Now that the weather is nice, this is the season for ticks, which means you may be at risk of getting infected with Lyme disease, as well as Babesia, Erlichia, Bartonella and other associated diseases.
If you get Lyme disease and/or a related disease, you may have some or more of the following ailments: fatigue, muscle or joint pain, headaches, mental confusion, fever or chills and swollen lymph nodes.
Why am I bringing this up now?
Well, in the past week, two people (one friend and one acquaintance) sought me out to discuss Lyme disease. They both know that back in 2008, one of those teeny-tiny bugs got far too cozy with me (burrowing under my skin -- yuck!) and gave me this Modern Menace. So now I know a bit about this devastating condition.
In 2008, after being afflicted with Lyme disease, I plunged into investigative journalist mode. (My background is as a reporter.)
So I began holding Gab with the Gurus shows to help others, reading books, etc. Therefore, here are some Lyme disease resources for you and your loved ones:
1) First I invite you to read and comment on my op ed piece on AOL News last year about Lyme disease (http://www.aolnews.com/2010/05/28/opinion-a-health-epidemic-thats-going-largely-unnoticed/)
See what's called a Lyme-literate doctor pronto. See info below on how to find a doctor.
If you do have Lyme disease, I believe that one week or 10 days of antibiotics isn't enough. Of course, bear in mind that I am NOT a doctor, and I'm not giving medical advice. This is my perspective based on my own experiences and the considerable research that I did. That's why it's imperative to see a Lyme-literate doctor. (See below on how to find a doctor.)
Purify your diet big time. Get on what I call a Quality Diet. You don't want your body to be a hospitable host for those nasty spirochetes .
In particular, cut out all processed carbs and sweets. This is very important! (After being diagnosed with Lyme disease, I started laughing when the doctor told me to quit sugar. For some reason, in my fatigued, fuzzy-headed state, it struck me as humorous. I'm not sure why, but bear in mind that I felt awful and I'd already been off sugar since 1998.)
Find a nurturing group of people who understand what you're going through. For instance, if you live in Manhattan, check out the New York City Lyme Support Group at www.nyclymesupport.org .
Meanwhile, if you haven't been bitten by a tick, here are some ideas what to do when you go out outdoors:
Stay in the center of a trail.
Wear light-colored clothing.
When you go into nature, wear long pants! Then, make sure to tuck your pant legs into your socks so those little critters can't crawl up under your pant legs. Apparently, some ticks even can crawl down into your shoes. They're even small enough to crawl through socks.
Take a shower when you come back from nature.
If you don't wear long pants or if you do, make sure that every time you come back from nature, especially tick-infested areas such as in the Northeast, very, very carefully check your and/or your loved ones' bodies body for ticks! This is imperative! (You can even whip out a mirror and a magnifying class to inspect under your arms, near or even in your ears, inside your belly button, between your legs, on the back of your knees, and even near your hair. (One Lyme expert found a tick washing her hair after being out in nature!) That's why, with my long curly hair, I usually hide it under a hat under my helmet if I'm out bicyling.
When you're back home, take off your clothing and toss everything in the washing machine and the dryer. Make sure to put the the dryer at high heat, because that's how ticks are killed.
Bear in mind that your pets may be tick carriers, too, so inspect them, too. Just think -- they often frolic about in nature so when you hug or pet them, those ticks could be transferred to you.
If you do find a tick attached to your skin, pull out a tweezer and pluck it out. Do not pull it out with your hands. At that point, you may even want to get the tick checked for Lyme disease. (URL coming of places that do that.)
If you need to find a doctor, here are some resources: