About Lyme Disease

The Ixodes immature (nymph) lick that is most
virulent as a Lyme carrier can barely be seen
Lyme disease is a disease transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick. In the USA, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people are affected by Lyme Disease and the co-infections that are associated with Tick Borne Diseases (TBD) annually. Lyme Disease outnumbers AIDS 5 to 1. Current testing is poor which means many go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for far too long. Poor testing leads to Chronic Lyme Disease which can affect every part of the body. Fibromyalgia, MS, ALS, Parkinson's and Autism are just a few of the diseases linked to Lyme Disease. Like Syphilis, Lyme is a great imitator and can masquerade as at least 200 different diseases. It is not uncommon for people to be misdiagnosed for decades before a knowledgeable doctor correctly diagnoses the patient and prescribes the correct treatment. 

Historical reports of what was later named Lyme disease go back to at least the mid 1800’s in Europe. Cases of Lyme have been reported in all 50 US states, as well as many countries, including those in Europe and Asia. In Europe, Lyme disease is called Borelliosis.

If a doctor tells you that there is no chance you have Lyme because there is no evidence of Lyme in your state, he or she is misinformed. See the map below for a very conservative estimate of the number of cases between 1990 and 2006. These are just reported cases, and ones that meet the very-conservative Center for Disease Control (CDC) criteria, which are hotly contested by many Lyme-literate doctors and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS).

Signs and Symptoms (Courtesy Lyme Disease United Coalition -- http://www.lduc.org/home)

Early Stage: Symptoms may appear from 48 hours to several weeks after an infected tick bite:
· Flu like symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache, fever, chills, swollen glands, sore throat, stiff neck
· Only 1/3 of infected people may have a rash or a bulls eye rash.
Late Stage: (Chronic Lyme) These may occur weeks, months, and even years after the bite and the symptoms may come and go. Peak disease is associated with increasing numbers of spirochetes in the tissues while regression follows the antibody response. It is very cyclic and fluctuates in intensity so that symptoms are present on some days and not on others.

· Continued flu-like symptoms with swollen glands, low grade fevers
· Depression, psychiatric disorders
· Sensitivity to lights, sounds, motion, odors, blurred vision, or loss of sight
· Cognitive dysfunction, difficulty organizing or making decisions, memory loss
· Muscle pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, motor dysfunction, and paralysis
· Stiff neck, severe headaches, loss of balance, dizziness, poor coordination, Bell’s Palsy
· Irregular heartbeat, palpitations, heart block, chest pain, difficulty breathing
· Tremors, seizures, panic attacks, anxiety, sleep disorders, swollen joints
· Possible death without continued treatment

 Currently, Lyme-literate doctors are too few and far between. These doctors, however, are the key to being properly tested for Lyme and the co-infections that might be making you ill. They are our only hope for up-to-date treatment of Lyme and TBD's. The links below can help you find one.

ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) is training doctors to become Lyme literate through their Physician Training Program, and is key to fighting for research and a cure for Chronic Lyme Disease. Contact ILADS for help finding a doctor and for excellent information. www.ILADS.org

Working with ILADS, and helping to fund their programs, is Turn the Corner Foundation. Visit their website for information about Lyme education. www.turnthecorner.org

Here are some other resources:

For Dr. Joseph Burrascano’s very detailed diagnosis and treatment guidelines:

Other Lyme blogs: