The Latest on Lyme

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When we were young, we never thought twice about lying in the grass looking at the clouds, running through the sand grasses on the Cape or walking through the depth of the woods.  Now we all worry, we all take precautions.

The truth is that you cannot avoid Lyme Disease without avoiding all the joys in life.  You may also be wondering why your Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Candida is not responding to treatment?  Because it may actually be undiagnosed Lyme.  More and more we are recognizing that a tick bite is the source of all ills for so many that live in the northeast.  So the best thing is to not just tuck your pants inside your socks or examine your tush with a magnifying glass.  Strengthen your body’s natural resistance.  That way if you are bit by an infected deer tick, you will not be down for the count.

Most symptoms may not appear for weeks and many people do not develop the signature rash.  You can’t even rely on a blood test because a positive test often doesn’t happen for at least 30-60 days. By that time the bacterium is already at work in your system.  So my rule of thumb is if you feel beyond lousy, then treat yourself as though you have Lyme.

How do you do that?  First get in the habit of dousing any bite with vinegar or alcohol immediately.  I usually tell people to apply a thin layer of topical antibiotic ointment if the bite wound is very noticeable.  The important thing is to treat yourself for Lyme exposure whether you know or not.  You do this because treatment in the first 48 hours is simple and effective.  This doesn't mean to run out and get a prescription antibiotic unless you absolutely know you have been bitten by an infected tick.  A selection from Astragalus, Andrographis, Wormwood, Cat's Claw, Standard Process Congaplex and an incredible Canadian remedy called Sclero-Tox are very effective in the first 48 hours. 

After the first 48 hours you are now looking at an infective stage.  This is where you want to get in front of the disease by really boosting your immune system, detoxifying your body fluids and treating for all opportunistic infections that occur as part of the Lyme package.  This is the absolute key to preventing the chronic phase of Lyme Disease and it also explains why conventional treatment often doesn't work.  By the time you are in the infective stage the actual Lyme infection is identifying your body resources and adapting to your body environment.  Remember, the goal of any living thing is survival and this is no exception.

The longer Lyme is present in the body, the more chronic it will become because it is multiplying into a group of opportunistic infections and illnesses, which can rob you of your health, your future and your very life.  I have worked with hundreds of Lyme sufferers and even though you may have a positive test, this is no longer Lyme.  This is now a host of other infections and deficiencies created by the initial infection.  This is why antibiotics past 10 days do not prevent secondary infection.  Once you are still symptomatic past that time, antibiotics will only open you up to a world of hurt because antibiotics disrupt your gut flora, allowing secondary infections to develop more often and more rapidly..

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So we aren’t just talking about a parasite, a bacteria, or even a virus.  We are talking about a chronic infiltration of your body systems with branches that continually challenge your immune system to keep up.  It is a ticking time bomb that morphs and adapts to the individual body that it infects.  This means that your inherent or predisposed weaknesses are the determining factor in how Lyme will affect you. 

Identify, Plan, Execute ... Literally!

Given that it adapts to the individual body, you need to first write down every single illness you have ever had, when and what body system did it affect.  In other words, if you had bronchitis, your symptoms were respiratory.  With IBS you have digestive symptoms.  How many viral illnesses have you had and what were they?  How many bacterial infections have you had?  Once you have your scorecard, then you will know which systems are going to be the target of your Lyme symptoms. 

Now the plan.  Create a treatment plan for each weak system even if there are not yet symptoms there.  This can include natural therapies such as acupuncture, lymph drainage or colonics.  You may choose homeopathics, herbs, food supplements, essential oils.  It is also important to include a regimen of nutritional support including essential fatty acids, gut probiotics, whole food multi, lots of minerals and digestive enzymes. 

Now you need to keep your pathways of elimination open so that the immune system can dislodge, neutralize and excrete debris and toxins from your body.  This is a key component that is essential to the process.  It doesn't feel very good, but the more open your pathways are, the shorter your down time.  The pathways of elimination include the skin, the breath, bowel function, urination, the liver, the lymph, the ears, the nose and reproductive fluids. 

As you do this, you will notice that some pathways become more congested and symptomatic, so they require more targeted therapy.  This entire process usually will take 20% of the total time you have been infected.  So if you can trace this back two years, then we're talking about 5 months. 

Prevention on a Personal Level

Prevention isn't just what you do before you go outside.  It's what you do when you get up every single day.  Taking things that support and modulate your immune response, making sure your nutrient load has extra for emergencies, keeping stress at a minimum and giving the body the recovery time it needs after each illness ... these are the basics of personal prevention.  In our chemically-laden world, you really do need daily immune support.  My favorite go-to formula is a high grade imported blend of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia, root extract only.  The secret about these species of Echinacea is that they address all pathogens by balancing every facet of your immunity. 

Next make sure your gut flora is strong and active.  And this doesn’t mean taking flora, it means supporting your own body’s ability to make flora.  I recommend Slippery Elm Powder daily, lots of plain yogurt and fermented foods.  Now add to this essential fatty acids and a low sugar diet.  Why? Because what do bacteria love to eat?  SUGAR.  So you are removing their food source, which is a strong deterrent.  If your internal environment is unfriendly to pathogens then they won’t survive long enough to affect you. 

Even the most chronic, debilitated, symptomatic individual can heal from Lyme.  You just have to understand your body and understand your personal disease process.

Karen Clickner