BY DONNA WESTFALL
Have you been suffering with sore knees? Stiff neck? Achy joints? Flu-like symptoms? Cognitive impairment?Are you wondering if you may have fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, MS or Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia or the flu? How about recurring bouts of these same symptoms over the years with decent health in between?
Let’s talk about Lyme Disease? It’s the great imitator of all those symptoms and more. And here’s the bad news….. it’s hard to get an accurate diagnosis. Blood tests called Western Blot are only 45% accurate. Properly diagnosed, most doctors will recommend antibiotics. However, if you speak with Lyme Disease sufferers, you’ll find out that courses of antibiotics don’t always work either.
Because it can infect and affect the brain you can also suffer from Lyme-induced depression, anxiety and brain fog.
How does it start?
It starts with a tick. Ticks are not insects, but tiny blood sucking parasites which live in woodland and grassy areas, closely related to spiders. They are often found in tall grass, where they will rest at the tip of a blade so as to attach themselves to a passing animal or human. Now these ticks are about 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch big. They can be black or brownish. Most of the time, you don’t even realize you’ve been bitten. You don’t see them and not everyone has a rash and bulls eye from the bite.
But once you’ve recognized all the symptoms and spent the weekend in bed, dizzy with fever and chills, it would be wise to take a good look at Lyme Disease and how to recuperate from it.
Antiobiotics not always effective:
the bacteria that causes lyme disease lives in the cells in your body (including your organs and brain), which complicates and slows down treatment. A Columbia University study found that current lyme disease blood tests may miss up to 75% of chronic lyme disease patients. So, don’t become discouraged when your Doctor calls to tell you your blood tested negative for Lyme Disease.
Dr. Cindee Gardner writes, “Lyme bugs work hard to protect themselves by existing in a self-produced matrix. The bugs secrete exopolysaccharides and exoproteins, effectively creating an armored shell around the community. Because of these methods, they remain stealth to the immune system and even antibiotics have a difficult time penetrating. Inside these shells, called biofilms, the bugs communicate with each other regarding when to grow. When the community grows large enough, the biofilm breaks, flooding the system with bugs. There are many natural supplements that work to break these up, creating movement, including fish oil, antioxidants, herbal compounds and enzymes. Specific herbs can reduce the number of colonies and reduce the number of cells inside the colonies.”
Alternative Lyme Disease protocols:
Alternative therapies include homeopathic remedies, acupuncture and boosting your immune system. It you haven’t had it long, it may take as little as 2 months to get relief. If you’ve battled this disease over years it can take 6 months or longer.
Here are some helpful websites, local practitioners and places to purchase products:
Dr. Cindee Gardner out of Pittsburgh, Pa. @ cindeegardner.com
Jody Mangum, Acupuncturist located in Smith River, Calif.
Wild Rivers Health Food store in Crescent City to purchase homeopathic and other remedies.