May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
During my long health journey, Lyme disease was something I had never concerned myself with. I had heard of other people being diagnosed with it, but I never thought I had it. I knew I had been bitten by insects multiple times throughout my life, but I never remembered a particular “bull’s eye” rash.
My Lyme Disease Diagnosis
I had started with a new doctor last fall because I had taken some setbacks on my health journey. (I’ll write more about them on a future post). When the doctor heard of everything I had done up to that point to get better (some things such as minimizing toxins, taking many supplements, removing my mercury fillings, detoxing, and eating an organic “real” food diet), she said I shouldn’t have been in the situation I was in. That’s when she muscle tested me for Lyme. She was convinced that I had it, but I was skeptical. When I heard of people having Lyme, I didn’t think that the symptoms I was experiencing were related. I put that diagnosis in my back pocket and continued on additional visits with her. We tried other things to try to improve my immune system and to help me gain weight. During this time I was becoming dangerously thin – to the point that bones were sticking out in places that they normally wouldn’t. I wasn’t absorbing all of the nutrients I was putting in my body, so there was no cushion between my skin and bones. My body looked so horrible that I couldn’t stand to look at it, or even weigh myself. I tried to cover it up with my clothes, but I knew I was bad. I tried to do things to gain weight. I also started focusing in on healing my leaky gut, but I was still unable to gain weight. After trying many things with no success, I decided to move forward with treating Lyme.
A diagnosis of Lyme Disease can be alarming. However, the diagnosis didn’t phase me. I have had so many other challenges along this health journey that adding Lyme to the list wasn’t a huge deal to me. Even as much so as I didn’t take the time to really research it. If you know me, you know I have learned to research everything and I recommend that you do too. However, for some reason, I didn’t do extensive research this time. Looking back, in this instance, it was the best thing for me. I thought I have tried everything else to get better, I might as well try this too.
From the doctor’s who I follow, I learned that Lyme Disease is really at epidemic proportions. In addition, my doctor had mentioned that the majority of people who see her have it.
What Is Lyme Disease and How Many People Have It?
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is:
“a multisystem disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism is transmitted through the bite of certain species of blacklegged ticks. In 2013, state and local health departments reported approximately 35,000 cases of Lyme disease to CDC, making it the fifth most commonly reported nationally notifiable condition. Research suggests that as many as 300,000 persons in the United States might be diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year.”
They go on to say that “Lyme disease is highly regional. Approximately 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases are reported from 14 states in the upper Midwest, New England, and the mid-Atlantic states.” I am from the great state of Michigan where we have many trees, deer, and insects.
How Do You Get Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is carried to humans through an insect such as a tick, mosquito, mite, or spider. I have also heard that it can be transmitted sexually. If you have been bitten, you may experience flu-like symptoms. You may develop a red rash around the site of the bite. You may also begin to develop joint pain within the first month following the bite.
Lyme disease can cause a myriad of symptoms so it can be tricky to diagnose. Symptoms can be mild at first and are often overlooked. According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, “if Lyme disease is left untreated, the bacterium travels through the bloodstream, establishes itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms, some of which are severe. Lyme disease manifests itself as a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin in its early, localized stage, and spreads to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages.” Other symptoms include fatigue, a stiff aching neck, hormone irregularities, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, tingling or numbness, headaches, painful arthritis, neurological disorders, or cardiac abnormalities.
One symptom I experienced was neurological. It was so slight that I didn’t even notice it until my doctor tested me. I was beginning to have tremors. I also had other symptoms that I had learned to live with over time. I didn’t even realize they were symptoms until I went through treatment. The main symptom I was concerned about at the time was my inability to gain weight. The disease was affecting my hormones and blocking areas in my body. I have since learned that the lyme bacteria uses up the body’s nutrients for its own needs. “For example, it utilizes magnesium for its reproductive needs, depriving us of magnesium needed for cellular ATP energy and thus rendering us tired all the time.” Magnesium is just one example of the loss of nutrient we need.
If you catch Lyme disease early enough, you can treat it with antibiotics. However, if you don’t notice right away that you have been bitten (as only 25-50% of people get a rash), symptoms can set in and treating Lyme disease down the road can be a little more complicated. If you have chronic Lyme, antibiotics are not a good option. There are various treatment suggestions such as herbs, diet changes, detoxing, oxygen treatments and Rife machines.
Testing for Lyme disease can be difficult as there are limitations on the current blood tests that can be administered. I have read that the Western Blot test is not accurate during later stages of Lyme. However, I have read that when paired with the iSpot Lyme test, it is better. The iSpot Lyme test is far more sensitive and specific.
It is important to treat Lyme disease correctly as there can also be co-infections associated with it making Lyme disease complicated.
For my treatment, I was recommended to use a Rife machine. Rife machines produce frequencies which basically explode the bacteria. In my case, it took multiple different treatments over the course of a few weeks. It was very effective for me. The whole process was pretty amazing. I could actually feel different areas of my body being treated as they began to tingle, and painful areas flared up then went away. My body started to physically change too. Cushion began to come between my skin and bones and my bones weren’t protruding as much. I also noticed my hormones changing and getting better.
Do I believe that Lyme has contributed to my autoimmune condition? Yes. However, I believe that many other things have also contributed to it (another blog post for a later time).
If you suspect you have Lyme disease, please see a doctor who is qualified to test and treat it before your symptoms become severe. Lyme disease can be tricky, but with proper treatment, you can begin to regain your life.
Additional Articles for Your Reading Pleasure:
- Lyme Disease Symptoms and Answers
- Why is Lyme Disease Not JUST a Tick-Borne Disease Any More?
- The Hidden Epidemic of Lyme Disease
- Lyme Disease Natural Remedies