Lyme Disease

   Lyme disease is an insidiously progressive bacterial infection. It often involves infection with multiple bacteria and parasites simultaneously. The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, is a great imitator of a wide variety of diseases. Lyme patients can show signs of heart or lung disease, arthritis, gastritis, ulcers, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, menopause, migraine headaches, sweats, fevers, chills, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.

     Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete (ie spiral shaped organism similar to syphilis) that can burrow through almost any tissues. It can grow in joint cartilage, tendons, nerve tissue and brain, heart, blood vessels, skin, intestinal tract, muscles. It is an insidious infection, rarely making people acutely ill. Untreated, it is a slowly progressive chronic disease with a wide spectrum of presentations. It has several stealth mechanisms by which it hides from immune detection. It pushes the immune system into inflammation, causing pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, hormonal imbalances: thyroid, adrenal, PMS, or menopausal problems.

     Because antibiotics only kill bacteria when they are reproducing, and Borrelia’s reproduction is very slow, treatment requires long term antibiotics. The exception to this is when the infection is treated with antibiotics within a few weeks of onset.

Lyme symptom list: (symptom list pdf)
1. Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
2. Unexplained weight change (loss or gain – circle one)
3. Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
4. Unexplained hair loss
5. Swollen glands: list areas
6. Sore throat
7. Testicular pain/ pelvic pain
8. Unexplained menstrual irregularities
9. Unexplained milk production; breast pain
10. Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
11. sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
12. Upset stomach or abdominal pain
13. Change in bowel function (constipation or diarrhea)
14. Chest pain or rib soreness
15. Shortness of breath, cough
16. Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
17. Any history of heart murmur or valve prolapse
18. Joint pain or swelling
19. Stiffness of joints or back
20. Muscle pain or cramps
21. Twitching of the face or other muscles
22. Headache
23. Neck creaks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
24. Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains, skin hypersensitivity
25. Facial paralysis (Bells’ Palsy)
26. Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
27. Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
28. Increased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
29. Lightheadedness, wooziness, unavoidable need to sit or lie down
30. Tremor
31. Confusion, difficulty in thinking
32. Difficulty with concentration, reading
33. Forgetfulness, poor short memory, poor attention, problem absorbing new information
34. Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
35. Difficulty with speech or writing; word or name block
36. Mood swings, irritability, depression
37. Disturbed sleep  — too much, too little, fractionated, early awakening
38. Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

Presence of 10 or more symptoms is suspicious for Borrelia infection.