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I Just Got Diagnosed With Lyme Disease. What Should I Do?



by Jennifer Crystal

Every day, I receive emails from people who have recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease. As most of us do when we hear a new medical term or leave a doctor’s office, these people frantically search the web looking for information. Sometimes they come across one of my blog posts. Then they write with questions about treatment, with requests for finding a good doctor and with prayers that I will be able to offer them some hope. Most of all, they want to know: “What do I do to get better?”

Because I find myself offering the same responses to many such patients, I thought I would create a “School of Lyme For the Newly Diagnosed.” Consider this a brief survey course on tick-borne illness, open to anyone who wants to learn the basics of what to do when you get (or suspect) a Lyme diagnosis.

Lesson 1: It’s Lyme, not Lyme’s!

It’s important to know the correct name of your disease! Many people mistakenly call it Lyme’s disease, assuming it was discovered by a Dr. Lyme. In fact, Lyme is named for the town in which it was first detected: Lyme, Connecticut. As for the names of co-infections, those are not as simple, but should still be part of your working vocabulary; we’ll get to those in Lesson 5.

Lesson 2: All cases are different

Everyone’s looking for a one-size-fits-all treatment protocol. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist, and here’s why: Lyme bacteria, called spirochetes, impact every victim differently. It depends how quickly the infection was caught and diagnosed; how far it’s spread, and to where. The bacteria can affect different organs, muscles, bones and cells in different patients. It can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. Moreover, there may be co-infections present—the list goes on and on. A Lyme doctor can see a thousand patients and use a thousand different protocols. Telling you what antibiotics I took won’t help you; you need to work with your doctor to figure out the best combination for you.

Lesson 3: Find an LLMD

An LLMD is a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor. This is a physician who has trained with ILADS (The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society). Some practitioners claiming to be Lyme literate may not be versed in all tick-borne disease. The best way to know you are getting good treatment is to make sure your doctor is ILADS-trained. You can find an ILADS-trained physician in your area through Global Lyme Alliance, by clicking on

Lesson 4: Get tested for co-infections

Unfortunately, ticks don’t only carry Lyme disease. Many of them harbor what are known as co-infections: other tick-borne diseases besides Lyme. The most common are babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and bartonella, but there are many others. It’s critical that you get tested for co-infections along with Lyme disease. If you are receiving treatment for Lyme and haven’t been tested for other tick-borne infections, you may be fighting only half the battle.

Lesson 5: Take probiotics

Antibiotics kill spirochetes, but they also kill the good bacteria in your gut, which can cause a yeast infection. To combat this, take probiotics (available at any pharmacy or health food store). Important: make sure you take the probiotics at least two hours before or after you take the antibiotics; if you take them too close together, the antibiotics will kill the probiotics.

Lesson 6: Don’t panic

The information available at our fingertips in this internet age is a double-edged sword. You may read stories that terrify you. Remember, every case of Lyme disease is different. If you catch tick-borne illnesses and treat them immediately, chances are you will not suffer as long those who have been sick for many years. Don’t let my story or those of other chronically ill patients frighten you. Do let these stories offer you hope, however, especially if you have been sick for a long time. I am living proof that even the worst cases of tick-borne illness can eventually be wrestled into remission. I am living proof that long-term treatment works. I am living proof that it’s a long road between being bedridden and skiing, but it can be traveled.

Most importantly, know that you are not alone in this fight. There are many of us battling tick-borne diseases right alongside you. We feel your pain. We validate your suffering. And we know that it can get better. There is hope!

jennifer crystal

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She has written a memoir, One Tick Stopped the Clock for which she is seeking representation. Contact her at:



