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FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS (38 MINUTES)
Dr. Risk's personal Lyme story.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a multi-system illness that affects 300 0001 new Americans and a reported 20252 new Canadians (Based on 2017 Statistics) in a year. These cases are estimated to be much higher as it is suspected many people are not getting diagnosed via regular channels in Canada due to a political storm that has been occurring. In 2020 Justin Bieber, a famous Canadian musician, came out as suffering from Lyme Disease, which has raised awareness in the country. Those who suffer with this disease often have difficulty when they try to get answers for their illness, as many doctors and specialists are unwilling to answer or approach the subject.
Lyme Disease is the only infectious illness that insurance companies, government agencies, and Medical Boards have questioned the diagnosis of even with the presence of positive lab results. Bill C-4423 has brought recognition to Lyme Disease and is starting a wave of changes in Canada4. This illness is getting more recognition as more information is becoming apparent, yet due to misinformation in the health care system, many people will go undiagnosed for years.
Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium, similar to syphilis5. The bacteria can be contracted from a tick bite, which is its most well known form of transmission. Lyme Disease can also be transmitted from fleas, mosquitoes, blood transfusions, trans-placental to fetus, breast feeding, unpasteurized milk and sexual contact6. It is considered that worldwide Lyme Disease is currently endemic, including all of North America. The diagnosis of Lyme Disease can be difficult, while testing is available in Canada, it is not sensitive enough to overcome the challenges that the Lyme bacteria can present.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Initial symptoms after a being infected can be a rash either a characteristic target rash (Erythema Migrans) or a different rash, although the rash only happens in a small percentage of patients, this is commonly followed by fever and possibly joint pain. Most individuals with Chronic Persistent Lyme do not remember having a tick bite. Symptoms of Lyme Disease can also include neurological symptoms, pain symptoms, sleep disorders, mood disorders, and many others. Some patients may only have two symptoms while others, similar to Dr. Risk’s case at the height of her illness, will have over 120 total symptoms. To review further please see our complete symptom list.
Lyme Disease is a very complicated disease with a multitude of different symptoms. Due to this unfortunate fact Lyme Disease is often misdiagnosed by health care practitioner’s many times before an individual realizes that this is the case. Illnesses that are often misdiagnosed for Lyme Disease may include the following: MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, neurological disorders, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Raynaud’s Disease, Chron’s/Colitis, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), ADHD, Interstitial Cystitis, Meniere’s Disease, and Myeloencephalitis (EPM).
Treatment for Lyme Disease can be extremely complicated. Many patients with Chronic Persistent Lyme have suffered for a long time and are extremely ill. Some people can jump into treatment, while others need to take the treatment slower. Not only does Lyme Disease need to be assessed, but it is accompanied by several other infections called co-infections. These infections are Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlicia, HPV, Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species), Powassan Virus, Q Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis, Tickborne Relapsing Fever, Tularemia and others. These infections will all intermingle together and can create a confusing plethora of symptoms. Other complications of this illness are biofilm (an armour the bacteria will protect itself in), parasites and candida, neurotoxicity, heavy metal toxicity, mold toxicity, adrenal fatigue, other viruses and bacteria and the patients own genetics and specific situation. Each case is assessed on an individual basis to determine treatment. Each patient is also treated differently according to their specific needs. It is dangerous to take this treatment quickly due to neurotoxicity7, and important to treat each issue as needed.
At Ananta Health antibiotics are not used, but instead Lyme Disease and its complications are approached with anti-microbial herbs, Chinese Medicine, supplements and any other treatments the patient may need. Each treatment is individual8, and personalized and the prescribing doctor takes care to make sure that everything is understood and that you leave with a full wealth of knowledge about your own care.
Dr. Risk has the great honour of interviewing some of the leading Lyme professionals in North America!
Listen to those interviews here.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infected Diseases (NCEZID), Divison of Vector Brone Diseases (DVBD). (2015, March 4). How many people get Lyme Disease? Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/humancases.html
(2) Government of Canada. (2016, September 20). Surveillance of Lyme Disease. Retrieved from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/lyme/surveillance-eng.php
(3) Parliament of Canada. (2014, December 16). An Act Respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease; Bill C-442. Retrieved from http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6836507
(4) Green Party of Canada. (2014, December 12). Senate Unanimously Passes Elizabeth May’s Federal Framework on Lyme Disease Act. Retrieved from https://www.greenparty.ca/en/media-release/2014-12-12/senate-unanimously-passes-elizabeth-may%E2%80%99s-federal-framework-lyme-disease
(5) Dean, L., McEntyre, J. (1999, September 1). What do Lyme Disease and syphilis have in common? Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2314/
(6)Carmel, C.A. (2014, January 25). Lyme Disease May Be Sexually Transmitted, Study Suggests. Retrieved from http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11506441.htm