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Be Aware of Ticks
Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases can be preventable. Be aware of places ticks like best, especially in spring and early summer like leafy, wooded areas and overgrown grassy habitats. If you have been outside playing, enjoying nature, or working, remove any visible ticks off your clothes. Once at home, drying outdoor clothes in the dryer, then washing is also recommended.
Lyme disease is a very old infectious disease, dating back thousands of years. 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, typically in more rural areas such as camp grounds and forests, but it can also affect those in urban environments.
Prevention is critical when it comes to this infection. 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 rash or flu-like symptoms develop. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts in wooded areas. Tuck pant legs into socks. Wearing light coloured clothing makes it easier to see ticks. Walk on pathways and trails. Use repellents or natural deterrents on your clothing and, or the skin on the ankles, wrists and neck. 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. Although rashes are common, it’s estimated that only 30% of lyme patients report experiencing a rash, and only 9% develop the classic “bull’s eye” rash.
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, severely damaging one’s health. 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, multi vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, antivirals, and of course antimicrobials. Since this is a microbe-borne disease, it is imperative to treat it with powerful agents that can degrade the biofilm which surround the bacteria, and help control the progression of the disease. A few such antimicrobes to consider are berberine, black walnut and stabilized allicin from garlic.
Garlic has the ability to oxidize heavy metals into a water soluble form. This makes it simpler for the body to remove heavy metals which biofilms adhere to. Additionally, as a preventative measure, if consumed orally, the odour garlic gives off through the skin serves as a tick and flea repellant.
In recent work conducted at the Herbal Research Centre UK run by Dr. Peter Josling, and outlined in a report 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 research that stabilized allicin should be considered as part of the treatment plan during any stage of the infection, alongside other antibacterials, antivirals, and antimicrobials. It is imperative to carry out any treatment plan under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.
Nahida Jamal, BHSc, ND is part of the team at Trinity Health Clinic, located in North York / Toronto.