An Integrative Approach to Lyme Disease and other Tick Borne Diseases
What is Lyme Disease?
There is a new pandemic in this world that is becoming ever increasing in prevalence and severity. It is a "great imitator" of many diseases, and it is often very difficult to pinpoint with the lab tests currently available. Because of this, many people are diagnosed or labeled improperly with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Migraine, being a Malingerer, Candidiasis, Osteoarthritis, among several other diagnoses. Fortunately, when the proper diagnosis is finally made and the causative co-infection has been determined, then the symptoms of these aforementioned "disease labels" can be removed and the ongoing diagnosis and treatments reflect Tick Borne Disease (TBD).
Only approximately 20-40% of the Lyme disease cases present with a rash and the same small percentage of patients may report that they can recall a tick bite on their skin. Many people who have a tick borne disease can present with a wide variety of nonspecific systemic complaints that may affect any part of the body. In some people who receive a tick bite, wherein the tick makes an attachment under the skin, in as little as fifteen minutes, the tick can feed on the host’s blood and expurgate (vomit) its stomach contents under the skin of the person. However, the tick bite can infect that individual with a whole host of bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic organisms, which can lead to major medical complications. Please remember, ticks do NOT only transmit Lyme disease from Borrelia, but can transmit many other coinfections as well.
In some people, a tick bite can lead to disseminated infection and disabling physical, psychological and cognitive manifestations. Many can manifest with very puzzling systemic symptoms that can occur throughout the body, which lead to very complex and many times, inaccurate, lab tests. Unfortunately the lab testing that is performed by the classic labs, Lab Corp. or Quest Diagnostic Labs, only test for a limited number of Borrelia species. Therefore, a great percentage of true "Borrelia infections" go undetected and under diagnosed.
Because of this, Lyme disease has been ignored or trivialized by many in the medical profession for more than a quarter of a century. There are two extremely different views on Lyme disease management in the US and this adds to the complexity of the diagnosis and management of treating people. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) believes that Lyme disease can be easily detected and "cured" with one antibiotic treatment that usually lasts for 14 days. This is what most physicians, clinics, emergency rooms, and health practitioners follow as their guidelines. The ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) point of view is much more encompassing and allows for many variables in diagnosing and treating TBD. Most ILADS practitioners are highly trained to recognize that standard blood tests to diagnose Lyme disease are highly unreliable and that even thirty days of antibiotics is often insufficient.
Chronically ill patients therefore go from doctor to doctor until they find a physician well versed in Lyme disease management and treatments. Most LLMDs (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors) need to receive many hours and years of comprehensive training in order to be able to recognize and identify those seronegative (by CDC guidelines) patients, who truly manifest as Tick Borne Disease patients, and then learn the appropriate treatment guidelines established by ILADS, in order to begin to help the TBD suffering person.
Borellia spirochetes have also been found in mosquitos, spiders, lice, and mites which can also be a vector in the transmission of Lyme disease. Recent research supports that Lyme disease should be considered a sexually transmissible disease and the Borrelia spirochete is similar in its features to that of syphilis (treponema pallidum). There have been several papers written on the transmission of tick borne diseases, which can be trans-placental and can also be transmitted via breast milk. This is obviously a significant problem since people usually only think about tick borne diseases when the person gets an actual tick bite.
Tick borne diseases, as stated above, usually have a variety of infectious agents that can lead to a variety of conditions. This contributes to the difficulty in isolating which antibiotic and treatment regimen will provide the best outcome to help the patient. The following list is a sampling of what is known today as infectious agents in the literature associated with tick borne diseases:
Bacterial Infection, Parasitic Infections, Viral Infections Candida and Other Fungal Infections
Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules that every Babesia infection has all of the classic symptoms of Babesia and no certainty that the labs will be accurate. This leads to a great problem in the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients with TBD.
Once the tick borne disease gets the opportunity to thrive within the host, multiple co morbidities can occur within the body to cause the severe fatigue and complications associated with Lyme disease. The various systems in the body can experience a multitude of dysfunctions and in order to resolve the tick borne complications, your physician should correct the abnormalities listed below in order to restore you for more optimal recovery.