  1. Lyme’s been around since the beginning of time:, and  Wisconsin has the first published case from Taylor County in 1969:—lyme-connecticut-that-is.html  This article discusses how dermatologist Dr. Rudolf J. Scrimenti diagnosed the Borrelia infection and described both neurologic and arthritic symptoms exhibited by the patient. He took his knowledge & experience, and attempted to educate Dr. Steere, the person called to the scene of the Lyme, Connecticut “outbreak.”  Excerpt:  Scrimenti even corresponded with Steere and visited Yale to inform him of the long European history and strong possibility that the Lyme clusters were likely a form of Borreliosis. However, Steere, the rheumatologist-to-be had been summoned to investigate outbreaks of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. After extensive study and consideration, guess what he concluded? He believed that he was observing a previously unrecognized form of JRA.  And, we’ve been paying for it ever since.
  2. Doctor lists constantly change.  The best way for you to find credible doctors is through your local support group. While organizations like Global Lyme Alliance are a place to start, they aren’t aware of changes that can occur quite rapidly.  You can also ask people their experiences with various doctors, keeping in mind that people are going to have differing opinions.
  3. Testing for coinfections is abysmal.  Most LLMD’s will diagnose and treat people clinically, which means, individually based on symptoms.  Seronegativity is common with Lyme/MSIDS which just means you can test negative over and over and over yet be infected.  I’ve found that getting a negative on a test can lead to a false sense of security.  Also, treating this for many people is like peeling an onion.  You start out with certain symptoms and then as you treat, other symptoms can rear their ugly little heads.  For instance, we started treating for Lyme only to discover further down the road Babesia symptoms which needed addressing.
  4. Taking probiotics is a great place to start; however, as Dr. Burrascano states, “Now is the time for pristine health habits.”  Eat a whole-food based diet and avoid junk food, soda, alcohol, and anything that could lower your immune system & cause inflammation: and  Many patients also find they are sensitive to many things and omitting dairy or gluten, for instance, can really help some patients.  Being willing to try things is important as sometimes the only way we learn is by trying.  Support groups are also good for this type of information.  You will find people who are making their own bone broth, kefir/yogurt, kombucha, and have ideas for recipes that are healthy yet don’t taste like cardboard.
  5. Treating this is unlike anything else you’ve ever treated.  Treatment is hard and costly.  You feel far worse for a long time before you start feeling better.  This is one of the hardest things to accept as a patient, but accept it you must.  People are so relieved to finally be diagnosed that starting treatment is like a slap in the face.  They expect to feel better but in fact, they feel worse.  This is due to the herxheimer reaction:  Also, once patients hit a plateau, LLMD’s switch the meds around typically bringing back the dreaded herx.  You go up and down like the waves of the sea.  You have many bad days and a few good.  You have to learn to adjust your life around Lyme/MSIDS.  It will sift you like wheat and you will find in the end you are made of much sterner stuff than you ever realized.  For more:
  6. The silver lining.  After this you never take life for granted (or a day without pain!) and you become much more aware of and sympathetic of others.  All in all, it makes you a better human and God knows, we need more of them!

Financing Tick-Borne Disease

Money and stethoscope/financing Lyme

by Jennifer Crystal


When I talk to people about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, I often admit “It’s hard to believe that such a tiny tick can cause so much damage.” I am usually referring to the physical and neurological toll of the diseases, but there is another important toll that people don’t always know about: the financial one.

Lyme is tough on people, and on their finances. Beyond the cost of treating the disease, there are also the resultant emotional costs. In addition to the stress of not feeling well—and often of not yet having an accurate diagnosis—patients often are too sick to work, causing high anxiety coupled with feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

I know this shame vortex well, for I have lived it.

When I first became too sick to work, I was between jobs. At the end of the 2003 school year, I had quit my job teaching high school English and Journalism in Colorado. My plan was to work as a camp counselor that summer, and as a ski instructor come winter. I figured I’d be able to cover my fall expenses with my meager savings and my summer paycheck. My winter ski instructing job was already lined up.

The plan left little margin for error, but at 25 years old, I didn’t consider that. I was young and, I thought, invincible.

Then I got mono. I barely made it to summer camp, slogged through my work there, and returned to bed at the end of the season. The mono slipped in to chronic Epstein Barr virus. I spent the fall in bed, my symptoms worsening and my anxiety rising as the ski season grew closer and closer. By late fall, I was still bedridden, and my doctor told me there was no way I would be able to instruct novice skiers. Unable to care for or support myself, I had no choice but to move back into my parent’s home in Connecticut.

On the one hand, I was very lucky. I had family who could and would support me. They sheltered and fed me, and helped with living and medical expenses when the little money I had ran out. Not every patient has that kind of support.

