Tics - Lyme
Often people think Lyme disease is something you can catch but it is a condition transmitted by a tic. It is becoming more prevalent here in Australia and throughout the world.
Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. The disease itself is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi. There are 5 subspecies and 100s of strains of Borrelia Burgdorferi and this is adding to the variability of the condition and can lead to chronic infection.
Complicating this at times with co-infections from the tics like Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma, Rictkettsia and Bartonella. These co-infections also need to be treated to help with the successful treatment of Lyme disease.
The strange thing is that fewer than 50 percent of people can recall a tic bite and fewer than 50 percent of people can recall a rash.
Lyme is only a risk if the tic is attached to the body for at least 24 hours before the Lyme germ is passed to the person concerned. To remove a tick grasp the head of the tick at the skin level with tweezers and give a firm steady slow pull upwards until it comes away from the skin. DO NOT SQUEEZE OR SMASH THE TICK. Do not use a lit match, petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical to remove the tick.
One of the problems with this condition is that testing for it and the co-infections is not clear enough and many people send tests overseas for diagnosis. Also current tests do not check for the different infections that Australian ticks carry. There has been many a demonstration here in Australia to try and get more public awareness to the condition itself and also to the lack of diagnostic tests available here. Hopefully this will improve in the future. Maedy believes one of the reasons it is so hard to detect Lyme is the amount of species and co-infections involved and the fact that the Borrelia bacterium can be found in three different forms and can easily change forms. This is where PRT can be useful.
Lyme disease has been called the great immitator and should be considered in differential diagnosis of chronic fatigue, rheumatological conditions, neurological conditions, fibromyalgia, MS, RA, early ALS, lupus,psychiatric disorders and in fact any difficult to diagnose multi-system ilness. If you have been bitten by a Tic in your lifetime or want us to assess Lyme as a possibility please mention it to your practitioner ASAP.
Many people with chronic Lyme require prolonged treatments until the patient is symptom free. Relapses can occur and retreatment may be required. There are some tests currently available but again with research i hope this will be more accurate in the future. People are wanting more clearer diagnosis and relevant to Australian Tics.
To make things more serious Lyme can be sexuallly transmitted and can cross the placenta. Some say it can be transmitted by other insects including fleas, mosquitos and mites.
The Borrelia bacterium is a sneaky bug and it can actually change into three distinct forms all with the intention of invading the immune system and having a detrimental effect. The three forms are the spirochete, the cell-wall deficient form and the cyst form. The simpliest way to explain this is that the spiochete is like a caterpillar, the cell -wall deficient is like a cocoon and the cyst form is like a butterfly. These are three different forms of the one bacterium according to their position in their life cycle. Here at the clinic we feel it is really important to understand this because all three types respond to different remedies and all three as well as the other co-infections need to be addressed. If the Spirochetes are addressed alone then they can change into the cyst form and when medications are stopped the cyst form can become the sirochete and we are back to square one. People can also be more symptomatic in a spirochete form.
Medical advice may include long term antibiotics to try and eradicate the bacteria but for many this may not work alone or at all and for many there needs to be breaks in the dose of antibiotics. Establishing a strong immune systom is critical to treating Lymes disease. At Possum Hollow we try to build up the immune system and use a multifactorial approach to the individual condition. We try and create an environment within your body that is less hospitable to the germs involved. Maedy has done a lot of study recently on Lyme and with her knowledge and PRT we can head you in the right direction with the right treatments.
Early symptoms of Lyme are: headaches, fever, chills, night sweats, fatigue, poor appetite and sometimes a streaky rash. Some people develop swollen glands around their neck, scalp and armpits. Lyme patients can also experience gastric symptoms, nausea and food sensitivites. Myalgia, Muscle weakness, sleep disturbance aches and pains in muscles and tender nodules and tender joints. If untreated, the heart, nervous system and joints can play up too. Cognitive losses, memory impairment, difficulty multitasking, slowed mental processing, speech and language difficulty can also be signs of Lyme.
In the future more scientific understanding of Lyme Disease may be complete. But until such time we as clinicians are doing the best of our ability to keep up to date with the latest information. ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) are very informative if you would like to learn more.
It cannot be emphasised enough that the earlier Lyme is detected and treated the better. Lymes disease and the nature of the condition depends on the length of time it has gone untreated. Feel free to call the clinic if you would like an appointment or would like to talk to one of our practitioners about Lyme.