What is Lyme? Etc.

You may also want to read, What I Wish My PCP Knew and The Stages of Lyme Disease and Symptoms, Testing & Forms of Lyme Disease

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Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, and the disease is prevalent across the United States and throughout the world. It is a clinical diagnosis caused by bacteria or spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). It can be the cause of infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms. In my survey, about 25% see the “bull’s eye” rash more often is unusual looking rashes.

It is also known as the “Great Imitator” because it mimics over 300 medical conditions. There also is a nice chart covering Lyme and all the co-infections and their symptoms called Comparison Lyme Disease and Co-infections Symptoms Chart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines weren’t intended to be used to diagnose or give a full definition of Lyme disease. The ELISA is recommended but is quite unreliable. The Western Blot was also recommended, however, the specific bands for Bb are not included in the testing (31 and 34) which usually is a good indication of Bb exposure. Both clinical symptoms and blood tests should be used when diagnosing Lyme disease. Antibiotic and usually other treatments are recommended for treatment.

Please remember that ticks as all animals travel. Thus, you or your loved ones have dozens of opportunities to become exposed to Lyme disease. This information that I used to assist in this was acquired from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. For more accurate information go to http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/about_lyme.html. You will also find their recommendations for treatment of this disease. You can also check out Lyme 101.

Symptoms:

Persistent swollen glands; Sore throat; Fevers; Sore soles, esp. in the AM; Joint pain: Fingers, toes; Ankles, wrists, Knees, elbows, Hips, shoulders; Joint swelling: Fingers, toes, Ankles, wrists, Knees, elbows, Hips, shoulders; Unexplained back pain; Stiffness of the joints or back; Muscle pain or cramps; Obvious muscle weakness; Twitching of the face or other; muscles; Confusion, difficulty thinking; Difficulty with concentration; reading, problem absorbing new information; Word search, name block; Forgetfulness, poor short term memory; poor attention; Disorientation: getting lost; going to wrong places; Speech errors- wrong word; misspeaking; Mood swings, irritability, depression; Anxiety, panic attacks; Psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, bipolar); Tremor; Seizures; Headache; Light sensitivity and Sound sensitivity.

More accurate information on Lyme Disease symptoms can be found on Pages 9-10 of Dr. Burrascano’s guidelines at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf#search=%22bartonella“.

Babesia (Babesiosis)

Virginia T. Sherr, M.D.’s medical hypothesis describes it as follows: “Human babesiosis, caused by parasitic protozoa of erythrocytes, has escaped usual associates—lower mammals. Thriving in tick guts, it has spread inland from the coasts of America, adopting mankind as a host. Babesia spp. threaten life quality of unsuspecting humans in quickly expanding territories worldwide, including the state of Pennsylvania, USA. “ In her research, she has found that the cause of Lyme disease, spirochete, often co-exists in ticks. Often, the symptoms of Babesia are similar or the same of Lyme disease.

As it was explained to me, it often magnifies the symptoms of Lyme disease and is equally as difficult to treat. No one test can reliably test for Babesia. Within two weeks, a blood smear may detect it. However, if it is later, serology, PCR and fluorescent in-situ hybridization assay (FISH) are recommended. As in Lyme, clinical symptoms have to be used in conjunction with these tests. Antibiotic and usually other treatments are recommended for treatment.

For the entire article of Dr. Virginia T. Sherr go to http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(04)00265-8/abstract.

James Schaller’s Babesia Checklist

Dr. Sherr also has a lot of helpful information on her website: The Human Side of Lyme. http://thehumansideoflyme.net/.

More accurate information on Babesiosis can also be found on Page 5 of Dr. Burrascano’s guidelines at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf#search=%22bartonella“.

Bartonella

“Bartonella is an intracellular, gram-negative bacteria that can become chronic. Certain lab tests may not detect the infection due to a variety of strains and the lack of sensitivity of the tests. It is advised to use both PCR and IFA methods of testing and not to dismiss the disease due to negative tests when symptoms are present. Various Bartonella species have been recognized since the early 1950s.” Lucy Barnes further describes symptoms such as fevers, malaise, fatigue, rashes, conjunctivitis, Osteomyelitis, Myositis, Arthritis, Endocarditis, cognitive dysfunction, and much more. For more helpful information regarding Bartonella go to LymeInfo at http://www.lymeinfo.net/bartonella.html.

The recommended tests as suggested by Dr. Burrascano, is to “use both serology and PCR. PCR can be performed not only on blood and CSF, but as in LB can be performed on biopsy specimens. Unfortunately, in my experience, these tests, even when both types are done, will presently miss over half the cases diagnosed clinically.” Antibiotic and usually other treatments are recommended for treatment.

More accurate information can be found at Advanced Topics In Lyme Disease Diagnostic Hints And Treatment Guidelines For Lyme And Other Tick Borne Illnesses, Sixteenth Edition, Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., M.D. http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf#search=%22bartonella

James Schaller M.D.Bartonella Checklist

Ehrlichia

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA). The bacterium that causes Ehrlichia is Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is an intracellular parasite that undergoes development within white blood cells, especially granulocytes. It has been found across the U.S. and Europe. Symptoms include the following: Fever, headache, joint pain, and muscle ache, a body rash which doesn’t usually involve the hands and feet, infections usually are mild, but severe cases can result in death. This information was acquired from Lyme Info and Purdue University.

“Testing is problematic with Ehrlichia, similar to the situation with Babesiosis.” Serologies and PCRs are recommended. However, “infection can be missed, so clinical diagnosis remains the primary diagnostic tool.” Antibiotic and usually other treatments are recommended for treatment.

More accurate information can be found at Advanced Topics In Lyme Disease Diagnostic Hints And Treatment Guidelines For Lyme And Other Tick Borne Illnesses, Sixteenth Edition, Joseph J. Burrascano Jr., M.D. http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf#search=%22bartonella

Lyme 101

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