The truth about the Lyme disease bacterium that you won’t learn from most doctors
Do you or a loved one suffer from Lyme disease, or suspect this condition is the cause of ill health? Have you been struggling to locate a doctor who understands, or a way to (finally) find relief? You’re not alone. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 476,000 people may contract Lyme disease every year in America. Yet only 30,000 cases are reported. That leaves a gapping hole; one filled with patients who have life-changing symptoms, missed diagnoses, and long term effects from Lyme disease that are either overlooked, under-treated, or worse — ignored or dismissed. The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group’s 2018 report said, “While most Lyme disease patients who are diagnosed and treated early can fully recover, 10 to 20% of patients suffer from persistent symptoms, which for some are chronic and disabling.” And therein lies the rub: This assumption doesn’t take into account the hundreds of thousands of undiagnosed cases. To make matters worse, Lyme disease test accuracy is less than reliable. So, early intervention is difficult. In addition, mainstream medical treatments can — and do — fail. But before we discuss how you can find help, it’s important to understand the basics. Let’s take a look…
What is Lyme disease? Lyme disease is caused by tick-transmitted Borreliella burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium. You can become infected following a bite from an infected tick.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed? This question is more difficult to answer than you might hope. See, Lyme disease test accuracy is less than perfect. People with the disease do receive negative results, which incorrectly report the lack of Lyme disease. How is this possible? Microbiologist and Lyme disease researcher Tom Grier reported some starling facts in his article, Will There Ever Be An Accurate Test for Lyme Disease?
Firstly, the bacterium is uniquely able to escape from the bloodstream and hide in the body’s tissues, making it hard to detect through standard blood testing. Secondly, culturing — growing a bug with the aim of identification — the evasive “bacterium has been difficult, frustratingly unpredictable, and miserably inconsistent”. Together with the fact that the most commonly used test is fraught with inaccuracy, identifying and diagnosing this disease can be difficult; especially by those who lack expertise in this field. Saying that, this illness is usually diagnosed based on symptoms, physical signs, and the likelihood of exposure to infected ticks. Tests then may confirm infection. Let’s talk about tick awareness first, then we’ll examine signs and symptoms that can result from an infective bite. Tick awareness Because Lyme disease is borne from a tick bite, tick awareness is important. Ticks can strike at any time of year, but they typically love the warmer months. Know what ticks frequent your location. These critters live in grassy or wooded areas. If you love to walk or spend time outdoors, be prepared. Walk in the middle of a trail, away from foliage. Consider treating clothing and camping gear with a permethrin product. Use insect repellents that are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered. When you arrive home, check your pets, your gear, and yourself for ticks. A prompt shower will also reduce your risk. If you’re reading this, you may already suspect you have Lyme’s. So, ask yourself: Could you have been exposed? What are symptoms for Lyme disease? Symptoms for Lyme disease include, but are not limited to: — Arthritis — Brain fog — Bull’s-eye rash (a round rash that emanates from the bite site and looks like a red Bull’s-eye is the most common early sign of Lyme’s. You can see it photoed here) — Chills — Dementia — Dizziness — Fever — Fatigue — Headache — Heart problems, including failure — Joint pain bilaterally; for example, both wrists, both elbows, etc — Muscle pain — Nerve pain — POTS syndrome — Shortness of breath — Swollen lymph nodes (close to the bite)
How does Lyme disease affect your immune system?
The short answer is in many ways. The Lyme disease bacterium is clever; designed for survival. For example, white blood cells travel around the body ready to destroy foreign invaders. However, this bug is able to hide from these defense cells; to elude immunity in order to protect itself. How does this happen? The immune system usually detects markers on infected cells that alert it to the threat. Our immunity then swings into gear and culls the invader. However, the Lyme bug appears able to camouflage its markers until it can find a safe harbor, a place where it can escape from the immune system. Our B-lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell — are involved in targeted responses against infection. However, this bacterium is able to attack and kill these cells. Worse than this, it may “wear” a B-cell’s membrane like a protective cloak that blinds our immune cells and blunts its response. The Lyme disease bacterium can also trick the immune system into attacking healthy tissues… The immune system is designed to differentiate “self” from other; human from foreign invader. This way an infection can be targeted while our cells stay safe. Sometimes, though, the immune system goes rogue and assaults our own cells. When this happens, we develop an autoimmune disease. If a foreign invader has a “chemical structure similar to our own tissue antigens, our bodies sometimes make antibodies against our own tissues.” We fight ourselves. Auto-antibodies — a sign of this self-attack response — have been found in people with Lyme disease. In these, and other ways, the Lyme disease bug can outsmart the immune system. This can lead to trouble being diagnosed, profound ill health, and Lyme disease symptoms years later. That’s why those who suffer with Lyme’s need an expert on their side.
Lyme-Literate Medical Doctors: Find the answers you need
Lyme-Literate Medical Doctors, also called LLMDs, are experts who specialize in this disease. Their depth of knowledge is far deeper than the norm. Their additional study, experience and expertise make LLMDs better equipped to help sufferers get correctly diagnosed, and receive the treatment they need. Without an expert opinion, false or missed diagnosis can, and do, occur. Diagnosis is difficult. Because the Lyme disease bacterium is so good at hiding, it can be a tricky bug to spot (which is why it is also referred to as "the great mimicker") . This can lead to negative tests in a Lyme-positive person. Lyme disease can also mimic a range of other diseases, including arthritis and autoimmune disease. This can lead to mismanagement and harmful, unhelpful treatments. It's incredibly important to get to the root cause quickly. This is why we recommend consulting with an LLMD promptly. Some sites that may help you find an LLMD who can support you include: Global Lyme Alliance International Lyme And Associated Disease Society (ILADS) LymeDisease.org Lyme Disease Association The treatment of Lyme disease: What to do when medical treatment fails The principle way to treat Lyme disease is with antibiotics. A standard course may run for two to four weeks. However, this may not be enough. In fact, it often isn’t. So, what can you do if medical treatment fails? Book your consultation with us at Flemington Chiropractic Center. We specialize in rejuvenating the body’s natural processes to promote your ability to heal yourself. We offer the Wellness pro machine, an FDA registered, laboratory tested medical device that has been designed to treat acute and long-term disorders and health imbalances. How does this incredible machine work? The living body requires a constant flow of energy; through and between every cell. Think of this like a biological electric circuit board, because it is. When injury or illness strikes, this electrical capacity is disrupted. This can create pain and stop the body from fully repairing itself. The Wellness pro machine acts like an energetic “jumpstart” that helps your body to heal. This can provide relief for Lyme Disease related pain and many other conditions and challenges.
We recommend scheduling your Wellness Pro appointment on a weekend as you may initially feel unwell following treatment. This is normal and can be part of the recovery process. We will also guide you with Lyme disease specific advice. If you’re a reader, we recommend a wonderful book titled "Bitten" by Kris Newby. While you or a loved one may be currently struggling, know that it is possible to treat Lyme disease. You don’t need to continue to suffer. There is hope. We look forward to showing you how.