Lyme Disease & Co-Infections
|Do you have debilitating flu-like symptoms including extreme fatigue, headaches, jaw, neck, joint, bone or back pain that never seems to go away? Perhaps you also have brain fog, aching all over, burning in your feet, tingling in your hands, mood changes and or poor sleep?
You may be suffering from Lyme-Borrelia disease and/or the co-infections that are seen with it. Lyme disease may start with a “bullseye” target shaped rash (with central clearing) at the site of the tick bite. The rash may also instead be annular (a red circular patch). If one has had multiple annular areas followed by the onset of symptoms this could signify systemic erythema migrans, a Lyme-Borrelia infection throughout the body. However, 50% of people with Lyme disease, also don’t get this classic easily to recognize clue. If present this rash can appear anywhere in the body and may or may not be itchy.
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?
Lyme disease is an infection that is caused by a tick bite from ticks infected with borrelia burgdorferi species that transmits the bacterial infection into the bloodstream. The ticks (black-legged ticks/deer ticks) are very small and hard to spot as compared to the common dog tick. Lyme disease affects many different systems in the body and thus creates symptoms throughout the body. It may start out acutely and unfortunately can become chronic affecting those who suffer from it for years.
Why do some people get Lyme disease when bitten by these ticks and others don’t? As with any health concern, there may be a known microbe that is thought to be the cause however the microbe needs to have a weakened host’s body in order for it to become active and or chronic. Considering that 70% of one’s immunity is found in the digestive system and that the microbiome (eco-system of microbes that actually make up 90% of human cells and carry genetic information) of a healthy individual is very different than one who is susceptible to becoming ill. The power in your immunity comes from a healthy lifestyle including a variety of local whole foods, exercise, rest and balanced life.
When the body breaks down weakened immunity, poor detoxification and low cellular function are prime environments for Lyme disease to become chronic.
Revivelife™ Lyme & Co-Infection Services provides integrative medicine combined care- the best of both science & nature.
Revivelife™ is one of Ottawa’s leading Lyme Care Service Providers, offering private and comprehensive testing, consultations and IV Therapy. Our team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and support staff help to support you back to health.
HOW IT WORKS
The symptoms can include one or a combination of the following with varying degrees of severity:
- “Bull’s Eye”Rash
- Brain Fog
- Mood Changes
- Fever or chills.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscular spasms, or weakness
- Numbness or tingling
|Most individuals with Lyme disease will also have co-infections or other tick-borne infections that add additional symptoms. These can be transmitted through the same bite or prior bites.|
|Lyme (Borellia burgdorferi)– GENERALIZED ACHING, UNILATERAL & WANDERING –moderate cognitive, low grade fever, HA-light & sound sensitive, myalgias, fatigue, flue-like fever, chills, moderate mood, moderate Bell’s palsy like symptoms, vertigo, moderate-severe generalized achy- unilateral wandering, Bull’s Eye rash (`~5cm) 90%, moderate sleep, labs, Prioritize when CD57 is below 30 with HLA 15-3-51 and/or 16-6-53|
|Babesia– SEVERE DEPRESSION/MOOD SWINGS, SELDOM PAIN, DARK URINE – infects RBCs, severe cognition, severe depression/mood, tachycardia/heart failure, fatigue, flu-like- fever, chills, drenching sweats, heat intolerance, short of breath, nausea, muscle joint pain, imbalance, seldom-occasional pain ankles, feet, wrists, hands, severe sleep, SOB, dark urine, jaundice, shock, – risk of severe|
|Bartonella – SEVERE PAIN; FEET PAINFUL & NUMB; RASH STRETCH MARK LIKE– infects RBCs, tissue & bone marrow, rash followed by low grade fever, headache, sore throat & conjunctivitis 3-10 days after scratch- moderate-severe cognition, moderate-severe mood, edema, heart, fatigue, gastritis, HS – inflammation of BVs of brain, inflamed spinal cord, seizures, vision problems, swollen lymph glands, heart problems, severe pain – feet pain & numb; joint specific , paralysis, labs- liver enzymes.|
|Ehrlichiosis – HEADACHE -infects WBCs, confusion, fatigue, nausea, headaches, flu-like, muscle aches, sometimes rash, swelling hands & feet – kids – labs-elevated liver enzymes , low platelets (thrombocytopenia), low WBCs (leukopenia) risk of severe.|
|Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – SPOTTED RASH 1 WEEK AFTER INFECTION – SPOTTED RASH ON HANDS/FEET- infects lining of small muscles & blood vessels, microcirculatory vasculitis can lead to myocarditis, weakness, nausea, occult blood, headache, sudden fever, respiratory-edema, pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome, lethargy & confusion 25% , ataxia 18%, coma 9-10%, seizures 8% , spotted rash on soles of hands & feet > body (10-15% no rash), risk of severe neurological damage, jaundice 10% – risk of severe
BASIC LYME DISEASE TEST
- Western Blot IgG: Measures the body’s chronic response.
- Western Blot IgM: Measures the body’s acute response.
- Lyme IFA**: Detects pathogen specific antibodies in human serum.
