TIC KIT TO THE RESCUE/KEEP THAT TIC:
In preparation for the fall Tic season — If you find a TIC on your body soak the area in apple cider vinegar with a cotton swab (that causes the tic to back out) and carefully pull the tic out with tweezers and immediately freeze it. Call the office and come get a tic kit ($35.00). The tic will be sent to a special lab to determine if the tic is a carrier of Lyme. This one step can spare oneself an entire lifetime of wondering if they had ever been exposed to Lyme disease.
LYME FACTS/ THE SHAPE SHIFTERS:
The infectious bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi have 300 different strands. It has the most complex genome of any bacteria known.
It has 21 plasmids that are the software of the bacteria and can rearrange themselves to facilitate entry into different hosts.
Once inside the host they can camouflage themselves and also change what genes they express.
They can shed their cell wall and go intracellularly making it harder for antibiotics to work.
In the presence of antibiotics they can go into a Cyst Stage and “circle the wagon” so to speak until the antibiotic is out of the system and then revive themselves.
Lyme is primarily transmitted through the bite of deer ticks, but can also be transmitted via fleas, mosquitoes, mites, biting flies and blood transfusion. Symptoms can include almost every system of the body and common symptoms are fever, headache, fatigue, pain, stiffness, neurological problems, blood pressure spikes.
Only 50 % of people ever report seeing the classic bull’s eye rash and small nymphs the size of a poppy seed can attach and infect the host never leaving any sign of intrusion.
The ticks that spread Lyme disease can simultaneously transmit other bacterial or parasitic infections that can require treatment. Therefore it is important to also test for Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma Pneumonia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The Center for Disease Control published a study on July 16, 2015 which states that high risk areas for Lyme disease in the Northeast are rapidly growing. The study’s lead author Kiersten Kugeler (from the CDC) states that “the risk is expanding in all directions at twice the national average”. The CDC now estimates about 300,000 new cases each year. The problem is that many people who contact Lyme do not get the typical bulls’ eye rash. They are unaware they were ever infected with Lyme until many years later when their health is compromised and a host of symptoms emerge.
TYPES OF TESTING:
WESTERN BLOT: This test is the most common test ordered. The test looks for antibodies IgM and IGG to Lyme. The IgM is the antibody measured for Acute Lyme exposure. However within the first few weeks of testing there can be a range of 50-70% of false negatives. The IGG is more reliable but it can take 4-6 WEEKS to produce large enough quantities of antibodies. ** Lyme experts point out that Chronic Lyme patients can be so immuno-compromised that their body will not make adequate antibodies and may test negative to the test.
I GeneX: This test is a Western Blot test that is more sensitive and tests more bands. It tests band 297 which is a more prevalent band in the United States and Canada. It addresses both IGG and IGM of all of the bands. Sensitivity is increases by special cultures and a trained individual with over 25 years’ experience verses a machine reads the results.
I SPOT: Cutting edge technology that can measure the T cell response to specific antigens which kicks in within 4-6 DAYS after infection vs. the western blot that takes weeks. The test aids: early detection, monitors progress, efficacy of treatment and can identify reoccurring infection.
Antibiotics are the treatment of choice in early stage Lyme. After the acute stage, treatment protocols vary widely depending on the health of the individual, their immune system, and the number of coinfections. When treating Lyme it is important to remember that the whole person and all systems need to be treated and supported not just the Borrelia Burgdorferi infection.
~ Dr. Sherie Viencek