In the past 10 years Lyme Disease has been diagnosed in all states except Hawaii. The Lyme disease incidence rate of 87.9 diagnoses per 100,000 Maine residents is the highest it has been in the state in the last decade. It is perhaps not surprising that Maine is also the most rural state in the country, with 61.3% of the population residing in rural areas. Maryland is one of several Mid-Atlantic states where Lyme disease is more than twice as common as it is nationwide.
While the disease is widespread and public awareness is increasing, there is much to be learned about Lyme disease. People are often misdiagnosed as symptoms can vary from patient to patient. While the disease is often treated with a regimen of antibiotics, in some patients, symptoms can linger for months and even years.
With over 300,000 individuals in the US Diagnosed with Lyme Disease , the current standard laboratory testing frequently misses the diagnosis. Earlier this year, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the state’s first bill related to Lyme disease into law. The new law requires that doctors provide a written note to patients explaining that negative tests results do not necessarily mean the patient is free of the disease. The law illustrates the ambiguities surrounding Lyme disease testing and diagnosis.
PREVENTING TICK BITES FROM THE CDC WEBSITE:
- April to September are the most active months for tick bites and Lyme disease transmission.
- Cover your self from head to toe, wear a hat, tuck your pants into your socks and wear long sleeves or a light jacket to keep yourself protected from ticks.
- Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Repel Tick with DEET and Permethrin is the CDC recommendation. Essential oils (instead of DEET) are often used as tick repellents and one commercial essential oil tick repellent is Amrita’s Bug Be Gone. Parents should apply it to children avoiding eyes, nose and mouth.
- Bathe within 2 hours of coming in from outdoors, and do a full body check looking behind ears, scalp, belly buttons, waist bands, and in skin folds.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. …
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Save the tick and send it in for test to a company like: Tickit, which tests the tick for organisms that can cause illness in individuals.
Standard antibiotic treatment after a tick bite is Doxycycline or Amoxicillan for 21-28 days is the common treatment length, although every person responds differently to treatments. Treatments should be determined on an individual basis and length of treatment may vary. Oftentimes individuals respond well to IV antibiotics.
TREATMENT OPTIONS TO TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON
Adding botanicals/herbs including but not limited to cat’s claw, Astragalus, ginger, turmeric, Oregon grape and others can all support the immune system and fight tick born illnesses.
We are complex individuals, before an exposure to a tick born illness we may have had allergies, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, migraines, irregular menstrual cycles, eczema, psoriasis, heart disease, asthma or other ailments that need to be addressed along with tick born illness.
Addressing nutritional deficiencies, adding botanicals, and amino acids can help to improve recovery outcomes. Bypassing the GI tract by giving b vitamins, minerals and amino acids via IV therapy can improve energy and boost the immune system, while bypassing the gut.
This post is written by Dr. Sue Williams.