Is It Lyme Disease – Or Covid-19?

Is It Lyme Disease – Or Covid-19?

Check Out The Top-30 Symptom -Similarity Checklist.

The warmer weather is here. Attention is still on social distancing, facemasks, with frustration, confusion and fears all around. However, for those living in the country, it is also a time to be outdoors.  Life is in gardens; nature walks, hiking trails and other natural habitats. While we social distance, ticks do not! Yes, ticks are busy crawling on garden hoses, hanging off grasses, creeping around in the leaves on the ground – looking for their next meal.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month – frankly (in my opinion), every month is Lyme disease awareness month.   Because of the pandemic, the discussion in Lyme –literate communities revolves around topics including:

  • With more people spending time outdoors, will there be an increase in tick bites?
  • With the attention on hydroxychloroquine will the supply be available to the Lyme community – or more directed to Covid-19 patients in hospitals?
  • Are individuals afraid to go to the ER with a tick bite, as they are afraid to acquire a Corona infection at the hospital?
  • Will some have difficulty distinguishing whether they are experiencing Lyme disease, or Covid-19 symptoms?

Let us check out similarities between Lyme disease and Covid-19:

  1. Both are global diseases.
  2. Both are zoonotic and can transmit between species.
  3. There are multiple strains of infection on different continents. It is this that plays a role with global vaccination challenges.
  4. There is no common consensus among health organizations regarding treatment.
  5. Those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of becoming seriously ill.
  6. Both can be asymptomatic in individuals with robust immune systems.
  7. Future reactivation is a concern.
  8. One can test negative repeatedly despite clinical symptoms, being present. And test later positive (or not).
  9. There is controversy regarding re-infection after the initial infection.
  10. Neither antibody, nor PCR blood testing is 100% accurate.
  11. Both can result in a cytokine storm with excessive inflammation and severe consequences.
  12. Symptoms can manifest in physical, neurological, pulmonary, gastric, and cardiac distress.
  13. Infections can activate dormant viruses in the body, e.g. EBV
  14. Both can result in mysterious conditions, resulting in admission to the ER for life-saving treatment.
  15. Both infections can present with a fever, headaches, muscle aches and joint pains.
  16. Lingering fatigue with, and post-infection is not uncommon.
  17. Increased blood clotting can occur.
  18. Shortness of breath can be a symptom.
  19. Prevention is the focus of Covid-19, and Lyme disease.
  20. Initial correct diagnosis can be a challenge, especially with false / negatives in initial testing.
  21. Both infections have been mentioned in the arena of lab engineering, escaping from a lab, and biological warfare. (Wuhan, China, and Lab 257 on Plum Island, across from Old Lyme, CT.)
  22. Treatment options for both infections include medications, off label medications, and natural therapies, incl.  Antibiotics, anti-malaria medication, blood plasma exchange, IV vitamin C, IV glutathione, blue light, blood thinning medication, ozone, anti-inflammatories and immune modulators.
  23. Both infections can induce financial ruin.
  24. Both are impacted by international travel.
  25. Both can mimic the flu or pneumonia.
  26. Neither has a vaccine.
  27. Both result in social distancing, one optional, the other mandated.
  28. Both can result in disability, and death.
  29. Both can be transmitted in pregnancy.
  30. Both need more research. However Corona will has exceptional financial backing, and Lyme disease does not….

Conclusion

Even though the Coronal virus is called a “novel’” virus, there are many different types of corona viruses in humans, dogs, and cats. And now tigers in the Bronx zoo too. Lyme disease, or worldwide known as Borreliosis, has a very long history too.

If one considers that the human host consists of over 120 trillion microbes, it is worthwhile to consider that diverse fungi, parasites and viruses have always been a vital part of our human experience. Only 10% of our body is comprised of human cells. The rest of us is a microbial soup with an innate defense against external infectious agents, and a highly regulated immune system that looks out for our survival at all times. Great danger comes with (esp. bio-engineered) infectious agents of any kind, and multiple environmental factors. The accumulative load over a lifetime has the potential to dampen the innate immune system, and to overstimulate an adaptive immune response. Invariably this comes with collateral damage, often at a great cost to quality of life.

There is the concern of long-term health consequences because of excessive sanitation in our current living environment. This diminishes the diversity of health-supporting microbes that live on our hands, sinuses, throat and mouth cavity, They play a vital role in our immune system’s ability to respond appropriately, and effectively, as a first line of defense. With a Lyme disease or Covid-19 infection, it also begs ‘food for thought’ when considering the need to diversify our gut terrain, which houses up to 70% of our immune system. I have yet to hear any major news coverage regarding either…

We must take care of it with daily choices in what we put on our bodies, eat, move, think, sleep, and how much technology we have in our lives.  With both infections discussed, it is the response and resilience of the immune system that determines the severity of symptoms, and the ultimate outcome.

As we head into May, warmer days and sunshine are ahead.

Wishing you well,

Rika Keck

NY Integrated Health

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The Perils Of Summer When Living In The Country – Actually of every season…

The Perils Of Summer When Living In The Country

 – Actually of every season…

June and July are peak months for tick bites, yet ticks are around all year. Some survive the winter months, and thus one must be vigilant with tick checks. Ticks know no borders and respect no boundaries. A patient’s county of residence does not accurately reflect his or her Lyme disease risk because people travel, pets travel, and ticks travel. This creates a dynamic situation with many opportunities for exposure to Lyme disease for each individual.

