Lyme Disease

Synopsis

What is Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness caused by a bacteria in the USA.  The bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) is found in tick’s which inhabit both deer (adults) and mice (larvae) called “Deer Ticks” and also the black-legged tick found in California which is also found on wood rats.  Although these ticks are most commoly found on mice and deer they can also be found on birds, chipmunks, cows, horses, cats, dogs, lizards and rabbits.  Both these ticks are much smaller than the common dog ticks making them difficult to detect.  When these ticks first bite the skin it will wait several hours before feeding on it’s hosts blood.  Once it starts to feed on the blood supply, it will continue for three or four days.  During this time of feeding is when lyme disease may pass from the tick to it’s host.  The longer the tick feeds, the greater the chance it has of passing lymes disease.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

The main symptoms of lyme disease includes a red, circular lesion slowly enlarges as the middle of the lesion appears to clear up. After these symptoms arise a rash composed of small bumps around abdominal area may appear.  The patient may generally feel feverish and have chills with nausea.

The symptoms of lyme disease only appears AFTER an incubation period of days to weeks.  By the time you start showing symptoms, it has been up to 3 weeks past the time when the tick was feeding.  There are generally 3 stages of lyme disease:

  • First Stage:  symptoms appear 3days to 3 weeks after the tick bite.  The infected individual will have small raised bumps on the skin with or without a rash which covers the entire torso.  The rash and bumps can last as little as a couple of days while sometimes lasting for weeks before fading.  During this first stage of lymes disease they may feel a fever with chills, nausea, sore throat and even vomiting in some cases. 
  • Second Stage: Some individuals will have facial paralysis which can occur weeks to months after.  Enlargement of the spleen and lymph nodes appear accompanied by severe migraines , muscle aches and myocardial abnormalities. 
  • Third Stage:  The last stage of lyme disease.  Recurrent chronic back pain may appear including a stiff and sore neck, joint pains and swollen pain in different joints.  Even Degenerative muscle disease may be a long term effect from lyme disease.

History of Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease first began in a town called Lyme in Connecticut in the early 1970’s.

Lyme disease has increased from 48 reported cases in 1983 to 9,344 reported cases by 1991!   It is not only found in Connecticut now but in All states EXCEPT Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana and Nebraska.  Although 90% of lyme disease cases are in the United States Europe, Russia, China, Japan and Australia all report have reported lyme disease cases annually.

Herbal and Nutrient Treatment for Lyme Disease

  1. Herbs For Lyme Disease
    • Alfalfa – loaded with needed vitamins and minerals for general wellbeing
    • Dandelion Root – aids rebuilding process of damaged tissue nourishes blood
    • Echinacea – stimulates immune system (do not take for long periods of time)
    • Ginseng - aids rebuilding process of damaged tissue nourishes blood
    • Goldenseal – natural antibiotic
    • Hawthorn - aids rebuilding process of damaged tissue nourishes blood
    • Horsetail - aids rebuilding process of damaged tissue nourishes blood
    • Kelp – contains many nutrients and minerals essential for detoxification of our body
    • Marshmallow – aids rebuilding process of damaged tissue and nourishes blood
    • Milk Thistle – aids liver function
    • Red clover – helps cleanse circulatory system and blood
  2. Nutrients For Lyme Disease
    • Acidophilus – (if antibiotics have been prescribed) – helps maintain healthy bacteria flora
    • Essential fatty acids – reduces inflammatory response and helps clear joint stiffness
    • Primrose oil – helps combat pain and inflammation by reducing prostaglandins.
    • Pancreatin / Bromelain – helps protein digestion (also reduces inflammatory response)
    • Multivitamins – general wellbeing
    • Selenium – helps stop free radicals
    • Vitamin A – antioxidant properties
    • Vitamin C – aids immune system
    • Vitamin E – aids immune system

Diet Changes For Lyme Disease

Eat More:   Fresh fruit, vegetables. garlic, barley grass, bee pollen, royal jelly, green drinks

Eat Less:   Dairy

Do Not Eat:   Sugar, refined flour, deep fried food

Western Medicine Treatment For Lyme Disease

  • Early Stage Lyme Disease
    • Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Cefuroxime Axetil, Azithromycin
  • Neurologic Manifestations with Lyme Disease
    • Bells Palsy like symptoms - Doxycycline or Amoicillin
    • Meningitis like symptoms – Ceftriaxone, Penicillin, Doxycycline, Chloramphenicol
  • Cardiac Manifestations with Lyme Disease:
    • Ceftriaxone, Penicillin, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin
  • Arthritis Like symptoms with Lyme Disease (third stage):
    • Amoxicillin and Probenecid, Doxycycline, Ceftriaxone, Penicillin

Chinese Medicine Treatment of Lyme Disease

The approach is complex and requires a solid understanding of (1) Western medical approaches, (2) Oriental medicine, and (3) Systems physiology. Screen your practitioner and ask him or her pragmatic and practical questions.

References

  • Balch J & Balch P.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing.  Avery Publishing Group.  1997
  • The Merck Manual.  Seventeenth Edition.  1999