Are you confused about Lyme Disease?

Are you confused about flares/cycles/herxes of Lyme disease! When you started the antibiotics, you started to feel better and would say most of your symptoms were gone! You were feeling so hopeful and then BAM…it hit you again. If you are taking antibiotics…why would you flare? Aren’t the bugs supposed to be killed off? Is your main complaint is muscle and body pain. Do you walk around like a 90 year old! Are you unable to get out of bed?

One reason for some of the confusion about Lyme disease is that the incidence of Lyme disease varies so widely from state to state. So while awareness of Lyme disease might be high in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the other states that get a thousands of cases each year, it is likely low in states like Arkansas or Louisiana, that may only have one or two cases each year.

Understanding more about Lyme disease can help you recognize and may also help you avoid confusing Lyme disease with other conditions such as Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Cytokine Induced Sickness Symptoms

Tick bite

Cytokine Storm

Within 2 days

Extreme fatigue
Bull’s Eye rash Low moods

Within 30 days

Anxiousness
Flu-like symptoms Anxiety
Fevers Insomnia
Chills High Fever
Fatigue Intermittent Hot Flashes
Body aches Swelling and reddness
Headaches Nausea

Several Weeks to Months

After the Cytokine Storm

Joint Pain Sickness
Meningitis Little motivation to eat
Bell’s palsy Withdrawal from normal social activites
Numbness in limbs Fever
Impaired muscle movement Burning muscles
Irregular heartbeat Aching joints
Eye inflammation Fatigue
Hepatitis Sleep issues
Severe Fatigue Inability to experience pleasure
Exagerated responses to pain
Brain fog
Heart palpitations
Vasomotor symptoms

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America and Europe. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. You are more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend a lot of time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease thrive. It’s important to take common-sense precautions in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.

Lyme Disease

Lyme’s disease is not any unexplained illness, where using the horseshoes, hand grenades and healthcare (HHH) approach your symptoms are close enough. Lyme’s disease is real but many are ignoring the criteria for diagnosis and will find any reason to diagnose you with it. Lyme disease is the result of a tick bite, where the tick has been attached long enough to become engorged with blood. Finding one on your pant leg when you were eight years old does not count. Although one patient told me their Lyme Literati, told her that is when it started. For most cases, even an attached tick will not result in Lyme’s disease as there must be additional symptoms after the tick bite.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually affect more than one system. The skin, joints and nervous system are affected most often.

Lyme

Early signs and symptoms

These signs and symptoms may occur within a month after you’ve been infected:

  • Rash. A small, red bump may appear at the site of the tick bite. This small bump is normal after a tick bite and doesn’t indicate Lyme disease. However, over the next few days, the redness may expand forming a rash in a bull’s-eye pattern, with a red outer ring surrounding a clear area. Looks like a walking advertisement for Target.
  • The rash, called erythema migrans, is one of the hallmarks of Lyme disease. Some people develop this rash at more than one place on their bodies.
  • Flu-like symptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany the rash.

Later signs and symptoms

In some people, the rash may spread to other parts of the body and, several weeks to months after you’ve been infected, you may experience:

  • Joint pain. You may develop bouts of severe joint pain and swelling. Your knees are especially likely to be affected, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after you were infected, you may experience inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell’s palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.

Bell's palsy

Less common signs and symptoms

Several weeks after infection, some people develop:

  • Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat. Heart problems rarely last more than a few days or weeks.
  • Eye inflammation.
  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis).
  • Severe fatigue.

In the United States, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried primarily by deer ticks. The ticks are brown and when young, they’re often no bigger than the head of a pin, which can make them nearly impossible to spot.

To contract Lyme disease, an infected deer tick must bite you. The bacteria enter your skin through the bite and eventually make their way into your bloodstream. In most cases, to transmit Lyme disease, a deer tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours. If you find an attached tick that looks swollen, it may have fed long enough to transmit bacteria. Removing the tick as soon as possible may prevent infection.

What You Need To Know

  • Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which spread to people from infected deer ticks (Northeast and Midwest U.S.) and Western black-legged ticks (Pacific states), who become infected when feeding on infected mice, squirrels, and other small mammals.
  • Most cases of Lyme disease occur in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • Lyme disease is most common during May, June, and July — the months when the ticks that transmit Lyme disease are most active.
  • The American dog tick and the Lone star tick do not transmit Lyme disease.
  • Lyme disease is thought to be often over-diagnosed, both because many Lyme disease symptoms are non-specific and because tests for Lyme disease often give false positive or true negative results, especially if done very early in the course of the infection.

Lyme Literate Doctors

If you make an appointment at Johns Hopkins, Harvard or the Mayo Clinic to see a “Lyme” specialist, you will see a doctor whom the Lyme Literati claim doesn’t believe in chronic Lyme disease. It is not that they do not “believe” in Lyme disease. In fact they understand that Lyme is a specific disease with specific criteria (See Table above) for diagnosis. You must fit under that bar to be diagnosed with Lyme.

