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Lyme Disease…Tic …Tic…Tic It’s almost time!

Lyme Disease…Tic …Tic…Tic It’s almost time!

In 2022, the U.S. states with the highest rates of Lyme disease were Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine. However, the states with the highest total number of Lyme disease cases were New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The CDC in 2023 estimated approximately 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year with numbers growing across the country, because ticks that carry the Lyme-causing bacteria are expanding their territory.

Lyme ticks are active year-round, except during subfreezing weather, but spring is the most dangerous season because that’s when the baby ticks (which are so small they are almost invisible) are born. Ticks typically undergo larval, nymphal and adult stages during their life cycle. They feed only once at each stage in its life cycle. Infection is highest in the adult and nymph forms of the tick, and lowest among the larval forms.

Deer ticks are already tiny, as small as a poppy seed, and easy to miss, and not everyone gets the bull’s-eye rash after a Lyme-infected tick bite. Ticks must be attached to its host for about 36-48 hours for the Lyme bacterium spirochete to transfer to their host.

Deer are often blamed for being carriers of Lyme disease, but mice are among the most effective carriers of the Lyme bacterium, infecting 95 percent of the ticks who feed on them, making mice responsible for most of the Lyme disease spread in the Northeast. One mouse can carry up to 100 deer ticks on their face and body and then bring those ticks around your yard and even into your home.

Lyme is an inflammatory disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. In humans it manifests as a multisystem disorder of the skin and other organs, such as joints, heart, nervous system, brain, and eyes. It can become a crippling lifelong chronic illness affecting children, adults and pets. Some of the basic symptoms of a Lyme infection — fever, malaise, fatigue — can resemble the flu and Covid-19 too. Making detection of Lyme potentially to go un-noticed.

To further complicate matters according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to infection. Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected only recently. It is not until 4 to 6 weeks have passed since being bit, that a Lyme test is likely to be positive.”

Upon discovering a tick bite, your doctor’s standard treatment is doxycycline or an alternative antibiotic for a few weeks. This usually clears the infection and resolves symptoms. Treatment needs to occur immediately! The longer you wait the less effective the course of treatment is. Unfortunately, the CDC states that antibiotics interfere with Lyme blood test results.

Some people who receive antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline) early in disease (within the first few weeks after tick bite) may not have a fully developed antibody response or may only develop an antibody response at levels too low to be detected by the test.

Furthermore, a study published in the American Journal of Pathology stated, “Lyme bacteria can survive a 28-day course of antibiotic treatment approximately four months following infection by tick bite.”

Even with treatment, about 10 to 20 percent of patients report persistent symptoms including fatigue and joint pain — often termed “persistent Lyme infection” or “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome” (PTLDS) that in some cases can last for months or years.

Chronic organ involvement may develop years after the tick bite. Among untreated patients in the USA, 60% begin to have intermittent attacks of joint swelling and pain. Large joints, especially the knees, are primarily affected. Then chronic polyneuropathy may develop, manifested primarily as nerve/back pain.

A study from Tulane University of Utah Health published in the February 2018 issue of The Journal of Immunology showed Lyme arthritis can be a result of an overactive immune response resulting in an auto immune disorder (where the body’s own immune system is attacking rather than repairing). Their research showed triggered immune T cells produce inflammatory molecules that accumulate around the joints and contribute to inflammation and arthritis long after the initial tick bite. Although Lyme is not officially classified as autoimmune, infection-induced autoimmune diseases when left untreated can be lifelong.

Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) — the nation’s leading source on parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people — is warning that the current risk of Lyme disease is higher than ever. They offer free Parasite Forecast Maps at www.petdiseasealerts.org. It provides a local forecast for every county in the continental United States monthly. CAPC recommends that all pets need to be annually tested and protected year-round.

PREVENTION is extremely important.

Of course, the appropriate clothing and using tick repellent is a must. Hiker’s Guard (Woodstock Herbal) lotion and spray is an effective natural Deet-free formula which is safe for children and pets too! Wear a hat sprayed with tick repellant inside and out, long-sleeved shirts and closed shoes when in tick infested areas. Wear light-colored clothing on which it’s easier to spot dark-colored ticks. Seal your socks to your pant legs and cuffs at wrist with duct tape to prevent ticks from reaching skin.

