Managing Lyme Disease - Fast Facts
FAQ on Lyme Disease.There’s so much to say (it’s why a lot of us are here!), but let’s start with just the basics.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bite of a deer tick, usually carrying a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It’s the fastest-growing vector-borne illness in the U.S. and is considered both a public health problem and, for some, a chronic condition.
What happens in your body when you have Lyme disease?
As you probably know, Lyme is uniquely challenging to treat because the Borrelia bacteria has the ability to survive and replicate in your body, thwarting attempts by your immune system to stop the infection. But, not everyone who is bitten by a tick gets Lyme, and not every case of Lyme becomes chronic. And while a bull's-eye rash is often one of the first signs of Lyme, many people develop a different kind of rash—or none at all!
What are the stages of Lyme disease?
Lyme usually evolves in three stages (though these stages can overlap): early and localized, early and disseminated (meaning starting to spread) and late disseminated (meaning spread throughout the body). Each and every case of Lyme is different, which accounts for the huge range of symptoms reported by Lymies.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed? What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Common symptoms include pain, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, brain fog, depression, and in some cases, paralysis and neurological issues, especially after long-term exposure. And here’s the kicker: there's no definitive way to diagnose and treat Lyme.
Diagnostic tests miss more than half of cases in their earliest stages, although those cases can often register as positive for Lyme later. If you’re diagnosed early, a round of antibiotics can usually knock out Lyme quickly. But if you fall into the category of people who get misdiagnosed or whose tests or treatments fail (one reason: coinfections like babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus can complicate everything), Lyme can become a chronic illness, and you can go on to develop serious symptoms. (We know that lots of you are nodding your head right now, because you’re in camp chronic Lyme—lots of us are too!)
Chronic Lyme symptoms are often invisible, and they can be caused by any number of other health conditions. That makes it even more difficult—and costly—for some people to get diagnosed and find an effective treatment plan. Some conventionally-trained physicians aren’t familiar with the most current Lyme research, and that can be challenging for both practitioners and patients.
How do you treat Lyme disease?
Take a big deep breath, because, despite all this tough-to-swallow info, there's so much you can do to take control of your own health and feel better! If you have chronic Lyme, start by finding a team of caring practitioners who focus on Lyme and are up on the latest treatment options. (Your WanaFam will have lots of recommendations, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.) You can also explore the wide world of complementary and alternative approaches that target chronic Lyme and its symptoms.
We’re just naming a few here, but you can look into treatments like ozone therapy and natural remedies such as garlic cloves, allspice, and cumin seeds (which were all shown to be effective bacteria killers—at least in a lab) as well as cat’s claw, sarsaparilla, and andographis. Plus, treatment protocols (like Dr. Zhang’s herbal protocol) and formulas (like Byron White’s) for chronic Lyme are constantly being studied and refined, and we’re always eager to read up on new findings (and share them with you!).
Above all, remember to be diligent about self-care targeted to your specific health issues. Sometimes that just means rest and saying “no” to obligations (which, trust us, you’ll learn to do!). For pain and fatigue, massage therapy and certain types of exercise can be helpful. And, of course, as you navigate the wacky and wild world of Lyme, remember that you are not alone. Your WanaFam has your back, always!
“Our subconscious mind is extremely powerful and if we can shift your paradigm into a healing mode instead of a despair mode, we have given you a tremendous advantage in getting well.”-Dr. Ingels
Wana does not directly support any claims made within this content. These are the views of the individual/organization represented.