Lyme Disease Awareness

By on July 6, 2016
Screen Shot 2016 07 06 at 2.38.22 PM 300x336 - Lyme Disease Awareness

Lyme disease is a very old infectious disease, dating back thousands of years. Unfortunately, until as of late, it has not received much attention and many people are unaware of its detriments. It is an infection caused by the Borrelia burgdoferi bacteria, and is usually found in forest birds and animals. It is transmitted to humans by ticks, which usually feed on the infected animals first, then pass it on through bites. It is present in most of Canada, although in more rural areas such as campgrounds and forests, it can also affect those in urban environments.

Prevention is critical when it comes to this infection. The primary mode in this case is to minimize the risk of tick bites by dressing appropriately in wooded areas, assessing the body for any bites after being in a tick-prevalent area, and seeking prompt medical treatment should a rash or flu-like symptoms develop.

Common symptoms associated with Lyme disease can be but are not limited to, a bulls-eye rash surrounding the bite, followed by flu-like symptoms such as fever, extreme fatigue, headaches, jaw pain, joint pain and muscle stiffness. If left untreated, Lyme disease coupled with many co-infections can progress to devastating neurological symptoms including memory loss, inability to concentrate, mild seizures, facial paralysis and extreme body pain,.

There are four common tests which are done to diagnose Lyme disease. The ELISA test, the Western Blot test, the PCR test and the Antigen test. These tests can yield false-negatives since Lyme bacteria are very sparse and may not be in the test sample. It is important to look at the patient’s entire medical history and symptom picture to make an informed and accurate diagnosis.

In the early stages and if caught soon enough, antibiotics may help to decrease the severity of the infection in conjunction with meeting the unique needs of the body, at a cellular level.  This type of support stems from natural means such as hydration, good fats, low glycemic index foods, nutritional support attained through diet as well as nutraceuticals such as digestive aids, multivitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, anti-virals, and of course anti-microbials. Since this is a microbe-borne disease, it is imperative to treat it with powerful agents that can control the progression of the disease.  A few such anti-microbes to consider are berberine, black walnut and stabilized allicin. 

In a recent study called There is Hope for Chronic Lyme Disease, researchers concluded that 100% stabilized allicin has proven to be effective against many drug-resistant bacterias including staphylococcus, streptococcus, MRSA, candida, E.coli, salmonella and H.pylori. It is with this concrete knowledge that stabilized allicin should be considered as part of the treatment plan during any stage of the infection, alongside other anti-bacterials, anti-virals, and anti-mircrobials. It is imperative to carry out any treatment plan under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.


Health Canada and CDC both recommend tweezers as the best way safely remove a tick. 

HOW TO SAFELY REMOVE A TICK
Both Health Canada and the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the best method of tick removal is with fine-tipped tweezers. If you are not comfortable with 
removing a tick, visit your health care provider.

Using clean tweezers, carefully grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly upward, trying not to twist or crush the tick. If parts of the tick's mouth break off and remain in your skin, remove them too. Once the tick is removed, wash the area where you were bitten with soap and water and disinfect the area. Wash your hands with soap and water. Visit your health care provider if you cannot remove: parts of the tick's mouth in your skin, the tick itself because it has buried itself deep into your skin.

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You can also submit ticks for testing in a sealable plastic bag or pill bottle. Refrigerate. Submitting a tick for identification and testing will not lead to a diagnosis or treatment but leads to an understanding of how black legged ticks have spread in Canada and exposure risk.


References:
1) Allimax International L.T.D.Peter Josling,  PD (dir. Garlic Institute) Sussex, England, Norman Bennett NJ. Rye, England September 2006-December 2006

Nahida Jamal, BHSc, ND is part of the team of doctors at Trinity Health Clinic. Located in North York / Toronto.


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About Charleen Wyman

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