Can You Cure Your Lyme Disease?
If you have been treated for Lyme disease but are still suffering from long-term symptoms, then you may be wondering if those symptoms will ever go away and what you can do about them.
A chronic illness can be frustrating and possibly devastating, so you should read on to discover what kind of solutions are available to you. Look here for a useful YouTube video on Lyme disease and its treatments.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an illness that you can contract from the black-legged tick. This insect is also called the “deer tick.”
Lyme disease is caused by four types of bacteria:
– Borrelia burgdorferi
– Borrelia afzelii
– Borrelia mayonii
– Borrelia garinii
You may pick up Lyme disease if you are accustomed to hanging out in dense foliage. It is common for hikers to pick up deer ticks from the brush.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
There is some variation as to the symptoms of the illness. These symptoms typically occur in stages.
Early Signs and Symptoms
If you have been bitten by a tick, you may notice a small red bump where the bite occurred. This spot does not indicate that you have Lyme disease.
Within a month of infection, you may notice a rash. This rash has the appearance of a bull’s eye pattern.
This rash is usually not itchy or painful. The rash may appear at more than one place on your body.
You may also get flu-like symptoms. These include fever, chills, fatigue, aches, and a headache.
Later Signs and Symptoms
If you are not treated for Lyme, then you might get the following symptoms:
– The occurrence of the rash in other parts of your body
– Joint pain – You can get pain and swelling in your joints.
– Neurological problems – You can develop meningitis, Bell’s palsy, numbness and weakness in the limbs, and impaired muscle movement.
– Nausea and vomiting
– Other rashes
Some people will develop the following:
– Heart issues
– Inflammation of the eyes
If you don’t treat your Lyme disease, then you may develop the following:
– Chronic joint inflammation
– Neurological problems
– Cognitive issues
– Heart rhythm issues
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
The problem with Lyme is that its symptoms are nonspecific. Since there is a lot of overlap with other illnesses, it can be hard to diagnose the illness. Another issue is that you can get other illnesses from deer ticks.
There are a couple of lab tests that your doctor can use to help produce a diagnosis. These tests work by identifying antibodies to the bacteria that cause Lyme:
– Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test – This test detects antibodies to Lyme bacteria. However, it can sometimes issue false positive results. For this reason, it is not used as the sole basis for a diagnosis.
– Western blot test – If the first test comes back positive, then this test is used to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme.
How Is Lyme Treated?
Oral antibiotics – Your doctor will usually use oral antibiotics to treat early-stage Lyme disease. You may need to take the antibiotics for up to 21 days.
Intravenous antibiotics – If the illness involves the central nervous system, then your doctor may put you on intravenous antibiotics. This can last for up to 28 days.
The Mayo Clinic warns that the FDA has stated that bismacine, an alternative therapy for Lyme, is not safe for use. It can cause bismuth poisoning.
What Is Chronic Lyme Disease?
Sometimes, even after you are treated with antibiotics for Lyme disease, the symptoms may persist. This condition is known as persistent Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease.
About 10 to 20 percent of people who are treated for Lyme disease will develop this condition.
Its symptoms include fatigue, joint or muscle aches, and cognitive issues. The symptoms may cause an interference with a person’s regular life and activities.
Scientists don’t understand why some people develop chronic Lyme disease while other people don’t. It is also not well understood what causes the symptoms of the condition.
There are some theories, though, as to what causes this condition. Some think that some of the bacteria remain in the person’s system that is not destroyed by the antibiotics.
Others think that Lyme actually damages the immune system and tissues. The immune system then continues to respond to the bacteria, even when they are no longer present.
How Can You Treat Chronic Lyme Disease?
Since chronic Lyme is not well understood, there is some debate as to how to best treat it. Certain experts recommend that you continue therapy with antibiotics.
However, there seems to be evidence that long-term antibiotic therapy may not be effective for recovery.
For this reason, many doctors focus on reducing the pain and discomfort of chronic Lyme.
Over-the-counter pain relievers are many times used, and also steroids are sometimes used to treat joint swelling.
Most people who have chronic Lyme will recover from their symptoms given time. However, it can be a long time of suffering until the symptoms completely resolve.
It sometimes even takes years before a person recovers. There are a few people who will continue to suffer from symptoms despite all treatment.
The best that can be done for such people is to try to make them more comfortable with pain relievers and other mild forms of therapy.
How You Can Prevent Tick Infestation
To prevent the eventuality of chronic Lyme disease, it is a good idea to follow the following tips:
1. Use insect repellent if you are going to be in a location where a lot of deer ticks are found.
2. When hiking, try to walk towards the center of the trail. Keep away from the brush.
3. Change your clothing after hiking.
4. Examine your skin and scalp for ticks.
5. Check your pets for ticks.
6. If you do get bitten, then contact your doctor immediately. According to Healthline, early antibiotic treatment can diminish your chances of developing chronic Lyme disease.
What to Do if All Else Fails
The question that some of you may be wondering about is what you can do if all of the antibiotics and pain relievers aren’t helping you. A chronic illness can be difficult to live with.
On his website, Dr. Axe recommends the following four natural treatments for Lyme disease:
1. Change your eating to improve immune function.
Dr. Axe says that, since Lyme affects your immune system, you need to find ways of boosting its function.
If you attack the root cause of the symptoms, then you may have a shot at resolving your problem.
He gives the recommendation that you should try removing grains, fruit, and sugar from your diet.
Instead, you should be focusing on anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables, seeds, coconut, bone broth, organic meat, and raw cultured dairy.
He also recommends the following foods to boost immunity:
– High antioxidant foods – Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables or berries are rich in many nutrients. They aid in controlling free radical damage and inflammation.
– Bone broth – Bone broth has certain amino acids that can enhance immune function.
– Probiotic foods – Probiotic foods can aid in reducing infectious disease and its symptoms. Foods such as kefir and yogurt and fermented vegetables should be added to your diet.
2. Supplements for cellular function
The bacteria that cause Lyme disease can attack your cells. To restore their integrity, you can add some essential nutrients to your diet:
– Vitamin D – Vitamin D3 boosts immunity and diminishes inflammation.
– CoQ10 – This nutrient can defend your brain and nervous system from inflammation and breaking down.
– Medicinal mushrooms – Research indicates that these can enhance your immunity.
– B-Complex – B vitamins aid in many metabolic and cellular processes. They also aid in fighting off infections and support neurological health.
– Omega-3 fatty acids – These work against inflammation and support neurological function. You can get this nutrient from fatty fish or supplements.
– Magnesium – This electrolyte plays functions in many ways in the body’s systems. It aids in nerve signaling and diminishes muscle ache.
– Turmeric – Turmeric functions as a natural anti-inflammatory.
3. Get enough sleep and manage emotional stress.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc with your immune system. It can also contribute to inflammation.
4. Reduce mold and parasite exposure.
Parasites and mold can exacerbate symptoms by putting stress on the immune system.
Does Stevia Kill Lyme Disease?
Believe it or not, there is actually some research that indicates that the sweetener stevia can kill Lyme disease.
This is not a recommendation to actually take stevia as a supplement, but this could be a positive side effect of using it in your diet, generally speaking.
Dr. Axe has a whole article on the subject but says that clinical research is needed to establish if it could be used to actually treat Lyme disease.
While most people will eventually get over Lyme disease with antibiotics, there are some who will continue to suffer from symptoms indefinitely.
The best advice for such people is to keep their health in great condition and possibly follow Dr. Axe’s recommendations above. Thankfully, most people do not encounter this problem.