The quick and dirty basics of Lyme Disease, to get you caught up. I tried to strip away all the misinformation touted by the government and health agencies and get to the facts about the disease, which are so often misconstrued, or lied about! Enjoy a refreshing bit of the truth! ~
*Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, the size of a poppy seed. Ticks are found on every populated continent, & are carried by birds,
mice, deer, pets etc. Not all ticks carry Lyme bacteria.
*Lyme bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi, is a spirochete. It's spiral shape allows it to burrow into every organ or area of the body, causing many symptoms.
*Lyme the ‘Great Imitator’ -mimics other illnesses, leading to possible misdiagnosis of: chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, lupus, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), MS, Crohn’s disease, or other autoimmune & neurodegenerative diseases
*fastest growing vector-borne disease. More cases of Lyme in the USA, than AIDS & West Nile Virus combined.
*In 2007, 109 reported cases of Lyme in Canada were, versus 13,000 reported cases of Lyme in states bordering Canada
*85% of people don't recall seeing a tick bite *Fewer than 50% recall seeing the ‘bulls-eye rash’, which is diagnostic of Lyme. Treatment should begin immediately
* ELISA lab tests for Lyme are flawed,often reporting false positives & negatives. Test was created by US CDC for ‘surveillance purposes’, & never intended to diagnose. There are over 100 strains of Lyme bacteria in the USA, 300+ world-wide.
*Without treatment, lyme bacteria may develop into Chronic form of illness. Long-term antibiotics are effective treatment, but patients may be left with symptoms/damage. If treatment is given immediately after bite, most likely will not develop Chronic Lyme, & will be cured.
*Government health agencies & independent research groups agree that Lyme disease should be a clinical diagnosis. This is not happening in doctors offices. Most Canadian doctors rely on flawed testing alone to diagnose Lyme disease, which is why so many cases go misdiagnosed. Does your doctor know about Lyme?
*A diagnosis of Lyme disease can only be made & counted in Canadian statistics if the patient has a Bulls-eye rash, a positive ELISA test (at least 50% of cases missed) & a positive result from Western Blot test (only given in the event the inaccurate ELISA test comes back positive).
*If you fit the criteria for Lyme, the most antibiotics you will be given - regardless of how long you have had the infection- will be 30 days. No study has been done proving 30 days of meds is an effective therapy for Chronic Lyme disease.
Although there are over 100 possible symptoms of Lyme, the most common (according to CALDA’s website) symptoms include:
*Flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscles aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain)
*Rash (10% have EM rash) *Bell's palsy
* Stiff neck
* Light or sound sensitivity
* Cognitive impairment
* Depression, anxiety, or mood swings
* Arthritis * Insomnia,Fatigue
* Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea
* Chest pain, palpitations
* Shortness of breath
*Tingling, burning or shooting pain
Prevent Lyme Disease: Be Tick Smart!
(from California Lyme Disease Association “Prevention Poster”, lymedisease.org)
1. Walk in the middle of trails, avoid sitting on logs and leaning on trees.
2. Wear a hat, tuck in hair if possible.
3. Wear a long-sleeved shirt fitted at the wrist.
4. Wear shoes, no bare feet or sandals.
5. Wear long pants tucked into high socks or duct tape around pants.
6. Consider Deet for skin and permethrin for clothes.
7. Wear white or light-colored clothing to make it easier to see ticks.
8. Do tick checks immediately and 3 days after outdoor activity.
9. If you find a tick, remove it carefully and save it.
10. Ask your veterinarian about protection for your furry friends.