I don’t know about you, but I LOVE living in the Westchester area, especially in the summer. Crisp evenings, proximity to beaches, and embracing the outdoors brings me so much joy. However, one thing I don’t love about Westchester in the spring, summer and fall are the Lyme disease-carrying-ticks that are everywhere. The official name of the microbe that causes Lyme is Borrelia Bergdorfi. And these annoying and harmful pests carry other infections, too, like Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia and more. Collectively we call these Tick Borne Illnesses or TBI’s. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are three of the ten states where the majority of Lyme cases are reported in the United States! The problem is that we all love the outdoors and your favorite summer activities could be putting you at risk.
Most of you probably already know this and check yourself for ticks after every evening beach walk or nature walk. If you don’t, then this is definitely your first line of defense. If you find a tick on your body and it has been there for at least 4 hours, and has hooked itself in your skin, remove gently with a tweezer, and call your doctor. You can save the tick and have it tested for Lyme. At Blum Center we believe in treating aggressively, and recommend antibiotics (or sometimes we use herbal remedies) whether or not you develop a rash. If that tick has latched onto you, whether or not is engorged or swollen, then treating right away is your best defense against developing acute or chronic Lyme disease.
ACUTE AND CHRONIC LYME
Acute Lyme or Tick Borne Illness (TBI) usually happens in about 2-3 weeks after the infection, but can happen sooner or later than that too. You might have a fever, chills, headaches, muscle or joint pain. It can feel like a flu. It can last 5-7 days and then go away. The tricky thing is that some people who get infected by a tick never have an acute illness! And many people with an acute TBI don’t ever remember having a tick bite!
That’s why many people (and doctors) don’t even think about Lyme when they develop chronic symptoms like fatigue, arthritis, muscle pain or brain fog that drag on for months and months. There can also be other symptoms like intermittent fevers and heachaches and neurological symptoms like strange sensations and/or numbness or tingling anywhere in the body. The good news is that WE do think about Lyme in every patient with these symptoms at Blum Center and do the testing and pick up hidden Lyme or Tick infections all the time.
The name Chronic Lyme has been given to people who have these symptoms for months and sometimes years. Some people have Chronic Lyme and don’t know it. And even when they start treatment with antibiotics, they continue suffering with Chronic Lyme because once it’s been in your body for a long time, it’s very hard to get rid of it, even with antibiotics.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE FOR LYME TREATMENT
Treating your Lyme disease requires a very personalized approach, and our complete treatment program for Lyme disease is beyond the scope of this blog. We use at different times, and for different people, antibiotics and herbal programs to kill the Borrelia Burgdorferi (or other TBI) microbe. But treatment is a 1-2 punch: the medication or herbs lower the total amount of infection in your system, and then the immune system has to clear out the rest. You can see why a highly functioning and strong immune system is critical to treating Lyme Disease.
In addition to a strong immune system, once we start treating Lyme, there are a lot of toxins that are released and can cause you to feel very sick. And these toxins and the Lyme itself can wreak havoc with your mitochondria, the little furnaces in your cells that make energy. Therefore from a functional medicine perspective, whether you are currently being treated by us or other doctors, or are still recovering from Lyme Disease, you should add to your program support for the immune system, the detox system and the mitochondria. And the most effective way to do this is with Infusions because high concentrations of the needed nutrients can go right into your blood and to your cells where they are needed.
OUR CUSTOM INFUSION FOR LYME DISEASE
Susan Blum, MD, MPH, our founder and director and author of The Immune System Recovery Plan, developed our targeted Infusion for people with Lyme. We call it our Mito Recovery Infusion. The nutrients in Mito Recovery target all 3 systems that need support in people struggling to recover from Lyme or other Tick Infection: it works deep within the cell to help rebuild the damaged mitochondria; includes NAC and glutathione for detoxification support, and zinc, selenium, vitamin C and B vitamins for your immune system. Here are the details:
Bag #1 – Mito Recovery
B Complex– contains B1, B2, B3, B5, & B6 to help the mitochondria in all your cells function better and make energy. This, of course, includes your immune system cells.
Vitamin C– a potent antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C helps your immune system work better and protects the mitochondria from injury
Magnesium– an electrolyte that is needed to keep your nervous system and muscles functioning properly & keep your body balanced and relaxed. Can also help provide pain relief (headaches) and help with sleep. Magnesium can act as an antioxidant in mitochondria improving mitochondrial dysfunction
B12– essential for all biochemistry and body functions that involve methylation, including production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitters, liver detox, and maintaining health of the nervous system. As we age, it is harder to absorb B12 from the gut, another reason to regularly get B12 by infusion.
Zinc– a mineral that boosts the immune system by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines, and has direct antiviral activity.
Selenium– powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammatory markers & boosts the immune system by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)- Boosts the immune system, increases Glutathione (antioxidant), decreases viral replication, & reduces inflammation.
Acetyl L-Carnitine- Boosts mitochondria function and energy production.
Bag #2: Alpha Lipoic Acid: Powerful antioxidant to help prevent oxidative-stress related damage to all your cells and mitochondria, especially the brain and nervous system
Bag #3: Glutathione: Powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammation and clears free radicals caused by oxidative stress, especially important for immune and mitochondria function. Powerfully protects the Thyroid and other tissues from damage. Can help relieve respiratory symptoms by decreasing inflammation and mucus in lungs. Crucial support for liver detoxification and clearing heavy metals.
Injection: CoQ10: required for optimal functioning of the mitochondria which are damaged from COVID. Also supports the immune system and decreases the release of inflammatory cytokines. Depleted levels of CoQ10 have been linked to increased susceptibility to infection
Text or call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment and start feeling like your old self again! If you aren’t sure if this is right for you, schedule a FREE consultation with our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP.