Ticks don't sleep: "an invisible disease worse than cancer"
The outdoor recreation season is open, which means that contact with ticks cannot be avoided! Insects are especially dangerous in spring and summer. Ticks can cause one of the most dangerous and mysterious diseases - Lyme disease, which is increasingly being compared to cancer. The disease is difficult to diagnose and impossible to cure completely.
Borreliosis affects the central nervous and locomotor systems, causes mental disorders, and turns a person into an invalid. Lyme disease treatment protocols in Ukraine differ greatly from those in the West and the US, causing many questions among specialists. How do people live with this diagnosis? Why do they most often become patients of psychiatrists? And what to do in order not to become a victim of the "invisible" disease?
Tick-borreliosis: zones and periods of risk
The most common areas where ticks live are forests and parks. The insects hide in the shade, on the damp leaves of trees. Getting on the human body, the tick does not immediately burrow into the skin but looks for more vulnerable places. Because the saliva of the insect contains an anesthetic substance, its bite is not felt. The danger of ticks is that they parasitize various animals and thus carry dangerous viruses and microbes.
The most dangerous seasons when ticks are most active are spring and summer. From the month of August, the risk of infection decreases, and in the fall it disappears altogether. In the morning and evening hours, the insects are most active. Doctors do not recommend removing the insect yourself, as there is a risk of leaving part of it under the skin.
Once you go to a medical facility, the first thing you need to do after removal is a PCR diagnostic in a laboratory. Our doctors also recommend doing a blood test after 10-14 days for tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis viruses. But the danger of these viruses is that already in a few weeks after the bite, it is almost impossible to detect them even in laboratory conditions.
Lyme disease: from mental disorder to disability
Lyme disease or tick-borreliosis is one of the most mysterious infectious diseases transmitted by infected ticks. The virus can infect the skin, the musculoskeletal system, and the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Borreliosis is dangerous because there is no vaccine against it. Infectiologists often call the disease invisible, because it is very difficult to diagnose.
The disease occurs after an infected tick bite. Borrelia, which is contained in the saliva of the tick, gets under the skin and begins to multiply rapidly. Then the virus enters the blood through the brain, joints, and heart and can stay in the body for years, developing a chronic or relapsing course of the disease.
If not diagnosed and treated in time, after 1-2 months the virus begins to infect the nervous system, joints, and heart. Severe joint pain, mental disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders often accompany the neglected form of the disease.
The treatment protocol for tick-borne borreliosis in Ukraine differs from Western approaches and consists of antibiotic therapy. The main treatment is aimed at destroying borrelia with antibiotics.
But modern scientific research proves this: antibiotic therapy is powerless against more than 40 types of co-infections that enter the bloodstream after a tick bite.
Borreliosis - difficult to diagnose, even more, difficult to treat
Damage of the nervous and musculoskeletal system, thinking disorders, heart disease - this is not the whole list of symptoms of a patient with Lyme disease, which only confuses doctors. After going through seven circles of protocol medicine hell, a person with a not timely diagnosed disease becomes a psychiatric patient, not even guessing about the true cause of his condition.
Lyme disease diagnosis is not as easy as official medicine in Ukraine claims. From 30 to 50% of infected patients have no antibodies to Borrelia, so the laboratory test cannot detect the virus after just one month. Once infected, borrelias quickly pass from the bloodstream to the tissues, so PCR analysis usually does not yield anything either.
Borreliosis can also enter the bloodstream with co-infections. This form is much longer and more difficult to treat, and there is much less chance of recovery, according to Western infectious disease doctors Lyme-Literate MD, LLMD.
The situation is complicated by the fact that modern science knows about 40 Bartonella species, while only 8 have been thoroughly studied. In Ukraine, it is possible to make an antibody test only for tick-borreliosis.
High temperature, numbness of extremities, cramps and pains in muscles and joints, weakness, cognitive disorders, and hallucinations - borrelia suppress immunity very quickly and begin to activate other viruses in the body. Symptoms can take years to develop, and it happens that a person cannot say a word or walk after six months.
Why is antibiotic therapy powerless?
In trying to diagnose Lyme disease, doctors are guided by the presence of erythema migrans on the patient's skin. But redness of the skin in the form of a round spot occurs in only 40% of patients. Relying on Lyme disease symptoms for further diagnosis of the disease is also quite difficult because they are nonspecific.
Given the complexities of diagnosis, as well as the presence of poorly understood co-infections in the blood of infected patients, antibiotic therapy is ineffective in treating borreliosis. Official treatment protocols in Ukraine last from 2 to 3 months and include exclusively the use of antibiotics.
In Lyme's homeland, in the US, borreliosis was also once only treated with antibiotics. The American infectious disease doctors LLMD united in the organization ILADS, have recognized: in many cases, the official treatment protocol is not enough. Even if symptoms subside, they return with renewed vigor a month, six months, or even several years later.
ILADS doctors treat borreliosis with co-infections, using several types of antibiotics simultaneously as well as chemotherapy to protect internal organs.
As a result, about a third of patients recover, and a third go into stable remission without symptoms. But there are also those who cannot beat the "invisible" disease, which American doctors are already comparing to cancer.
How not to become a victim of ticks?
Going on vacation to the woods or the park, first of all, it is important to "properly" dress. Choose clothes that will fully cover your legs and arms, even in hot weather. Pants, shirts, and sweatshirts with long sleeves, a tracksuit is a great solution.
Doctors also recommend using special sprays against insects. After resting it is important to carefully inspect the skin all over the body. Remember: the sooner you get rid of ticks and seek medical attention, the fewer the risks.