Just last week my mom asked my sister to take a look at what she thought was a skin tag on her leg. It wasn’t a skin tag, it was an engorged tick! Luckily my dad had attended a talk about Lyme Disease a few years ago and had a special tick remover. https://canlyme.com/product/tick-removal-kit/
However, just removing the tick is not always enough, especially since it had been attached for a number of days, so my dear ol’ mom is now on antibiotics for the next few weeks just in case that tick was infected with Borrelia burforgi, or Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease, named after Lyme Connecicut, is a multi-system disease that is transmitted from infected deer ticks to humans. Some people think that as long as they don’t have a bulls-eye rash on their body they are fine, however, not everyone shows this marking but can still become infected.
Early treatment is crucial since chronic Lyme disease can have disastrous impacts on one's long term health.
It is very challenging to diagnose and conventional medical tests often show a false negative. To improve diagnosis I have chosen to use a lab out of Germany called Armin Labs https://arminlabs.com/en for my patients as this tests not only for Lyme but many of the common co-infections that make this condition hard to treat. Often there are many diverse symptoms and so knowing where to start is important
The symptoms are varied. They range from chronic fatigue, to severe brain fog/migraines, muscle weakness and neurological compromise among others. And due to the fact that the testing is often incorrect, most Lyme patients are misdiagnosed with other conditions such as Multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons, Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia.
Lyme Infection Symptom Checklist
Lyme Co-infections Symptom Checklist
Once diagnosed conventional treatment hinges on antibiotic therapy, typically using Doxycycline for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, this standard of care has been found to be lacking and ineffective and many people progress to chronic Lyme disease. However, many Lyme patients are left to their own resources to seek treatment as many MD’s do not believe in chronic Lyme Disease and therefore do not treat it.
Effective treatments are as varied as the disease. IV antibiotics are commonly used by Lyme literate doctors https://www.ilads.org/patient-care/provider-search/, but other effective treatments are Hyperthermia, Ozone and Hyperbaric treatments, IV Vitamins and minerals, sauna therapy, herbal formulations and dietary modifications.
Prevention is often the best medicine, and so doing thorough tick checks after being outside for any length of time is of utmost importance, especially checking in armpits and other crevices as that is where ticks tend to like to hide.
Using a good quality bug spray is also crucial Deet containing sprays are often the most effective and although I don’t like to use these very often, I recommend this to be sprayed on your clothes and lower legs as well as neck and hairline and ensure you take a shower as soon as you come in from outside.
With this knowledge, we have power and so I hope that everyone can enjoy this amazing time of year, and just take a bit of extra precaution to ensure you don’t bring home any nasty travellers after your time outside!