You may have just been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, or just found out someone you know has it. Odds are increasing that you will know someone soon, because it’s on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 300,000 cases per year, in the U.S. alone.
Regardless if you have it, someone you know has it, or you’re just curious, there is a lot of information floating around on Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, not all of it is accurate. And, chronic illness is difficult enough to live with, let alone obscuring it with an abundance of misinformation. There are several myths that are circling around, and some of the more common ones will be addressed here.
Wrong. Rumor has it that you need to look for a red rash, that is similar in appearance to a bull’s eye target. The truth is, only about half of the patients infected with Lyme Disease will have that rash. Sometimes the rash is very slight, and mistaken for another bite or reaction to something else. Or, no rash at all. So, don’t wait for the bull’s eye, if you suspect you have been bitten by an infected tick.
– If Lyme is detected and treated with proper antibiotics within 2-4 weeks of being infected, approximately 75% will be cured. But, that’s only for those who are fortunate enough to be detected early.
Unfortunately, there is another group of people who are not able to get early treatment, because it’s not identified early enough. This often turns into chronic Lyme Disease, which is far more difficult to treat, and they might live with their symptoms for years. It is always why a growing community of people from all over the world are connecting – there are tons of people seeking answers that doctors cannot yet give, and so thank you, internet.
Yes, joint pain is a common complaint for patients with Lyme Disease. However, you might not experience any pain at all. Symptoms vary within each case. So, don’t wait to check off all known symptoms before seeking testing and treatment.
If you have other symptoms, absent of pain, such as numbness, fatigue, burning sensations, headaches, or problems with concentration, you should talk to your doctor about getting a test.
While antibiotics are an important therapy for Lyme Disease, it’s not the only one you should consider. Anti-inflammatories will help combat the inflammation that often occurs within the joints. To help with fatigue and cognitive impediment, some people have found glutathione (an antioxidant) to be beneficial. I think there are better options than glutathione, and there are also a lot of good holistic and herbal protocols that make a difference with Chronic Lyme (I ditched the antibiotic protocol with no regrets).
Diet also plays a role in most any chronic illness. Having a balanced diet will build your immune system to help fend off disease, or at least diminish symptoms.
Wrong, unfortunately. Ticks aren’t smart enough to know, nor do they care if you have had Lyme Disease before. Lyme Disease is a borrelia infection, not a virus. You do not build up an immunity to Lyme specifically, although a strong immune system is a pretty significant piece of the recovery puzzle in any stage of Lyme Disease.
Hopefully this has cleared up some confusion. When it comes to Lyme, all the money in the world might not cure you or your loved one without an abundance of information. Unfortunately, a lot of people – including those with PhD’s in infectious diseases – are misinformed about Lyme Disease.
Which brings me to my final point – none of us know how to solve the entire puzzle. I myself try to provide up-to-date information about Lyme, but sometimes I can only speculate. Other times I am dead wrong! Having experience as a human guinea pig myself, I strongly urge anyone lost and physically falling apart to get online and connect – read other peoples stories and research any drug before starting a new protocol. There is so much you can do (too much!) to make prudent decisions.
The 2nd Annual Lyme Disease Summit is coming up, and I am hoping that this will be the ULTIMATE oppurtunity for us all to get informed with up-to-date information about all things Lyme from some of the top experts. It is online and it is free, and you can sign up right here to get your spot!
What myths have you heard about Lyme?