The Spread of Lyme Disease
On the island of Nantucket, virtually everyone either has tested positive for Lyme Disease, assumes they have Lyme Disease or lives with Lyme Disease. The typical allopathic treatments are antibiotics because the disease is spread by a bacteria present in infected ticks. But as with all antibiotics, the rampant presence of the disease has made many people unresponsive to the antibiotics used. There are alternatives...
Hunting on the island of Nantucket is becoming less and less of a pastime. The year-round resident population drops substantially during the hunting season so that there are fewer people on island to hunt. There have also been very stringent guidelines for hunting on the island, not to mention the large population of both residents and visitors who don’t condone hunting at all.
The result has been deer camping out in people’s back yards, vaulting across the roads during the day, and even strolling through town at night. The problem is that deer carry ticks that are at the heart of the spread of Lyme Disease. And the island of Nantucket has the highest incidence of Lyme Disease of any county in the entire country.
I have been the only practicing Naturopathic Physician on the island of Nantucket for the last few years and in that time, I see new Lyme Disease patients every day that I’m on the island. It has become so common that I am tempted to put every single patient on a Lyme Disease treatment protocol just to see how many of their symptoms will disappear.
First, The Facts...
Although we are dealing with bacteria, once in the human body, it can act parasitically, which may explain some antibiotic regimens not even touching the symptoms. And symptoms will be more common in someone who is already sick, has just recovered from an immune challenge or is highly stressed, as these are all things that can weaken your immune system.
Not all ticks are infected, so many tick bites will produce nothing more than an irritation at the bite site. Even infected ticks will take more than 36 hours before they will begin to spread the bacteria into the bite site, so as long as you detach the entire tick before that time and cleanse the bite site, you should be fine. The best way to remove a tick is to take a pair of tweezers with a very fine head. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, avoiding the body of the tick. Then gently pull on the tick slowly until it detaches on its own from the skin, because it is important to remove the entire tick.
Persons that have been infected may develop symptoms anywhere from 3 days to one month or even longer from the time of the bite. Often people will not even realize that the fatigue, back pain or even headaches they are experiencing periodically are related to an outdoor excursion some months back and not just normal aging. If you are an avid outdoorsman or have ever had a tick bite, even if you didn’t develop a rash or symptoms, it is smart to get a blood test on a regular basis to rule out the possibility of Lyme Disease.
And don’t be fooled by the lack of a rash. Only about half of those infected develop the noticeable red circular rash that spreads out from the bite site. If you suspect that you have been infected, a blood test beginning even a few days after the onset of symptoms can detect most antibodies to Lyme.
So going the antibiotic route is definately a smart thing to do, but don’t stop there. Since often the bacteria can alter into a more parasitic form, it is much more effective to add some natural options to the antibiotic regimen that you are taking, or even to do a natural protocol directly after the antibiotic regimen. I have treated individuals up to two years after the original tick bite and still had great success at reducing symptoms and resolving chronic body weaknesses.
Now, The Treatment...
The most important herbal option is Artemisia or Wormwood, which is a very strong antiparasitic extract. I like to add Black Walnut Hulls, Cleavers, Goldenseal, Cat’s Claw, Echinacea Angustifolia and Andrographis. In this way not only will this formulation affect any form of the original spirochete, it will also help to prevent any secondary infection from taking hold in the system. Along with this I will give MediHerb Ganoderma and Shitake mushroom tablets and Standard Process Immuplex immune complex.
Along with the above combinations, homeopathic remedies have long been recognized for their wonderful treatment of Lyme Disease and secondary infections. If there is any muscle inflammation, swelling and pain, I will use Heel Homeopathics Cerebrum Compositum, Coenzyme Compositum and Ubichinon Compositum. I will add Engystol if there is any fever or body temperature regulation issues. Arthritic symptoms are best treated with Rhododendroneel, Bryaconeel and Traumeel. I will even suggest Traumeel topical ointment for overnight on the affected areas, which can reduce symptoms dramatically.
If the symptoms have been persistent or recurrant for more than a few months, I will often have to add specific natural options that focus on the body systems that are affected, such as the nervous system, the respiratory system or the digestive system.
There are also a couple of therapies that I have found to be essential and effective. Many patients respond amazingly to NMT therapy (NeuroModulation Technique) because of its success with allergies, immune issues and body reactions to infectious agents. Another great therapy to add is FAR Infrared Sauna because of its strong antibacterial effect and the fact that the effects can penetrate the skin really helping to boost the immune system and sterilize affected areas.
By following both the prescribed regimen and a natural complementary approach, symptoms can be reduced and even eliminated. But nothing is a substitute for prevention. So break out the woolly socks, the long sleeves and be sure to check your body thoroughly after every woodsy excursion. And be sure to check your pets as well if they are outdoor animals. Many of my patients have actually woken up to find a tick on them in their bed from their beloved pet.