Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria Borrelia, which is transferred into a human body by a deer tick bite. It develops by deer ticks from mammals that carry the disease, which is then transmitted by the ticks in humans and other animals, with its bite. A deer is quite small in size and almost equal to a sesame seed, the females are larger in size than the males which are completely black in color. The moment one detects a deer tick on the body, remove it immediately. This way Lyme disease might be avoided as it takes almost twenty four hours for the Borrelia bacteria to transmit in the human body. Always use a tweezers or a similar tool to remove the tick and try to grab its head because in some case the body may be detached but the head of the tick might give the Lyme disease by sucking.the blood. One should be careful while removing the tick and try not to twist or crush it. Carefully remove it in a single piece, seal the tick in a plastic bag and visit a doctor for testing right away.

Lyme disease is not contagious. The disease can only be spread by tick bite. A number of people wrongly assume that it is a contagious disease as the symptoms is rather similar to another contagious condition, influenza. From studies, quite a few numbers of Lyme disease cases are reported to the doctors, but the specialists have calculated that the figures of cases are only 10% of the actual number of patients. Lyme disease, if not detected in time can cause more dangerous conditions such as severe joint pain, numbness and paralysis of the face muscles. Some other symptoms of later stages are difficulty in concentration, memory loss, severe headaches and sleep disorders. Neck pain and inflammation in the body are also prevalent. These symptoms usually appear months after the tick bites.

Signs and Symptoms

Lyme disease and deer tick

Bitten by a deer tick

When one is bitten by a tick, there is a 50% chance, that it was infected. The frightening thing is besides Lyme, one can get other serious illnesses from it like Babesiosis and Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis. If you have ever seen a bull’s eye, that is how Lyme starts. First sign is the “bull’s eye” lesion which is the red ring with dark red sometimes indurated middle inside at the tick bite site. Not long after the initial invasion, Lyme disease starts to spread. It goes into the skin, causing rashes, tendons, muscles, joints, which results into pains. It also goes into the heart and nervous system including brain resulting into experiencing myriad of disabling symptoms from the first few symptoms like dizziness, flu, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, fever, chills, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, inconsistent sleep habits, insomnia and palpitations to open psychosis, heart block and paralysis. A rash that develops in the early stage is one of the major symptoms that differentiate the flu from this disease. More than 80% patients with Lyme disease develop a small red spot with a clear center in the body part where the tick has bitten. The rash is a clear indicator of this disease as it develops in a form of a unique bull’s eye shape.

Treatments

With the help of modern western medicine and with all its antibiotics, there are remedies. Medical researchers came up with antibiotic regimens that should kill the bug right away. The symptoms of Lyme are nonspecific and overlap with many other disease conditions. Not all people present with the classic bulls-eye rash after a tick bite. People with a chronic Lyme infection may have had it for months or years and will likely present with very low antibody concentrations. Prevention is the best way in combating Lyme disease. Taking necessary precautions before leaving home and properly examining the body once back at home. Wear long sleeve shirts, hats and tuck in your pants into the socks while you are heading towards a forest or similar environment where ticks are generally found.

Home Remedies

Given the high cost of treatment, difficulty of diagnosis and the controversy of overprescribing antibiotics for Lyme patients, these herbs and lifestyle additions have helped many and cured some. Likewise, limited scientific studies have begun to support many of these therapies as well. This does not constitute medical advice, but rather some suggestions of helpful places to direct research:

Prima Una de Gato : TOA-Free Cat’s Claw (Samento). Some survivors have found major improvement with speech impairment (stopped talking in opposites), memory and some improvement in joint pain. A little goes a long way, and it must be added in gradually in order to avoid a major Herxheimer reaction.

Reishi Mushrooms: Reishi is an adaptogenic, medicinal mushroom. The term “adaptogen” means it educates the body on how to act in a proper, balanced way. If something’s underactive, Reishiwillstrengthen. If something’s overactive, Reishiwilltone it down. Reishi also oxygenates the blood, oftentimes improving memory and mental acuity in the process.

Oil of Oregano: This is just a great supplement to have on hand anyway. Oil of Oregano is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. Its structure is complex and therefore less likely for the spirochetes to develop immunity to. The pills tend to make people burp, but the liquid burns going down. Mixing drops in water with Liquid Chlorophyll makes swallowing this a bit easier. This combo also offers extra alkalizing effects due to the chlorophyll. (Those with respiratory illnesses can also inhale the steam from a few drops in a pot of boiling water.)

Teasel Root Tincture: Though hard to come by, but if found, one may find it very helpful for joint aches. Taking teasel root completely removed years of arthritic symptoms in affected knees almost overnight.

Host Defense: This is a specific blend of medicinal mushrooms by Traditional Medicinal. It supposedly ups immune function by 30%. Many Lyme survivors have found the extra oomph in the immune system helped them lessen joint pain and fatigue.

maitake mushrooms for Lyme disease

Maitake mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms: Another medicinal mushroom, Maitake seems to work well for Lyme and supporting the immune system. The medicinal mushrooms have their own profiles. Maitake activates the immune system and seems to provide more overall energy.

