Lyme Disease

Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted through the black-legged or deer tick. "There are five subspecies of Borrelia burgdorferi, over 100 strains in the US, and 300 strains worldwide. This diversity is thought to contribute to Borrelia burgdorferi's various antibiotic resistances" (TBDA website).

The Bite

When you KNOW you have a tick bite, treatment should be easy (you would think), but doctors vary in their treatment methods. Without a rash and having a fresh tick bite, I would follow the ILADS.org recommended protocol for prophylactic treatment, which is something like, no less than 3 weeks of antibiotics immediately without symptoms. If you wait for symptoms to surface, or once it becomes chronic, the treatment protocols will be longer.  Please visit the ILADS treatment guidelines for details. 

Finding the Tick

Instructions courtesy of Lyme Posters.  A favorite Facebook Group of mine.

Instructions courtesy of Lyme Posters.  A favorite Facebook Group of mine.

If you find a tick on your body, remove the tick and have the tick tested for Lyme and co-infections.  In the meantime, assume the tick has Lyme and insist on round of antibiotics as recommended by an Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD).  This will clear up any acute infection. If you have gone misdiagnosed, you will need to find a long term treatment plan for regaining your health. 

 

 

Symptoms

Possible Symptoms of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases:  TBDA alliance website

•    Fatigue
•    Low grade fevers, "hot flashes" or chills
•    Night sweats
•    Sore throat
•    Swollen glands
•    Stiff neck
•    Migrating arthralgias, stiffness and frank arthritis
•    Myalgia
•    Chest pain and palpitations
•    Abdominal pain, nausea
•    Diarrhea
•    Sleep disturbance
•    Poor concentration and memory loss
•    Irritability and mood swings
•    Depression
•    Back pain
•    Blurred vision and eye pain
•    Jaw pain
•    Testicular/pelvic pain
•    Tinnitus
•    Vertigo
•    Cranial nerve disturbance (facial numbness, pain, tingling, palsy or optic neuritis)
•    Headaches
•    Lightheadedness
•    Dizziness
•    Mysterious migrating symptoms that seem to come and go
•    Cyclical symptom

Prevention

I love the Tick Borne Disease Alliance (TBDAlliance.org) website.  This mnemonic device is located on their website as well as other prevention tips. 

Follow the BLAST Safety Steps

Bathe or shower soon after coming indoors
Look for ticks and remove with tweezers
Apply repellents for skin and/or clothing
Spray the perimeter of your yard for ticks
Treat your pets 

Other Tips

  • Buy or make Tick Tubes to reduce the tick population in your yard and neighborhood. Encourage your neighbors to do the same!
  • Buy a good tick repellent.  I like the natural kind, like Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, or Doterra Terrashield. 
  • Sawyer® Permethrin Insect Repellent for clothing.  Good for Hiking, Biking, Camping, and other outdoor activities that are outside of your well-groomed lawn. 
  • Keep yard free of debris, such as leaves, wood piles, piles of sticks, standing water. 
  • Keep lawn mowed and well-groomed
  • Hire a pesticide company to spray your yard for ticks
  • Get the Lyme vaccine for your pets