptoms!!
- Check your symptoms on the Lyme Research Alliance Symptom List.
- Find a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor [LLMD] on the Doctor Referral System on the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. website or ilads.org
- Find a Naturopathic Doctor.
- Find an Integrative Medicine Doctor.
- Complete The Lyme-MSIDS Questionnaire by Dr. Horowitz.
- Check your symptoms at lymedisease.org
- Talk to other Lyme Disease patients via online blogs and forums.
- Again, GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING! I didn’t accept the labels I was given. I felt something was deeply wrong based on knowing my body. I did have NUMEROUS tests before going to a LLMD.
I was undiagnosed for 20 years!!
Why would my test be negative if I actually have Lyme Disease? Here are a few reasons:
- Your body has not had time to produce antibodies
- You body might be producing antibodies for another infection (co-infection) and no one tested for that.
- You were on antibiotics before testing
- You were on steroids or other medications that suppress the immune response
- Lyme Spirochetes are hiding in a biofilm
- Spirochetes are burrowed inside your body and not feeling flowing in your blood
- The Western Bot shows Lyme antibody bands but doesn’t meet the CDC criteria so you are told its negative and you do not have Lyme
- There are over 300 strains of Lyme in the world and over 100 in the USA. You might have a strain that was not tested.
Lyme is a clinical diagnosis and testing can not be relied upon