What is Lyme disease?
True Lyme disease is well identified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and is a medical condition that comes from a tick bite with symptoms showing up 3 – 30 days later. The early stages of this tick-borne disease may have an acute phase (lasting 1 – 4 weeks) or a chronic phase (lasting months to years). There are also other chronic infections that we call "Lyme-like disease" at Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX. Regardless of which type you have, the infection in your body is probably resisting conventional methods of treatment, like antibiotics.
At our practice, Lyme-like diseases have the same symptoms of chronic Lyme disease: fever, headaches, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. You may also know Lyme disease to have the characteristic "bulls-eye" rash near the site of the tick bite that caused the infection. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies. Our skilled team of physicians thinks of Lyme disease as an immune suppression syndrome. If you think you have Lyme disease or any other chronic illness, we strongly advise you to be monitored by your primary care physician (PCP) or a qualified physician, like those on our team. We recommend treating more than just your symptoms — we believe you must treat your entire body, not just the infections, for life. If you want the opportunity to work on your treatment-resistant infection, like Lyme disease, please schedule an appointment to speak with our team at our Grapevine, TX office.
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What Causes Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi, which is usually transmitted to humans through a tick bite, although other forms of transmission are possible. Ticks live in many different habitats and can be found in wooded areas, grassy fields, or even your backyard. They often attach themselves to unsuspecting animals or humans that pass through their environment, transferring the disease directly into their bloodstream. Once the infection is established, it can cause a range of symptoms that range from mild to severe. People who live or spend time in areas with a high number of ticks should take precautions to avoid being bitten.
How is Lyme Disease diagnosed?
Lyme disease is caused by various strains and species of the bacterium Borrelia burgdoferi (also known as B. burgdoferi). At Kotsanis Institute of Functional Medicine, we can diagnose acute Lyme disease in our lab using the Western blot test. There are also chronic Lyme or Lyme-like disease tests to diagnose our patients through IGeneX and Fry labs.
You can get Lyme disease more than once time in your life. You may successfully clear up a Lyme infection with antibiotics, but this doesn't make you immune to future tick bites. You could also have multiple infections at the same time with Lyme disease. The three most common co-infections for Lyme are Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrlichia. We may need to test you for these infections as well so that you can get the most out of your treatment.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease and LYME-LIKE DISEASE?
Lyme and Lyme-like diseases can present a myriad of symptoms, such as:
- Fatigue/very low energy
- Recurrent infections
- Aches and pains
- Feeling generally unwell all the time
Chronic symptoms may include joint pain and swelling or even neurological problems, such as inflammation, Bells Palsy, numbness, or impaired muscle movement. If your condition persists, you may develop chronic inflammation or an autoimmune disease. It is best to manage your health as soon as you can to avoid prolonging the illness or allowing it to worsen.
How do you Treat Lyme Disease and Lyme-like disease?
For acute Lyme or true Lyme disease, we prefer to start treatment with antibiotics. If you've been diagnosed with chronic Lyme or Lyme-like disease, there are several options (some of which may not be recognized by the FDA or the AMA for the treatment of Lyme disease).
- Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT)
This is a special form of antibiotic and antifungal regiment administered at our office.
- Ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy (UVB)
As a special form of oxidative therapy, UVB is an intravenous therapy that helps to absorb bacteria and viruses in your blood.
- Other supportive IV therapies
We may suggest Meyer's Cocktail or a glutathione IV for your treatment.
- Special gut protocols
As clinical nutritionists, we can provide you with the information and resources you need to improve and return balance to your normal gut functions. We may suggest protocols with enzymes, probiotics, antifungals, or nutritional supplements.
- Hormonal imbalance correction
We may take blood samples to test hormone levels in order to rule out possible undiagnosed hormonal imbalances. Then, we can suggest ways to normalize your hormone functions.
- Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy
PEMF is a technique we use for pain management and to recharge your normal cells.
What are your SUggestions for Lyme DISEASE?
To support and supplement your nutrition and immune system, our team recommends the following:
- Top foods to eat for patients with Lyme disease:
Bone broth | probiotic-rich foods | fresh vegetable juice | foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids | lean protein
- Top foods to avoid or eliminate from your diet if you have Lyme disease:
Gluten | dairy products (from cow's milk) | sugar | processed foods
- Nutritional supplements to take: (optimized in vitamin D3 and magnesium)
Coenzyme Q10 | probiotics | vitamin B | fish oil | cordyceps extract | maitake mushrooms
- Essential oils that may support your immune system:
Frankincense | oregano | helichrysum | lemongrass | clove oil
Lyme Disease and LYME-LIKE DISEASE FAQ
How common is Lyme disease?
According to estimates by the insurance industry, more than 475,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed and treated every year in the U.S.
What states are most at risk of Lyme disease?
The areas of northeastern Virginia to Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northern California have the highest risk of Lyme disease.
Who is most at risk for Lyme disease?
People who live in or near wooded areas in the states listed above, are active outdoors, and are 5 – 9 years old or 55 – 69 years old are most at risk for Lyme disease.
If I’ve been bitten by a tick, do I have Lyme disease?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you should promptly remove a tick with tweezers as soon as you see it and disinfect the bite. It takes at least 24 hours of being attached for a tick to transmit Lyme disease. Black-legged ticks, most predominant in the northeastern and north-central U.S., are the only ticks that transmit this disease. Monitor yourself for any of the listed symptoms of Lyme disease for a few weeks after and schedule a checkup if any occur.
Understanding Your Chronic Illness
Educating yourself on various diseases and onset symptoms will help you seize control of your health. Recognizing severe symptoms and undergoing preventative care are both essential for acute and chronic conditions. Our highly equipped team can help you maintain your health. If you're experiencing a chronic or acute condition (such as Lyme disease), call our office today to schedule your appointment with us in Grapevine, TX. Your wellness is not just our job — it's our priority.
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