Every year, according to the CDC, over 500,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Tick-Borne Diseases.
Lyme disease is the most common. It affects more people than HIV, yet it is an illness that most people know relatively little about. The Borrelia bacteria is responsible for the disease. Lyme disease is a growing epidemic and probably much more prevalent than the current CDC numbers show. If you have any chronic health problems, you should always consider Tick-Borne Diseases as a cause!
Tick-Borne Diseases can cause many of the pain and health symptoms that we see at our office:
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection caused by several species of spiral-shaped bacteria from the group Borrelia. In the U.S., the black-legged deer tick is the primary carrier of Lyme disease. Most people are infected by immature ticks, called nymphs, which are very small (only about 2mm in size) and therefore less likely to be discovered and quickly removed. The longer an infected tick is attached to the skin, the higher the chances are of transmitting the disease. An infected tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.
Lyme disease can be difficult to detect and diagnose. If you have been infected with Lyme disease, symptoms may appear anywhere from three days to a month after being bitten. Early on, symptoms may be flu-like, including fever, chills, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and achy joints and muscles. Some people also develop a rash at the site of the bite or elsewhere on their body.
A bulls-eye-shaped rash is one of the most recognizable signs of Lyme disease, but not everyone develops a rash or one that follows this distinctive pattern. In fact, fewer than 50 percent of people diagnosed with Lyme disease recall having any kind of rash.
Lyme disease must be diagnosed early before it has a chance to develop into late-stage disease. If the infection is allowed to spread, it will cause more chronic symptoms, including:
- Migraines/Headaches/TMJ/Jaw Pain
- Facial drooping (Bell's palsy)
- Necrosis of jawbone after extractions (NICO)
- Poor healing after dental procedures
- Joint pain and swelling
- Cognitive difficulty
- Sleep disturbances
- Heart palpitations and/or heart damage
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Digestive problems and eating disorders
- Antisocial Behavior
- Brain fog, confusion, memory problems
These diseases are also called “the great imitators” because their symptoms closely resemble other conditions and illnesses, including:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Psychiatric Problems
We see many patients who have been diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and TBRF. These patients tend to develop clenching habits that can cause breakdown of the TMJs due to increased muscular activity and other dental problems.
Lyme Disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection caused by several species of spiral-shaped bacteria from the group Borrelia. In the US, the black-legged deer tick is the primary carrier of Lyme disease.
Most people are infected by immature ticks, called nymphs, which are very small (only about 2mm in size) and therefore less likely to be discovered and quickly removed.
The longer an infected tick is attached to the skin, the higher the chances are of transmitting the disease. An infected tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.
Lyme disease can be difficult to detect and diagnose. If you have been infected with Lyme disease, symptoms may appear anywhere from three days to a month after being bitten. Early on, symptoms may be flu-like, including fever, chills, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and achy joints and muscles. Some people also develop a rash at the site of the bite or elsewhere on their body. A bulls-eye-shaped rash is one of the most recognizable signs of Lyme disease, but not everyone develops a rash or one that follows this distinctive pattern. In fact, fewer than 50 percent of people diagnosed with Lyme disease recall having any kind of rash.
Lyme disease must be diagnosed early before it has a chance to develop into a late-stage disease. If the infection is allowed to spread, it will cause more chronic symptoms. Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed or entirely missed at early stages, allowing the disease to progress.
Current testing methodology includes ELISA and Western Blot. Both tests only detect your body’s antibodies that are produced by your body in response to fighting the Borrelia bacteria. It could take longer than 3 months for these antibodies to develop, making these tests worthless during early stages.
Another problem with these tests is because there are over 18 species of Borrelia bacteria. These 2 tests only detect Borrelia Burgdorferi, making them less than 50% effective.
In some patients, the Borrelia bacteria will transform into a cyst, which will prevent the body’s immune system from producing antibodies. This renders the ELISA and Western Blot tests negative. Also, there are patients who have suppressed immune systems and are not able to form antibodies.
Current PCR tests can detect the bacteria in the blood itself, therefore not requiring antibodies for confirmation.
The gold standards for testing are the IgXSpt test from IGeneX LAB or Tick Borne Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness Lab.
The other TBD are as follows:
1. Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF)
TBRF is often characterized by fevers that wane every few days. However, many patients never experience relapsing fevers or any fevers at all. TBRF symptoms can often go undetected or be mistaken for other conditions, which can give the disease time to develop into neurological symptoms.