Still, I struggled. This was in the days before you could stay on your parents’ health insurance until age 26. My plan had been to pay the expensive COBRA fee to keep my Colorado health insurance active through the fall, at which point I would be covered under a new plan by my ski instructing job. But you can’t be covered if you aren’t working. Well, sometimes you can if you take medical leave from a job you already have, but I hadn’t officially started working for the ski resort. Moreover, I was now in Connecticut, so all of the doctors I saw—and there were many—were out-of-network.

I canceled my Colorado plan and purchased private insurance in Connecticut (long before the whole debate over whether someone should be covered for a pre-existing condition). The new insurance covered most of my doctors’ appointments, but at a steep fee.

These costs started to take an emotional toll. Every day I wondered,

“When will I be able to work again? What if I can’t? How long can my family support me? Am I ruining their lives and plans?” 

I felt guilt and shame for not being able to support myself, especially since I’d previously been independent. It’s one thing to be a dependent child, but it’s another entirely to reverse that and move backwards from independence to dependence. Nobody involved expects or wants that to happen. Many families aren’t prepared for it. Everyone feels a financial and emotional strain.

It took two years for me to get an accurate diagnosis of Lyme disease with the co-infections babesia and ehrlichia. By then I’d already racked up big medical bills, and the journey was only just beginning. The best Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs) didn’t take insurance, so appointments were very expensive. Then there was the cost of medications and supplements. Luckily, my insurance considered my intravenous antibiotics as emergency medication and covered that treatment in full. I got partial reimbursements for my doctors’ appointments, and found in-network adjunct providers (such as a therapist, a physical therapist, and a sleep doctor).

To help defray living costs, I applied for Social Security Disability benefits. Getting them was a tough uphill battle, one that I didn’t really have the energy or strength to fight. My case was continually denied, until I went before a judge who happened to be Lyme literate. I finally got monthly benefits—which were then taken away the minute I started graduate school. The presumption apparently being that if I could (usually, but not always) attend class for eight hours a week, then I could work a forty hour work week.

Of course, I couldn’t.

But again, I was very fortunate to have had benefits at all, and to have family help, too. Many patients can’t afford to see an LLMD, and they can’t get their insurance companies to cover treatment for tick-borne diseases. Some need PICC lines and can’t get them. Some start treatment and then have to stop when the insurance company baselessly decides they’re done. And still there is always that nagging guilt and anxiety.

So what is a Lyme patient to do?

What can you do if you are not a Lyme patient, but know someone who is?

  • Offer to help them review websites like the ones above and to read through medical and insurance documentation. Many Lyme patients struggle with brain fog and confusion, and reading such documents can be overwhelming.
  • Offer to be the patient’s advocate. When their insurance and disability claims are denied, help them to write appeal letters.
  • Start a fundraiser or meal chain. Funding pages pop up all the time for cancer patients, but many people don’t realize that Lyme patients could use the same financial help. Any funds you can raise to help defray medical costs would be useful, too. Patients need healthy meals but are often too tired to make them or get to the store. Have friends sign up to bring the patient his or her meals.

Tick-borne disease can easily put people out hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the emotional costs. But do not despair— help is available!

jennifer crystal

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She has written a memoir, One Tick Stopped the Clock for which she is seeking representation. Contact her at:


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New Scan Technique Reveals Brain Inflammation Associated With Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome

New scan technique reveals brain inflammation associated with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome

February 5, 2019

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Summary:  More than 1 in 10 people successfully treated with antibiotics for Lyme disease go on to develop chronic, sometimes debilitating, and poorly understood symptoms of fatigue and brain fog that may last for years after their initial infection has cleared up.


More than 1 in 10 people successfully treated with antibiotics for Lyme disease go on to develop chronic, sometimes debilitating, and poorly understood symptoms of fatigue and brain fog that may last for years after their initial infection has cleared up. Now, in a small study, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report they have used an advanced form of brain scan to show that 12 people with documented post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) all show elevation of a chemical marker of widespread brain inflammation, compared with 19 healthy controls.

Results of the study, published in Journal of Neuroinflammation, suggest new avenues for treating the long-term fatigue, pain, sleep disruption and “brain fog” associated with PTLDS, the researchers say.

