Lyme and related tick-borne illnesses


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If you live where Lyme (and related tick-borne diseases) are prevalent, you need to know that “Lyme” is just a slang term for more than a dozen infections that ticks can transmit to humans. I have a friend who has been fighting a tick infection for two years now. Her home is in a yellow, NOT in a red zone.

Go to http://www.cdc.gov/Features/StopTicks/ for info about how to identify ticks, do tick checks, and protect yourself, your yard and your pets.

TICK REMOVAL

Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible, not wait for it to detach on its own.

Grasp the tick right next to the skin and slowly pull the entire tick straight up with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. Avoid touching the tick with bare hands.

Regular tweezers tend to squeeze deadly stomach contents into the wound. Google “tick removal device” and choose one. They’re small and inexpensive. One is designed to attach to your key ring or dog’s collar.

If the mouth-parts do break off, try to remove them with tweezers. If you can’t get them out, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands, preferably with rubbing alcohol or an iodine scrub.

KEEP A TICK COLLECTION KIT ON HAND

Know what ticks look like. You can download and print images of the ticks indigenous to your area at their actual sizes for the different life stages. The CDC and Cooperative Extension sites have pictures and descriptions.

If you get bit and find the tick, you should collect it for testing. Treatments depends on correctly diagnosing which of the 20 tick infections you might have. Having the actual tick’s body and head can really help.

Put that in a small case with a tick removal device, a foil package of alcohol or Betadine to clean the wound and a small vial (old pill bottle) that has a clean label on it where you can note the time, day, and place of collection.

If you can arrange it, also keep a vial of 200 mg tablets of Doxycycline in your kit, especially if you are traveling or camping. It is the usual first line antibiotic for tick bites. The sooner you can start the Doxycycline (two a day), the better.

Early treatment is critical with tick-borne illnesses. It only takes 15 minutes to pass the infection into your system and another 15 minutes for that infection to get into your spinal column.

If you find a fat tick in your clothes, it has probably already fed on you. Put the tick in the vial, find and clean the bite and begin treatment with Doxycycline.

In some areas of the country, Lyme is a highly politicized issue, so it can be difficult to find a Lyme Literate physician during the first few hours and days when treatment is most effective. An emergency room might or might not give you Doxycycline.

If I was looking for a physician or pediatrician, I’d ask what their treatment policy is for Lyme. If they blow you off, don’t use them.

PREVENTION IS YOUR BEST PROTECTION

Tick-borne illnesses are the most common cause of the most serious infections in the United States at this time. Education, awareness and PREVENTION are the best protection you have.

Many physicians will not take these diseases seriously, and many will not treat them. Once one of these infections has become established in the body, it can take years of treatment before you are rid of it and the symptoms are very serious.

The tiny nymph stage when the tick is most difficult to see is the type that carries the biggest load of infection.

Pets can carry the ticks and the diseases into your home. Don’t let pets that go out of doors get up on the bed. The pesticide chip vets put in the neck of dogs and cats works pretty well.

The physical response to a tick bite can happen up to 6 months after it happens and these diseases can also be passed by blood transfusions, via sex, or to unborn babies.

Only 1/3 of the people who contract Lyme or a similar infection even remember having had a tick bite.

It takes about two weeks at a temperature 10 below zero to kill ticks and eggs. So this past winter has been very easy on them and the crop will be bigger.

All game needs to be butchered very carefully, and cooked well.  Infection is carried in the blood and tissue of deer but it does not make them sick.  Raw milk is not a good idea and none of the tick infections are tested for when raw milk is certified safe.

Ticks need moisture from the soil so they don’t live in the house very well and usually dry up on a day
or two if they fall off.

Gum boots without eyeholes are good prevention. (Where I live, the dairy farmers call them “shit kickers” for obvious reasons.)

You can spray Pyrethrum rated for ticks on gaiters to wrap around your lower pant legs.

Furry cloth like flannel, and hairy wool trap ticks so they can be disposed of later.

Always use a blanket or sheet to sit on the ground to be washed later. Camping stores offer clothes with pesticide manufactured into them.

If you are camping with sleeping bags use a sheet insert. Sheets should be light colored so you can see if they get into the bed and take steps if you find them.

Throwing clothes into the washer/dryer on high is a good tick killer. Hot air dries them out.

In small yard spaces, or dog beds, toilet paper rolls with pesticide soaked cotton inside is a fairly effective way to make sure your mouse population doesn’t carry ticks.  They take the cotton out for nest material and that kills ticks on the mice.  But mice have a home range of only a few yards so it is for a limited area like a porch or playpen.

