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The Complexities of Lyme Disease and Co-Infections

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial pathogen. Discovered by Dr. Wilhelm Burgdorferi, the bacterial pathogen that causes Lyme disease was named Borrelia burgdorferi in his honor. The disease gets its name from Lyme, Connecticut, where the full spectrum of illness was first described in 1975.

Lyme is primarily a tick-borne illness (specifically black-legged aka deer ticks), although insects that can deposit into our bloodstream through just one bite (a mosquito, a fly, a bee, or a spider) also harbor Borrelia burgdorferi. Tick borne illnesses are considered zoonotic, meaning, they can be transferred from animal to humans. Lyme bacteria are detectable in human bodily fluids, and we can pass it through to our babies because it passes the blood brain barrier. The proliferation of Lyme in recent years has caused us to dig deeper into our understanding of the source of Lyme infections and how they present.

I see the Lyme energy vial test as present in about 75 percent of everyone we muscle test in our office, partly because of where we live — in the Upper Midwest it is far more common than in other areas. If undetected, it can become quite a problem for people.

READ: How to Safely Remove a Tick >>

What I have observed are clients who seek out the care of practitioners like myself after being told by their traditional provider that they aren’t dealing with Lyme, all the while living on a daily basis with a myriad of “unexplained” symptoms.

What I find interesting is the action some doctors take without even giving the patient a diagnosis, which is to prescribe an antibiotic (often doxycycline). WebMD describes doxycycline as: Doxycycline is a broad-spectrum tetracycline-class antibiotic used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites. It is used to treat bacterial pneumonia, acne, chlamydia infections, Lyme disease, cholera, typhus, and syphilis.

A familiar scenario unravels, which is that the patient sees an improvement in their pain or symptoms for a short time. They may even feel great … until they don’t, AGAIN.

I believe the misunderstanding around Lyme and its co-infections (the other pathogens that come along with it) comes from the roller coaster pattern a client can experience, and the exhausting list of symptoms they know all too well. If the client is not dealing with what the public calls a “Lyme-literate doc,” they are left feeling like it’s all in their head. What’s interesting here is that Lyme and its co-infections can have a neurological component.

Lyme and Co-Infections Symptoms

Common symptoms I see around Lyme and co-infections include (but are absolutely not limited to):

  • Numbness/tingling/sharp feelings
  • Deep aching pain in any area of the body (and sometimes it moves)
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Confusion or memory/recall issues
  • Brain fog
  • Skin issues
  • Swollen glands
  • Speech issues
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Fever
  • …….and the list goes on

The problem arises from both a lack of detecting what kind of bug the client or patient is actually dealing with, and what toxicants are keeping the body sick, the immune system down, and the subsequent emotional well being in the tank.

In the more progressive clinic spaces, Lyme is being acknowledged as a chronic issue. Because of the way Lyme moves around a body, it can be more difficult to detect. And people are often told, “You say you have pain that keeps moving around your body? That’s all in your head. You’re not really sick. You don’t really feel this way.” 

Lyme also often mirrors or mimics the symptoms of mold exposure. Where there is a chronic Lyme case there is typically a chronic mold case behind it and vice versa. 

This is why we must always keep the bigger picture in mind. Lyme can exacerbate other things we have going on in our body. And that’s why it’s important to peel back the layers in our health and get to the root causes, addressing each of them and providing healing instead of masking symptoms with prescriptions.

Knowing and seeing the prevalence of when bacteria and parasite vials test together, we are making connections that parasites carry the Lyme bacteria. We have uncovered that there is more to the world of Lyme than “just Lyme disease,” which is called the state of co-infections.

Three Primary Co-Infections of Lyme Disease I See in Our Office

Ehrlichia is a tick-borne bacteria primarily from the brown dog tick. This condition is more common in those who have been exposed to horses over the course of their lifetime. 

Babesia, per the definition at lymedisease.org, is a malaria-like parasite, also called a “piroplasm,” that infects red blood cells. Scientists believe Babesia microti is the most common piroplasm infecting humans, but they have identified over twenty piroplasms carried by ticks. In addition to transmission by a tick, babesia can be transmitted from mother to unborn child or through a contaminated blood transfusion

Bartonella, also formerly known as cat-scratch fever, is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria called Bartonella henselae. Bartonella are bacteria that live primarily inside the lining of the blood vessels. They can infect humans, mammals and a wide range of wild animals. 

