What Is Lyme Disease, And How You Can Overcome It With The Right Specialist

Do you suspect you have Lyme disease or have been positively diagnosed with Lyme by your doctor? Since Lyme disease and its 32 known co-infections are often mistaken for MS, Lupus or Fibromyalgia and the conventional medical community continues to lag behind new research, most people do not receive the correct care required to restore their health. That’s not surprising…after all, it is one of the hardest disease to treat in the world.

If you have been diagnosed with Lyme or suspect you have Lyme you may:

  • endure a multitude of crippling symptoms that affect your physical, chemical, neurological, and emotional integrity.

  • feel like you are living a life of quiet desperation, where no one, not even your doctor, understands you

  • feel embarrassed that you can no longer perform tasks you once did with ease

  • have taken antibiotics for Lyme but you still don’t feel as though your health has fully returned

  • feel annoyed with conventional medicine and it’s lack of understanding about Lyme

  • spent a tremendous amount of time and money looking for a lasting solution, but are still searching.

  • And all you want to do is get to the bottom of things, and restore your quality of life.

For many health providers, figuring out the complexities behind Lyme is about as easy as finding a green thread in a mile-long strip of grass…. It can seem impossible. However, Neurvana Health has been helping clients overcome the confusion and see real lasting health.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Whether from Lyme disease, its co-infections or both, the symptoms of Lyme are widespread, which is another reason why it can be hard to diagnose. Here is a list of the common and not-so-common symptoms we see:

  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms (right after tick bite)
  • Memory problems
  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Gut/digestion issues
  • Hearing problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Mood swings
  • Tremors
  • Weight gain / weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

Included below is a chart from a study in the Medical Microbiology publication showing how similar the symptoms of Lyme disease and other frequently misdiagnosed diseases can be.

Image courtesy of Borrelia burgdorferi: Cell Biology and Clinical Manifestations in Latent Chronic Lyme

While this is a large list of symptoms, this is not exhaustive as you may exhibit different symptoms than another person even though you both test positive for Lyme. This is why you need customized care and treatment for your unique physiology. Otherwise, you will never get to the root cause and experience long-term recovery.

What is Lyme Disease?

Courtesy of Envita Medical

Traditionally, doctors will diagnose Lyme disease when you test positive for antibodies to a Lyme borreliosis infection after being bitten by a tick. Conventional medicine also dictates that you will get a bullseye rash where the tick bit your skin and you may also experience flu-like symptoms.

But new research suggests that you can have Lyme disease without getting a bullseye rash or experiencing flu-like symptoms. In fact, fewer than half of Lyme patients ever recall even being bit by a tick. 

You also may have had Lyme for weeks, months or even years and never experienced any symptoms until now. Over time, the bacteria can invade your central nervous system and other tissue and even hide behind what we call biofilms to evade the immune system.

This is one of the reasons why Lyme is so complex and hard to identify without the right Lyme disease specialist.

Co-infections

One of the reasons why Lyme disease is so difficult to pinpoint is because of what we call co-infections. When you have a co-infection, it simply means that one tick gave you more than one infection at the same time.

To explain this, let’s step back a little. Lyme disease was discovered in the 1980s in the town of Lyme, Connecticut, hence its name. Borrelia burgdorferi was identified as the bacterial species behind the disease. But since then we know a lot more about the complexities that come with Lyme (aka co-infections).

Borellia under microscope
The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Source)

Here’s the problem:

False-negative Lyme tests are prevalent because they don’t consider co-infections.

If you get a test for Lyme that only isolates Borrelia burgdorferi, yet you have other co-infections, you may still get a negative diagnosis even if you are highly symptomatic.

Here’s the problem:
False-negative Lyme tests are prevalent because they don’t consider co-infections.

Co-infections are quite common among Lyme sufferers. In fact, there are currently around 34 other recognized co-infections you can contract with Lyme.

Also, according to a PeerJ study of people with chronic Lyme disease,

  • 53.3% of respondents contracted tickborne co-infections

  • with 23.5% contracting at least one co-infection

  • and 29.8% contracting two or more co-infections.

Bartonella: One of The Most Common Lyme Co-Infections

Bartonella is one of the co-infections we see most often with Lyme disease. It is a tiny intracellular bacteria (it likes to go inside our cells) that affects our red blood cells. If you have bartonellosis (what it’s called when you are infected with Bartonella), your symptoms may include:

  • Low energy
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Joint pain
  • Gut issues

Your bloodwork may also show anemia if you have bartonellosis because of its effect on red blood cells.

The problem with Bartonella is that it is easily activated but difficult to eradicate in the body. It also causes chronic symptoms.

Other Lyme Co-Infections From Ticks (And Other Bugs)

Ticks aren’t the only insects that transmit disease-causing pathogens. Sandflies transmit a bacterial co-infection called Ehrlichia, which causes ehrlichiosis. This is also called canine rickettsia (it’s a  infection) because you see it a lot in dogs, even though the human form of this infection is transmittable. 

Sandflies also transmit a spirochete bacteria called Borrelia which can mutate into four different forms. Other bacteria transmitted by sandflies are Borrelia miyamotoi, Borrelia recurrentis, and Borrelia recurrentis.

Babesia

Babesia is similar to malaria as it’s an intracellular parasite (parasites that like to live in cells). Even though it’s similar to malaria, it doesn’t cause the same intensity of symptoms, yet its symptoms mimic that of Bartonella because it affects your red blood cells. You may even experience nerve pain along with one of the telltale signs of Babesia, night sweats. Similar to Bartonella, if symptoms become chronic, it can also be difficult to take care of.