Why is there political controversy and legal challenges facing Lyme doctors, that makes most of them prefer to keep a low profile. Because they are pushing people over the bar to fit anyone into the Lyme disease diagnosis. Physicians who have established themselves as “Lyme Literate Doctors” are a diverse group of practitioners scattered about the country. They all operate out of paradigms, which vary with one another. They generally believe in chronic Lyme, but in other ways disagree. Some use IV antibiotics, others will not. Some use herbs and alternative medicines, others do not. Some focus on co-infections. Some believe that Bartonella is the key to chronic Lyme morbidity, while others emphasize Babesiosis. Others look for a host of other infections including Epstein Barr virus, Herpes virus 6, parasites and others. Some are focused on Chlamydia and Mycoplasma yet others think its all about Lyme.

I have seen real cases of Lyme, fulfilling all the criteria for the diagnosis of Lyme. They went to the non-believer Medical Doctor that prescribed the antibiotics for Lyme. They got better quickly and were back to living their normal life.

Lyme doctors may or may not order Lyme Western blots, Lyme C6 peptide antibody index scores, complement levels, vitamin D levels, CD57 counts or co-infection panels. I have seen many patients that have never had these labs done. The Lyme Literati will tell you that the labs are falsely negative for the majority of people with Lyme. They will convince you because they are convinced that everyone is suffering from Lyme. One thing can be said for Lyme doctors. They all agree; even though more often than not, they are wrong! So I am sorry to report; Lyme specialists are fixated on Lyme and will ignore the criteria for diagnosing Lyme, treating you for it regardless. Some are so adamant about Lyme they stretch the boundaries beyond belief. One Lyme Literati posted an article claiming Robin William’s death was due to Lyme. In essence, they have drunk the LymeAid and will convince you to drink it too.

 Are You Sick and Desperate to Feel Better?

I get it. I understand what it is like to live with Cytokine-Induced Sickness. Unfortunately, I did it to myself, because I was sipping the Alternative Medicine theories KoolAid. I was doing what was supposed to be good for me. It came back to bite me hard. I was also able to pull myself out of it as I have done for numerous patients.

My “Eureka” moment came when I was one of five doctors in the country granted unlimited lab testing. After doing over a hundred labs, many on “Lyme” patients, most on severe autoimmune patients, I recognized it was the unbalanced Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem that needed to be addressed to restore health. The individual pieces of the NEI Supersystem are understood separately with the exception of the immune system and treated as separate issues. When in fact, the individual system works synergistically exerting influence and control over the other two systems.

When you tell me you are sick and don’t feel well. I believe you. When you tell me you have these weird symptoms – I will believe you are actually experiencing them. If you choose to work with me, I will introduce you to the concept of Cytokine-Induced Sickness Behavior. Your flares/cycles/herxes are Cytokine Storms and we will work together to understand what is triggering them and then control them. The good news is you will know within the first thirty days, something is happening in a good way. The bad news is it will depend on the status of your NEI Supersystem as to how long it will take to get you to the point where you can maintain yourself through diet and lifestyle as I am doing now.

Cytokine Induced Sickness Behavior

Due to their commonality, symptoms of sickness are frequently ignored by physicians because they are trying to fit you into a diagnosis based on their specialty. They are not looking at the NEI Supersystem as a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

NEI supersystem

Since it was established in the late 1980s and early 1990s that proinflammatory cytokines induce sickness behavior, much has been learned about the way these mediators alter the Neuro-Endo-Immune (NEI) Supersystem functions and of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that are involved in these actions.

Cytokine-induced Sickness individuals experience weakness, malaise, listlessness, and inability to concentrate. They become depressed and lethargic, show little interest in their surroundings, and stop eating and drinking. Their range of preoccupations is limited to their own body and the suffering they are experiencing. This grouping of nonspecific symptoms is collectively referred to as ‘’sickness behavior.’’

The amount of energy that is required to maintain the processes of the NEI Supersystem is quite high since. Because of the high metabolic cost of an unbalanced NEI Supersystem, there is little room for activities other than those favoring preservation of energy. Essentially, your body goes into power-saver mode. Read More:

Instead of trying to lump nonspecific symptoms of infection and inflammation that include hot flashes and profound physiological and behavioral changes into some named disease.  I recognize the behavioral symptoms of sickness represent, together with the NEI Supersystem responses and the associated changes in the body, it is a highly organized strategy to maintain homeostasis.

Exposure to, lectins and bacterial endotoxins or pro-inflammatory cytokines induces a number of NEI Supersystem symptoms collectively referred to as ‘flu-like syndrome. The degree of overlap between flu-like syndrome and depression symptoms is considerable and there is a close linkage between to excessive uncontrolled and unregulated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and activation of the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem. Read More …

Both the cranial and abdominal brains recognize cytokines as molecular signals of sickness. Clarifying the difference in the way the brains process the information generated by the immune system is accompanied by an increased understanding of the NEI Supersystem components that mediates cytokine-induced sickness behavior. We are still far, however, from understanding the whole. Among the hundreds of genes that proinflammatory cytokines can induce in their cellular targets, only a handful has been examined functionally. However, by working with the individual components of the NEI Supersystem synergistically. Your sickness can be reversed. For more information, call or email me today.

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