The carriers of Lyme disease could be in your backyard.
What you are about to read is very important as this disease may be masked by other conditions and symptoms. You play a crucial role in discerning whether or not Lyme may be a factor in you or your children’s health and your pets. Awareness and practising these safety measures lies in your hands. If you see sudden changes or “peculiar” rashes, refer your loved one to your medical doctor. Go to the websites at the end of this article and question what is going on. Learn about signs and symptoms of Lyme.
Lyme is in our community. You don’t have to live near the woods to become infected as the carriers for it are close by.
Lyme disease means that you were infected with a bacteria (spirochete) known as Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) from a bite by a carrier such as a tick. Other carriers may include infected insects such as spider. The Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases (2007:45) states that this bacterium is the most complex bacterium known to science.
Look up what a tick looks like as even the smallest size tick can be as small as a poppy seed. These little critters are hanging out along edges of woods, tall grass areas, rural areas, backyards and on your pets.
These black legged ticks (aka deer ticks) harbour other bacteria which can cause bacterial co-infections such as Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia and others. There are some more significant signs and symptoms for each one. Visit www.lymeactionnetwork.org so you will be aware of the differences and you know what to look for.
The first symptoms of Lyme include flu-like generalized body aches, fever, sensitivity to touch, sore throat, fatigue, travelling joint pain and sometimes a rash.
You do not have to see a rash (bull’s eye) to confirm a tick bite. It doesn’t have to be a bull’s eye rash, it can take on different appearances. Dark-skinned people reveal a bruise-like area. The rash may appear days or months later so questioning a change in someone’s health is important.
I am going to go through a hypothetical scenario to help you deal with a questioned infection.
“Betty” spent many hours perfecting her garden then would relax on her deck and marvel at what she had created. She had all the energy one could ever ask for. She had heard about Lyme and learned what to do if she saw a tick embedded in her skin. She purchased insect repellent with geraniol and Neem oil in it as this discourages all insects to climb on.; also, garlic flower essence both internally and externally. She found out what herbs she needed from her Naturopath to take to help prevent an infection from a bite of an infected insect.
Then, the inevitable happened: she was relaxing on her deck when she saw a tick imbedded in her forearm. She wanted to remove the tick carefully as to pull the tick by the mouth (not the body) with tweezers. She did not put anything on the tick as she wanted to send it to a lab for testing. She grasped the tick near its mouth closest to the skin and placed it in a baggie (double bag). She disinfected the site with rubbing alcohol, as she had no Echinacea or hydrogen peroxide; put a bandage on the area and left for 24 hours. She took homeopathic remedy Ledum 30 CH 3 pellets three times daily for three days. She knew to book an appointment with her MD as well as ND for preventative care. She went online to www.tickencounter.org/tick or www.clongen.com to find out about getting the tick tested.
She was able to see her MD promptly and she was given a 30-day antibiotic protocol. She took probiotics during this time and a couple of months after. She waited at least two weeks after the bite to send for a blood test to confirm at Igenex labs. She learned a lot about herbal formulas and immune strengthening from her naturopathic doctor.
A month or two later “Betty” had a positive marker on the tick for Lyme and a negative result for the Western Blot. She practised all the precautionary measures. She was lucky she did not experience the numerous signs and symptoms of Lyme and its co-infections such as headaches, shooting pains, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, numbness, facial paralysis, unexplained fevers, unexplained weight loss, vision problems, palpitations, mood swings, confusion, difficulty with concentration and finding words, disorientation, vertigo, drenching sweats, anemia and much more.