Lymes Disease

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Lyme disease was named after the East Coast town of Lyme, Connecticut, where the disease was first identified in 1975.

The disease was first referred to as “Lyme arthritis” due to the presentation of atypical arthritic symptoms in children that lived in that city. By 1977, the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick) was linked to transmission of the infection.

Then in 1982, Willy Burgdorfer, PhD, discovered the bacterium responsible for the infection: the spirochete, named after him, Borrelia burgdorferi, is a cousin to the spirochete bacterium that causes syphilis.

In fact, the two look almost identical under a microscope. B. burgdorferi‘s corkscrew-shaped form allows it to burrow into and hide in a variety of your body’s tissues, which is why it causes such wide-ranging multisystem involvement.

Borrelia burgdorferi does not just exist as a spirochete; it has the ability to live intracellularly (inside your cells) as an “L-form” and also encoated as a “cyst” form. These different morphologies explain why treatment is so difficult and recurrence of symptoms occurs after standard antibiotic protocols.

Adding to the difficulty in treating Lyme, the organisms may live in biofilm communities, which are basically a colony of germs surrounded by a slimy glue-like substance that is hard to unravel. For these reasons you will often see Lyme referred to as “stealth.” No doubt about it, this clever maneuvering and the pleomorphism of the germ helps it hide and survive despite the most aggressive antibiotics of our time.

The Lyme bacterium can exist without iron, which most other organisms require to make proteins and enzymes. Instead of iron, this bacterium uses manganese, thus eluding immune system defenses that destroy pathogens by starving them of iron. 

When the tick, which feeds off deer, birds, animals (including your pet), then gets on you. It numbs your skin so you won’t feel it. It prefers dark, crevices such as your armpit or behind your ear, or your scalp. Depending on the season, the tick may be a baby, termed a nymph. That is why you may never see the tick that bites you.

It attaches to you and you may not see it since nymphs are no bigger than a poppy seed. Once it attaches, it then sucks your blood. In as little as an hour or up to a couple of days, it will ‘spit’ its bacterial load into you. The bacteria are released into your blood from the infected tick via saliva. We now know there are five subspecies of Borrelia burgdorferi, more than 100 strains in the U.S. and 300 worldwide, many of which have developed resistance to our various antibiotics.

It’s worth noting that while many still attribute Lyme transmission exclusively to ticks, Dr. Deitrich Klinghardt, one of the leading authorities on Lyme disease, warns that the bacteria can also be spread by other insects, including mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, and mites. This may be the reason so few Lyme sufferers recall being bitten by a tick. The other reason of course, is that you don’t feel the bite, and usually don’t see the tick!

In fact, fewer than half of Lyme patients recall ever getting a tick bite. Many Lyme patients don’t remember such an event because the tick numbs your skin before biting so it is never felt. In some studies, this number is as low as 15 percent. So, if you don’t recall seeing a tick on your body, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of Lyme disease. There’s even some evidence pointing to Lyme disease being capable of sexual and congenital transmission..

To add confusion to Lyme disease, ticks usually transmit more than the Borrelia organism. They could simultaneously infect you with Bartonella, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia and Babesia. Any or all of these organisms can travel with Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme) and each causes a different set of symptoms. When a person has Lyme, they often have some co-infections. Simply put, you can have one tick bite, and wind up with five different infections. Each patient with “Lyme disease” reacts differently based upon their co-infections, making a standard treatment plan impossible. Treatment is based upon presentation of symptoms.

Because Lyme and all of its co-infections cause so many constant symptoms, it easily mimics disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many Lyme patients who battle this disease appear healthy, which is why Lyme disease has been called “the invisible illness.” They often “look good,” and their routine blood work appears normal, but their internal experiences are a different story.

Lyme disease is caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Bacteria are single cell organisms that actually grow within or outside your body. Left uninhibited, bacteria can cause disease or death. Many types of bacteria have developed a resistance to, and will not be killed by modern antibiotics. However, Pure Silver Concentrate kills every known type of bacteria, including Lyme borreliosis.

Attached ticks should be removed promptly after being bitten, as removal within 36 hours can reduce transmission rates. The following method of removal was written by a School Nurse: One pediatrician said that she believes the best way to remove a tick is to apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the repulsive insect for 15-20 seconds, after which the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. 

This technique has worked every time she hase used it (and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for her. Unless someone is allergic to soap, this would not be damaging in any way. 
This is great, because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.
After removal of the tick apply Pure Silver Concentrate to a cotton ball and tape it over the bite area to kill any topical bacteria at that location. Pure Silver Concentrate should also be taken internally as a preventative measure.

For a suspected Lyme infection, 1-2 droppers of ShopFreeMart Pure Silver Concentrate 3x should be taken hourly for the first two days. If symptoms are present, you will feel the effects within the first two hours of use and the benefits will continue as long as you use the product. The infecting bacteria should be dead within the first 12 to 24 hours. To make certain the bacteria is completely eradicated; 1-2 droppers of Pure Silver Concentrate 3x daily for the next two weeks.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. Borrelia bacteria is not only transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks, but now we know it could be from mosquitos and other insects. When bitten by a mosquito, the infection could be immediate, but in the case of a tick, the risk of infection increases with the time the tick is attached, and if a tick is attached for less than 24 hours, infection is unlikely. However, since these ticks are very small, especially in the nymph stage, prompt detection is quite difficult.

Early symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression, and a characteristic circular skin rash. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. If treated early, the infection and its symptoms may be eliminated by antibiotics, but not in all cases. Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to the more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.

The incubation period from infection to the onset of symptoms is usually one to two weeks, but can be much shorter (days), or much longer (months to years). Symptoms most often occur from May through September, because the nymphal stage of the tick is responsible for most cases. Infection can occur without symptoms, but occurs in less than 7% of infected individuals in the United States.

The classic early sign of local infection with Lyme disease is a circular, outwardly expanding skin rash called erythema chronicum migrans, which occurs at the site of the tick bite three to thirty days after the tick bite. The rash is red, and may be warm, but is generally painless. Classically, the innermost portion remains dark red and becomes thicker and firmer; the outer edge remains red and the portion in between clears, giving the appearance of a bullseye. However, partial clearing is uncommon, and the bullseye pattern more often involves central redness.

Patients can also experience flu-like symptoms, such as headache, muscle soreness, fever, and malaise. Lyme disease can progress to later stages even in patients who do not develop a rash.

Within days to weeks after the onset of local infection, the Borrelia bacteria may begin to spread through the bloodstream. Symptoms may develop at sites across the body that bears no relation to the original tick bite. Another skin condition that is apparently absent in North American patients, but occurs in Europe, is borrelial lymphocytoma, a purplish lump that develops on the ear lobe, nipple, or scrotum. Other discrete symptoms include migrating pain in muscles, joints, and tendons, and heart palpitations and dizziness caused by changes in heartbeat.

Various acute logical problems, termed neuroborreliosis, appear in 10-15% of untreated patients. These include facial palsy, which is the loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face, as well as meningitis, which involves severe headaches, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to light. Radiculoneuritis causes shooting pains that may interfere with sleep, as well as abnormal skin sensations. Mild encephalitis may lead to memory loss, sleep disturbances, or mood changes. In addition, some case reports have described altered mental status as the only symptom seen in a few cases of early neuroborreliosis. The disease may also have cardiac manifestations such as AV block.

After several months, untreated or inadequately treated patients may go on to develop severe and chronic symptoms that affect many parts of the body, including the brain, nerves, eyes, joints and heart. Many disabling symptoms can occur, including permanent paraplegia in the most extreme cases.

Chronic neurologic symptoms occur in up to 5% of untreated patients. A polyneuropathy that involves shooting pains, numbness, and tingling in the hands or feet may develop. A neurologic syndrome called Lyme encephalopathy is associated with subtle cognitive problems, such as difficulties with concentration and short-term memory. These patients may also experience profound fatigue.

Other problems, such as depression and fibromyalgia, are no more common in people who have been infected with Lyme than in the general population. Chronic encephalomyelitis, which may be progressive, can involve cognitive impairment, weakness in the legs, awkward gait, facial palsy, bladder problems, vertigo, and back pain. In rare cases untreated Lyme disease may cause frank psychosis, which has been misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Panic attacks and anxiety can occur; there may also be delusional behavior, including somatoform delusions, sometimes accompanied by a depersonalization or derealization syndrome, where the patients begin to feel detached from themselves or from reality.

Lyme arthritis usually affects the knees. In a minority of patients, arthritis can occur in other joints, including the ankles, elbows, wrist, hips, and shoulders. Pain is often mild or moderate, usually with swelling at the involved joint. Baker’s cysts may form and rupture. In some cases, joint erosion occurs.

Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA) is a chronic skin disorder observed primarily in Europe among the elderly. ACA begins as a reddish-blue patch of discolored skin, often on the backs of the hands or feet. The lesion slowly atrophies over several weeks or months, with the skin becoming first thin and wrinkled and then, if untreated, completely dry and hairless.

Lyme disease is classified as a zoonosis, as it is transmitted to humans by ticks that feed on rodents. Most infections are caused by hard-bodied ticks of the genus Ixodes in the nymphal stage, as they are very small and may feed for long periods of time undetected. 

While Lyme spirochetes have been found in insects as well as ticks, reports of actual infectious transmission appear to be rare. Lyme spirochetes have been found in semen and breast milk. Although not proven to pass from one person to another through sexual contact, we cannot rule out this possibility. Neither has transmission across the placenta during pregnancy been demonstrated, and no consistent pattern of teratogenicity or specific “congenital Lyme borreliosis” has been identified. As with a number of other spirochetal diseases, adverse pregnancy outcomes are possible with untreated infection; prompt treatment with Pure Silver Concentrate reduces or eliminates this risk.

Pregnant Lyme-disease patients cannot be treated with the antibiotic, doxycycline, as it is potentially harmful for the fetus, however ShopFreeMart Pure Silver Concentrate is completely safe for the pregnant mother and the unborn fetus.

Ticks that transmit B. burgdorferi to humans can also carry and transmit several other parasites, such as Theileria microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which cause the diseases babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), respectively. Among early Lyme disease patients, depending on their location, 2-12% will also have HGA and 2-40% will have babesiosis. Ticks in certain regions, including the landscapes along the eastern Baltic Sea, also transmit tick-borne encephalitis.

Co-infections complicate Lyme symptoms, especially diagnosis and treatment. It is possible for a tick to carry and transmit one of the co-infections and not Borrelia, making diagnosis difficult and often elusive. The Centers for Disease Control studied 100 ticks in rural New Jersey, and found 55% of the ticks were infected with at least one of the pathogens.

Borrelia burgdorferi can spread throughout the body during the course of the disease, and has been found in the skin, heart, joint, peripheral nervous system, and central nervous system. Many of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease are a consequence of the immune response to the spirochete in those tissues.

B. burgdorferi is injected into the skin by the bite of an infected Ixodes tick. Tick saliva, which accompanies the spirochete into the skin during the feeding process, contains substances that disrupt the immune response at the site of the bite. This provides a protective environment where the spirochete can establish infection. The spirochetes multiply and migrate outward within the dermis. The host inflammatory response to the bacteria in the skin causes the characteristic circular lesion. Neutrophils, however, which are necessary to eliminate the spirochetes from the skin, fail to appear in the developing lesion. This allows the bacteria to survive and eventually spread throughout the body.

Days to weeks following the tick bite, the spirochetes spread via the bloodstream to joints, heart, nervous system, and distant skin sites, where their presence gives rise to the variety of symptoms of disseminated disease. The spread of B. burgdorferi is aided by the attachment of the host protease plasmin to the surface of the spirochete. If untreated, the bacteria may persist in the body for months or even years, despite the production of B. burgdorferi antibodies by the immune system. The spirochetes may avoid the immune response by decreasing expression of surface proteins that are targeted by antibodies, antigenic variation of the VlsE surface protein, inactivating key immune components such as complement, and hiding in the extracellular matrix, which may interfere with the function of immune factors.

In the brain, B. burgdorferi may induce astrocytes to undergo proliferation followed by apoptosis, which may contribute to neurodysfunction. The spirochetes may also induce host cells to secrete products toxic to nerve cells, including quinolinic acid and the cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, which can produce fatigue and malaise. Both microglia and astrocytes secrete IL-6 and TNF-alpha in the presence of the spirochete. This cytokine response may contribute to cognitive impairment.

A developing hypothesis is that the chronic secretion of stress hormones as a result of Borrelia infection may reduce the effect of neurotransmitters, or other receptors in the brain by cell-mediated proinflammatory pathways, thereby leading to the dysregulation of neurohormones, specifically glucocorticoids and catecholamines, the major stress hormones. This process is mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Additionally tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, appears to be reduced within the central nervous system in a number of infectious diseases that affect the brain, including Lyme.