TBRF is not picked up by standard testing.
Rickettsia rickettsii causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Feber (RMSF.) Anyone bitten by an infected tick can get RMSF. It can cause organ damage or even death (in certain locations it has a mortality rate of 70 percent.) RMSF is now easier to treat and has a mortality rate of 0.3 percent following treatment.
Early signs and symptoms of RMSF include a severe headache and high fever. A few days later, a rash usually appears on the wrists and ankles. The rash does not appear in some infected people!
Babesia bacteria are transmitted to humans through the bite of the same infected tick that causes Lyme Disease. It is like the Plasmodium bacteria that causes malaria. Symptoms mimic those of malaria. The ticks are infected by feeding on infected larger mammals, such as cattle, roe deer, rodents, and white-footed mice. Babesiosis can cause excessive thirst, dry cough, anemia, low platelets, difficulty swallowing and multiple other symptoms.
4. Bartonellosis (Cat Scratch Disease – CSD)
Bartonella bacteria are carried by the same ticks that carry Lyme disease, and ticks are likely the chief source of infection. Therefore, Bartonellosis can be seen as an emerging tick-borne infection. IT MAY BE ONE OF THE MOST COMMON DISEASES THAT CONTINUES TO BE UNDIAGNOSED.
This disease was known to cause trench fever in WWI and WWII. It is most often transmitted to humans from a bite or scratch of an infected cat. Cats contract Bartonella henselae from the bite or droppings of cat fleas. Spiders have also been known to carry the bacteria and a simple spider bite can infect you. Recently, scientists have determined the transmission of Bartonella to mice via ticks. A common symptom can be pain in the sole or heel of foot and can be mis-diagnosed as the common Plantar Fasciitis. Response to previous antibiotic treatments may be limited.
5. Ehrlichiosis & Anaplasmosis
These bacterial infections are also carried via infected ticks. They attack white blood cells causing immune system problems.
Antibiotic Treatment for Early-Stage Lyme Disease
The first line of treatment for early Lyme disease is antibiotics. The most prescribed antibiotics include:
- Cefuroxime axetil
These antibiotics are most often administered orally, though intravenous administration is necessary for some patients. Programs are typically 2 weeks long but can be as long as 4 or more weeks. Lyme that is not detected early can be very difficult to treat and even early treatment can be unsuccessful.
Early treatment for Lyme failed in up to 39% of cases. Treatment failure rates for chronic Lyme were as high as 50%. One of the reasons for these poor results is that infection with pathogens other than Borrelia Burgdorferi is being missed. That is why many practitioners rely on specialty labs like IGeneX and Vibrant America that can test for multiple pathogens: parasites, viruses, fungi, bacteria, or even heavy metals.
Sometimes, a patient will be treated for Lyme without knowing they are also infected with another disease, such as Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Anaplasmosis or Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever. Because treatment regimens that target Lyme disease may not eradicate these other agents, even if the Lyme is successfully treated, the other infection(s) may not be. They must be treated simultaneously because they are often found together.
Alternative and Holistic Treatments
Alternative Lyme disease treatments are popular with many Lyme patients, especially those with late-stage or chronic Lyme. These alternative regimens can be provided in conjunction with antibiotics by many practitioners. Occasionally they are used as primary treatment.
Herbal protocols were rated the most effective by participants. The least effective treatment option was rated to be stem cells. Ghanaian quinine and Japanese knotweed are plants that have been found to be effective in Lyme treatment.
The critical aspect of any treatment program relies on proper diagnosis of all pathogens involved. Trying to treat any TBD in the presence of other parasites, fungi, or viruses usually does NOT work well. Every patient is different therefore every treatment must be tailored to the individual. Simply handing out antibiotics is not recommended. Our office currently supports DesBio Lyme SSR Detox protocols along with Rife Therapies. It can work for any age group and success rates can be very high if the patient compliance is high. Contact us for more info.
Visit these websites for more info:
Dogs and Cats can CARRY TICKS! ALWAYS CHECK YOUR PETS FOR TICKS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE.
Spider bites must also be considered as sources of these TBD infections.
Any chronic disease that you may be suffering from could be caused by TBD.
Find a practitioner that uses Igenx or Vibrant America Labs for proper diagnosis and make sure that you get tested for all the co-infections.
Find a practitioner that treats the TBD as well as all co-infections present.