BORRELIA BURGDORFERI – THE BACTERIA RESPONSIBLE FOR LYME’S DISEASE
We are coming into Autumn and with that we will get the colder weather. I love the summer and all it brings, apart from one thing… TICKS. I have had a tick phobia ever since I have been aware of these pointless creatures and not without reason. This summer, my 5 year old son was diagnosed with Lyme disease. This blog isn’t a sob story or a cry for help. It is to make you all aware of what is out there; that said I don’t wish to terrify you all. I just want you to be vigilant and do what is right. Like every living creature, ticks have a life cycle and whilst they may be more active during the months of April to October, they are about all year round.
On 1stJune a rash appeared on my son’s leg. I took him to the GP on 5th June and was sent away with the diagnosis of RINGWORM. I thought this was strange, as ringworm is highly contagious and neither my husband, our 2 daughters nor I had contracted this. I used essential oils directly on the rash – Oregano, Melaleuca and Thyme (mixed with coconut oil) twice daily and this I did for a week. There was marginal change so I returned to the GP and asked them to do a test for Lyme’s disease as I didn’t believe it to be ringworm. There are many different types of ringworm, but 1) they are contagious and 2) they are itchy; quite often they are raised too. My son was showing none of these symptoms. He was showing a typical Lyme rash – erythema migrans – a round red circle with a bull’s eye red mark in the centre. I was told that it would not be Lyme and I was sent away with Daktacort for the supposed ringworm. I carried on using the essential oil blend I had made and discarded the Daktacort. Still unhappy I saw a 3rd GP, whereupon I was given the same response, so I decided to take my son to London, where surely the 4th GP would concur with me and honour my request of a blood test and immediate treatment with antibiotics. Unfortunately I left London wiser, but without the antibiotics. The GP confirmed it was NOT ringworm, but said it would NOT be Lyme either and that a blood test only tests for the antibody, which shows approximately 8 weeks after initial infection. I understood this and requested the antibiotics and a blood test for the 8 week mark. It was not to be and I left empty handed. I returned to Norfolk and rang my GP the following day. I emailed in a photograph of the rash (as the (5th) GP I had faith in, had not actually been one of the four who had seen my son). We had a telephone consultation and he allowed me to book the blood test, however he would not prescribe the antibiotics.
On 25thJuly the blood test was carried out the result was received on 9thAugust. He tested positive for both the IgG and IgM Borrelia Burgdorferi (the bacteria responsible for Lyme). The IgM showed that the infection was active. He was given the highest dose of antibiotics for 3 weeks, as per the NICE guidelines.
I write this blog for people to understand that Lyme is out there. It is real. At no stage did I see a tick on my son, however, I was not even asked this question by 4 out of 5 Doctors. At no stage was my son ill. Many people are crippled with illness in the initial stage, however, other than the rash, my son was the picture of health.
The problem with Lyme is, if it isn’t treated immediately then it can affect you later; it becomes a chronic illness. The Borrelia Burgdorferi are clever and can hide in the tissues within a biofilm. Associated illnesses are brain, heart and joint related. Was my son treated promptly? The simple answer is no; however I have now been informed by 3 consultants that 12 weeks is quick enough to stop this bacteria in its tracks. I have also been told that (and have read) 3 months with no symptoms is a good sign and it is therefore unlikely for any other illnesses to arise due to this infection.
Now, I can only hope that what I have done for him naturopathically and nutritionally has helped him and will continue to help him. He is one extraordinarily biddable patient. Whilst taking the antibiotics, I was giving him a probiotic, Symprove (2 hours before commencing the three times daily dose of antibiotics). He is still taking the probiotics. I have been using doTERRA’s multivitamin; using the anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial oils from doTERRA. It is important not to flood the body with too much, therefore always speak with your health professional before administering any form of supplements. Supporting the immune system, increasing detoxification, eating a nutrient rich diet to stay as healthy as possible can only help in the long-term treatment for Lyme disease.
Ticks throughout their lifecycle – egg → larvae →nymph→ adult – feed off different hosts (after the egg has hatched into larvae). Once they are engorged with the host’s blood, they drop off and molt into their next stage. They don’t care who their host is, as long as they can reach them; dog, fox, rabbit, hedgehog, human and as we all know, deer. They don’t jump or fly; they attach themselves to blades of grass and reach their back legs out, whereupon they climb on to their next host. There are many different ticks – it is commonly known that the deer tick Ixodes Scapularis is the one that carries Lyme. Don’t be fooled – many other insects can also carry Lyme. In short, biting insects – horseflies, mosquitoes, etc. I will leave you to do your own research…
I continue to read scientific research and books on this nasty bacteria (of which there are many, many sub-types) and if I discover anything new worth noting, I shall add it to my blog. It is complex; it is controversial, but above all it is here and my conclusion is that it is little understood. Trust your instincts. Whilst I would love to have faith in the GPs, if you think something is wrong, don’t be afraid to say it.