The Puzzle of Chronic Lyme

Being bitten by a tick, seeing a bulls-eye rash erupt and getting flu-like symptoms are the common look-fors of acute Lyme disease. But Lyme is more complex than that. Acute Lyme left improperly treated, or missed altogether, becomes a complex puzzle of symptoms, causes and experiences.

Not all chronic illness is related to chronic Lyme, but many people experiencing chronic Lyme don’t know it.

The following are familiar symptoms for many people.

 

  • Headaches, hallucinations, cognitive disorders, brain fog, imbalance, Bell’s palsy
  • Depression, insomnia, anxiety
  • Debilitating tiredness & exhaustion
  • Within 6 months you can no longer go to work
  • Severe & bizarre chemical/ medication sensitivity
  • Severe allergies / extreme hives
  • Recurrent flu-like symptoms
    • Gastrointestinal problems , diarrhea & cramps, gut paralysis (Ahalasia)
    • Chest pain, irregular heart beat
    • Joint & Muscle pain;  neck & shoulder pain, hip pain
    • Gynecological problems, severe PMS, heavy bleeding, early hysterectomy
    • Loss of libido
    • Dermatological, ocular changes, floaters

Yet – people find little relief. They find medication is not effective, they see lots of specialists and and have many tests done – yet there’s no diagnosis,  no one is really able to figure out what is going on. So they person is told that it must be “all in your head”.

Or, the person is finally diagnosed with one of the following

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • All collagen diseases (all types of arthritis, Lupus)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. Crohn’s)
  • Chronic depression, schizophrenia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lou Gehrig’s (ALS)
  • Cerebral atrophy, Bell’s palsy, Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Parkinson’s disease , Alzheimer’s, etc.
  • Autism, learning disorders, hyperactivity, etc. What if there are some common bugs that could be causing this health puzzle.

    What is Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease, or Borreliosis,  is a bacterial infection with worldwide distribution . How to you get Lyme? The most established  view of transmission is from tick bites. Ticks carry bacteria, parasites and viruses. The main infection ticks carry is Borrelia. They also carry these co-infections: Ehrlichia , Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Babesia. It is the infections that cause the illness. Borrelia is known as the “Great Imitator” as it mimics more than 100 diseases. The corkscrew shape of the bacterium allows it to penetrate every organ.  It is the fastest growing tick-borne disease in North America and Europe  and is reaching epidemic proportions. It’s the most under- diagnosed and politicized disease in North America, particularly Canada where inadequate diagnosis & treatment leads to chronic and debilitating  illness

    Acute Lyme is recognized if one has a known tick bite in an endemic area with the hallmark bulls-eye rash. Other Symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms; Joint pains, Swollen knee (particularly in children). The standard treatment is 2- 4 weeks of antibiotic therapy.

    Chronic Lyme is more complicated.  There is a general ignorance about Chronic Lyme in the medical profession. There is inadequate testing for Lyme and its co-infections, especially in Canada.  Poor testing and diagnosis and inadequate treatment of acute Lyme leads to chronic Lyme. As chronic Lyme can mimic over 100 chronic diseases (many of which are considered to have no known cause, for example, MS, ALS, Colitis), many people are not diagnosed with Lyme, but with M.S., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, autism.

    There are several methods for treating Lyme disease including antibiotic treatment, bio-resonance, herbalism and other nutritional therapies.

    Please have a look at the following brochures to learn more about Lyme and its manifestations from ilads.org

10 Tips for Preventing Chronic Lyme Disease  and how to recognize if you might be suffering from Lyme

http://www.ilads.org/lyme/Prevent_chronic_lyme.pdf


Psychiatric Lyme Disease – did you know that Lyme can manifest with psychiatric symptoms? This guide for patients (and psychiatrists) tells you what to look for and how to understand the impact of Lyme in this area of mental health. 

http://www.ilads.org/lyme/Psychiatric_Brochure_08_08.pdf

 

Lyme Disease in Children  – it can manifest with many symptoms – including an inability to concentrate, changes in behaviour and temperament and even signs of learning disabilities. If you have kids – you need to read this. From the Lyme Disease Association: Lyme Disease in Children 

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/images/NewDirectory/Resources/LDA_Brochures/ABC_2009.pdf