Lyme Disease is an infection acquired from the bite of a tick carrying the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Many patients never remember the tick bite and most patients do not have the characteristic bull’s eye rash. The majority of people that get this infection get better with a course of appropriate antibiotics. However, some patients go on to develop chronic and severe conditions as a result of this infection. Our area has some of the highest rates of infection in the nation.
Additionally, ticks can transmit other organisms resulting in “co-infections”. These can complicate treatment and make Lyme disease more severe.
Testing for Lyme disease is difficult. Conventional testing methods (ELISA and Western blot) do not directly test for the presence of the bacteria but rather tests to see if a person’s immune system has noticed and reacted to the bacteria. Unfortunately, Lyme disease often depresses the immune system so that the testing is negative even though the person is infected. Fortunately, there are new testing methods available that are much more accurate and reliable.
Treatment often consists of conventional antibiotics, often for a prolonged period of time. Attention must be paid to maintaining the patient’s own “microbiome” since antibiotics kill the good as well as the bad bacteria.
In addition to antibiotics, there are many antimicrobial herbal preparations that are beneficial as well as utilizing ozone to fight this infection.