Exposure to the Borrelia bacterium during Lyme disease possibly causes a long-lived and damaging inflammatory response; a form of pathogen-induced autoimmune disease. The production of this reaction might be due to a form of molecular mimicry, where Borrelia avoids being killed by the immune system by resembling normal parts of the body’s tissues. It is therefore possible that if some chronic symptoms come from an autoimmune reaction, this could explain why some symptoms persist even after the spirochetes have been eliminated from the body. This hypothesis may explain chronic arthritis that persists after antibiotic therapy, similar to rheumatic fever.

Lyme disease is diagnosed clinically based on symptoms, objective physical findings such as skin rash, facial palsy or arthritis, or a history of possible exposure to infected ticks, as well as serological blood tests. The rash does not always appear as a bull’s-eye; it can be red all the way across. When making a diagnosis of Lyme disease, health care providers should consider other diseases that may cause similar illness. Not all patients infected with Lyme disease will develop the characteristic bull’s-eye rash and many may not recall a tick bite.

Because of the difficulty in culturing Borrelia bacteria in the laboratory, diagnosis of Lyme disease can easily be misdiagnosed and is typically based on the clinical exam findings and a history of exposure to tick areas.

Diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease is often complicated. Lyme disease may be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.

Several forms of laboratory testing for Lyme disease are available, some of which have not been adequately validated. The most widely used tests are serologies, which measure levels of specific antibodies in a patient’s blood. These tests may be negative in early infection, as the body may not have produced a significant quantity of antibodies, but they are considered a reliable aid in the diagnosis of later stages of Lyme disease. Serologic tests for Lyme disease are of limited use in people lacking objective signs of Lyme disease because of false positive results and cost.

Erroneous test results have been widely reported in both early and late stages of the disease, and can be caused by several factors, including antibody cross-reactions from other infections, including Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus, as well as herpes simplex virus. 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for Lyme disease have also been developed to detect the genetic material (DNA) of the Lyme disease spirochete. PCR tests are susceptible to false positive results from poor laboratory technique. Even when properly performed, PCR often shows false negative results with blood and cerebrospinal fluid specimens. Hence, PCR is not widely performed for diagnosis of Lyme disease. With the exception of PCR, there is currently no practical means for detecting the presence of the organism, as serologic studies only test for antibodies of Borrelia.

New techniques for clinical testing of Borrelia infection have been developed although the results of studies are contradictory and there is no study assessing the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the tests.

In addition to laboratory testing on patients, ticks can be tested after removal from the host. Several laboratories perform PCR testing on live or dead ticks for a panel of tick-borne diseases, including Borrelia, Babesia, and Ehrlichia.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment for Lyme disease. Antibiotics however pose some problems of their own. Antibiotics kill the natural intestinal flora in the intestines that are necessary for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Once killed, they will not regrow on their own. They must be reestablished through supplementation and may never return to their pristine nature.

Antibiotics have become increasingly less effective over the past several decades. Even if you were to take antibiotics there is no guarantee that they are going to kill the bacteria that is causing the disease. Pure Silver Concentrate is the only known substance that will eradicate every known bacteria and should therefore be the first line of defense.

Should you decide to opt for antibiotics, the most appropriate antibiotic treatment depends upon the patient and the stage of the disease. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines, the antibiotics of choice are doxycycline (in adults), amoxicillin (in children), erythromycin (for pregnant women) and ceftriaxone, with treatment lasting 10 to 28 days. Alternative choices are cefuroxime and cefotaxime. Treatment of pregnant women is similar, but doxycycline should not be used.

A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical study indicated three weeks of treatment with intravenous ceftriaxone, followed by 100 days of treatment with oral amoxicillin did not improve symptoms any more than just three weeks of treatment with ceftriaxone. The researchers noted the outcome should not be evaluated after the initial antibiotic treatment, but rather 6-12 months afterwards. In patients with chronic post treatment symptoms, persistent positive levels of antibodies did not seem to provide any useful information for further care of the patient.

In later stages, the bacteria disseminate throughout the body and may cross the blood-brain barrier, making the infection more difficult to treat. Late diagnosed Lyme is treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, frequently ceftriaxone for a minimum of four weeks. Minocycline is also indicated for neuroborreliosis for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

According to preliminary statistics just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed in the US each year. This is about 10 times higher than the officially reported number of cases, indicating that the disease is being vastly underreported.