21 Comments

Filed under Health & Nutrition

21 responses to “Lyme and related tick-borne illnesses

  1. What A Hoot

    http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com/

    I cannot praise the work of Dr. Shoemaker (sp) enough. His protocol gave me my life back. Oh, where to start. Take the Vision test first. He is not really making money off of it; it is so cheap. It is not an eye exam. It measures your perception depth. Best way to describe this is if you look outside and it is all snow and their is is a white car and a white poodle and a lady in a white coat you should be able to differentiate between them. This test measures that. I encourage you to read up on this. Maybe get the guy’s book. I was so desperate I skipped the book and all the reading and went on the word of a very credible source. I was to wacked to focus to read and study up on it anyways. After I was better, I did the research to try and explain to others. I failed the test miserably, got the medical protocol and took it to my doctor. She said it could not hurt even if it did not work so wrote the prescription. It is very cheap even if pay on own. It is not a drug actually. Cholestramine is one of the first cholesteral remediies of modern medicine. Ironically, when the cholesteral adheres to this stuff and you “pass it” so it does not keep circulating through you, it also picks up other stuff. Just a week after starting the protocol, I was shocked. I had not noticed had ceased seeing a differentiation between all the shades of green outside on the treeline. Before the protocol I was to tired to go up stairs in the evening to kiss my children goodnite. The steps were a mountain to me. I used to say in early evening, “The day has ended. Go to bad. ” Three weeks after starting the protocol, I was going upstairs. I could go on and on. If you can’t study on own, get someone to do it for you. I know someone who actually went to Dr. Shoemaker. With the plane ride, hotel for couple of days, and cholestramine, it was still cheaper than their thousand dollar deductible. Included labs. You can also have a phone consultation where he arranges for lab work and reads them. I am not sure how that works exactly as I know he is a stickler for knowing his patient and documenting everything for proof and validation of the protocol. He mostly wants you to take the information to your own doctor. Facinating guy to read up on . Was a family physician to start with. Boy, drug companies don’t like him! EPA used to rely on him, too. Interesting story there. I have sinced learned more and suspect after the first time on the protocol, you can eventually move over to apple pectin or a specific regimine of Metamucil as it is figured, by some, that they have the same globular (real medical here) structure to stop the cycling through you. I could barely write a sentence because it hurt to hold a pencil. I did not, after all, have arthritis like had been told for years. Neither did I have gout. Neither did I have chronic fatique. I got my life back. Good luck. Sorry for all the misspells. Should be in bed. Stopped by here before shutting house down and started typing…..

    Will be checking out for awhile. Daughter having baby, another getting married, another getting married so a shower, and starting a new endeavor. Have a good next five-seven days or so! Blessings. Hoot.

    Email me and I would be happy to get my number to you to talk about this — way too much to write down. Or go to the site.

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    • What A Hoot

      When first at site, it does not mention Lyme disease — you will bump into it shortly after browsing around.

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      Bless you, Hoot. If you used to be too tired to climb stairs and can now cope with two weddings and a grandchild, I’d call that a miracle from God.

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      • What A Hoot

        It has been seven years about since I did the full treatment protocol. Not only is it effective for Lyme’s but many environmental physicians now use this very simple approach. Funny thing is I was not aware how bad I had gotten until a family member stepped in. Only when I was active again did I realize how bad I been. Somewhere in my head I had I was just tired and achy from stress and/or not enough sleep and a whole bunch of blessings (kids). Sort of figured that is how one feels being pregnant/nursing for almost eighteen years straight. I sure wasn’t the fun mom anymore who did tons with her kiddies. But I kept trudging along. I come from stock where their is a high pain tolerance and an acceptance that you just keep on moving along. I think the miracle is I still was putting one foot in front of the other and many did not know how rotten I felt. but, oh, when I was better it was so drastic! People thought I was taking happy pills or uppers. some asked if I was doing speed! Some made comments about being in love. Or finding Jesus again. I had a glow. Some got frustrated because I could think again and became challenging to their thought processes. Haha.

