My hips hurt so badly that I couldn’t stand. I crawled up the stairs to my bedroom, thinking “Wow, that must have been a really tiring workout I did today.” On the way up the stairs, my husband saw a little scab on the back of my knee and scratched it off. A bulls-eye appeared there a few days later, accompanied by a fever of 104.
We were trying to get pregnant at the time, so I went to my OB/GYN to make sure that the doxycycline that I had been put on was safe. Turned out I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, and the antibiotics were not in the category safe for pregnancy, so I was quickly switched to a different antibiotic. Soon after, I miscarried at 10 weeks.
At the time, no one had informed me that Lyme disease could possibly be linked to miscarriage. It comforted me when I watched the excellent and highly recommended movie, Under Our Skin, to see that this can happen, and it wasn’t just me.
According to lymedisease.org, “Symptoms of early Lyme disease may present as a flu-like illness (fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and joint pain). Some patients have a rash or Bell’s palsy (facial drooping). However, although a rash shaped like a bull’s-eye is considered characteristic of Lyme disease, many people develop a different kind of Lyme rash or none at all.”
Estimates of patients who develop a Lyme rash vary widely, ranging from about 30% to 80%.”
Symptoms of early Lyme disease can include fatigue, headache, rash, fever, sweats, chills, muscle pain, joint pain, neck pain, and insomnia. The same symptoms can occur in chronic Lyme disease, along with cognitive problems, neuropathy, depression, headaches, and heart related problems.
Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed or overlooked, which can be expected when there is such a wide range of symptoms and lab tests are so insensitive. A negative test result does not necessarily mean that you do not have Lyme. Currently there are 16 known tick-borne diseases of humans, including Lyme disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia, ehrlichiosis caused by as the bacteria Ehrlichia, and Babesiosis caused by the bacteria Babesia.
The best prevention from contact with ticks is to avoid rubbing up against brush and grasses and to walk in the center of trails. While the CDC recommends DEET, we are firm believers in avoiding this toxic chemical, and instead, use the highly effective “Don’t Bug Me Gel” on your body and clothes. As soon as you are done with your outdoor activities, shed your clothing and wash them in hot water, followed by a tumble dry for at least 10 minutes. Examine your gear and your pets for ticks.
Take a shower and check your body. Conduct a full-body tick check and have someone else check you as well, especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, around the waist, and in your hair. If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible. If it has bitten you, apply organic oregano oil onto the tick bite to kill any bacteria near the surface.
If you get bitten, the best thing to do is come in as soon as possible for an acupuncture treatment to boost your immune system and overall Qi, or energy, so that you can fight the foreign pathogens. In addition, herbal formulas to start right away include White Tiger’s fabulous Spiro-X formula or Golden Flower’s Oregano Oil Formula, to kill the pathogens and to dissolve the biofilms that hide bacteria.
You can strengthen your immune system through the use of CoQ10 and Seroyal probiotics. If you are not already taking a good quality fish oil and organic multivitamin, these can be of great assistance to reduce inflammation and strengthen your body. Other Chinese Herbal Formulas can be added to help treat symptoms, such as Corydalis for pain relief or Ease Digestion for digestive upset.
To help with fever symptoms, we want to keep the brain cool so that it doesn’t get “cooked.” Cool, comfortable washcloths or ice packs around the head can be helpful. Consult with your doctor about antibiotics.
If a person has chronic Lyme disease, the symptoms are treated with acupuncture and herbs to attack the remaining bacteria. Bell’s palsy is also commonly treated with acupuncture. Muscle pain, digestive upset, and spinal stenosis are other problems often seen and treated with Chinese Medicine.
Dr. Megan Marco enjoys helping people with Lyme disease feel better and get better. She looks forward to helping you, your friends, and family. She has been helping people with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for over 16 years and is right here in Southeastern Connecticut to help you.