It’s a pretty safe assumption that no-one likes getting a tick bite, but when that nasty chomp turns into more than just a temporary aggravation, it’s time to look into the possibility of Lyme disease. Since ticks are found anywhere in the world, so knowing what to look for after a bite has gone bad is important.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary. Because ticks tend to drop off on their own at some point, it isn’t unusual for someone to develop the disease without ever noticing they’ve been bitten. The symptoms appear in stages, including an early stage with a small red bump that doesn’t disappear after a few days and begins to look more like a bullseye shaped rash. Flu symptoms usually follow. The more advanced stages (weeks and months later) include joint pain and neurological problems.
“The main method of combating Lyme is prevention (i.e. protecting the skin, bug repellant, etc). Next most important is awareness: prompt treatment after a tick bite can prevent serious sequellae. If the tick can be saved, it can be tested for Borrelia burgdorferi and some of the co-infections that the tick can also transmit,” states Dr. Katie Stage, ND at SCNM.
Dr. Stage has treated multiple cases of Lyme disease and has spent extensive time researching the condition over many years. She advises that, “Treatment of Lyme can be complex; I see that patients recover the most quickly and fully with a comprehensive treatment that includes diet, lifestyle, herbs (and sometimes antibiotics). A body of research is being done on additional treatments for Lyme, including several studies we are doing at SCNM on botanicals that are effective against this infection.”
Switching to a lower “ick” factor when looking into Lyme disease and pesky ticks, Dr. Stage includes this fascinating article about a mummy preserved in the ice of the Alps (dated 5,300 years ago) was found several years ago. His genome was analyzed and they found lactose intolerance, blood type O and Lyme disease. You can read the entire article here.