Ticks carry a variety of infections, from bacteria to protozoa to things not yet discovered.
All of these together are called: TBD or Tick Bone Diseases
Where are ticks?
Ticks may be where ever mice, birds, deer and your outdoor loving pets travel.
Mice carry the microbes and infect the ticks. Birds and deer transport the ticks. Deer spread ticks from grass to low branches.
Most parts of the world now have some ticks, though they may have other carriers.
Where are you most likely to pick up a tick?
Along grassy trails. In your backyard or were ever deer are found. In you favorite chair or bed, where your pet also likes to be.
How to reduce your risks of getting LYME?
Treat your pets for ticks. Prevent your pets from entering living space after being outdoors. Treat your socks and pants, tuck pants into socks. Put your clothes in the dryer 20 minutes on high after being where ticks may be. Take a shower and inspect for ticks along hair line and warm moist areas such as arm pits, upper legs, etc. Proper removal is a must. Think of the tick as a syringe full of TBD, that if squeezed will inject these TBD into your body. If small, scrap off, if large, grasp near the skin with fine tweezers or tick removal tool and then lift gently till tick lets go or mouth parts break off. Soak bite area in alcohol.
What do I do after I find a tick attached? As patients we are responsible for our own health and must judge the risks vs benefits.
Treatment: A percentage of people who get infected with the LYME bacteria and other TBD will end up with chronic disease.
I personally can tell you that this chronic condition is no fun and quite debilitating.
Though TBD may not kill you, this added infection load can allow other health issues to increase, which can cause death.
We must each decide what our risk tolerance is when it comes to seeking treatment for TBD.
Doctors who have seen many cases of Lyme or TBD, will opt for starting antibiotic treatment if a tick has been attached.
Does waiting to see if symptoms occur make sense if we know early treatment is most effective?
Theory of treatment:
With the Initial infection, the bacteria is in the blood stream and may be easy to kill with antibiotics.
After the Lyme bacteria is in the blood stream, it starts to "drill" its way into the body tissues where blood is scarce and the infection is harder to kill.
Does it make sense to wait for symptoms if we know that delaying treatment increases risks of chronic Lyme?
Bacteria Life cycle:
The life cycle of the Lyme bacteria is four weeks, and during multiplication is when the bacteria is most susceptible to antibiotics. Many doctors believe that four weeks is the minimum treatment time, with eight weeks being best. As with other infections, the goal is to not leave strong bacteria to again multiply, hence we are told to complete the whole bottle, even though we may be feeling better.
Once we have a persistent infection, there is no conclusive treatment. Each patient will respond differently to various treatments. Some people respond to extended and varied antibiotic treatment. Many find that once antibiotics are stopped, that their symptoms will return. Sometimes the return is worse than the original symptoms. There are many thoughts on what is happening with those suffering from Chronic Lyme. Some believe that there is a continued infection which needs more and stronger drugs. Other doctors and medical professionals are thinking that something else is happening. It may be that the immune system is over reacting to residual traces of infections or the immune system is suppressed and can not overcome the microbes.
What else might be happening with LYME / TBD, and what can be done?
We are born with an immune system designed to deal with most challenges from infections. Antibiotics have been very beneficial when an acute infection occurs, hence the benefit of the initial treatment early in the Lyme infection, to reduce the bacterial load. It is believed that we carry these infections all our lives without any negative affects. That life is a battle between good and bad bacteria in our bodies and our job is to stay healthy by controlling chronic stress, consuming healthy foods and reducing our sugar intake, along with exercise and getting much needed sleep. Many of us believe incorrectly that all we need is that cup of coffee to offset the lack of sleep. With an increased challenge from a recent Lyme infection, ignoring natural sleep requirements will make healing much harder, if not impossible.
How do Herbals play into a treatment for Lyme?
If we need more assistance, herbals, acupuncture and other alternative treatments can have benefits that modern drugs can not provide. The principle of herbals is that the plants' life cycles are short compared to humans, and through this process each year, plants have been able to develop resistance to the very same or similar viral and bacterial infections that humans deal with. The chemicals that plants create to protect themselves are then extracted to create herbal treatments. Once we have changed our lifestyle by reducing our stresses, eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep, an herbal protocol may be able to assist the body in fighting off infection along with probiotics to boost our natural immune system. Many suggest that we initially hit Lyme with a short term antibiotic treatment, along with starting probiotics to keep the good bacteria in our gut, then add in an herbal treatment to continue the healing and the bacterial balancing process.
Sources of more information:
Stephen Buhner has done indepth research and also suggests various sources to obtain the herbs he recommends in his books. These herbs have to be prepared and measured before consumption.
Healing Lyme - by: Stephen Buhner - Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Co-infections.
Healing Lyme Disease Co-infections - by: Stephen Buhner - Complementary and Holistic Treatments for Bartonella & Mycoplasma.
A source of treatment based on Stephen Buhner's research but made easier to follow, especially for those challenged with the complexes of LYME. Dr. Rawls also has Lyme and has found relief through his own recommendations. Dr. Rawls book is written in an easy to read manner.
UNLOCKING LYME - by: WILLIAMS RAWLS, MD - MYTHS, TRUTHS, & PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR CHRONIC LYME DISEASE.
Dr. Rauls, unlike Stephen Buhner, has put together herbal extracts in capsules, making the herbal protocol simple enough to follow daily. The capsules are provided through VitalPlan.com where a subscription is recommended so that you will have your next months supply delivered before you run out of the previous months supply. The website allows you to easily adjust your subscription delivery. There are various discounts for using the subscription purchasing, recommending friends, or participating in Dr. Rawls webinar.