Lyme Disease Facts That Might Surprise You

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Lyme Disease has gotten more press in the  recent few months due to some higher profile celebrities who have spoke out about their  health struggles against it.  Included in this list are the likes of Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Ben Stiller, Kelly Osbourne, Justin Bieber, Amy Schumer, Debbie Gibson, Alec Baldwin and George Bush.

Known as “The Great Imitator,” Lyme Disease is often left undiagnosed as other explanations for illness is explored. Common diagnosis often made before Lyme Disease is identified as the cause include fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, (in children, junior rheumatoid arthritis), chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, migraines, depression, ect. Children can experience chronic stomach aches, multiple allergies, junior rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD and other neurological syndromes.  Delay in treatment can lead to progression to lasting late stage Lyme disease which can lead to a multitude of chronic neurological symptoms. Exposure to the Lyme spirochete can trigger autoimmune diseases such as lupus, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

While more people are becoming aware of the condition, many still have limited knowledge of some of the facts of the disease. In bringing awareness to these facts, I am hoping we can encourage patients and providers alike to have a greater suspicion in looking for this illness, particularly in children, in order to avoid lasting unwanted neurological consequences.

Here are some of the Facts:

  1. Lyme Disease is global epidemic and has been identified on EVERY CONTINENT. [1,2]
  2. It has been identified in ALL FIFTY STATES.
  3. Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferei. There are also other Borrelia species that have been identified as a cause of the illness.
  4. Lyme disease is almost always associated with co-infection with other pathogens such as Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasma, Cytomegalovirus, Ebstein-Barr (mono) as well as other parasites. [3]
  5. According to the CDC, Lyme Disease infects closed to 500,000 people per year, but the incidence has tripled since the 1990’s. [4]
  6. It can affect EVERY ORGAN and EVERY SYSTEM of the body.
  7. Lyme has been identified in ticks, fleas, mosquitos, biting flies,  and spiders, making them a potential vector for transmission.
  8. Only 25% of people remember experiencing the classic “bullseye rash.” [5]
  9. Lyme can be congenitally transmitted during pregnancy to the fetus, leading to congenital malformation and potential death of the baby. [8]
  10. Babies can be born with Lyme Disease. [8]
  11. Symptoms of Lyme can include the classic bullseye rash, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain early in the illness. Late symptoms include severe, debilitating fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, numbness, arthritis, nerve pain, heart problems, psychiatric symptoms, sleep disturbances, difficulty with thinking, memory, language and math skills, problems with vision and hearing. [12 ,16]
  12. Lyme can be a cause of Autism. [11]
  13. Lyme is the fastest growing vector-born disease in the United States.
  14. Most testing for Borrelia is highly inaccurate. Even in the early stages where the highest positive test results are captured, ONLY 1/2 of those infected actually test positive. [15]
  15. Borrelia burgdorferei is considered the most complex bacterium known in science.
  16. Borrelia is a spirochete bacterium. Syphilis is also a spirochete bacterium.
  17. Borrelia is difficult to identify and even more difficult to eradicate.
  18. The risk of developing Lyme disease is increased in an individual who has experienced childhood trauma. [13]
  19. In post-mortum exams, Lyme bacteria has been identified within parasites contained in the nervous system of individuals who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. [14]
  20. Kids get Lyme disease at a higher rate than adults, often manifesting as neurological conditions. [6,7,8,9,10]

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