Is Lyme Disease More Serious Than Previously Thought?
I am going to be honest with you, I don’t have any experience with Lyme disease. And up until recently, I never had reason to research it.
Now, I knew the basics – a tick bites you, you may develop a bulls-eye rash, you can feel flu-like symptoms, a doctor will probably prescribe some antibiotics, and most people will be fine. Others may experience chronic problems, but that’s because the Lyme disease wasn’t caught early enough. Simple, right?
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is typically transmitted by deer ticks (although it’s been recently discovered that other ticks, mosquitos, spiders and fleas can spread the disease). If untreated, the bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi, travels through the bloodstream and settles in fatty body tissue.
This bacteria starts by affecting the skin, but then spreads to joints and eventually to the nervous system. For some, bacteria can affect their organ systems and even the heart or brain. If not diagnosed quickly, lyme disease can become chronic.
It’s estimated that 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year with Lyme disease. And not everyone will experience the same symptoms. The other issue is that symptoms often mimic other diseases (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia).
- Muscle pain
- Other sleep issues
- Rash (although the most popular symptom, only a small percentage of people find a rash).
Lyme Disease & Infection
It’s reported that there are five species of the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi and over 100 strains in the U.S. (over 300 worldwide). This is where the information about Lyme disease gets controversial.
There are two camps on the Lyme disease debate – ILADS (International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society) and the IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America). The ILADS believes that Lyme disease is an active infection and should be treated as so. Whereas the IDSA, feels that lyme occurs because of a response to an overactive immune system.
Either way, we know that two people who are bit by the same tick, carrying the bacteria, will not respond in the same way. This is because of their immune systems.
But after my research, I fall under the camp that Lyme disease is triggered by an infection, but is also related to other health issues. As Dr. Axe explains:
I believe the real cause of chronic Lyme disease…is related to these four things:
- Weakened immunity
- Inhibited cellular function and protection
- Systemic bacterial infection
- Environmental factors including exposure to mold and parasites
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, who often speaks at ILADS conferences, has said, “all chronic illness is the outcome of chronic infection”
There are also researchers who believe the lyme bacteria can actually hide in the body for years and cause damage, leading to more serious illnesses.
Here’s a statistic that’s sure to scare you: 25% of all infections can possibly lead to cancer.
Conventional Treatment for Lyme Disease
The key to treating Lyme disease is catching it early. But like I mentioned earlier, the symptoms often mimic other illnesses, so early diagnosis isn’t easily obtained. Not to mention that the main test for Lyme (ELISA) is not exactly reliable, especially during the early stages. Keep in mind that there is no test to determine whether someone has an active infection or if the infection was treated correctly.
Since a doctor cannot determine when you were bit or how long the tick was attached, a long antibiotic treatment is what most patients receive. But the issue becomes that antibiotics may be able to treat the infection, but not the entire condition. And then there are the side effects that come with an antibiotic treatment. Remember that it’s been proven that antibiotics weaken your immune system, leaving you susceptible to more illness.
Many Lyme specialists feel that antibiotic therapy may suppress some symptoms, but never actually cure the disease.
Natural Treatments for Lyme Disease
As always, prevention is the key. Here are some tips to avoid Lyme disease:
- Use insect repellent (I prefer natural ones, using essential oils)
- If you’re out in nature, try to wear clothing that will keep ticks off your skin
- Check yourself, children and pets after being outside
- Live a healthy lifestyle, so your immune system is strong enough to fight any infection
Bonus: I firmly believe that you have to address the whole body, in order to address the lyme. Lyme bacteria outer layer protects itself with a biofilm made up of heavy metals. Therefore, you must detox from heavy metals and other co-infections too.
Also, parasites and mold exposure are known to contribute to lyme symptoms. Hulda Clark wrote in her book, The Cure for all Diseases, “no matter how long and confusing is the list of symptoms a person has…I am sure to find only two things wrong: they have pollutants and/or parasites”. And pathologist, Alan B. MacDonald found in 19 deceased patients (who were bit by a tick), Lyme bacteria living inside parasitic nematode worms, worm eggs, or larvae in brain tissue.
It’s important to treat any parasitic toxicity by eating a diet low in sugar, high in fat, and by taking a probiotic daily. I also recommend using activated charcoal or bentonite clay to expel harmful substances and seeking a complete nutrition, detox, supplement and essential oil protocol from a qualified health coach.