“There’s been literature suggesting that patients with PTLDS have some chronic inflammation somewhere, but until now we weren’t able to safely probe the brain itself to verify it,” says Jennifer Coughlin, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and one of the first authors of the study report.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through tick bites. An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, and their infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics. Doctors diagnose PTLDS if treated patients report fatigue and brain fog for at least six months after treatment. Little is known about what causes PTLDS or how to treat it, and while studies have shown that people with PTLDS have elevated markers of inflammation — such as the chemokine CCL19 — in their bloodstreams, it has not been clear where that inflammation may be occurring.

Over the last decade, Coughlin and her colleagues optimized a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging technique in which specially labeled molecules — or radiotracers — bind to a protein called translocator protein (TSPO). In the brain, TSPO is released primarily by two types of brain immune cells — microglia and astrocytes — so levels of TSPO are higher when brain inflammation is present.

With this type of PET scan, Coughlin’s team says it can visualize levels of TSPO — and therefore levels of inflammation, or astrocyte and microglia activation — throughout the brain. They’ve used it previously to see inflammation in the brains of former NFL players as well as to study brain inflammation in autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

In the new study, Coughlin’s group teamed up with Johns Hopkins Lyme disease researchers and compared PET scans of 12 patients with a diagnosis of PTLDS and 19 without. The PTLDS patients all had a history of confirmed or probable Lyme disease infection, documented evidence of treatment and no history of diagnosed depression. All had reported the presence of fatigue and at least one cognitive deficit such as problems with memory or concentration.

Controls and cases were all adult men (18) and women (13) over age 18 and did not differ significantly in age or body mass index (BMI).

The scans revealed that across eight different regions of the brain, PTLDS patients had significantly higher levels of TSPO compared with controls. On average, when all brain regions were combined and the data was adjusted for genotype, brain region, age and BMI, there was a mean difference of 0.58 between the TSPO levels of controls and patients with PTLDS.

“We thought there might be certain brain regions that would be more vulnerable to inflammation and would be selectively affected, but it really looks like widespread inflammation all across the brain,” says Coughlin.

The Johns Hopkins team cautioned that their study was small, and whether or not the results apply to all people with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome — such as those with chronic pain but not cognitive symptoms — must await far larger and broader studies. In addition, the current study did not include people who recovered from Lyme disease and did not develop PTLDS, a key control group. But for now, the researchers hope their results give PTLDS patients some hope that the science of PTLDS is advancing.

“What this study does is provide evidence that the brain fog in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome has a physiological basis and isn’t just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety,” says John Aucott, M.D., a senior author of the new paper, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center.

In addition, Aucott says, the results suggest that drugs designed to curb neuroinflammation may be able to treat PTLDS, although clinical trials are needed first to determine the safety and benefit of such therapy. Future variations of the PET scan may be able to narrow down more specifically which subsets of microglia and astrocytes are activated, helping guide drug development further, he added.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer M. Coughlin, Ting Yang, Alison W. Rebman, Kathleen T. Bechtold, Yong Du, William B. Mathews, Wojciech G. Lesniak, Erica A. Mihm, Sarah M. Frey, Erica S. Marshall, Hailey B. Rosenthal, Tristan A. Reekie, Michael Kassiou, Robert F. Dannals, Mark J. Soloski, John N. Aucott, Martin G. Pomper. Imaging glial activation in patients with post-treatment Lyme disease symptoms: a pilot study using [11C]DPA-713 PET. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2018; 15 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12974-018-1381-4


This tells us what we all knew.  There is a definite physiological basis and isn’t just psychosomatic or related to depression or anxiety.

This study proves we aren’t whack jobs – something we kinda already knew.

They still are using the term Post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome (PTLDS), which is inaccurate as it has not been proven conclusively if there is active infection or not.  If there IS active infection, this title is completely bogus.  It also implies without evidence that patients received adequate treatment and that any remaining symptoms are caused by something other than an infection.




“Under Our Skin” Lyme Film – FREE on Amazon Prime (The Best Primer on Lyme on the Market)

“Under Our Skin” Lyme film now free through Amazon Prime

The award-winning Lyme documentary Under Our Skin, and its sequel, Under Our Skin 2: Emergence are now both available for free viewing by members of Amazon Prime.

Released in 2008, Under Our Skinremains one of the most effective ways of explaining the complexities of Lyme disease and the troublesome medical politics surrounding it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend it. For members of Amazon Prime, this is also a good chance to watch it along with family and friends who may need educating on this issues.