        Two sites to locate environmental physicians. Keep in mind that going to them is probably more expensive than a family physician office visit with the treatment protocol and Dr. Ritchie contact information in hand for your doctor. Read up on him (including the negative and see the politics involved in what he does; will get an understanding as to why he works with a website. It is the big compromise to keep under the radar and let the patient/consumer get the word out via individual doctors.) http://www.mold-survivor.com/DrLists/
        http://www.aaemonline.org/index.html this second link says error on right hand side but the search engine for doctors in each state works on the left. Severe cases have to do protocol average of eight months. I only did for three. Very rarely very severely afflicted have to be on a lifetime adjusted protocol. I know someone that is like that. She was sent, I think, to Shoemaker by the Canadian government who had been paying her for years for some bad lake water or something while living there. The problem with telling people that feel so bad and have been told they CFS and myofribrogalia (sp), early onset arthritis, unknown neurological problems, unexplained traveling aches, etc., is they are to sick to even read the information and just can’t concentrate. Someone has to walk them through the directions to take the vision test. This is why I suggest someone else healthy reads and learns what to expect in the test by taking it themselves (hopefully won’t come back bad; surprise!) and then walking the sicko through. this way they can get through the test expeditiously without saying, “That’s enough. This is stupid.” Oh my, I was very argumentative because I was frustrated they were telling me to say what direction the lines were and there were no lines! Of course there were, I just did not see them. This is not vision that can be corrected and really is not has nothing to do with eyesight. Oh shoot! I will just have to post some stuff instead of rambling.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          I can really relate to your experience of acclimating to pain and fatigue, while soldiering on through. In 1986, I went into Dr. Miller’s Environmental Control Unit for a month of isolating, fasting and testing.

          He determined that, based on my medical history, I had been legally disabled from age 20. At that point, I was 32, had scored a wonderful husband, earned a Bachelor’s degree, completed half a Master’s (never did get well enough to finish that), and produced three beautiful little girls. I was not diagnosed correctly until the week I turned 30, something I have always felt was God’s best birthday present to me. A name for all the pain that was NOT “lazy” or “crazy.”

          And here I had been thinking I was such a LOSER. LOL Anyway, I told him about my upbringing, with a father who was a consummate athlete, coach, referee, tough guy. The motto at our house was “bruises heal, goals don’t.” Then I said to Dr. Miller that maybe if I hadn’t been such a jock, pushing through day after day, trying to live a normal life, I wouldn’t have disabled myself so thoroughly.

          He replied, “If you hadn’t been such a jock, you would not have survived all those years.”

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          • What A Hoot

            I am so thankful pain and hardship were just, “That’s life. Keep moving” When my mother remarried when I was 14, my step dad was appalled that my mother would not acknowledge I was on my period or let me stay home when I complained I had cramps. She would say, “You are going have cramps all your working life and a lot more pains, Honey, and you are not going to be able to call into work every month for a day or too. Now get dressed, don’t complain, and get to school.” Now, there were times for no reason, she let me stay home just because I wanted to be home, but on my period? No way! I did not realize it until I was an adult but my step dad always had chicken soup and a jar of his special-canned white peaches or yellow raspberries for me after school. His three daughters from his first marriage all grew up incapable of being adults with adult responsibilities but by the time I came into his life he found a different way to pamper, I guess.

            OK, printer back up and running, can get invites done, and tune off the Poli…..

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            • chrissythehyphenated

              Hope your invites don’t have streaks on them like ours did. We had to get a crash course in printer guts after a factory servicing didn’t even get rid of them. Dearest finally solved the problem and we were very proud of our somewhat belated invitations. 🙂

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  2. KellyM.

    thanks for the great information…Thankfully, I have never had to deal with Lyme’s, but know what a horror it can be. I will bookmark this page, hopefully, never needing it.

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  3. I live in one of the RED areas on the map. I have been infected repeatedly and now am seriously ill with Late Stage Lyme Disease, and suffering from a Herx reaction to treatment. The good news is that I Am getting treatment, thanks to the nice people in the blogosphere. See my blog for details if you haven’t already heard about it.

    Thank you for providing this information to people, Lyme is spreading at 4 times the rate of AIDS and it destroys lives. People need to be armed with as much knowledge as they can get.

    Lyme is so prevalent here in Dutchess County, NY, that they don’t even bother looking at the ticks if you bring them in, they don’t test them, and they only treat you if you show signs of sickness – but you can have Lyme for YEARS and not know it. I will be blogging more about it and the fact that once you have the long term version, it is very difficult to find effective medical care as soon as I am a bit less sick & crippled.

    Anyone reading this is suffering and thinks they may have late stage Lyme or you care about someone who does/or might have it, please do not hesitate to contact me as I have learned much while trying to save my own life and will happily pass along information that may be helpful to you or somebody that you care about.

    In the mean time, here are two resources that people may find helpful:

    http://www.lymeproject.com/index.html

    http://www.ilads.org/

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  4. chrissythehyphenated

    There’s a really good article here

    http://misfitpolitics.co/2012/03/obama-administration-health-of-earth-health-of-u-s-citizens/

    by Angelaisms. Not tick stuff, but health-care in general and ObamaCare in particular.