COMPLETE LYME DISEASE TEST
- The basic as above plus:
- PCR Serum & Whole Blood: Detects the DNA for Lyme disease.
LYME DISEASE & CO-INFECTIONS TEST
- The basic as above plus:
- Co-Infections: Detects the presence of co-infections.
* Note- All lab testing must have a pre-lab consult or new patient appointment and post-lab consult.
For More on Lyme Disease & Co-Infection Testing
Rates: For current rates please contact the office firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-829-7100
Please complete the intake form below. Our secure form will keep your information private and will send all data to our professional physicians for review.
IS LYME DISEASE CONTAGIOUS FROM PERSON TO PERSON?
Lyme disease is spread through blood and thus unless there is blood contact Lyme disease is not contagious from person to person. Precautions thus should take place to donation of blood for those who have active Lyme disease to avoid the spread of the illness through means such as blood transfusions.
HOW CAN YOU REPEL TICKS?
The CDC recommends dousing yourself with the toxin DEET to prevent tick bites, but certain plants have been found to work just as well.1-3 You can mix equal parts of lavender, geranium, juniper and tea tree essential oils and apply to your clothing. Although you can apply to your skin as well, use caution with children as some essential oils are very strong.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU DO GET A TICK BITE?
If you do get a tick bite, be sure and take care of the wound properly. The CDC gives guidelines on how to properly remove a tick here. To be on the safe side, I recommend placing in in a plastic bag and send it off for testing, you can google in your local area labs that do this type of testing or call your local doctors office. Once your remove the tick you can apply lavender essential oil to the bite every 5 minutes for half an hour. If you notice any flu-like symptoms or a “bull’s eye” rash follow up quickly with your integrative health care team.
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE LYME DISEASE?
It’s also important to know that Lyme disease can only be diagnosed by a physician. To get a firm diagnosis for Lyme disease, there are tests available, but some are more accurate than others. For more on Lyme disease test options.
IS THERE A TREATMENT FOR LYME DISEASE?
Traditional approaches to Lyme disease include to “treat the infection with borrelia” with the use of antibiotics. Most experts agree that 2-4 weeks of antibiotic therapy is indicated for acute Lyme disease, or immediately after infection. Many advocate up to 9 months of antibiotic therapy, even though there are no studies supporting long-term antibiotic use.4 This method is based on the germ theory i.e. that if the germ is killed then the host will recover. However antibiotics will wipe out the bad bacteria as well as the good bacteria leaving your microbiome (collection of microbes that are key to a person’s wellbeing) severely unbalanced and most importantly your immune system weak. In addition the initial symptoms of Lyme disease are flu-like so often go undetected until they become chronic. The CDC and IDSA5 (the groups providing official recommendations), do not recommend antibiotic treatment unless you have an official diagnosis of Lyme disease.
|Antibiotics may be required in certain types of acute infections with aggressive, rapid-growth bacteria such as bacterial pneumonia, Borrelia may have a way of out smarting antibiotics. Antibiotics may not work for everyone with Lyme disease because:
1. They Hide!: Borrelia is corkscrew in shape and can bore deep into tissues. It clears the blood quickly and finds a home inside cells in joint cartilage, brain and nerve tissue where it is shielded from antibiotics and the immune system. If it is exposed to antibiotics it simply puts on its second armour by forming a dormant cyst riding out the war until the antibiotics are gone.
2. It Grows Low & Slow: Borrelia grows low-key and slowly. Borrelia grows in very low concentrations in tissues. Antibiotics have their best action on microbes that grow very quickly and are concentrated in a specific area i.e. pneumonia.
3. Borrelia Becomes A Part Of You: By blending in with your microbiome (the total of all the microbes in the body which provide you immunity and wellness when balanced). It simply wants to party with you and your friends which makes it difficult to get rid of, just like the person at a party that no one is sure how they got invited.
4. It Makes Friends Easily: Once it gets into your party Borrelia is like that guy who then decides to invite all of his/her friends too. Borrelia often is with or co-infects an individual with other microbes. These other microbes have similar qualities and properties to Borrelia.
5. Antibiotic Resistant: Yes these guys can become resistant to antibiotics and even when they do respond can be very slow to respond. The longer they are there the higher the chance of antibiotic resistance.
6. Second Hiding Spot: Borrelia can also hide in biofilms, which is a protective colony of microbes that form on a surface such as plaque on your teeth. There is more research to be done to fully understand this impact.
7. Immune System Weakness: Antibiotics are important for acute life-threatening conditions, however in Lyme disease the benefit is questionable relative to the risk. The very nature of antibiotics wipes out the bad guys and the good guys leaving immunity overall weakened. When the friendly flora is wiped out other pathogens can then flourish as well.
In certain cases, antibiotics/antimicrobials are required. Your unique plan will be assessed relative to the benefit and risk. Your body has designed your immune system to work with you to be well.
An integrative approach focuses on strengthening the body to allow the body’s innate healing capacities to thrive. Our 5 Step Plan not only is focused on healing Lyme disease but also creating long term wellness and not another disease to deal with down the road potentially from the treatment methods.