Here’s a trailer to give you a taste of the film:



If you haven’t seen this film, you need to.  Make sure to watch the out-takes as well.  You will see person after person after person announce they were diagnosed with MS, fibromyalgia, Lupus, and on and on – but all the while they were infected with Lyme/MSIDS.

This film brilliantly shows the polarization of the medical field with one set of doctors saying it’s a simple illness against another set of doctors saying Lyme/MSIDS is probably one of the most complex illnesses to treat.  The collusion of the CDC is brilliantly exposed as well – showing that a majority on the committee to determine the “Lyme Guidelines,” have conflicts of interests including patents on organisms as well as test kits.

I diagnosed both my husband and I watching this film.

CNN Forced To Correct Piece on Measles


What they failed to mention entirely is that horrible lump in the picture is actually from a MMR VACCINE.


Vaccine proponents also fail to mention that fully vaccinated people still contract the disease they’ve been vaccinated for:

For a great read on Measles:

A few excerpts:

Natural infection with wild measles creates long-lasting viral-specific and viral-neutralizing antibodies that are not acquired following vaccine-introduced infection. There are numerous documented cases of measles occurring in highly vaccinated communities which can be attributed primarily to short-term efficacy (secondary vaccine failure).  This has important implications considering the fact that measles has an increased rate of complications in adults when compared to school age children….

Wild measles exposure occurs through contact with the human respiratory tract. The measles vaccine introduces a lab altered, live-virus through an unnatural route of exposure.  This weakened, man-made virus can bury deep into the tissues and create a slow infection in practically any area of the body including the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and central nervous system (CNS). The consequences of these vaccine-induced infections may not show up for months, years or decades later.

A vaccine induced form of SSPE known as Measles Inclusion-Body Encephalitis (MIBE) has been documented in children months to years following measles vaccination.  Could the rapid rise in chronic inflammatory bowel and neurological disorders be caused by these slow infections? How many doctors would ever think to investigate the possibility that these illnesses may be with a distant vaccination?  To further complicate the issue, in a phenomenon known as recombination, the measles virus can combine with other live viruses in the vaccine to create a novel virus with unknown effects.

Lyme/MSIDS patients are in a battle for their health.  They suffer from dysfunctional immune systems that are in a war of epic proportions.  Please do your reading before considering any and all vaccines.  Every single patient I know who got vaccinated suffered a relapse and a worsened condition.



13 Common Infections That Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk – Including Lyme/MSIDS

13 Common Infections That Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk

From STDs to pneumonia to flu, common infections can tip the balance and lead to a heart attack in susceptible people.

The infection-heart connection

Computer tomography angiography CTA of coronary artery. The study use for diagnosis the heart vessel problem that made the patient suffer from myocardial infractions or acute coronary syndrome.Peter Porrini/Shutterstock

There are two major reasons why infections can lead to heart attacks, says Sean J. Cloonan, MD, internal medicine and infectious disease physician at the Scarsdale Medical Group. The first is that infections cause stress on the body. “And any stress like this can tip somebody over the edge to having a heart attack,” Dr. Cloonan says. “Think of an infection as that tipping point.” Second, infections cause inflammation in the body, he explains, which can worsen the process of plaque building up in the arteries. Read on to learn some of the infections that can worsen heart trouble.


Doctor is holding glass bottle of medicineOleksandr Lysenko/Shutterstock

study out of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that influenza was one of the respiratory illnesses that raised the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Risk increased sharply among the study participants in the first few days after diagnosis. Receiving the flu vaccine did not increase the risk. Read about how to tell when you have the flu—and when you don’t.


Thoracic spine X-rays under 3d imagePraisaeng/Shutterstock

This respiratory infection—resulting from inflammation of the lining of the lungs—can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to the New England Journal of Medicine study. The researchers found that heart attack risk rose fivefold and stroke risk increased threefold during the first three days following the diagnosis of a respiratory infection. The risk declined over time, however, and was nearly normal within three months after recovering from the infection. Don’t miss these signs your “cold” is actually something worse.