Resveratrol: Found in skins of dark grapes, red wine, and Japanese Knot wood, this extract supposedly offers strong support for the immune system. Anecdotal evidence and raw food expert David Wolfe recognize resveratrol as one of the top supplements for Lyme Disease.

Nitrous Oxide This one sounds controversial, but some studies have shown that nitrous oxide is highly toxic to Lyme bacteria. Commonly given by dentists during treatments, it may be impossible to calculate how much of the improvement stems from ridding Lyme patients of simultaneous infections in the gums and teeth that divert the immune system from treating the Lyme.

Heat: Some people have been known to inject themselves with malaria in order to overcome Lyme disease – a fact that gives the unknowing some idea of just how devastating and desperate life with Lyme can seem. Some people use far-infrared saunas for similar results. Keep in mind that the Herxheimer (die-off) reaction of Lyme bacteria can cause nausea, headaches and dizziness. If you employ heat to fight Lyme, make sure to work up gradually and take precautions to ensure safety.

Raw Foods: Raw foods and chlorophyll alkalize the system, and Lyme disease, like most illnesses, prefers an acidic system. Anything that alkalizes does create a less welcoming environment for spirochetes.

Colostrum: This is not a vegan product, but some vegans have opted to include it in their Lyme arsenal because it boosts the immune system in a major way.

Probiotics: Since most Lyme sufferers get hit with multiple rounds of intense antibiotics, some strong probiotics from the refrigerated section help to rebuild the gut. Keeping the intestinal flora balanced helps the body to fight any and all illnesses.

Ticks

Ticks are small arachnids, part of the order Parasitiformes. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Almost all ticks belong to one of two major families, the ixodidae (hard ticks), which are difficult to crush, and the Argasidae (soft ticks). Adults have ovoid or pear-shaped bodies which become engorged with blood when they feed, and eight legs. As well as having a hard shield on their dorsal surfaces, hard ticks have a beak-like structure at the front containing the mouthparts whereas soft ticks have their mouthparts on the underside of the body. Both families locate a potential host by odour or from changes in the environment.

Lyme disease and Ixodid ticks

Ixodid ticks

Ticks have four stages to their lifecycle, namely egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Ixodid ticks have three hosts, taking at least a year to complete their lifecycle. Argasid ticks have up to seven nymphal stages, each one requiring a blood meal. Because of their habit of ingesting blood, ticks are vectors of at least twelve diseases that affect humans and other animals. Ticks satisfy all of their nutritional requirements as ectoparasites, feeding on a diet of blood. They are obligate hematophages, needing blood to survive and move from one stage of life to another. Ticks can fast for long periods but eventually die if unable to find a host. This behavior evolved approximately 120 million years ago through adaptation to blood-feeding. The behavior evolved independently in the separate tick families, with differing host-tick interactions driving the evolutionary change. Some ticks attach quickly while others wander around looking for thinner skin such as is found on the ears of mammals. Depending on the species and the life stage, preparing to feed can take from ten minutes to two hours. On locating a suitable feeding spot, the tick grasps the host’s skin and cuts into the surface. They extract blood by cutting a hole in the host’s epidermis, into which they insert their hypostome, and keep the blood from clotting by excreting an anticoagulant or platelet aggregation inhibitor. Ticks find their hosts by detecting animals’ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture and vibrations. They are incapable of flying or jumping, but many tick species, particularly Ixodidae, lie in wait in a position known as “questing”. While questing, ticks cling to leaves and grasses by their third and fourth pairs of legs. They hold the first pair of legs outstretched, waiting to grasp and climb on to any passing host. Tick questing heights tend to be correlated with the size of the desired host; nymphs and small species tend to quest close to the ground where they may encounter small mammalian or bird hosts; adults climb higher into the vegetation where larger hosts may be encountered. Some species are hunters and lurk near places where hosts may rest. On receiving an olfactory or other stimulus, they crawl or run across the intervening surface.

Ticks are implicated in the transmission of a number of infections caused by pathogens such as bacteria, virus, and protozoa. Sometimes the tick harbors more than one type of pathogen, making diagnosis of the infection more difficult. Species of the bacterium Rickettsia are responsible for typhus, rickettsialpox, Boutonneuse fever, African tick bite fever. Other tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease and Q fever, Colorado tick fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, tularemia and Heartland virus.

Not all ticks in an infective area are infected with pathogens, and both attachment of the tick and a long-feeding session seem to be necessary for transmission of these diseases to take place. Thus tick bites often do not lead to infection, especially if the ticks are removed within 36 hours. Adult ticks can be removed with fine-tipped tweezers or proprietary tick removal tools, disinfecting the wound. It is also possible to freeze them off with a medical wart remover. If the tick’s head and mouthparts break off during removal, they can be removed with tweezers like a splinter.

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