Oregano Oil: is a great first line of prevention as well as treatment internally and externally. It kills pathogenic bacteria without disrupting beneficial bacteria. The chief antimicrobial ingredient is carvacrol. Oregano Oil should contain at least 62-70% carvacrol content to be effective.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that essential oils from oregano, cinnamon bark, clove buds, citronella and wintergreen killed stationary phase Lyme bacteria even more potently than daptomycin, the champion among tested pharmaceuticals.

A study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published October 16, 2017, in the journal Antibiotics found oils that are pressed from plants showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow growing “persistent” forms of the Lyme disease bacterium. The study found Carvacrol, the active ingredient in oregano oil showing excellent activity against B. burgdorferi stationary phase cells and a potential novel treatment of persistent Lyme disease.

Dr. Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School stated. “We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the ‘persisted’ forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics.”

For many years people have been using Oregano oil as a preventative as well. They found when taking one dose of Oregano Oil daily for a couple of months, the ticks generally didn’t latch on for long or didn’t seem to bite at all. Best of all should you get bitten, the natural antibiotic properties circulating in your system can potentially help kill off the bacterium.

Cat’s Claw:  is a plant indigenous to the Amazon rain forest and other tropical areas of South and Central America. It goes by the Spanish name “uña de gato,” owing to a hook-like thorn that grows along the vine and resembles a cat’s claw. Promising research shows that Cat’s claw tinctures or capsules may be an effective addition to Lyme protocols. Cat’s claw extract was shown to reduce both spirochetes and rounded forms of the Lyme bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) in vitro, as well as disrupting and reducing the size of the biofilm. TOA Free Cat’s claw is a special formulation & potentially more powerful of the herb.

Teasel Root (Dipsacus sylvestris or fullonum) is most known for its use in treating Lyme Disease. It is also used as a stomach aid, an analgesic for pain relief, an anti-inflammatory, and a stimulant for the nervous and lymph system. It is effective for chronic inflammation of the muscles, one of the major symptoms caused by the bacteria infection of Lyme Disease. Teasel Root is used for its ability to pull the bacteria from muscle tissue into the blood stream so that antibiotics (natural and pharmaceutical) and the immune system can do its work. A medical study published in the January 15, 2022, journal Pharmaceuticals reported, “Dipsacus fullonum L. leaves extract showed high activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi; however, it exhibited a noticeable cytotoxicity on NIH cells. The iridoid-glycoside fraction showed a remarkable anti-Borrelia effect and reduced cytotoxicity.”

Dosing when taking Teasel Root for Lyme disease must be done very slowly and used for short term intervals. For instance, on day one, you will start with only one drop in 1 oz water in the morning.  On day two, you will start with one drop in the morning and add one drop in the afternoon and gradually build up to the recommended dose on the label. Teasel can be very potent so pay attention to how you feel and stop if needed.

Treating Lyme Disease is complicated. It can affect everyone differently and everyone might have other health issues that overlap symptoms. Therefore, an appointment with a Holistic Practitioner is advised before trying to treat yourself.

For prevention for children under 12 years old or pets contact us at the Tree of Life Wellness Center 508-336-4242. Schedule an in-office or telephone appointment at the Tree of Life Wellness Center in Seekonk Massachusetts and let our 40 years’ experience in Natural Healthcare help you feel better again.

Consult With Professionals at The Tree of Life Wellness Center

  • There are many more ways to effectively treat Lyme disease even if you have had it for a long time.
  • Before making any significant changes to your health regimen, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medication, we strongly advise consulting with a healthcare professional. To assist you in this process, consider reaching out to the naturopathic practitioners at The Tree of Life Wellness Center. They are well-equipped to answer your questions about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and guide you on your health routine.
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*Always check with your health practitioner when adding in new supplements.

Jane Jansen – Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center

Host Holistic Healthline Radio