Because of the uncertainty of diagnosing Lyme disease correctly, together with the ineffectiveness and inherent dangers of taking antibiotics, the safest and most effective method of killing the Lyme bacteria in my opinion is bombarding it with safe Pure Silver Concentrate.

For a suspected Lyme infection, 1-2 droppers of ShopFreeMart Pure Silver Concentrate 3x should be taken hourly for the first two days. If symptoms are present, you will feel the effects within the first two hours of use and the benefits will continue as long as you use the product. The infecting bacteria should be dead within the first 12 to 24 hours. To make certain the bacteria is completely eradicated; 1-2 droppers of Pure Silver Concentrate 3x daily for the next two weeks.

Although this bacteria has the ability to trick the immune response, a healthy immune system can help prevent symptoms of Lyme disease from developing even after being bitten by an infected tick. ShopFreeMart Immunize is one of the most powerful immune system boosters and should be part of a daily regimen for anyone living in high tick infested areas. ShopFreeMart is also antibacterial and antiviral and anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease may benefit from taking either of these products.

Alternative therapies:

A number of other alternative therapies have been suggested, though clinical trials have not been conducted, so the therapies are not known to be scientifically sound. For example, the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been discussed by CAM enthusiasts as an adjunct to antibiotics for Lyme. Though there are no published data from clinical trials to support its use, preliminary results using a mouse model suggest its effectiveness against B. burgdorferi both in vitro and in vivo.

This makes good sense as bacteria are anaerobic and die in the presence of high oxygen levels. The good news is that studies done at the University of Utah show that certain Breathing Exercises will put more oxygen in your bloodstream than a treatment in a hyperbaric chamber and it’s FREE!  (See Breathing Exercises“)

Alternative medicine approaches include bee venom, because it contains the peptide melittin, which has been shown to exert inhibitory effects on Lyme bacteria in vitro; however, no clinical trials of this treatment have been carried out.

In dogs, a serious long-term prognosis may result in glomerular disease, which is a category of kidney damage that may cause chronic kidney disease. Dogs may also experience chronic joint disease if the disease is left untreated. However, the majority of cases of Lyme disease in dogs result in a complete recovery with, and sometimes without, treatment with antibiotics. In rare cases, Lyme disease can be fatal to both humans and dogs.

Prevention in dogs:

Prevention of Lyme disease is an important step in keeping dogs safe in endemic areas. Prevention education and a number of preventative measures are available. Vaccinations against Lyme is available for dogs whose owners live near or often frequent areas of tick-infested grounds. Another crucial preventative measure is the use of persistent acaricides, such as topical repellents or pesticides that contain triazapentadienes (Amitraz), phenylpyrazoles (Fipronil), or permethrin (Pyrethroids). These acaricides primarily target the adult stages of Lyme-carrying ticks and reduce the number or reproductively active ticks in the environment. Formulations of these ingredients are available in a variety of topical forms, including spot-ons, sprays, powders, impregnated collars, solutions, and shampoos. Examination of a dog for ticks after being in a tick-infested area is also an important precautionary measure to take in the prevention of Lyme disease. Some key spots to examine are the head, neck, and ears.

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. The book, “Lab 257,” suggests that Bb, the Lyme bacteria, is an escaped man-made US military bio-warfare organism (just like myoplasma incognitus and HHV 6). Lyme disease was originally called that when there suddenly appeared an large group of teens in Lyme and Old Lyme Connecticut with very unusual arthritic symptoms.

What was observed in Lyme, CT, was something so unusual and unique that they gave it the name, Lyme disease, not knowing what organism caused it or whether it was a virus or a bacterium, or if, in fact, it was an organism at all. That was in 1975.

In 1981, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer finally isolated the spirochete that caused the disease, hence the name, Burrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (or Bb), which is a unique strain with many differences from the two common North American Burrelias, and again from the European strains.

All strains of Burrelia cause health problems in humans, but the one that has spread out from Lyme, Connecticut, is particularly virulent, and appears to be rapidly mutating into other strains.

What is very intriguing about Bb is where it was first found and named, Old Lyme, Connecticut. That particular town is right across Long Island Sound from Plum Island, an “agricultural research facility,” run by (BIG SHOCK!!) the US military.

What is the US military doing running an agricultural research facility? Why was the first scientist there when it was founded at the end of the second world war a Nazi scientist whose work was in vector borne diseases used in biological warfare? Is it just a coincidence that one of the vectors he was very interested in for delivering biological payloads was the lowly tick?

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