How Functional Medicine Provides Lyme Disease Treatment
Lyme disease is common in the United States with approximately 476,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease. However, the actual number is unknown because Lyme disease is also often underreported.
In Colorado, there were only 8 reported cases of Lyme disease, which is considered low. However, this isn’t unexpected since the type of tick that spreads Lyme disease does not naturally live in the state.
It’s uncommon that you’ll get bit by a Lyme-infested tick in Colorado. But you may find yourself traveling or moving out-of-state, where you’ll need information on how to avoid Lyme disease and where to go for Lyme disease treatment.
How People Develop Lyme Disease
According to the CDC, the only way you can get Lyme disease is from a bite from the black-legged tick or a deer tick. These ticks are common in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central regions of the United States.
Ticks must be attached to your body for 36-48 hours for them to spread the Lyme disease bacterium, so a mere bite doesn’t guarantee that you’ve got Lyme disease. However, if you aren’t sure how long the tick was attached to you, that could be cause for concern.
Most people are infected by nymphs: immature ticks. They’re only 2mm, so you’re not likely to spot them until it’s too late. It’s less likely that you’ll become infected by an adult tick because if you’re bitten, you’re more likely to notice them and remove them quickly.
If you spend time in forests, tall grasses or shrubs make sure you take time to carefully examine your entire body of ticks to be sure you haven’t been bitten.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Ticks spread the Lyme disease bacterium if they’ve been attached to your body for 36-48 hours. Initial symptoms can occur 3-30 days after the bite, and later symptoms can occur months after the initial bite if left untreated.
Early symptoms that can occur 3-30 days after the bite include:
- Fever and chills
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes (with no rash present)
- Erythema migrans (EM) rash or “bullseye” rash
Late symptoms occur months after the tick bite and include:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes on other parts of the body
- Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one side or both sides of the face)
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis)
- Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
While these are common symptoms in people infected with Lyme disease, it’s not a final diagnosis. Functional medicine can help diagnose Lyme disease and determine the best Lyme disease treatment.
How to Avoid Lyme Disease
None of us wants to experience the painful and debilitating symptoms that come with Lyme disease. Thankfully, there are measures you can take to prevent Lyme disease without limiting your time outside.
- When hiking, stay on the main trail
- Spray your shoes, clothing, and other supplies with tick repellent
- Wear long pants and shirts
- Check your pets for ticks
- Avoid tall grasses and leaf litter
Don’t be afraid to step into the great outdoors; simply be mindful of where ticks reside so you can avoid them.
Lyme Disease Treatment with Functional Medicine
If Lyme disease is left untreated, it will progress, causing you severe fatigue; stiffness; achiness; tingling or numbness in the arms and legs; and facial paralysis. These symptoms make it hard to focus at work, move around easily, and enjoy your life to the full. It’s vital to treat Lyme disease no matter how long it’s been since the tick bite.
Using the functional medicine approach to treating Lyme disease means identifying the infection and triggers. Functional medicine doctors also work to target the infection by detoxing your system and increasing your immune system in Lyme disease treatment.
At True Life Medicine we care about treating people, not just symptoms. We will take the time to talk to you about how you’re feeling, get an understanding of when you got bit by a tick, and determine what Lyme treatment will help your recovery. The key to recovery is making sure that your body is working its best to speed up recovery while maintaining your health.
Unfortunately, Lyme disease is often undiagnosed because it’s difficult for lab tests to detect the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It’s common for lab tests to test positive when they have a different type of bacterial infection, or to test negative when they’ve actually been infected. Due to the difficulty in detecting it through lab tests and varying degrees of symptoms, Lyme disease can be left undiagnosed and untreated.
At True Life Medicine, we will identify the cause of your Lyme disease, dig into the timeline of your symptoms, identify environmental factors making your symptoms worse, and come up with a Lyme disease treatment plan.
True Life Medicine Can Help You Treat Lyme Disease
Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with Lyme disease, it’s time to get to the root of your health issues. Get connected with True Life Medicine today. You’ll receive professional, innovative, and personal care on your path to reclaiming your true life.