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What is Lyme Disease? 8 Facts You Need to Know And Common Herbs Used To Treat Lyme Disease

{Today, please welcome Corah from Homespun Rabble Rousers, here to answer: What is Lyme Diseaseand Could YOU Have Lyme Disease? Been wondering about this mysterious illness that seems to be popping up all over the place?  Me too.  Find out more here.}

– Paralysis
– widespread joint and muscle pain
– severe fatigue
– headache, rashes
– unexplained fevers
– chills
– nausea
– hair loss


– swollen glands
– heart palpitations
– depression
– bowel problems
– interstitial cystitis
– TMJ, muscle spasms
– nerve pain
– numbness
– tingling
– stiffness
– abdominal pain
– light-headedness
– tremors
– confusion
– double vision
– sensitivity to light and sound
– anxiety
– menstrual irregularity.

Quite a list, huh? What if I told you all of these symptoms could indicate Lyme Disease?

Ridiculous right? How could a tiny bug cause so many health problems? Besides, it seems like everyone and their dog has it lately. It’s just the newest catch-all fad disease right? Or is it?

I know how you feel, because I’ve thought the same.

That list above is just a tiny sampling of all the symptoms I’ve experienced in varying degrees over the the last 16 years of my life. I’d spent years searching for answers to the problems that plagued me every day, finding no answers beyond “fibromyalgia”. When a friend suggested to me I could have Lyme Disease and I should watch the Under Our Skin documentary I honestly was offended. “Ya right!,” I thought. “Seriously… how could a bug do all this to me?”

One afternoon, I sat down in front of my computer and caved in. As I watched, tears streamed down my face… I saw the playing out of my own life before my eyes. I finally understood my life and I saw Lyme Disease for what it truly is.

You see… Lyme Disease is much more sinister than most people give it credit for.

Why is Lyme so sinister? Let’s explore together…

Dr. Richard Horowitz, a leading Lyme expert, says Lyme is “the number 1 worldwide epidemic… it’s spreading, it’s mimicking every disease and it’s going to destroy the world’s population.”

Earlier this year the CDC released new statistics for Lyme, admitting they were way off on their earlier estimations of Lyme in the United States. The number? 300,000 Americans each year. This is 10 times more than what they had previously estimated! Most Lyme experts still think these numbers are inaccurate, citing that many people are not reporting to the CDC, while others have been misdiagnosed with things like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, Alzheimer’s, or rheumatoid arthritis.

How does Lyme cause ALL those symptoms?

Not every aspect of how Lyme bacteria work is fully understood. I did a simplistic explanation of one function of the borrelia spirochete’s initial action within the body here. Go check that out first, but there is a lot more going on in the body that leads to this hefty list of ailments.

1.  As I noted, one of the first jobs of the spirochete is to release neurotoxins. As the name implies, neurotoxins release toxins into the nervous system, inhibiting communication of neurons (the cell that processes and transmits through your body’s electrical system) through synapses (the means to transport these electrical signals between cells).

When your neurons don’t communicate, this leads to things like memory impairment, paralysis, seizures, neuropathy (nerve pain, burning, tingling, etc.), and myopathy (muscular disease).

2.  Additionally, spirochetes cause our body to produce too many cytokines. Cytokines are proteins who’s job is to fight infection. (Sounds like a person would need lots of those to fight a Lyme infection right?)

In a normal infection the release of cytokines would pump up, do it’s job and then reduce again. However, as in my link above, the corkscrew bacteria of Lyme make there way into every organ of the body (usually with their co-bacteria friends) causing the body to produce cytokines in excess.

Excess cytokine production leads to inflammation which leads to pain and muscle wasting, immune system suppression, disturbed sleep, severe fatigue, thyroid and adrenal problems, problems with body organs and more.

8 NOT-SO-FUN FACTS ABOUT TICKS AND LYME

  1. Lyme Disease is caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi, but there are other strains of Borrelia.
    I personally have 4 strains… Parkeri, Kochii, Persica, and Recurrentis. I do not have Burgdorferi and many others do not, however the symptoms and treatment are the same so most doctors will call it Lyme as well. Calling it Borreliosis is more accurate. (But for our purposes we will stick to Lyme.)
  2. Ticks do not fly, jump or blow in the wind.
    They come out in cool, wet weather and come out seeking carbon dioxide… i.e. your breath! They spend their time in tall grass and when you walk by, they catch a ride.
  3. Lyme Disease rarely travels alone.
    Ticks often carry co-infections as well… Mycoplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, and Ehrlichia are the most common. (Click here for a full listing.) These carry their own complicating symptoms that can be just as severe or worse than Lyme, and often require separate treatment regimens.
  4. Only 50% of people get a bullseye rash!
    The other 50% may have another form of a rash or no rash at all. And only 10% of children with Lyme present with a bullseye rash.
  5. Ticks are not the only bugs that carry Lyme!
    It once was thought that only ticks carry the disease, not only that, but only deer ticks. Sadly, this is untrue. While deer ticks are still the number one source of Lyme Disease, lice, fleas, mosquitos, and other blood-sucking bugs have been found to contain borrelia bacteria. Whether they can transmit it in the same way as ticks is yet to be discovered. Other types of ticks such as the American Dog tick have been proven to carry Lyme and co-infections as well.
  6. Lyme can be transmitted from person to person.
    It has been proven to pass sexually, and also through saliva, organ transplant, blood transfusion (f.y.i – blood banks don’t test for it!), breast milk, and through the placenta to the unborn child.
  7. If you catch it right away and treat it, your odds of recovery are very good, not 100%, but very good.
  8. Lyme is NOT easy to treat if you don’t catch it right away.
    Many mainstream doctors claim Lyme, in it’s later stages, is simply treated with a few rounds of antibiotic and any remaining symptoms are “post Lyme” and will not go away. This is untrue as well.

Alright… are you panicking now?

I know it all sounds super scary and overwhelming but it is not my intention to incite fear. However Lyme Disease is a growing epidemic and after all I have suffered through over the years, I see it as my duty to inform others about Lyme Disease.

Be aware, but don’t live in fear.

My children still go into the woods to play.

Do I worry? Yes, but living in fear of the unknown will paralyze me so I choose daily to trust that God will protect them and I take simple steps to be proactive.

Interested in simple steps you can take to prevent Lyme and actionable steps in case you are bitten?

I’ll be back soon with more tips for you so stay tuned.  Subscribe to Whole New Mom to make sure you don’t miss this important post!

For further reading, you might be interested in the following.  It hasn’t been reviewed by either Corah or Adrienne but it has fabulous reviews on Amazon.  And the links to it are affiliate links.  So if you make a purchase after clicking a commission might be made – your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Lyme Disease Book


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00405R6NA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00405R6NA&linkCode=as2&tag=whnemo-20&linkId=X3JWBCGVCWF3TNLB


 

Common Herbs Used To Treat Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease has become a very political and contraversial diagnosis which leaves those suffering with Lyme forced to become very educated and make a lot of their treatment decisions independently. I know first hand the struggles that patients with Lyme Disease face trying to get diagnosed and treated appropriately. As a Registered Nurse and also the wife of a patient dealing with these issues I have been forced to become very educated on the subject. Knowledge is empowering so I encourage you to study up!

In treating Lyme Disease its important to remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are differing opinions as to WHAT the diagnostic criteria should be and unfortunately the current lab testing available today is inaccurate. There are also differing opinions as to HOW Lyme should or can be treated and truth be known they all very well can be effective. There are many traditional treatment protocols available that utilize prescription antibiotics and at the other end of the spectrum there are homeopathic remedies that have been supported by studies to be equally effective in killing the Lyme organism. -and somewhere in the middle is a happy medium that utilizes a little bit of traditional medicine along with some herbal therapies. We are treating my husbands Lyme with a little bit of both . Its nice to have several options!

In this article, I will discuss and highlight the most common herbs used in the treatment of Lyme Disease. In all of my research, I have learned that Nutramedix is top notch and these are the ones that have been most recommended by well known Lyme Herbalist. Not all herbs are created equally so its important to get them from a good source. I use the Nutramedix for my husband and I trust their quality.

Borrelia Burgdorferi Spirochete
Borrelia Burgdorferi Spirochete

What is a Spirochete?

Before I explain how some of the herbs work to kill Lyme Disease, I first need to explain briefly how the Lyme organism infects, reproduces, and thrives once its entered your body.

As you likely know by now, Lyme Disease is an infection that you receive after being bitten by a Lyme infected tick. The organism that causes the infection is a member of the “Spirochete” family and it is called Borrelia Burgdorferi. As you can see from the photo, Spirochetes are long and spiral in shape which allows them to “screw” themselves into body tissues. This way they can deeply penetrate many places/organs, which is why there are so many symptoms of Lyme Disease.

The difficulty in killing the organism primarily has to do with the fact that they are smart! They are considered to be “pleomorphs” meaning that they can change their shape and hide very easily. They can start out as “spirals” and then when they are in danger of being killed by antibiotics or other therapies they can change their form. Studies have shown that they turn themselves into “round forms” or “cyst forms” and become covered in a protective fibrous coating called “biofilm” when they are hiding from drugs/herbs that are trying to kill them. This is where it gets really tricky!

Our plan of attack to eradicate the Spirochetes has to be tailored to attacking the different “forms” of the organism. With traditional antibiotic therapy, we have learned that Doxycline kills the “spirals” but it is not effective in erradicating the “round cyst forms.” For this reason, another type of antibiotic would need to be added that has the capabilities of working on these cellular shapes. It often takes a combination of multiple drugs to conquer the spirochetes and with that comes drug side effects and toxicities. For this reason, many people are turning to herbal and homeopathic medicine in an effort to effectively kill the organism and minimize toxic side effects of prescription drugs. Just like prescription drugs, it takes a combination of various herbs and supplements to attack the spirochete in its several forms. Thankfully, studies and clincal applications using these herbs has proven to be just as effective and in some cases MORE effective than the the traditional approach!

My Recommended Readings

If you want to read more information regarding natural ways to treat Lyme Disease I can highly recommend Dr. Buhner’s book! I have ordered it and read it and refer to it often. He is an expert in this field and he explains everything very well in this book. I am also including a link for you to obtain another book if you prefer to read on your Kindle (second book below). I have not read this book but in my research it has been highly recommended. The third book is also very good. It has information regarding combined therapies (traditional and herbal).

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