May 31, 2015 10:15PM
A Deeper Look At Lyme DiseaseBy Dr. Isabel Sharkar
Chances are you may know someone with Lyme disease and you’ve heard of all the potential debilitating consequences of it or you are experiencing it firsthand. There are various factors that contribute to the severity of symptoms and a lot of controversies in both diagnosis and treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread through the bite of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. The white blood cells are one of the primary cells that get infected with Lyme spirochetes.
The spirochete releases bacterial lipoproteins, which are neurotoxic with the potential to cause memory problems, burning neurological pain and numbness. Although not proven, some experts in the field believe Lyme can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her child as well as through intercourse. It is important to note that not all ticks carry Borrelia burgdorferi. If you get bit by a tick, the best measure to take it to safely and slowly remove it with a tick twister, making sure the head stays intact. It is important to save the tick so it can be tested for Lyme and co-infections. Co-infections include babesia, ehrlichiosis and bartonella. These co-infections further complicate the symptom presentation.
The standard of care for treatment of Lyme disease is two weeks of Doxycycline antibiotic treatment immediately after being bit. The longer before treatment is sought, the greater the chances of Lyme disease spreading. Symptoms associated with Lyme disease vary from person to person.
Some people will present with the typical bull’s eye rash while others will feel flu-like symptoms with weakness and a mild fever, muscle and joint pain, headaches or extreme fatigue. Symptoms follow after an incubation period that may last between two days to three months and in some cases the bacteria goes latent and does not affect the person until years later. More long-term complications may include varying degrees of neurological symptoms, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Bell’s Palsy, insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s. Joint pain, gut issues and a weakened immune system may be the result of co-infections.
Why do some people express severe symptoms of Lyme disease while others do not?
The severity of symptoms is related to the degree of toxicity in the body, which up-regulates the bacteria into higher pathogenicity. Toxicity exposure may come from the diet, external environment and emotions. Unprocessed emotional issues will make the body very acidic, which becomes the perfect breeding ground for disease. A proper detox is needed to free the body of a high toxic burden. Avoid putting more toxins in the body through diet and personal care products. This will also help to reduce the overall inflammation occurring in the body.
There are several contributing factors other than co-infections that affect Lyme disease such as parasites, mold, heavy metals, electromagnetic smog and secondary infections such as mycoplasma, candida, Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Mold is a big obstacle to cure in Lyme disease. According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, “Mold in the home gets by a factor of hundreds of times more virulent if it is exposed to microwave from incoming cellphone radiation or wireless internet.” Many microbes naturally inhabiting us may become more aggressive and illness producing when exposed to electromagnetic fields.
The Relationship Between Toxicity and Treatment
Although many treatments are geared towards treating the borrelia, it is not the borrelia that needs to be treated, but rather the toxicity in the body. Eat organic as much as possible, drink three liters of natural spring water a day to flush toxins out and only put organic natural products on your skin.
A long course of intravenous (IV) antibiotics is also not the answer. Long-term antibiotics impair the immune function and help to drive the spirochetes deeper and should only be used in rare circumstances. Instead, nutritional IV’s are a much better option and are used to boost and support the immune system. Treatment should also include dissolving the biofilms because the spirochetes burrow deep into the biofilm layers. Biofilm is an aggregate of microorganisms where cells adhere to each other and to a surface. Chelation is used to address heavy metals and mercury fillings in the mouth must be removed.
There is no quick fix for Lyme disease treatment. The longer the person has Lyme the longer the treatment to restore the body. Prevention and awareness is the best option. Wear trousers tucked into your boots and long sleeve clothing when hiking outdoors. Use non-toxic insect repellants and always check yourself for any signs of ticks after spending a long day outdoors.
Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. Stop by her clinic to pick up a complimentary tick twister. The tick twister removes the tick quickly and painlessly and reduces the risk of infection due to the unique way in which it removes the tick itself. If you suspect you have Lyme disease, visit a qualified doctor who is able to diagnose and treat you properly. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit IndigoHealth.com.