What is the Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a tick transmitted inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. It has the presentation of a characteristic rash, which may be followed by neurologic, joint, or cardiac abnormalities. The rash begins as a red macule which appears 3 to 32 days after being bit by the tick. There has been a steady increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease over the last few years in the United States.
There are two main species of tick in the United States which carry and spread Lyme disease. The deer tick or black legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) spreads the disease in the north central and eastern parts of the United States.
The western black legged tick (Ixodes pacifus) spreads Lyme disease on the west (Pacific) coast. Both species of ticks are found in wooded areas.
The initial symptoms of those infected by the tick are flu-like symptoms including malaise, fatigue, aches, and muscle/joint pain. Some individuals later develop neurological, and or myocardial abnormalities, intermittent swelling and pain in larger joints, especially the knees. Others develop symptoms months or even years after being infected and may display mental health issues, arthritis and chronic encephalomyelitis which may cause back pain, bladder problems, weakness in the legs, brain, joint, and heart infections.
How Lyme disease affect fertility
For couples trying to conceive (TTC), having Lyme disease may add another layer of challenge, especially because of the symptoms of fatigue, weakness and pain which accompany it. Statistics indicate that there some may experience low libido, and sexual dysfunction. Lyme disease as a contributing factor to infertility is often overlooked, or perhaps not even discussed as a possible factor affecting fertility. Also, having a compromised immune system impacted by Lyme disease may cause menstrual irregularities. Having a Lyme disease diagnosis may also affect your ability to sustain a pregnancy.
How Chinese medicine helps with Lyme disease
In Chinese Medicine, Lyme falls under different categories based on the presenting symptoms – these include huo dan, Fire Cinnabar, dan du, Cinnabar Toxins for the phase with the red rash ‘ erythema migrans’. Those with flu-like symptoms fall under the category gan mao with additional categories for those with joint pain, facial pain and facial paralysis.
Treatment varies based on the presenting symptoms and diagnosis based on Chinese Medicine theory. Patients with Lyme Disease tend to respond well with an integrative approach to care using a combination of Chinese herbal formulas, acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary modifications.
It’s important to eat an anti-inflammatory diet to ensure optimal levels of B-vitamins, vitamin D3, Glutathione and Magnesium which helps to support a strong immune system.
The Lyme bacteria thrives in wooded areas. People who visit these wooded areas where the Lyme disease bacteria lives, are encouraged to wear protective clothing around the ankles.
White or light clothing is recommended as it is easier to spot any ticks. Shirts and T-shirts should be tucked into your pants (trousers), and socks pulled up over the bottom of the pants. Using an insect repellent can also help prevent the ticks from getting on to you. Pets should also be checked. Before returning inside it is recommended to do a tick check first.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, or who may suspect that they have the disease, and want to explore a more integrative holistic approach to care, we’d love to help. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Give us a call at (760) 637- 5069 or email us and we’ll be happy to have a conversation around how we may help.
The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not, nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.