By Dr. Jay Davidson
5 Things Your Doctor Should Know About Healing Lyme Disease
1. NOT JUST A TICK
Lyme disease can be transmitted by more than just a tick bite…
Which is technically a tick sting. Most individuals that contract Lyme disease don’t get it from a tick sting. Spiders, fleas, mosquitoes, deer flies, black flies, horse flies and other insects can transmit Lyme disease. Deer, birds, cows, horses, other mammals, and rodents can also be carriers of Lyme. Lyme disease can be spread during intercourse. Moms can pass it onto babies in utero and through mother’s milk to the baby. What I find to be the most frightening fact about Lyme disease is that it can be contracted via dead fragments of the spirochete.
2. BEWARE OF ANTIBIOTICS
The typical ‘antibiotic bug bomb’ is not the complete solution…
I believe you cannot just treat the “bug” to get someone completely healed of chronic Lyme disease. Often those struggling have multiple issues going on in addition to Lyme disease. These may include: heavy metal toxicity, mold toxicity, emotional stressors, trauma, leaky gut, etc. When you take antibiotics, the Lyme spirochete changes form to protect itself. When Lyme bacteria are stressed, they form into cysts. Technically, the spirochete will open up and morph itself into a ball. When the stress is removed, the cysts convert back into spirochetes. Antibiotics damage mitochondria, which is the basis of cellular energy, and they also don’t cross the blood-brain barrier very well so those with Lyme in the brain could be left suffering.
3. IT’S EVERYWHERE
Lyme doesn’t know a state border…
It has been detected in all 50 states in America. Experts like Dr. Ray Stricker say that migratory birds are a big contributor to the worldwide spread of Lyme disease. This explains why Lyme disease is found on every continent except Antarctica.
4. OFTEN FORGOTTEN
Lyme disease is commonly misdiagnosed…
With over a 150 possible symptoms, it can have many different presentations. If you have any of the following conditions or symptoms, it’s important to rule Lyme disease out. These include: an autoimmune condition, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ALS, mental illness, ADHD, multiple sclerosis (MS), hypochondria, migraine headaches, anxiety, insomnia, food allergies, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.
5. THE GREAT MIMICKER
Only 30% of cases get a bull’s eye rash…
An important question to ask is why doesn’t everyone get a rash? Two factors explain it. The first factor is most don’t get Lyme disease from a tick. The second factor is that Lyme disease is pleomorphic. This means it takes on different shapes at different stages and even adjusts as a result of changes in its environment. This is why Lyme disease is referred to as the “New Great Imitator” or the “Great Mimicker.” There are three different forms of Lyme bacteria: spirochete (spiral) form, intracellular form, and round body (cyst) form. If the Lyme bacteria is not in a spirochete form during transmission, there will be no bull’s- eye rash. Think of the spirochete form as the classic form of Lyme disease that weaves through joints and tissues instead of just floating in the blood.
- Cisak, Ewa E; Chmielewska, Jolanta J; Rajtar, Barbara B; Zwolinski, Jacek J; Jablonski, Leon L; Dutkiewicz, Jacek K. Study on the Occurrence of Borrelia Burgdorferi Sense Lato and Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus (TBEV) in Ticks Collected in Lublin Region (Eastern Poland). Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine [Internet]; 2002 [cited 2015 March 6]; 9: 105-110. Available from: http://aaem.pl/abstracted.php?level=5&ICID=4513
- Ten Basic Lyme Disease Facts. Lyme and Cancer Services. Database [Internet]. [cited 2015 March 6]; [about 1 screen]. Available from: http://lymeandcancerservices.com/lyme/lyme-facts/
- Burgess, EC. Borrelia Burgdorferi Infection in Wisconsin Horses and Cows. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 1988 [cited 2015 March 6]; 539(1): 235-43. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3190095
- Klatt, Edward C. MD; Kumar, Vinay MBBS MD FRCPath. Robbins and Cotran Review of Pthology (Robbins Pathology), 4th Edition. Saunders; 2014 Oct 10.
