Babesia and Heart Issues

Normally when Lyme/MSIDS patients have heart issues, Lyme is blamed; however, sometimes it’s not Lyme, but Babesia.

Lobetti, Remo. (2005). Cardiac involvement in canine babesiosis. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 76. 4-8. Cardiac dysfunction in canine babesiosis has traditionally been regarded as a rare complication, with the majority of lesions reported as incidental findings at post-mortem examination. Recent studies have, however, demonstrated cardiac lesions in canine babesiosis. Cardiac troponins, especially troponin I, are sensitive markers of myocardial injury in canine babesiosis, and the magnitude of elevation of plasma troponin I concentrations appears to be proportional to the severity of the disease. ECG changes in babesiosis are similar to the pattern described for myocarditis and myocardial ischaemia and together with histopathological findings indicate that the heart suffers from the same pathological processes described in other organs in canine babesiosis, namely inflammation and hypoxia. The clinical application of the ECG appears to be limited and thus cardiovascular assessment should be based on functional monitoring rather than an ECG tracing. On cardiac histopathology from dogs that succumbed to babesiosis, haemorrhage, necrosis, inflammation and fibrin microthrombi in the myocardium were documented, all of which would have resulted in ECG changes and elevations in cardiac troponin. Myocardial damage causes left ventricular failure, which will result in hypotension and an expansion of the plasma volume due to homeostatic mechanisms.

BabesiosisMonsters Inside Me

Great video showing the extreme fatigue a person with both Lyme and Babesia has.  An article put out by Envita explains that Babesia is rarely tested for – leaving many undiagnosed.  Like other coinfections, there are numerous infectious strains and symptoms can look like malaria but can also lead to death.  Evidently 41% can develop cardiovascular issues like acute respiratory failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation (thick blood which can lead to clotting), and even congestive heart or renal failure.  

**Complex Babesiosis is associated with severe anemia and high parasitaemia levels.

**Chronic Babesiosis can trigger cardiovascular, kidney, and liver problems.

Personally, I can attest to the importance of the anti-malarial medications my husband and I were both put on.  We both had chest pressure and dizziness but the headaches I had were out of this world.  My heart would also flop like a fish out of water and wake me up from a dead sleep – racing.  Neither of us had night sweats and we presented differently.  My husband developed hyper coagulation and anemia while I did not.  Heparin helped him tremendously.

If you are having heart involvement and antibiotics typically used for Lyme are not touching it, please discuss Babesia with your health care provider.  For us, treating for Babesia made a huge difference.  I’m happy to report ALL of those symptoms are completely gone after a full year hitting it hard with anti-malarials.  The best treatments overlap.  Please see the following link for treatment ideas to discuss with your doctor.

More on Babesia: (checklist within the link that you can print and fill out)

Good article by Dr. Rawls: