Lyme Disease: Under Our Skin

by Almira on June 21, 2011 · 0 comments

“Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, ALS—could it be that some of the cases of spinal cord degeneration are actually due to a sneaky manifestation of Lyme disease?”

Alan MacDonald, MD, Pathologist

Deer Tick : Lyme Disease[image source]

What’s lurking in the bushes and tall grasses may prove to be worse than the infamous worry of lions, tigers, and bears (I’m personally more afraid of spiders but that’s another story). One of the least likely culprits of chronic disease today may be coming from as tiny an opponent as the common deer tick.

Yes, those lovely jumping creatures that enjoy embedding their tiny bodies under your skin and lapping up your precious blood. Apparently, there is a rapidly growing movement in the study of the disease these little bugs spread: Lyme disease. Ticks are now being blamed for not only this disease, but others such as MS, Parkinson’s and ALS—watch the documentary below to find out why.

Trailer for Under Our Skin — A Lyme Disease Documentary:

This documentary began airing for free in May on PBS—see the viewing schedule for your area. It is currently available to watch on “instant” at Netflix and as well as Amazon.com On-Demand.

If a Tick Bites You:

  • Immediately tell your doctor you’ve been bitten by a tick
  • Start treatment right away with an antibiotic such as Doxycycline
  • Watch for Lyme disease symptoms

Symptoms of Lyme Disease:

How do you know you have Lyme disease? Frankly, you may have a hard time self-diagnosing yourself. The symptoms are quite common, but at least you’ll know that the symptoms began after a documented tick bite, so that’s a good starting point.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, MS, ALS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, or being psychosomatic—keep that in mind when telling your doctor about your symptoms.

First Symptoms are flu-like and may include some or all of the following:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle pain
  • “Bulls eye” rash – flat or slightly elevated red spot 1-3 inches wide at the site of the tick bite and may include a clear area in the center

Secondary Symptoms (later stages of the disease) include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Joint inflammation
  • Body-wide itching
  • Unusual/strange behavior

If you have these symptoms, but don’t remember being bitten by a tick, it could be that you were bitten without even knowing. The National Institute of Health says, “Deer ticks can be so small that they are almost impossible to see. Many people with Lyme disease never even saw a tick.” According to the documentary Under Our Skin, a way you could have Lyme without having been bitten could possibly come from your mother if she had Lyme disease in her system during pregnancy and transmitted the bacteria to you through the placenta (yay! more things you can’t control!).

Getting Treatment For Lyme Disease:

Should you get Lyme disease, it won’t be very easy to convince your doctor that you have it and have it properly treated. Doctors who specialize in treating Lyme are up against insurance and pharmaceutical companies…

Charles Ray Jones, MD

Charles Ray Jones, MD

[image source]

Excerpt taken from Under Our Skin:

Dr. Jones, the leading Lyme-literate pediatrician in the U.S., is considered the dean of pediatric Lyme by his colleagues. In his private practice he has treated more than 10,000 Lyme patients, 300 of whom contracted Lyme in the womb, and at least 35 who acquired the disease through breast milk. He has reported success treating the chronic form of the disease with long-term antibiotics. At age 79, Dr. Jones has been in legal proceedings for 2 years, initiated by a divorce-inspired complaint by a non-custodial father in Nevada. The Connecticut Medical Board found Dr. Jones guilty of diagnosing Lyme over the phone and prescribing antibiotics over the phone. His case is currently in appeal.

Joseph Jemsek, MD

Joseph Jemsek, MD

[image source]

Excerpt taken from Under Our Skin:

Dr. Jemsek is one the leading Lyme-literate physicians in the Southern U.S. From 2003-06 his Lyme clinic treated an average of 80 new patients per month from 46 states. A vocal critic of the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Lyme Guidelines, he has reported success treating the chronic form of Lyme disease with long-term antibiotics. For his maverick approach to treatment, Dr. Jemsek was officially sanctioned by the North Carolina Medical Board. The sanction provided a foundation on which Blue Cross/Blue Shield filed suit to recoup fees they had paid for the “unauthorized” treatment. He declared bankruptcy and moved his practice to South Carolina.

More on Lyme Disease:

Now that you never want to step foot outdoors again…happy 1st day of summer!

I am not a physician and cannot give medical advice. This information is purely that—informational and one should always speak to their doctor before making any changes to their health regime.

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