Ticks (and flea bites) also harm our pets, thus they need to be checked for ticks too. In the recent podcast, I mentioned a couple of pointers regarding Lyme disease, and I want wanted to present some follow-up information in this blog.

According to information from the Global Lyme Alliance: One tick bit can transfer up to 15 infections. This can include Lyme disease, but also other bacteria, parasites and viruses. Transfer of certain infections can happen within 10 minutes, e.g. the Powassan virus, while other infections take longer to be transmitted. The longer a tick is attached, the greater the risk of acquiring multiple infections.

Where are ticks?

Ticks live on tree bark, attach to grasses, crawl on leaves in the fall, and even now roam in short grasses. They are getting more aggressive. Some species, instead of waiting for the new host, will actually crawl towards a new host when they detect Co2 from the breath. This is noted in the small Lone Star tick, which is connected with the meat-eating allergy and various other infections.

Many professionals mistakenly believe that Lyme disease cannot be transmitted when a blacklegged tick has been attached for 24 to 48 hours. This is incorrect.

Did You Know?

  • Up to 50% of ticks are infected (this number can be higher in certain areas. In Litchfield County, CT, the number potentially could be as high as 70%.)
  • Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite
  • Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall any rash.
  • The well-known bull’s eye rash (Erythema Migrans) is not as common. However, it is accepted as a diagnostic tool for Lyme disease and the patient will receive antibiotic treatment without further required testing. (Atypical forms of this rash are seen far more commonly.)
  • Absence of a rash is poor reasoning for not treating. The ‘summer flu’ can also be Lyme disease.
  • After any bite, monitor your health.
  • 24-hour antibiotic treatment will not prevent Lyme disease – t will only prevent a rash from forming.

Closing Words:

As a health practitioner knowledgeable about the above, I suggest to consider botanical or homeopathic supplementation as prophylaxis against other potential pathogens when only using Doxycycline. This can include Artesminin, or Cryptolepsis for parasitic co-infections, or Houytunia for symptoms associated with a Bartonella infection. In an acute setting antibiotic treatment is the first line of treatment for Lyme disease.

Rika Keck

NY Integrated Health

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What Does Holistic Health Mean?

What Does Holistic Health Mean?

According to Wikipedia:

“A holistic concept in medical practice, which is distinct from the concept in the alternative medicine, upholds that all aspects of people’s needs including psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole. A 2007 study said the concept was alive and well in general medicine in Sweden.

“Some practitioners of holistic medicine use alternative medicine exclusively, though sometimes holistic treatment can mean simply that a physician takes account of all a person’s circumstances in giving treatment. Sometimes when alternative medicine is mixed with mainstream medicine the result is called “holistic” medicine, though this is more commonly termed integrative medicine.

According to the American Holistic Medical Association it is believed that the spiritual element should also be taken into account when assessing a person’s overall wellbeing.

From my professional experience, I can say that there is never just one so-called problem area; there are always various root causes that trigger multiple health problems, even if they appear to be unrelated.

What happens at a physical, metabolic, emotional and mental level all matters within the narrative of our life.  How secure we feel and loved we feel in our lives matters. How we feel and think about ourselves is most important, as it will reflect in our thoughts, eating behavior and lifestyle choices. Trust me, everything is interconnected like a giant puzzle, where every piece matters. How we eat, think, sleep and live on a daily basis, the excessive toxins we are exposed to in our daily environment, and the hidden low – grade infections our bodies are dealing with—they all play a big role in our continuous wellbeing.

For example, you might be eating organic food, but are you getting enough healthy fats in your diet? Are your personal relationships addressing your need to feel loved or are you in an unhappy relationship? Are you eating the right foods for your body or are you eating too little protein? As a child, were you criticized and now are living your life as an overachiever needing approval and validation from others? Is there a viral infection draining your energy and giving you a constant sore throat?

Maybe you are taking care of an ailing parent, which is very stressful for all concerned; leaving you no time to do things that you enjoy or that help you get rid of your stress. And what about the personal care products you are using that add a toxic burden on your liver? What toxins are floating around in the air at work or in your home?

All these questions matter because the sum of them contributes to your unique wellness blueprint. Building health is like peeling away different layers of an onion. Each layer is a burden that must be uncovered and dealt with so the body and mind can regain renewed energy, joy and vitality. This is the path to becoming “The Well Woman.”

Energy is at the core of us, in the nutrient dense and information-filled food that recharges us. And we also find energy in fulfilling and happy relationships in our personal lives. It is also in the innate intelligence of nature and the vastness of the Universe. We are part of a whole and thus must address our healing from a whole perspective, even though there are many parts that make up the whole. Just like that giant puzzle, every piece matters.

If you rebuild your energy and health by learning about the energy-robbers in your life and you follow the energy-building steps in this book, you will be able to engage in a healthy relationship with food, healthy personal relationships, and most important, a healthy relationship with yourself.

Wellness is an ongoing process; think of it as an essential 21st Century lifestyle that incorporates a holistic, functional and integrated approach.

A customized approach integrates your specific nutritional needs, your daily lifestyle and unique stress adaptation within a path that requires flexibility and clarity along the way. We all deal with a continuous string of stressors that can also include commercial foods, lack of sleep, infections, root canals, sexual abuse, toxic emotions, negative thoughts, financial worries and unhappy relationships, etc., and these all are part of our unique narrative How we respond to them is unique, as past belief systems, childhood fears, expectations and current experiences also come into play. All of these will affect how well (or not) our body functions, as our mind, emotions and physical body are intertwined.

Rika Keck

NY Integrated Health

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