Human lung tissue with pneumonia infection caused by flu (Viral pneumonia) under a microscope. ChWeiss/Shutterstock

Another problematic respiratory infection: pneumonia. A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that patients who had lung infections requiring a hospital admission had a six times greater risk for cardiovascular disease in the year following the illness, compared to people who hadn’t had the infections. And the risk persisted over time: It was more than twice as high for the hospitalized patients two and three years after the event and remained elevated up to five years after. A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association produced a similar finding. Be sure you know these silent symptoms of lung disease.

Other respiratory infections

X-ray Chest Upright A Male 76 year old Fine Cardiomegaly.No definite active lung infiltration or lung mass.No pleural effusion.Richman Photo/Shutterstock

A study conducted by researchers at Ashton Medical School in Birmingham, UK, and presented at the American College of Cardiology conference this year found that respiratory infections could raise the risk of a heart attack and double the risk of a stroke caused by atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries). In fact, researchers said the risk could be greater than the risk posed by obesity and similar to the dangers of high blood pressure and diabetes. Don’t miss these 7 silent signs you may have clogged arteries.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

13 Common Infections That Can Raise Your Heart Attack RiskJarun Ontakrai/Shutterstock

The British researchers who presented at the American College of Cardiology conference also studied UTIs, which were found to pose a similar heart-attack risk. The study, which tracked 34,000 patients, is the largest to date that shows a correlation between these types of common infections and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. And the numbers are striking: Those who were admitted to hospital with a respiratory or urinary tract infection were 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack and 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke than patients who did not have an infection. These are the 9 symptoms of a urinary tract infection everyone should know.


Abnormal neutrophil in pleural fluid smear.Sepsis or septicaemia is a life-threatening illness. Presence of numerous bacteria in the blood, causes the body to respond in organ dysfunction. toeytoey/Shutterstock

Sepsis is an extreme immune system response to an existing infection where the heart and circulatory system begin to fail and blood pressure plummets. This slows blood flow to major organs, which can begin to fail. People who were hospitalized for this life-threatening condition in the European study were afterward found to have an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers say the likely cause is systemic inflammation, which can cause plaque to crack open and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Inflammation remains in the body long after the infection has cleared up, experts say. Don’t miss these signs of sepsis.


Chlamydia with elementary Cell (green Color)Mohd Firdaus Othman/Shutterstock

Research has shown that chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, may raise the risk of a heart attack in young men. The lead study author, from the University of Wisconsin, however, cautions that the research is preliminary and further study is needed. Dr. Cloonan agrees: “It’s murky,” he says. “Small studies have been done here and there to try to find a relationship, but they’re not conclusive.” Here are 14 sex problems you should take seriously.


Blood collection tube with HIV test label held by technician.Sherry Yates Young/Shutterstock

“It’s very well known that people with HIV have an elevated risk of a heart attack,” says Dr. Cloonan. “This is thought to be related to chronic inflammation.” The virus causes chronic activation of the immune system, which causes molecules called cytokines to circulate and damage the arteries over time. “Some of the older HIV medications also contributed to cardiovascular risk, but we hope the newer drugs will be shown to have less of an effect.” Be sure you know these 13 surprising things about HIV and AIDS.

Oral infections

Dental xray shows 3 wisdom tooths. there is one critical in the lower part of the picture, this is a high resolution, photoPhotosampler/Shutterstock

For reasons that aren’t quite clear, some populations of bacteria inside your mouth can damage your heart. Culprits include tooth infections, gingivitis (swelling of the gums), and periodontitis (which leads to infected pockets of pus). Numerous studies have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. To help prevent this, brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, see a dentist for cleanings twice a year, and pay prompt attention to any signs of an infected tooth or gum disease. Don’t miss the 13 things dentists never put in their mouths.

Blood infections

13 Common Infections That Can Raise Your Heart Attack Riskplenoy m/Shutterstock

“When bacteria gets into the blood, that’s a sign that an infection is way out of control,” Dr. Cloonan says. This leads to an intense response from the immune system and is another example of a situation where your body is in a state of stress. “This can worsen the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” he says. Check out these heart disease risk factors you might not know.

When the heart is infected

Histopathology of bacterial myocarditis, inflammatory heart disease, light micrographKateryna Kon/Shutterstock

Some people develop infections in the heart itself—a condition called myocarditis. Many people with this infection experience no symptoms and recover before they even know they have it. But for others, symptoms may include chest pain; rapid or abnormal heartbeat; shortness of breath; fluid retention in the legs, ankles, and feet; fatigue; and general signs of an infection like headaches, body aches, joint pain, fever, and sore throat, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe myocarditis weakens the heart and impedes blood circulation. Clots can form in the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.