- Weintraub, Pamela. Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic (Temp Group 02/17/2015 3:25:11 PM). St. Martin’s Griffin; 2013 Jun 25.
- Stricker, Ray MD. The Treatment of Lyme Disease:: A Medical legal Assessment. Exper tReviews in Anti- Infecttiive Therrapy. In: LYme Disease Association Conference (CALDA); 2014; California. [unpublished] [cited 2015 March 6].
- Stricker, RB; Phillips SE. Lyme Disease Without Erythema Migraines: Cause for Concern? American Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2003 Jul [cited 2015 February 20]; 115(1): 72-3. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12867241? dopt=Abstract
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US). Lyme Disease – United States, 2001-2002. Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR) [Internet]. 2004 May 7 [cited 2015 February 20]; 53(17): 365-69. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/ mmwrhtml/mm5317a4.htm
While Dr. Jay and many others will come right out and state that Lyme can be transmitted through many means beside ticks, why hasn’t more work been done in this area to nail it down for completely accurate information? For 40 years there has been disagreement on this radically important issue. Animal studies have borne it out completely, with our own UW researcher Dr. Burgess listed in his reference section (#3), and Minnesota’s Dr. Lida Mattman stating it almost as a joke in 2005: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/02/transmission-of-lyme-disease-lida-mattman-phd/ Having written the book on spirochetes (literally), this is what she states:
“I laugh at all this stuff about looking for the Woodtick. That’s so ridiculous because most of the people who get Lyme disease have never heard or seen a tick. We know now it’s in tears and people wipe their eyes and then you shake hands with them. Or we don’t laugh so hard about the physician we had in the hospital who wouldn’t touch the doorknobs in the hospital without taking his white coat and handling the doorknob through a coat. Maybe he wasn’t so insane after all.
So we think this is spread by what is called fomites (an inanimate objector substance that is capable of transmitting infectious organisms fromone individual to another) which is the pencil in the bag as you pick up a pen to write a check or anything you handle. So it’s in urine and in tears and it’s also spread by mosquitoes and who hasn’t had a mosquito bite? We’ve tested the mosquitoes in Michigan and sure enough they can carry the Lyme spirochete.”
Those of you up on tick facts caught that Mattman was incorrect about the wood tick, aka American dog tick or just plain dog tick, as to date it has not been found to transmit Lyme, however, it does transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia (Rabbit Fever), and tick paralysis. In 2017, cases of wood tick transmitted Powassan were reported in Minnesota & Wisconsin: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/new-scary-wood-tick-disease-surfacing-in-region/article_606edd80-1b27-596b-8140-6957ab0497a1.html That’s kind of a big deal as 15% of those people do not survive. Those who do have a 50-50 chance of suffering long-term neurological damage.
The point is these women sounded the alarm on borrelia transmission and they were ignored.
Research is screaming to be done on so many issues in Lyme-land.
My last comment is – don’t let the “Beware of antibiotics” schpeel frighten you. People feel compelled to warn, but there is solid research about the ability of antibiotics to kill pathogens. While it’s true there are many other aspects of this illness that need addressing, antibiotics have been the most effective modality for me, my husband, and thousands of others. That’s not to say they don’t have their problems and concerns, but the last thing you need is fear going forth in this journey.
- get to a Lyme literate doctor experienced in the nuances of treatment
- eat a whole-food diet
- take probiotics (the good refrigerated kind with lots of strains)
- get your sleep (talk to your doctor if you need help)
- exercise if you can with the goal of building up your immune system (T-cells) – that means at a level that doesn’t wipe you out.
- find out your imbalances/deficiencies and supplement
- get psychiatric help if you need it from at least a “Lyme-friendly” practitioner who won’t abuse you with, “It’s all in your head.”
- learn as much as you are able so you can be your own advocate – there will be phases in this journey were this will be nearly impossible. Don’t fret – just learn when you can
- blow off the people who don’t believe you or discount you. “Don’t let the turkey’s get you down!”
- get support – typically from others who are on this same albeit different journey