Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ticks

I promise to finish my "treatment series" in the next post. There is only one or two more things to discuss, but my "adventure" and all the consequences of recovering have left me a bit slow in posting here. However as the temperatures warm up here in Connecticut, the ticks are becoming active. Usually the first batch of ticks waking up from their winter nap are almost 50% infected. Either people are not bringing in those ticks or things changed this winter because we have not had a positive test result out of a number submitted.
We have some complications with testing - the reliable CT agricultural station is still that, reliable, but sending tick there will take several weeks for results. The good news is that they only test ticks which have fed and therefore can transmit Lyme disease. They will not test unengorged ticks.
The Ct Vet Lab has upped prices and required prepayment, so we can't handle them except for special request. They have also added tests for Babesia and Ehrlichiosis. They do have rates that discount if you want all 3 and they will take 5 business days, once they receive the tick.
I do NOT recommending testing ticks as a diagnostic tool, symptoms are a much better indicator, but I recognize that not all doctors follow the CDC guidelines for tick bites and Lyme symptoms.
The following is a general recommendation based on what people who have symptoms have told me.
I want everyone to know I am not an expert on Lyme disease, I can only pass on what others have experienced or discovered.
For those having symptoms and doctors unwilling to treat with out positive tick results, I would refer them to the CDC website with disease and treatment recommendations.
For those who have had the misfortune of having Lyme disease without the benefit of finding a tick bite or a doctor (usually in the past) who would not diagnose or treat, the CDC website will not help. There is lots of information out there, some of it correct, some hype, some confusing.
My own interpretation my not be completely correct, but it fits most of the issues and the people who have followed this (not from my recommendation, I created it from what worked for them) seem to have come out of the long term Lyme syndrome.
Sadly. even the best tests have a time window in which they work. Blood tests do not always tell the story.
1) 3 weeks of antibiotics is enough to kill the organism, but if it has been in your system for more than 3 months untreated, you will still have an immune response and symptoms.
- why i say this is that the organism is similar to syphilis, treating it stops the organism, but you are going to have positive markers for life.
2) Stress, other illnesses, weight loss will make you go through it all over again.
- this releases the markers into your system and no Lyme test in the world will show it.
3) Homeopathic persons and nutritionists can help.
- Some maybe quacks, just like there are good MDs and not so good MDs, find someone who works with you.
4) You are not going to die.
-too many people have been told so much nonsense, they believe they are going to die because of it. You will get better.
5) Make sure you do not get re-infected!
-the ticks are out there, hungry.

My final statement refers to a New England Journal of Health Article on long term Lyme disease and suggests that there maybe another cause. Check my previous post.
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