Recently some articles have come out on Heart issues with Tick Borne Disease (TBD). Most talk about Lyme; however, as you will see – there are many other players.
http://davidjernigan.blogspot.com/2015/05/functional-heart-problems-and-lyme.html The Hansa Center in their blog states that a common symptom of chronic Lyme is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS. POTS can cause headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, fatigue, shaking, fainting, cold or pain in extremities, chest pain, shortness of breath, and even nausea. Evidently, POTS can be caused by Lyme Endocarditis.
For an excellent read on Lyme Carditis, please see: https://www.bayarealyme.org/blog/lyme-carditis-why-early-diagnosis-is-critical/ In a nutshell, it’s inflammation caused by an infection such as Lyme, viruses, and other pathogens. This inflammation messes up electrical signal conduction and can cause AV block, a serious oxygen depriving condition, hence all the symptoms listed above. Lyme Carditis is the more general term but it can be in any part of the heart: myocardium, pericardium, endocardium, cardiac muscle, valves, and aorta. The good news is it can usually be reversed with appropriate treatment. Sometimes a pacemaker is also needed. The article states about 4-10% of people with TBD develop this.
CDC Expert Commentary by Joseph D Forrester, MD, MSc
Forrester states Lyme Carditis is “rare,” but even 4-10% of patients is a chunk of people. PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM THIS and even the CDC reported 3 cases of sudden cardiac death between Nov 2012 & July 2013 among patients with unrecognized Lyme carditis. If one person died from Zika there would be a media blitz.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/rare-but-serious-complication-of-lyme-disease-can-attack-the-heart-doctor-1.3952476 Recently a heart specialist in Ontario is warning doctors to be on the look out for Lyme carditis. Dr. Baranchuk points out that numerous people with heart symptoms were admitted to the ER two to three times before anyone considered Lyme carditis. He also states many don’t get the bullseye rash or notice vague symptoms of fever and muscle aches.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video?clipId=1406334 CTV News Video
Baranchuk wrote a paper http://www.cmaj.ca/content/190/20/E622 advising doctors to treat young patients with strange heart problems with antibiotics while waiting for results of Lyme blood tests.
He states: “These patients may not require pacemakers to be implanted. They can be treated with IV antibiotics for 10 to 12 days and the electricity of the heart will recover completely forever,” he said.
Interestingly the title of the article by CTV News states, “Rare but serious complication of LD….” and yet they even quote Baranchuk saying,
“We have the suspicion that there are way more cases than are reported, because doctors are failing to report it,” he said.
That’s kind of a big deal.
QUIT SAYING THE WORD RARE IN YOUR REPORTING ON TBD.
Then there’s the story of Dr. Neil Spector, an oncologist who rubbed shoulders with experts and the best that medical care can offer and yet, due to doctors with heads in the sand suffered for years with bizarre and frustrating heart symptoms until he nearly crossed over to the other side. (He was told it couldn’t be Lyme as he lived in Florida. The doctors were happy to diagnose him over the phone but ALL stated unequivocally he did NOT have Lyme!) After a heart transplant, Spector is speaking out about Lyme Disease and has even written the book, Gone in a heartbeat – A Physician’s Search for True Healing. For a great review of the book: https://www.lymedisease.org/when-lyme-disease-affects-the-heart/
Lyme and carditis:
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/22/new-lyme-cme-course-available-lyme-carditis-more-than-blocked-beats/ Course for doctors to become educated.
But Lyme (Bb) isn’t the only culprit.
Similar to inflammation caused by Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), inflammation can be caused by many bacteria and viruses: https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/research-and-grants/faqs/causes-of-myocarditis/
Most common viruses causing carditis:
- Parvovirus B19
- Human Herpes Virus 6
- Enterovirus (Coxsackie Virus)
(Research needed. Tons of viruses involved with TBD)
Most common bacteria causing carditis:
- Corynebacterium diptheriae
- Staphylococcus aureus
(Research needed. Tons of bacteria involved with TBD)
Most common parasites causing carditis:
- Borrelia burgdorferi
- Ehrlichia species
- Babesia species
- Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas Disease)
- Bartonella (My addition due to the following…..)
(Research needed. Tons of parasites involved with TBD)
I added Bartonella to the list due to the following (add it up, it isn’t rare):
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010976/ Five cases of infective endocarditis associated with Bartonella henselae.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9196420 Two cases of Bartonella Carditis.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11496560 One case.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5942242/ Four cases.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8849149 22 cases – 13 that had undetermined Bartonella species.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16762254 A total of 6 cases reported in Spain. Conclusion states it is likely to be underestimated and to suspect it with negative blood cultures, history of chronic alcoholism, the homeless, and those in contact with cats or bitten by fleas or lice, as well as patients with endocarditis and positive serology against Chlamydia spp. This abstract, written in 2006 wouldn’t have considered that ticks carry a Chlamydia-like organisms (CLO): https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/07/chlamydia-like-organisms-found-in-ticks/ These results suggest that CLO DNA is present in human skin; ticks carry CLOs and could potentially transmit CLOs to humans. Two other studies have come to the same conclusion: that there exists a high prevalence and diversity of Chlamydiales DNA in ticks and the very real possibility of human infection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24698831 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26386066
All of this continues to demonstrate why Lyme Disease isn’t typically just Lyme Disease but MSIDS, multi systemic infectious disease syndrome, a literal menagerie of pathogens invading the human host making our cases extremely complex and difficult.
Bartonella and carditis:
Babesia and carditis:
Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, Bb and carditis:
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/04/correlation-of-natural-autoantibodies-heart-disease-related-antibacterial-antibodies-in-pericardial-fluid-mycoplasma-bb-chlamydia/ Mycoplasma pneumoniae antibody positive patients had significantly higher anti-CS IgM levels. In CABG patients we found a correlation between anti-CS IgG levels and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Borrelia burgdorferi antibody titers. Our results provide the first evidence that natural autoantibodies are present in the PF and they show significant correlation with certain antibacterial antibody titers in a disease specific manner.
Hopefully by now it’s clear that carditis caused by TBD’s is not even close to rare. It should also be painfully clear that we are truly in the dark ages on this and that much work needs to be done – and quickly.
Ending on a personal note, I had these bizarre heart symptoms early in my journey. To say they were frightening would be an understatement. I would wake in the middle of the night with my heart flopping like a fish out of water. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and my biceps were often numb. I gasped for air as well.
Upon my first dose of Mepron, Artemisinin, and an intracellular antibiotic, I felt as if I was having a heart attack. Thankfully we pulsed the artemisinin as that allowed the frightening herxes to dissipate some. Due to my response to these drugs my guess is Babesia was the culprit. https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/16/babesia-treatment/ We treated Babesia for an entire year as it’s a notoriously persistent pathogen. It’s important to hit it hard and long as it’s been known to build resistance to drugs.
There has been debate among some as to the effectiveness of Artemisinin and I do feel quality matters. I’m a huge fan of this kind: https://www.allergyresearchgroup.com/quality-artemisinin. And no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way. BTW: We used 500mg morning and night MWF. It makes your mouth taste metallic.
Do not mess around with heart symptoms. Be a clanging gong until someone takes you seriously and feel free to copy this article and take it to your doctors. They need to be educated and We the People are up to bat.
Lastly, please remember all the testing for ALL TBD is horrible. You need a doctor who will diagnose and treat you clinically. Your reaction to the medication is important to track as it will alert your doctor to what you are dealing with based on symptoms: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/08/15/herxheimer-die-off-reaction-explained/
Let’s suffice it to say, heart problems with tick borne illness is NOT rare.