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  5. GP

    Interesting discussion. I believe that we are bombarded with so many diseases because our bodies are so lacking in essential nutrients.
    I heard a wonderful organic gardener speak this week. He explained how we do not need pesticides for plants that are healthy. Their systems are made to fight off bugs. In fact they actually have enzymes that kill bugs, so the bugs ignore them. Keep the plants well fed and watered and not stressed, and the bugs do not attack.
    We are just like plants! We are living organisms, with powerful immune systems that can ward off disease, if we stay healthy and have a strong defense.
    I think there is so much aids, and cancer and lyme, because we are so deplete of nutrients. Add in the stress of modern living, and Viola. We are magnets for disease.
    One of the things I hope you will all consider is using Lugol’s iodine and the “iodine protocol”. It has made a huge difference for me. Every cell in the body needs iodine, and when we are deplete, not only does our thyroid not function, the receptor sites for iodine get displaced by the toxic halides like chlorine, bromine and flouride, and we become toxic. This is an underlying cause of the epidemic of thyroid disease these days, and also a major reason for breast cancer. I have a lot of info on my blog about this too:

    http://preventcanswers.ning.com/forum/categories/what-is-the-link-between/listForCategory

    videos: http://preventcanswers.ning.com/video/all-about-iodine

    I also belong to an iodine group, and many people talk about how iodine has helped them with lyme disease.
    I believe that if we supplemented with iodine, and other essential minerals, we would not end up with these diseases. I know I feel like a different person than I did before breast cancer, thanks to iodine.
    I have so much energy now! I just wish I had learned all this stuff decades ago. I wasted so much time feeling lousy.
    It has become my mission to now educate others, which is why I put all this information on my website. I hope it helps you all.
    If you want to know more about the iodine protocol, contact me.

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    • What A Hoot

      Amen, GP. Many people have to take care of other issues first before their body will absorb and process the nutrients. For example, sleep apnea if started in childhood will start to show serious problems, with the body shutting down around fifty-five. Their bodies no long metabolize properly and no amount of pouring the nutrients in will reverse if the body doesn’t start getting the sleep it needs. As for the thyroid, again. Most Americans get plenty of iodine and until the cause for the body not utilizing the iodine and thus lacking an adequate amount to function properly, putting in more can actually be harmful. Additional iodine should only be used if the diet proves not obtaining enough and blood work shows a deficiency in iodine which is different than deficiencies in the chemicals the iodine’s presence should create. If thyroid is from an autoimmune disease, that can not be addressed with more iodine I come from a lineage where young died of “thyroidism” “thyroidistis” “Cystic Goiter”. My husband has thyroid issues, I have thyroid issues (should say had — thank God I refused to have the thing zapped and also only used prescription meds for crisis intervention, relying on herbs for other times, because I have a healthy and intact, fully functioning thyroid. Half our children have thyroid issues, hereditary, and it is a balance between medicine and diet and supplements and knowing when to reach for which. Interesting my husband’s aunt was extremely low thyroid in the 1930’s. I would love to get my hands on her medical records. She was twelve and extremely “thyroid swollen” and was put in the hospital for six or seven months. She had some herb enema everyday and other stuff my MIL never understood. It would be fascinating to study! No synthroid! I look forward to perusing your site and products.

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      • chrissythehyphenated

        I’d love to see your husband’s aunts records too. Mama Buzz had a goiter (swollen thyroid) at age 11. I had been through my own hell with doctors, so was very aggressive about knowing what was what and using alternative and natural as much as possible. Ticked off a couple doctors along the way. I have the distinction of having been actively thrown out of three different medical practices. One even sent me a certified letter saying never come back! A fourth just stopped answering my calls and I had known him well enough to realize he wouldn’t SAY don’t come back. But that’s what he wanted, so I obliged. You guys know me. I’m not a rude, crude, aggressive person. But I did require that my doctors at least TALK to each other AND to me. My IQ is plenty high enough that I could have attended medical school, but half the time they talked around me (sometimes literally, like I wasn’t in the room) while the other they threw big words around like I was supposed to just be all impressed and awed and SHUT UP and take whatever they told me to take. Well, no. One guy ran a panel of tests and I asked him about each one. One he said it didn’t matter whether it came out positive or negative, he just thought it was interesting to know. It cost $75!! I objected. If it’ll affect treatment, sure. But just because insurance will pay and it’s “interesting to know”? NO. Things went from bad to worse with that one. I finally left of my own accord after they lost our records, forgot to tell us lab results, didn’t forward records to a specialist THEY set us up with. Not sure if it was incompetence or passive aggressive. If the latter, I guess that makes my persona non grate score FIVE medical practices. Come to think … another one was a lot like that one, just not as crabby about it. So maybe six. Any wonder I don’t bother any more?

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        • GP

          Iodine is the only answer to thyroid health! We have been told we can get enough iodine in foods and iodized salt.
          Not true.
          We have been told too much iodine is dangerous.
          Not true (if it was, I would be dead instead of thriving).
          We have been lied to about iodine because it is cheap and the drug companies want it off the market so their drugs are the only alternative. Iodine meds are the number 2 most prescribed drugs and Iodine has been banned in Europe thanks to drug company lobbyists.
          Every woman I have met with breast cancer, fibromyalgia, auto immune, etc etc has the underlying issue of thyroid disfunction. And the thyroid does not work without iodine!
          It is the key to our health.
          It took me a year of studying this, online forums and reading books before I would accept this since there is so much anti iodine propaganda out there.
          If you want to email me. I can send you files.
          preventcanswers@gmail.com

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          • chrissythehyphenated

            I just ordered some. Interested to see what it does.

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          • What A Hoot

            GP, TOO much iodine IS dangerous! I know from personal experience. I was taking iodine. The bottle said (1-3) droppers daily. Well, in the translation or something–was printed in Germany–things got messed up and should have said (1-3) drops. After some time of this my body went haywire but I did not equate it to the iodine so kept taking. I was in one of the worst thyroid storms the hospital specialist had ever seen. (went because could not get heart rate to slow down below 170 and my husband made me.) It took months to get my heart rate back to normal. An excellerated heart rate is destructive to the body and the heart and my thyroid was “blown” and not functioning at all anymore. The stress of fighting to not have it removed was not good, either. When a thryoid is not functioning at full capacity it must be brought up to 100% very slowly and build back up a bit at a time. For men a rapid burst in throid function after being hypo can cause stroke. That is why, for those invested in taking synthroid at that age, have to start with small dose and check stats six-weeks later; adjust/increase medicine, repeat. The same approach is necessary for natural approaches. One should know and understand lab results before and during any any flavor of treatment. A person who has been through the whole gamut of thryroid illness for years learns to read their own body and can forego the labs, but someone just feeling down or doing the thermometer test should be careful and can take too much iodine.

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            • GP

              Hoot-THis is why there is a whole “protocol” to taking iodine. You must work your way into it. And it must be with the companion nutrients of mg, Vit C,selenium and the B’s.
              Iodine detoxes the body and if it is done to fast, one can have reactions. Usually, when it is that severe, iodine was taken alone and too much at once. Also, the liver could be really clogged. Some people need to start with it every other day. I did not have any problems, even though I had a lot of detoxing to do because of toxic cancer treatments.
              I first did a liver detox for several weeks, so my detox symptoms were not too bad, though I did have some
              headaches, lethargy and itching. Some people have higher TSH levels. This is because the thyroid is sucking the stuff up, but it does not mean one is actually hypo. As I said, I have some files that explain it all. It is good to read the yahoo iodine group too. There is a reason for those reactions. I have heard them all from people on the forum. There are a lot of folks with autoimmune, Hashis, cancer, etc. discussing iodine.
              I will never be without it again. It has revitalized my life.

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              • chrissythehyphenated

                GP, thanks for the tip about starting slow. I am doing a detox now, started this morning in fact. 🙂 And I chose dulse liquid rather than a high dose iodine, because I don’t have a doctor to supervise. It’ll be here in a couple of weeks when I’ll be about half way through my month long detox. I’ll add it in slowly and carefully. I’ve been through some very rough doctor supervised detox programs. Lead was six weeks of misery, but boy did I feel better after! So I know what to look for. Did not know iodine could stimulate detox though, so GOOD TO KNOW. Thanks.

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                • GP

                  Chrissy, I have found it almost impossible to find a doctor to supervise. There are some listed at the yahoo group. But if you read all the info, it is easy to try it yourself. You just need to listen to your body. Since we all react differently, this is really a personal thing anyhow, as is all healing.
                  The problem with the seaweed based iodine is that it is often way to small to make a difference and one has to be careful as there is often mercury in seaweed products.
                  The Lugol’s formulas are pretty cheap, but I like the Iodoral because it is a tablet and gets farther down the digestive tract, so there is less of a stomach reaction. I started out with one 12 mg tablet and worked my way until I felt detox start. Then I did what is called “salt loading” which draws up the toxins that cause a reaction. The salt loading can often alleviate any detox symptoms. It worked for me.
                  As I said, I have a copy of the protocol if you want me to send it to you.

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