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Lymes disease

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis) is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus  Borrelia.  Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto  is the main cause of Lyme disease in North America, whereas Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii cause most European cases. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, US, where a number of cases were identified in 1975. Although it was known that Lyme disease was a tick-borne disease as far back as 1978, the cause of the disease remained a mystery until 1981, when B. burgdorferi was identified by Willy Burgdorfer.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere.  Borrelia is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus Ixodes ("hard ticks").

Symptoms

Early symptoms

Early symptoms may include fever, headache, and fatigue. A rash occurs in 70–80% of infected persons at the site of the tick bite after a delay of 3–30 days (average is about 7 days), and may or may not appear as the well-publicized bull's-eye (erythema migrans). The rash is only rarely painful or itchy, although it may be warm to the touch. Approximately 20–30% of infected persons do not experience a rash.

Long term effects

Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system.  After this a whole host of symptoms can appear as the bacteria attacks organs.  The observations show some examples.  But here are some examples

Cardiac arrest - and heart failure can be caused by this bacteria in the longer term

Lyme disease is ... caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Approximately 30,000 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States in 2012 ...Common manifestations include cutaneous, neurologic, and rheumatologic signs and symptoms. ... cardiac involvement occasionally can cause life-threatening cardiac conduction abnormalities. During November 2012-July 2013, one woman and two men (ranging in age from 26 to 38 years) ... experienced sudden cardiac death and, on postmortem examination, were found to have evidence of Lyme carditis. PMID: 24336130

Brain damage - there are a number of papers on Pubmed that show that manic depression, schizophrenia, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's and Dementia, autism and a number of other forms of brain damage such as obsessive compulsive disorder can be caused by this bacteria in the longer term

...Although there are multiple contributors that provoke and weaken the immune system, infections and persistent infections are significant causes of pathological immune reactions. …. Progressive inflammatory reactions have been proposed as a model to explain disease progression in depression, psychosis, dementia, epilepsy, autism and other mental illnesses ….Lyme disease has been associated with the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-18 and interferon-gamma, the chemokines CXCL12 and CXCL13 and increased levels proinflammatory lipoproteins. Borrelia burgdorferi surface glycolipids and flagella antibodies appear to elicit anti-neuronal antibodies and anti-neuronal antibodies and Borrelia burgdorferi lipoproteins can disseminate from the periphery to inflame the brain. PMID: 23091569

Autoimmune diseases - a whole spectrum of so called autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis are linked to this bacteria.  For example

Lyme disease incidence is diverse in France. It is rare in many regions but very frequent in Central and Eastern France. Arthritis is a late manifestation of Lyme disease. In children, the clinical and biological picture often resembles that of septic arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which are more frequent. ... We report the case of an 8-year old girl with knee arthritis treated as septic arthritis in a region where Lyme disease is rare. Six days later, clinical and biological worsening suggested that the diagnosis had to be reconsidered. Lyme arthritis was confirmed by serology. Treatment was adapted and the progression was positive. PMID: 24028811

Cause

Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by spirochetal bacteria from the genus Borrelia, which has 52 known species. Three main species (Borrelia garinii, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia burgdorferi s.s.) are the main causative agents of the disease in humans, while a number of others have been implicated as possibly pathogenic. Borrelia species known to cause Lyme disease are collectively called Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.).

Borrelia are microaerophilic and slow-growing—the primary reason for the long delays when diagnosing Lyme disease—and have been found to have greater strain diversity than previously estimated. The strains differ in clinical symptoms and/or presentation as well as geographic distribution.

Except for Borrelia recurrentis (which causes louse-borne relapsing fever and is transmitted by the human body louse), all known species are believed to be transmitted by ticks.

Treatment

In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early.  Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.

B. burgdorferi is very slow growing, with a doubling time of 12–18 hours (in contrast to pathogens such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, which have a doubling time of 20–30 minutes). Since most antibiotics kill bacteria only when they are dividing, this longer doubling time necessitates the use of relatively longer treatment courses for Lyme disease.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure.  Know the enemy.  I quote

"Protective clothing includes a hat, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers tucked into socks or boots. Light-coloured clothing makes the tick more easily visible before it attaches itself. People should use special care in handling and allowing outdoor pets inside homes because they can bring ticks into the house.

An unusual, organic approach to control of ticks and prevention of Lyme disease involves the use of domesticated guineafowl.   Guineafowl are voracious consumers of insects and arachnids, and have a particular fondness for ticks. Localized use of domesticated guineafowl may reduce dependence on chemical pest-control methods"

Helping yourself

Bacteria feed on different things to viruses and once in the blood they feed mostly on sugars [in a generic sense – glucose etc].  In the same way that yeast when it feeds on sugar produces alcohol and ‘gas’, bacteria appear to produce ‘toxins’ – which are simply waste products – bacteria ‘poo’ and it appears to be the poo that does the most harm.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is a zoonotic pathogen that is maintained in a natural cycle that typically involves mammalian reservoir hosts and a tick vector of the Ixodes species. During each stage of the enzootic cycle, B. burgdorferi is exposed to environments that differ in temperature, pH, small molecules, and most important, nutrient sources. B. burgdorferi has a highly restricted metabolic capacity because it does not contain a tricarboxylic acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, or any pathways for de novo biosynthesis of carbohydrates, amino acids, or lipids. Thus, B. burgdorferi relies solely on glycolysis for ATP production and is completely dependent on the transport of nutrients and cofactors from extracellular sources. PMID: 26185064

Glycolysis (from glycose, an older term for glucose + -lysis degradation) is the metabolic pathway that converts glucose C6H12O6, into pyruvate.

There are ‘anti-toxins’ [opsonins, phagocytes and Natural killer cells, macrophages and neutrophils etc] that provide a defence against the harmful effects the toxins would otherwise produce. Although we all have a certain amount of ‘anti-toxin’ in our blood, the amount increases in proportion to the amount of toxin. The presence of a toxin stimulates the living cells to produce more and more ‘anti-toxin’, and the blood remains rich in the ‘anti-toxin’ for a considerable time afterwards.

Thus there are two obvious strategies to helping someone with Lyme disease –– reduce sugar intake drastically – all sugar intake – and ensure the immune system is working on full throttle – no immunosuppressants, no anti-histamines, plenty of vitamin C, sleeping, fresh air, gentle exercise, no stress.

How it works

It depends on the stage the illnesses caused by the bacteria have reached.  The observations show some of the causes.

References and further reading

Open Neurol J. 2012;6:88-93. doi: 10.2174/1874205X01206010088. Epub 2012 Oct 5. The psychoimmunology of lyme/tick-borne diseases and its association with neuropsychiatric symptoms. Bransfield RC.

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