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Lyme Disease

WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?  HOW DO YOU GET IT?  WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can feature a skin rash (about 40 % will develop the rash), swollen joints, extreme fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. You can get the disease from the bite of an infected tick.  Recent research suggests it can be transmitted by mosquitoes and bodily fluid exchange much like syphylis). Sometimes it is difficult to know if you have Lyme disease because you may not have noticed a tick bite. Also, many of its symptoms are like those of other diseases. Symptoms may include

  • A skin rash, often resembling a bulls-eye
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Swelling of knees and other large joints and arthritis
  • Memory deficits
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Thyroid problems
  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Abnormal brain MRI with signal enhancement (brain swelling)
  • Heart damage

These are just a few of the symptoms.

In the early stages, doctors look at your symptoms and medical history to figure out whether you have Lyme disease. In the later stages of the disease, lab tests can confirm whether you have it.

Antibiotics may possibly cure early stage Lyme disease. If not treated in the very early stage, the disease can progress and cause problems with the joints, heart and brain/nervous system.  Recent research indicates that some patients who died of Alzheimer's Disease had Lyme bacteria in their brains, seen during autopsy.

There are many species of Lyme or Borrelia that have been identified in different parts of the USA as well as different species in other countries.  There are many vectors for disease transmission.  Rodents, deer, birds, horses, dogs, and other animals are parasitized by ticks (Ixodes tick in particular, though this does not exclude other ticks transmitting Lyme Disease).  Birds may transfer ticks to other areas resulting in more widespread disease than once thought. 

HOW DO YOU GET IT?

More recent research shows that:  Transmission of the disease has been clearly documented after bites by fleas, mites, mosquitos and ticks. There is compelling evidence that Lyme disease (LD) can be spread by sexual and congenital transfer. 

See this link for transmission modes:  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_252/ai_n6110580

 

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

If one is diagnosed early with Lyme Disease, often with the erythema migrans rash as an indicator of infection, doxycycline for a month or so is supposed to cure the illness.  There is documentation in the literature, that the spirochete can reach the brain in less than 10 days so immediate treatment is necessary.

Most people do not realize they have gotten Lyme Disease or the co-infections for months to years.  Then the standard treatment by Lyme-literate doctors, is IV rocephin for months at a time, or IV doxycycline, claforan or bicillin shots, with oral antibiotics added later. However, many relapse from these treatments likely due to L-forms not being harmed by any of the antibiotics listed above, except possibly doxcycline.  See more on L-forms on the next page.

In addition to transmission of Lyme Disease by a tick bite, it is the norm to also have other bacterial infections transmitted by the tick bite at the same time.  Some of these coinfections include Babesia, Erlichia, Mycoplasma fermentens, Bartonella, and other coinfections.

Lyme Disease or Borreliosis, as it is now being called, affects mental/physical functioning in many ways. The following description includes some of the more typical features of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease.

Cognitive effects: complaints of slowed thinking, attentional problems including: distractibility, difficulty multi-tasking, inability to complete tasks, shortened attention span, difficulty tracking or shifting mental set, memory problems, difficulty retrieving previously known information, decreased ability to store short term information forgetting where one one is going, verbal fluency problems, word-finding difficulties, stuttering, symptoms of dementia, brain lesions.

Emotional effects include but are not limited to: irritability, lowered frustration tolerance, mood swings, quick to anger and rage (sometimes known as "Lyme rages"), panic attacks, manic episodes, tics, obsessive thinking, compulsive behavior, paranoia.

Physical effects: Bell's Palsey, numbness and tingling in arms or other areas, sleep disturbances, muscle pain, fatigue, fevers, night sweats, optic nerve problems, hypersensitivity to sounds and light, joint inflammation, synovitis, endocrine dysfunctions, autoimmune disease, heart problems, to name a few.

A vaccine was developed and used in the past against Lyme Disease.  Unfortunately the drug company that developed the vaccination called Lymerix (Lipoprotein Outer Surface A Vaccine), did not warn doctors administering the vaccination, that individuals should be tested for the DR4 gene before administering the vaccine.  DR4 individuals would develop an autoimmune disease directly caused by the vaccine.  DR4 individuals have an identical protein sequence in some tissues such as joint and synovial tissue, to the Lyme vaccine antigens.  Antibodies formed by the body in response to Lymerix would then attack those tissues. The vaccine was taken off the market because of this.  Approximately 25% of the population has the DR4 gene.

Individuals who find out they have Lyme might find that DR testing could be useful in the outcome of their disease.

 

Rather than attempt to discuss all possible causes, recent research, and treatment protocols, the following links provide information on treatments that have show some success.  Hyperbaric oxygen treatments, various IV treatments, antibiotics, herbal treatments, etc. are disscussed in the following links.

 

http://www.drcharlescrist.com/borreliosis.htm Dr. Crist is a Family Practice medical doctor whose primary focus is on patients with borreliosis (Lyme Disease).  This web site is designed to shed light on this very complex and serious illness.  Dr. Crist practices in Springfield, Missouri.

http://www.congregator.net/medicalnews/tietjen/index.html

http://www.publichealthalert.org/marjorie_tietjen.htm

 http://www.ctlymedisease.org/index.htm

http://www.canlyme.com/pandora.html

http://www.canlyme.com/burrascano_2005.pdf

www.lifelyme.org

http://www.standupforlyme.org/   

http://www.texaslyme.org/ 

http://www.leaparizona.com   L.E.A.P. Arizona, Lyme Education Awareness Program, is a 501(c)3 non-profit, public charity founded in 2005 by Tina J. Garcia.  L.E.A.P.'s Mission is to provide education and awareness of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections and hopes to provide significant financial assistance to patients so they can obtain treatment of their choice.  Tina is a chronic Lyme patient and advocate who hopes to alleviate some of the suffering associated with these debilitating infections.

Tina and her husband recently lit a torch in front of the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.  The torch was lit in honor of Lyme patients and two Lyme-treating physicians who are being prosecuted for Lyme-treatment-related issues, Drs. Jones and Jemsek.  They kept the torch lit for 1800 miles from Atlanta to Mesa, Arizona.  L.E.A.P. is accepting donations on their website for the 1800 miles travelled. 

 http://www.oxygenhealingtherapies.com/my_ozone_doctor.com.html

http://www.hbotreatment.com/lyme.htm?gclid=CI-e38uhoo4CFRPNggodKhA3ZA  Refers to Fife's study detailing treatment with hyperbaric oxygen, done at Texas A & M University

 

 

http://guiltedgirls.tripod.com/leaguecityclearlakenasaareachronicillnessandlymesupportgroup/

Lyme Disease/Chronic Illness Support Group, League City/Clear Lake/NASA Area, Texas  

email group facillitator for information:   smannelli@comcast.net

 

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