Lyme Disease Part 1


Lyme disease is an infectious illness commonly caused by a tick bite infected with the spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Of special interest, the disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut. There are different phases of infection in Lyme disease: early local ized phase, early disseminated phase, and chronic phase. The earlier the infection can be identified, the greater the success in treatment.

Early Localized Lyme

The classic sign of early local infection with Lyme disease is a circular, outwardly expanding rash called erythema migrans, or EM rash, which may occur at the site of the tick bite three to 30 days after the bite. The textbook presentation of the EM rash commonly appears as a bull's eye, hence its nickname "bull's eye rash." Unfortunately, the EM rash is absent in more than 50% of Lyme disease cases, which is one reason an acute Lyme infection may be missed by many physicians. The physician should consider Lyme when a patient presents with flu-like illness, fever, malaise, muscle soreness, and headache after camping, hiking, or gardening.

Early Disseminated Lyme

In early disseminated Lyme, the bacteria will spread through the bloodstream, contributing to muscle, joint, and tendon pain. Dizziness and headaches, heart palpitations, severe fatigue, and mood changes are common.

Chronic Lyme Disease

Chronic Lyme disease presents a challenge to the astute clinician because the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) denies its very existence, while the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) believes the Lyme infection exists past 30 days, causing ongoing symptoms and disability.

Joseph Burrascano, MD, a physician at the forefront of Lyme disease treatment and research in the United States, and author of "Advanced Topics in Lyme Disease: Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illness," offers the following definition:

For a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease, these three criteria must be present:

  1. Illness present for at least one year.

  1. Persistent major neurologic involvement (such as encepha litis/encephalopathy, meningitis, etc.) or active arthritic manifestations (active synovitis).

  2. Active infection with Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), regardless of prior antibiotic therapy (if any).

ILADS, the US-based organization that recognizes chronic Lyme disease, has adopted a set of treatment guidelines that have been widely used in clinical practice (available at www. They state the following:

"Chronic Lyme disease is inclusive of persistent symptom atologies including fatigue; cognitive dysfunction; headaches; sleep disturbance; and other neurologic features such as de myelinating disease, peripheral neuropathy and sometimes motor neuron disease; neuropsychiatric presentations; cardiac presentations including electrical conduction delays and dilated cardiomyopathy; and musculoskeletal problems."

Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator

Lyme disease is known as the "Great Imitator." Its list of symptoms is long and varied.

Following is a list of illnesses that Lyme disease can mimic:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Attention deficit disorder

  • Autism

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Crohn's disease

  • Encephalitis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Interstitial cystitis

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Juvenile arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Meningitis

  • Motor neuron disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Psychiatric disorders (depression, bipolar, OCD, etc.)

  • Raynaud's syndrome

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Scleroderma

  • Sjgren's syndrome

  • Thyroid disorders

Functional Medicine University

Part 2 will about diagnosing and treating Lyme's.

Dr. J

What is Nutritional Consulting?

Nutritional consulting has trended into the mainstream for good reason. This form of consulting provides invaluable advice pertaining how one should eat, the frequency at which one should eat and which types of foods are ideal for one's...

5 Herbal Teas for Anxiety

Do you suffer from stress and anxiety? If you're looking for herbal tea remedies to help with anxiety symptoms, we've listed them below. Green Tea This Eastern remedy for stress is packed with antioxidants and a compound called...

Is Nutritional Counseling Right for Me?

A nutritional counselor can help you master a balanced diet, which is one of the most important factors of good health. Whether you want to manage a chronic illness like diabetes or lose weight, changing your eating habits can be the difference...

How To Tell If You Need A Chiropractor

Chiropractors treat issues of the musculoskeletal system, focusing primarily on the spine. Their practice is founded on the belief that subluxations in the spine are responsible for pain or health issues in the body. Chiropractors are trained in...

5 Benefits of Nutritional Counseling

Bookstores and blogs are filled with nutritional advice and diet plans, but unfortunately, not all of these recommendations are based on tested nutritional science. Seeking out a basic counseling seasons with a dietitian or another nutritional...

Has your Sunscreen Estrogenized You?

    What are the side effects of parabens? Parabens, man-made preservative chemicals, are used by manufacturers in a variety of domestic products, such as cosmetics, sunscreens, lotions and moisturizers, shampoo, shaving,...

Vaxxed Movie Review

In 2013, biologist Dr. Brian Hooker received a call from a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who led the agency’s 2004 study on the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and its link to autism.The...

The Seven Deadly Operations

Just seven medical procedures account for 80 per cent of all deaths and complications from emergency medicine.Around 15 per cent of patients will suffer complications—often requiring another hospital visit—and just over one per cent will die...

Missed by Many Doctors

The most under diagnosed health problem in the West, parasites may be responsible for a multitude of conditions from joint pain and chronic fatigue to many general disorders of the gut and immune systemThe most under diagnosed health problem in the...

Could Your Digestive Problems be SIBO Symptoms?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is an increasingly recognized condition in which there is an elevated number of bacteria in the small intestines. The small intestine normally contains relatively few bacteria, but with SIBO, bacteria...

Dirty Electricity

Dirty Electricity: A form of electro pollution—refers to the high frequency voltage transients in the electrical wiring inside buildings produced by computers, dimmer switches, etc. These contaminate the standard 60 hertz electric current and...

Daylight Saving Time Tied To Strokes

For most people, daylight saving is an inconvenience. For some, it could be a question of life and death.Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland looked at 10 years of data concerning stroke-related hospitalizations and in-hospital...

Allergies and Antibiotic Use

A study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan shows that children given antibiotics in their first six months of life have an increased risk of allergies to ragweed, pets, grass, and dust mites. They also have an increased risk of...

Cancer Risk of CT Scans

Every year, Americans are exposed to potentially unsafe levels of DNA-altering radiation through medical imaging such as CT scans.An astonishing 72 million CT scans are performed annually in the United States, which is about one scan for every...

The Food We Eat Changes Our Genes

New evidence has emerged this week that supports the idea that nutrition can cause—and reverse—most diseases. Scientists have discovered that almost all of our genes are affected by the food we eat, and change according to the nutrients that are...

The Silent Killer

The deadly effects of even slightly elevated glucose are fatally misunderstood.One reason for this calamity is physicians who continue to rely on obsolete blood glucose ranges. These doctors fail to recognize that any excess glucose creates lethal...
Page: 12345 - All