Lyme Disease Part 2: Winning the Battle.
Like most chronic Lyme sufferers, I do not remember the specific tick bite that changed my life. I don't recall any rashes after yanking ticks from my body. As many as two thirds of those infected with Lyme never get the telltale bull's-eye shaped rash. I've had countless ticks feed on me, from the piney woods of New Jersey to the Peace River in British Columbia. I'll never forget the thousands of ticks that emerged from a cooling bear carcass during a photo session after a successful bowhunt in Manitoba. I make a living and feed my passion in the outdoors. As a result, I'm accustomed to peeling ticks off my flesh, and I never got overly excited over rashes left after tick bites until recent years. Since I do not recall acute Lyme-related illness at the time of the bite, I'm a classic case of late-stage symptoms common with chronic Lyme disease.
I was once told by an acquaintance that he was dying as a result of his Lyme disease. I recall thinking I'd never heard of Lyme disease as a cause of death in a human! As a biologist, it just didn't make sense. Deer, rabbits, mice, birds and humans are hosts for ticks and the nasty microbes they inject into us. They rely on us to complete their life cycle. Ticks simply want a blood meal, and the microbes that take up shop in the saliva of ticks want to hop on board and infect a new target. Once they settle in to target areas of your body, they reproduce then await another tick bite where they hitch a ride on a new tick in hopes of finding a new host. If they kill us, they disrupt a good thing they have going on. That's not job security, and it certainly doesn't sound like the highly adaptive and creative Borellia burgdorferi bacteria Dr. Willy Burgdorfer identified.
Your immune system is like a championship-caliber NFL defense. It works together, as a team, with a well-established game plan for attacking and defending an offensive assault designed to find an area of weakness. Occasionally, an offensive scheme can exploit a weakness. Likewise, an unbalanced and compromised immune system opens the door for an attack. If your immune system is robust and you are bitten by a tick that transmits a stealth microbe such as Borellia, you may simply experience a rash and flu-like symptoms followed by what appears to be a full recovery. Likewise, a compromised immune system may allow chronic infection to set in.
I often hear people talking about Lyme disease as though it's the only pathogen spread by ticks. The fact is, we don't quite know how many species of tick-borne microbes are lurking in the various species of ticks. This is one reason that testing for tick-borne illnesses is virtually useless. While Borellia is the most common tick-borne microbe associated with Lyme, Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Rickettsia and Chlamydia are also common. Throw in the fact that we know each group of microbes has several species and an unlimited number of different strains, and you begin to see why testing is a waste of time and money--and often provides false hope. We know Borellia is not alone, and further complicating the mess, we also know there are many species of Borellia that cause Lyme-like syndrome. If the symptoms are present, treat for Lyme disease.
Research has proven that although synthetic antibiotics may help you gain traction in your Lyme disease battle, the stealth microbes that cause Lyme are extremely resistant to antibiotics. If your doctor disagrees, ask him what science he has been reading. Many doctors today are triple-booked and simply don't have the time to stay on top of emerging science while managing a demanding medical practice.
There is no scientific evidence that synthetic antibiotic therapy cures Lyme disease. The microbes that cause Lyme disease merely go into hiding and return to their normal parasitic lifestyles once antibiotic treatment stops. All the while, synthetic antibiotics make a mess of your gut by killing off billions of beneficial digestive bacteria. Additionally, antibiotic resistance is a given when an antibiotic is used long-term. Furthermore, when environmental conditions become hazardous for the survival of stealth microbes like Borellia, they have an amazing ability to surround themselves in protective cysts and become dormant until the coast is clear. As a result, some Lyme-literate doctors feel that antibiotics administered in high concentrations indefinitely or until symptoms cease is the way to go. I tried this method but abandoned it after a few months because I am not favorable to long-term synthetic antibiotics due to the havoc they can wreak on the body. The antibiotics jump-started me; however, a few months after taking them, my symptoms returned. As a result, I've chosen more natural herbal protocols developed by Stephen Buhner and Dr. William Rawls. The likelihood of herbal toxicity is very low, and the benefits are high.
There are volumes of research on testing for Lyme and tick-borne infection. All of it reports that testing for Lyme disease is terribly unreliable. I've had two negative ELISA tests administered by two different family doctors only to find out three years later, after spending $980 on a western blot test, that I'm dealing with at least three tick-borne infections, including Lyme disease. It will take several years to repair the damage that has been done to my joints and nerve coatings.
The most common test done in doctors' offices across the country is the ELISA test, and unless you are presently showing a rash or Bell's palsy, it will likely show negative results. My father-in-law came down with flu-like symptoms after pulling a tick off himself. His doctor shrugged off a skin rash because it lacked the bull's-eye. He was initially sent home without antibiotics or testing. These signs and symptoms were screaming Lyme disease! The research shows that Lyme rashes do not always possess the bull's-eye pattern and in fact can be any shape at all! Only when he went back for a second visit because half of his face went numb was a test administered with positive results.
The two books I've added to my library and have changed the way I think and treat my illness are Unlocking Lyme by Dr. William Rawls and Healing Lyme by Stephen Buhner. I have also found a massive amount of reliable data on the website of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (www.ilads.org), a nonprofit advocacy group that fights for acceptance of chronic Lyme disease. Be VERY careful about Lyme information found on social media and the Internet in general.
There remains a lot to be learned about Lyme disease and tick-borne infections. The truth is there is great research out there; however, scientists are just scratching the surface. When you add the unnecessary resistance from the medical and insurance industries, the pace of advancement and treatment options slows to a snail's pace. Those of us who deal with it don't sit back and wait for Lyme-illiterate family doctors but instead opt to seek the best approach to good health. I hope this information is helpful to fellow hunters who may also be following the frustrating path of Lyme-illiterate medical doctors.
Moving forward, I'm optimistic in what I'm finding on the topic of treating Lyme with herbal supplements. Essentially, when your immune system is strong, many nasty microbes can lay dormant in your body without causing too much havoc. Allow your immune system to slip due to any of the disrupting factors as defined by Dr. Rawls, and you are likely to experience problems.
The good news is that it is possible to successfully treat and heal Lyme. Although I occasionally slip backwards, I now know and understand the exact causes of my joint pain and brain fog. For me, it's a failure to exercise, minimize stress and avoid processed foods. I have found great pleasure in the fact that the wild game my family harvests each year is as good as it gets when cleaning up our diet. I'm energized by the fact that the herbal protocol designed to manage Lyme disease will also positively impact fibromyalgia, cancer, diabetes, depression, anxiety and many more.
Symptoms of Chronic Lyme Disease
* Chronic fatigue
* Migrating arthritis/joint pain
* Muscle pain
* Chronic back pain and disc degeneration
* Chronic flu-like symptoms
* Headache/neck stiffness and creaking
* Bell's palsy
* Brain fog/decreased cognitive function
* Noise and sound intolerance
* Ringing in ears
* Disturbed sleep
* Blurry vision/floaters/eye discomfort
* Eye pain
* Tooth pain
* Dizziness and instability
* Muscle twitching
* Burning, tingling in feet and hands
* Chest pain/Irregular heartbeat
* Shortness of breath/difficulty catching breath
* Unstable bladder
* Gastrointestinal dysfunction
Source: Unlocking Lyme by Dr. William Rawls
Caption: This Manitoba black bear Jason Snavely took in 2011 was so full of ticks he didn't even want to touch it during his photo session. Back then, Snavely didn't worry much about ticks or the diseases they carry. But after a lengthy battle with Lyme disease, Snavely is now keenly aware of the dangers.
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|Title Annotation:||WHITE TAILS|
|Date:||Oct 26, 2017|
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