Viral infections

Herpes on the lip close up macroNataly Studio/Shutterstock

The most common cause of myocarditis is a viral infection. These can include viruses that cause the common cold; hepatitis B and C; parvovirus, which causes a mild rash (usually in children; it’s also known as fifth disease); and herpes simplex virus. Gastrointestinal infections, Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis), and German measles (rubella) can also cause myocarditis. It’s also common in people who have HIV/AIDS. Here are the 11 signs of mono you should never ignore.

Bacterial infections

Study for Bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) in the human nose, for study on Blood Agar Culture Plate in Lab Microbiology.Rattiya Thongdumhyu/Shutterstock

Numerous other factors can also lead to myocarditis, such as infection with common bacteria like staphylococcus (which causes staph infections) and streptococcus (which causes strep throat, scarlet fever, and other infections). The bacteria that cause diphtheria and the tick-borne bacteria that cause Lyme disease can also be culprits. Check out how doctors can tell whether your infection or viral or bacterial.

Yeast infections

View in microscopic Candida albicans infecion in Pap smear.Fungal infection.Medical background.Komsan Loonprom/Shutterstock

Yeast infections such as candida can cause myocarditis as well, according to the Mayo Clinic, particularly in people who have weakened immune systems. If myocarditis is untreated, it can lead to heart failure or a heart attack or stroke. It’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any signs of the infection. Don’t miss these yeast infection symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

Taking care of your heart

Top view of stethoscope on EKG graph or electrocardiogram to test measures the electrical signals that control heart rhythm.eakasarn/Shutterstock

“We know what the major determinants of heart disease are, including smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol,” says Dr. Cloonan. “For people who have these risk factors and are on the edge to begin with, getting a bad infection may tip them into having a heart attack.” So it’s important to have your cholesterol checked, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, get screened for diabetes, keep your weight in a normal range, and avoid smoking. “Manage your risk factors to keep yourself as healthy as possible.” He also recommends staying up to date with influenza and pneumococcal vaccines to reduce your risk of these illnesses, as well as the vaccine for rubella, which can cause myocarditis. Read on to find out the best and worst diets for heart health.


For more:

Seriously, I could go on and on and on with this…..

Mercury Amalgams & Lyme

Our upcoming support group meeting (Feb. 16, 2019) is about biological dentistry, something we should all consider in our journey toward health.  The following information should educate about the importance of oral health as well as the substances used.

Interestingly, my biological dentist had to retired early.  The reason?

Mercury poisoning


Visual demonstration of toxic mercury vapors generated during a dental amalgam filling removal

  Oct. 2012  Approx. 7 Min

Dr. Christopher Shade says there are ways to find out from testing how your body is handling a toxin.

 Oct. 2012  Approx. 5 Min

Dr. Christopher Shade had 17 amalgam fillings removed. He talks about the risk involved and how it should be done properly. He also talks about the after affects of getting the mercury out and what people might expect to feel.  Go here to locate a practitioner (Lyme patient’s, Michelle McKeon, story of having silver amalgams removed)  “Dental amalgam can harm anyone who had them in their mouth. Though, there are many conditions that can cause people to be even more sensitive to mercury toxicity, such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MS, Parkinson’s disease, and Lyme disease.”

Dr. Lee Cowden states,

“In the Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide that I contributed to back in 1993, and also the update that came out in 2002, the Alternative Medicine Guide had a section on dentistry and the effects on health. And there was a chart in there of 1500+ patients whose mercury amalgams were removed, and the results of that were reported to the FDA. They found that well over eighty percent of the patients  had a significant improvement in a variety of symptoms, just by having the mercury amalgams out. A lot of those had had the tests done, to look for mercury in their body before they had the mercury out of their teeth, and the tests were negative, but they persisted anyway and got a dentist to take the mercury out of their teeth…..In a lot of states if a dentist tells the patient that they’re toxic from the mercury amalgam in their teeth, the dentist can lose their license. So, in some states you have to take the mercury out for cosmetic reasons.”

Interview with biological dentist Dr. Andrew Landerman on Lyme & teeth: