Aching joints, overwhelming fatigue, and sometimes realizing you’ve forgotten something important. If these symptoms sound familiar, then you or a loved one may be suffering from Lyme Disease. This illness can be a debilitating problem to navigate and often leaves sufferers with more questions than answers. If you or someone you know has contracted this disease, you know how overwhelming it can be. There are standard medical treatments for Lyme Disease, but there are also natural approaches, and we’ll explore both methods below.
What is Lyme Disease?
The first known cases of Lyme Disease popped up in Lyme, Connecticut in the 1960s and 70s, but the cause of the strange illness wasn’t identified until the 1980s. It was discovered that the cause of the disease was bites by ticks, which carry the bacteria that trigger Lyme. Since then, cases of Lyme Disease have been escalating and spreading throughout the country, causing concern to public health officials and residents alike.
Today, about 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease are reported to the CDC each year, but there are probably a ton more cases that go unreported. This disease is a big concern for everyone, especially those that live in the northeastern and upper midwestern US (and nearby regions of Canada).
What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Symptoms for Lyme Disease can be broke up into two stages. Early symptoms of the disease occur within 30 days of being bitten.
Early symptoms include:
- The iconic red bullseye rash
- Fever and chills
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
The later stage symptoms usually show up a few days to a few months after the tick bite.
Later stage symptoms can include:
- Facial paralysis on one side
- Swollen joints
- Serious headaches
- A stiff neck
- Other bullseye rashes on other parts of the body
- Pain and shooting pain in various parts of the body
- Nerve issues and pain
- Short-term memory loss
- Issues with the heart and lungs
- Swollen brain and spinal cord
As you can see, Lyme Disease symptoms can get very serious very quickly. Identifying the issue as soon as possible after being bitten is the best way to kick the bacteria out of the body as swiftly as possible.
What is the Standard Medical Treatment for Lyme Disease?
Typical protocol after showing signs of Lyme Disease and heading to your doctor usually include diagnoses and a round of antibiotics. When caught super early, this can be an effective way to get rid of the insidious bacteria. Sometimes people don’t notice a tick bite, don’t have obvious symptoms, and therefore don’t realize they have Lyme Disease until much later. Treatment can be tricky at this point, as the bacteria has already infiltrated the body.
Additionally, even with early treatment, some people experience something called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. This is when Lyme Disease symptoms persist even beyond medical treatment, and currently scientists aren’t sure what the cause might be. There’s a lot we still don’t understand about Lyme Disease.
What Other Options Are Available?
Holistic and alternative practitioners have been experimenting with ways to deal with Lyme Disease beyond just taking antibiotics. Several experts and people who used to have the disease offer a few ideas for helping people get over this debilitating illness.
Alternative treatments for Lyme Disease include:
- Taking antibacterial supplements and foods, such as garlic, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal
- Healing the gut and adding in prebiotic and probiotic supplements
- Improving and strengthening the immune system through proper diet and lifestyle
- Avoiding body-harming foods, such as sugar and processed foods
- Increasing intake of complex nutrients found in whole fruits, veggies, and other whole foods
- Taking in superfoods such as bone broth for its gut-healing and immune-boosting properties
The key point with Lyme Disease is that no one person has the exact same symptoms as another disease sufferer. Some walk around with the disease and no symptoms, whereas others will struggle with the symptoms for years and years.
Your best bet is to immediately eat a super clean diet, increase your quality sleep, decrease your stress, up your intake of superfoods and gut-healing foods, and focus entirely on making your body strong enough to fight off the bacteria.
Avoiding Lyme Disease
What’s the best way to cure Lyme Disease? Avoid getting it in the first place! This isn’t always possible, depending on where you live and how you spend your days. But you can take certain precautions to ensure that you’re doing as much as you can to keep it at bay.
Protection tactics can include:
- Avoiding heavily wooded areas where ticks are known to live in high rates
- Wearing long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks, and a hat to keep your skin and hair covered
- Wearing light colors so you can easily spot a dark tick crawling on your clothes
- Liberally applying natural bug repellent with essential oils that insects hate
- Reapplying the bug repellent often
- Start strengthening your immune system right now, so you’ll always be ready for whatever bacteria or virus comes your way!
Take Care of Yourself
If you’ve got Lyme Disease, don’t give up. Work on helping your body to become stronger, healthier, and more robust through diet and lifestyle changes. Take time to rest and recover.
For everyone else, as the incidence of Lyme Disease increases, it’s important to take action now to inform yourself and strengthen your body.
It’s always a good time to become as healthy and well as you can be!