Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Hope might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about Lyme disease, but this Lyme Disease Awareness Month we are changing the dialogue. By the end of this article, hope and Lyme disease will be synonymous! 

A Brief History of Lyme Disease

In the early 1970s, a group of children and adults in and around the town of Lyme, Connecticut, were suffering from some enigmatic health problems, including strange skin rashes, swollen knees, debilitating fatigue, and even paralysis. Bewildered by the influx of patients with these puzzling symptoms, doctors were unable to provide conclusive diagnoses, and the families of Lyme were left undiagnosed and untreated for years. 

As the story goes, two mothers from this group in Connecticut decided to take matters into their own hands. The persistent mothers took notes, conducted their own research, and reached out to different scientists. Finally, the medical community took notice and began to investigate the group’s symptoms. It turned out a tick bite was the common thread that linked the patients of Lyme together. By the mid-1970s, the new disease, appropriately called Lyme, was identified, but the root cause was still uncertain. 

In 1981, Willy Burgdorfer, a scientist studying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever at the time, decided to turn his attention to this new disease on the East Coast. Burgdorfer is credited with discovering a bacterium called a spirochete, which is carried by ticks and turned out to be the cause of Lyme disease. In honor of his discovery, the bacterium was named Borrelia burgdorferi. 

Lyme disease is now one of the fastest-growing vector-borne infections in the United States. There are upwards of 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease diagnosed every year, and thousands more are left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. It is a disease that has plagued humans for thousands of years, as evidenced in a biopsy of a 5,300-year-old mummy. And now, decades after the disease earned a name, diagnosis and treatment still aren’t where they need to be in mainstream medicine. Fortunately, innovative medical minds are tackling the multidimensional disease one unique patient at a time (more on that to come!).

How Do You Know If You Have Lyme Disease? 

There are two ticks capable of spreading the virulent bacterium through their saliva, the black-legged tick, and the western black-legged tick. These ticks are found in 37 states, but as we all know, ticks are experts at hanging on to their hosts and are keen to travel anywhere. Once infected, the most common initial symptoms are like a mild flu. However, it is possible to be asymptomatic or have very non-specific symptoms; this contributes to why Lyme disease is so challenging to diagnose and more so to diagnose early. 

Once Lyme disease has disseminated or becomes chronic, symptoms can include (but are not limited to) arthritis, brain fog, facial nerve palsy, heart palpitations, migraines, numbness in the extremities, sleep disturbances, and vertigo. Lyme disease has such vast-ranging symptomatology that many of us will be misdiagnosed. 

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Lyme Disease Awareness Month has been observed every May since the 1980s. Adult black-legged ticks are most active from fall to spring and will remain active so long as the ground doesn’t freeze or become covered in snow. Ticks are incredibly resilient and adaptable, so your guard against them should never really be let down, especially when enjoying the beautiful natural spaces where they thrive (i.e., high grassy areas and wooded areas). 

May is a very important month for everyone, whether you have Lyme disease, know someone who does, or you spend time in places where Lyme-carrying ticks flourish. It is a month of awareness, education, prevention, and hope. 

5 Reasons to Be Hopeful this May

Hope is not often a word associated with Lyme disease—hopelessness is more like it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are so many reasons to be hopeful about overcoming Lyme disease, and that is the sentiment we want to instill this May. 

Lyme Disease Awareness Month Inspires Support

Living with Lyme disease can feel very debilitating, frustrating, and isolating at times. It can also be challenging to navigate a path toward healing alone. In our best times and our worst, we all need support, whether that’s someone to share a proud moment with or a helping hand when we feel hopeless or lost; it is human nature. Lyme Disease Awareness Month presents an opportunity to realize that you are not alone in your journey

May is a chance for Lyme disease patients, activists, and educators to share information on preventing Lyme, raise funds for research, and organize events like a “Lymewalk” to bring the local community together. 

More Awareness Means More Prevention

One of the cornerstone themes of this month of awareness is prevention. Knowing the proper precautions to take before and after time spent in nature, whether in your backyard or deep in a forest, is critical to reducing your chances of a life-changing tick bite. This type of information needs to be shared near and far. And what is extra hope-inspiring is that we live in an era where there are so many ways to share information that can make a positive difference in the lives of our friends, family, and community. 

Integrative Research Is Leading to Innovative Solutions 

Over the decades, researchers and the integrative medical community have learned so much about Lyme disease. Long-term antibiotic use is no longer the only (often ineffective) treatment mode. Lyme disease is no longer a life sentence. You are not a vessel of symptoms to manage but rather a holistic, multidimensional being who just needs the right tools to help bring your body back into its natural and balanced state where healing is possible. 

No two Lyme disease cases are the same, so no two treatment plans should be the same either. Integrative research is leading to innovative solutions that can be custom-tailed to your individual Lyme story. 

People Are Making Full Recoveries with This Approach 

At the New York Center for Innovative Medicine, we have helped facilitate hundreds of Lyme disease success stories. Lyme disease is a multi-faceted, multi-systemic disease, which is exactly why a multi-faceted, multi-systemic treatment plan that concentrates on energy function, inner milieu, immune response, oxygenation, and toxicity is required to eradicate it. The NYCIM developed a five-phrase approach to eliminating Lyme Disease

It includes a customized selection of integrative therapies and lifestyle practices to retrain, reset, and return your body to its preferred homeostasis by creating an environment supportive of healing. 

The five phrases include: 

  • Identify all underlying dysfunctions on all levels
  • Begin a prioritized and comprehensive treatment plan
  • Correct energy imbalances
  • Personalize pathogen-related treatments
  • Address residual problems  

Natural Therapies for Optimal Recovery Are Available 

There is life beyond Lyme! Natural therapies from Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) to Biomagnetic Therapy, ACMOS, and the Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy work gently to reprogram the subconscious, correct energetic imbalances, and re-establish the inner milieu, and enhance the body’s natural immune response. Eradicating Lyme is a mind, body, and spirit endeavor, and one that is totally possible! 

IV Therapies

What You Can Do to Help 

Lyme Disease Awareness Month is all about awareness, first and foremost, and also support and community. Unfortunately, disease-spreading ticks aren’t going anywhere, so we must adapt, learn, take preventative measures, and spread the word about how to reduce the risk of contracting Lyme. Another integral part of awareness involves bringing to light the alternative approaches to treating Lyme disease at the acute, chronic, and post stages—that is our hope in writing this article. 

If you are currently living with Lyme, remember that you are not alone. Lyme disease doesn’t have to be a life sentence. There are options beyond antibiotics. You can take control of your recovery. And this May and beyond, hold on to hope because a brighter and healthier future is within your reach! 

Other ways to help include: 

  • Spreading the word about Innovative Medicine
  • Sharing/taking the IM quiz
  • Participating in or organizing Lyme Disease Awareness Month events (great ideas are available on Lymedisease.org)

Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.

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Meet the Author

Jenn Parker

Originally from Florida, and after ten years of thriving in Costa Rica, Jenn Parker now lives on a small tropical island on the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, Panama. She is an avid surfer, nature photographer, environmental conservationist, traveler, yogi, and self-educated nutritionist and wellness advocate. She has long adhered to a plant-based diet, and full-heartedly believes in the power of nutrition. She has been working full-time as a professional wellness, travel, and lifestyle writer since the start of 2015. Passionate about sharing what she has learned along her journey and through extensive reading and research, she hopes to inspire others to lead a more mindful, environmentally conscious, happy, fulfilled, and healthy lifestyle.
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