Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bite of infected Black-legged deer ticks. Due to the sheer number of white-tailed deer in parts of our area, it’s no wonder that the Texas Hill Country is likely to have more cases than other areas of the state with a lesser deer population.
While it’s true that most Lyme Disease cases in the US are contracted in the upper Midwest and Northeastern states, Texas sees dozens of cases every year, mostly within the region between Houston, Dallas and Austin. Moreover, the range of counties where infected deer ticks are being found is increasing.
If left untreated, Lyme Disease can present multi-systemic symptoms —one of the things that makes it hard to diagnose. It often presents mild, flu-like systems lasting longer than a week to 10 days with achy and swollen joints, accompanied by extreme fatigue.50% or less of the cases will have a bull’s-eye rash is one of the first symptoms. Additional symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, facial numbness, abdominal pain, diarrhea and a range of other symptoms from night sweats to depression. Further complicating the diagnosis, symptoms can come and go, as well as worsen over time. There is, however, a specific type of test called an Elisa test. And it’s only about 80% accurate, sadly. Sometimes doctors will treat Lyme based on symptoms alone.
One of the most common—and earliest—symptoms is a mild cognitive impairment known as brain fog. In fact, studies show that approximately 20% of patients with early on set Lyme disease only complain of fatigue, unexplained muscle and joint pain, more frequent headaches and brain fog.
Brain fog can take two forms in Lyme Disease patients: A general experience or feeling of cloudiness, fogginess or heaviness in the head, or the more extreme, where the patient cannot readily form coherent thoughts or sentences, and has trouble with short-term memory, reasoning, and focus. What many people don’t realize is that this brain fog, along with most other symptoms associated with Lyme Disease, is actually the result of an overactive immune response that has caused a build up of cytokine inflammation and other brain infection chemicals. Existing symptoms can worsen and new symptoms emerge as a result of treatment. That’s why there must be a whole body approach.
First Things First: What are Cytokines?
Cytokines are proteins created by white bloods cells that initiate an immune response. In the right amounts, they help the white blood cells effectively halt viral and bacterial replication. With persistent infections, a cytokine storm can be aside effect of treatment, because as parts of the infection die off, whether from antibiotics or more holistic therapies, toxins are released into the blood that the immune system can mistake for a new threat. More and more cytokines are released in response overwhelming the immune system and resulting in the pain, fatigue, lowered immunity, and brain fog Lyme Disease patients often report.
Whole Body Approach :Treat the Infection and Decrease Cytokine Production
The good news is these things can be fixed by treating cytokine-producing problems alongside existing infections and co-infections like Bartonella, Babesia and Ehrlichia. Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, routinely exists alongside viral and parasitic infections, yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract and mold toxins in the bloodstream. Therefore, for any Lyme Disease treatment to be effective and complete, all existing infections and conditions must be identified.
Lyme Disease and its co-infections generally respond well to antibiotics in acute systemic cases, while the toxicity and gut imbalances can be addressed through lifestyle changes, detoxification, and specific supplementation.
Anti-inflammatory dietA low-sugar, low -carb diet high in lean proteins and clean, whole foods will help bring the gut flora back into balance.
Addressing sleep issues–Lack of sleep encourages cytokine production, while quality sleep decreases it.
Specific supplementation can reduce oxidation, remove toxins, and block enzymes that encourage the production of cytokines. Glutathione, liposomal curcumin, resveratrol and quercetin are just a few powerful tools in the treatment support toolbox for decreasing cytokine production, removing toxins that decrease brain function and repairing nerve injury during treatment. These things are not a quick fix ,but they can effectively relieve brain fog and other common symptoms associated with Lyme disease.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wards if you may be suffering from Lyme Disease or your current treatment protocol is not showing results.
Don’t suffer in silence. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Wards or Dr. VanNoy today.
Infinity Wellness Center
Austin, Texas 78748
512-291-7702 - fax
By appointment only. Our Herbal Pharmacy is open for walk-ins (for patients) during these hours.
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