Last year, I had a Lyme and Bartonella flare and documented my journey through a series of Instagram videos you can watch here and here.

Check out a more extensive list of co-infections here.

Look Deeper for Root Cause of Common Ailments

The problem that I see with how Western medicine approaches Lyme is that they go after the specific bug Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria alone (which is important, don’t get me wrong) without taking a more holistic view of the big picture. And when you see the big picture, you see that you’re dealing with a whole human being who has a whole host of root causes for the health concerns and symptom picture that they have. Their illnesses and dis-eases were NOT caused by just one thing. It is vital to keep in mind that Lyme is usually intimately commingled with other people, bacteria, and/or other immune challenges.

My mom was diagnosed with Lyme a few years ago, so I wasn’t surprised to test for Lyme myself a couple years ago myself. I’m now clear it was behind many of my lifelong health issues. It could be that my mom has had Lyme all along and it was transmitted to me during the pregnancy, but it didn’t “manifest” as any problems until I got older. Some of my symptoms kicked in when I was 16 that nobody’s been able to handle — which is indicative of how Lyme can show up.

The majority of people that I see who test for Lyme are not very sick people. They are people who have “common everyday issues” — headaches, low back pain, maybe stomach upset. They have some foods that they can’t tolerate. They might have some skin rashes.

If you think about it, those are things that we hear people complaining about every day and we hear them say, “Once I quit eating dairy many of my issues go away and I don’t really have any problems.” People get empowered by finding something that supports their body’s healing process, as they should. What’s happening there is a decrease in inflammation so the body isn’t as trigger happy. 

It’s not surprising to me when Lyme and co-infections show up in our office. I see it multiple times per day. I do understand how it can come across as scary, however, due to the media and lack of education around the topic. We get pointed to the worst case scenario — crippling disease and neurological implications. My thought is that there are MANY cases of Lyme with missing pieces, missing pieces such as making certain drainage pathways open in the body and that we’re binding (mopping) up toxins and by-products created by the bugs on top of supporting the mental/emotional health of the individual. Those are cases of Lyme where it’s clear that another round and another round of doxy aren’t really doing their job. 

Leveraging Muscle Testing and Labs

Clients who suspect they have Lyme say, “I’ve asked my doctor time and again to test me for Lyme but my doctor refused.” Or they’ll say, “My doctor did test me for Lyme and nothing shows up.” When we find Lyme (or whatever their issue) with our testing, it confirms what they have been dealing with and gives them something to go to work on so that they can take action and responsibility for their health in a way that they never felt empowered to do before. We’ve even had clients test for Lyme in the body via muscle testing with us, then they go to their clinic and receive a confirmed diagnosis of Lyme via bloodwork. 

My Healthy Beginning is now offering labs through Vibrant America in the form of urine, saliva, stool, finger prick, and blood draws. Some tests can be done in the comfort of your home, and the blood draw would be done in a lab by a phlebotomist (the closest lab to us is in Plymouth). Some of our clients find comfort or confidence in seeing their muscle testing line up with labs. In other cases, the labs help us dig deeper into the layers of their health. If you’re interested in learning more about how labs could correlate with your program, contact us or ask in your next appointment. 

Support for Those Experiencing Lyme Symptoms

At My Healthy Beginning, we help people with Lyme disease and potential exposure support their immune system. Some of the tools we use include Cellcore Biosciences supplements IS-BORR and Biotoxin Binder (contact My Healthy Beginning to purchase).

If you are living with symptoms of Lyme disease, we can help. Book your free discovery call today.

Disclaimer: This post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not meant to treat, diagnose, or prescribe. Please reach out to your physician or mental health provider for support.

Nichole Hirsch Kuechle

Nichole Hirsch Kuechle

Hi there, Nichi here! I am a Clinical Master in Advanced Nutrition Response Testing. Discovering natural healing methods for mind and body finally led me toward health restoration — and my calling in life. I have come alongside families in transforming their physical and mental health for more than 20 years and am honored to have their trust. Glad to have you join this community.
Nichole Hirsch Kuechle

Nichole Hirsch Kuechle

Hi there, Nichi here! I am a Clinical Master in Advanced Nutrition Response Testing. Discovering natural healing methods for mind and body finally led me toward health restoration — and my calling in life. I have come alongside families in transforming their physical and mental health for more than 20 years and am honored to have their trust. Glad to have you join this community.

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