Let’s Talk about Lyme

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by local cable TV host John Ricciutti of Radnor Studio 21. We had an excellent discussion about Lyme Disease, and I really appreciated the opportunity to talk about my journey and advocacy work. Click below to watch.

After watching it, please share it with friends and family and all those with whom you think would benefit. Most importantly, let’s keep fighting to get the word out there that Lyme disease is for real and effective diagnosis and treatment is crucial.

Day 29 of National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

National Lyme Disease Expert Dr. Richard Horowitz Sits Down with Senior Managing Editor Dr. Manny Alvarez of Health Talk

Horowitz-Dr-Manny-300x165 May. 06, 2015 – With 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year, it’s no surprise that the tick-borne illness has been a hotly debated topic among medical experts. Dr. Manny interviews Dr. Richard Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of “Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease.” Click here to watch “The Lyme Disease Debate.”

 

Day 6: Did you Know?

tick3 meals
 
Ticks generally have only three meals in their entire lifetime. The first meal prompts the metamorphosis from larva to nymph and the second from nymph to adult. The third meal prepares the female tick for laying her eggs.
 
Spreen, K. (2014-05-06). Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls (Kindle Locations 849-850). Pocopson Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Did You Know? Day 4

masquerade

Called the Great Masquerader, Lyme disease and its co-infections can mimic over 300 other diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety and other psychological disorders, Candida, Cardiac diseases, Chronic Fatigue (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal disorders, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lupus, and MS.

Given that Lyme disease tests are unreliable oftentimes coming back negative, physicians rule it out and continue to explore other diseases. Thus, having a doctor who knows how to diagnose this disease clinically and who understands that Lyme disease tests are highly insensitive is crucial.

Under Our Skin, Lyme Disease Organization

Day 3: Did You Know?

tickmouth2

The mouth parts of the tick are essential to its survival and quite dangerous for humans. The outside portions of a tick’s mouth contain two moveable palps. It uses these palps to feel across the skin so that it can find the perfect spot. It then punctures the skin using a pair of telescoping shafts equipped with a bundle of fingers armed with hooklike barbs called chelicerae. This bundle of fingers can bend at the joint. Then, like arms bending at the elbows, the bundle bends backward in a series of breaststroke motions. The chelicerae open the skin for insertion of a harpoon-like structure with serrated edges — the hypostome.

Once the hypostome, along with the chelicerae, are inserted, the tick is ready to feed. Since the hypostome has projections that hook backward, the hypostome anchors the tick to the host. This is why the tick can be so hard to remove and why a tiny bit of flesh often exits the host along with the tick when it is removed.

Video showing how a tick penetrates its host

Huffington Post

Spreen, K. (2014-05-06). Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls (Kindle Locations 869-871). Pocopson Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Day 2: Did You Know?

tickonbladeofgrass

Ticks find someone or something to feed on through a process called questing. Ticks lay in leaf litter, crawl up the stems of grass or perch on the edge of a plant with their front legs extended. Here they wait until they are stimulated by certain chemicals like CO2 that are exhaled from their prey. They also respond to the heat and movement of the passerby.

Some animals, like deer and humans, apparently, release pheromones that attract the tick. When a warm, exhaling, potential host brushes by, the tick grabs on and settles onto the host. The tick snags the host’s fur, hair, clothing, or skin with its barbed front legs.

Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease

Day 1: Did You Know?

ticklifecycle
 
I thought I would kick off National Lyme Awareness Month by explaining the lifecycle of a tick. Once you understand this, you will understand why May is such an important month in the world of Lyme disease.

Ticks have four stages to their life cycle: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. Adult female deer ticks lay eggs on the ground in the Spring.

In the summer, the eggs hatch into larvae. Deer tick larvae have six legs and can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence. The larvae find their first host – typically a bird or rodent – and live off its blood for several days. They then detach and fall back onto the ground.

In the ground, the well-fed larvae now molt into the next stage and are called nymphs. Nymphs have eight legs and are about the size of a poppy seed. They lay dormant for several months over the winter and become active again in the Spring as the weather warms up.

The nymph now finds its second host – a rodent, pet, or human – and feeds again. If the tick is carrying infectious agents ingested from its first feeding, it can now transmit these organisms to its next host. If it wasn’t previously infected, the tick can become so now, if it feeds on the right infected animal.

Once well fed, the nymph detaches and falls back to the ground. Here it molts and changes into an adult. Throughout the fall, both adult male and female ticks now find their third host – a rodent, deer, pet, or human – and feed on blood and mate.

Once well fed, both males and females fall back to the ground. The male now dies and the female lives through the winter and lays eggs in the spring, completing the cycle.

 

Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease

5 More Days!

DSC_7433 (1)May is right around the corner, and with it brings warm weather, lots of great outdoor activities and plenty of time in the sun.

For those of us with Lyme disease, May is one of the most important times of the year for reasons other than sun. Enacted National Lyme Awareness Month by the Lyme Disease Organization, May is a month devoted to awareness, education and advocacy in the area of Lyme disease.

In light of this, I will be interviewed this Thursday, April 30, at 7 pm on Love, Liberty and Lipgloss Blog Radio and will talk about the best ways to enjoy the outdoors while protecting oneself from the bite of a tick. I will also share my personal journey to recovery and discuss the latest information I have learned about Lyme disease.

Join me this Thursday at 7 pm with Love Liberty & Lip Gloss co-hosts Lisa Tarves and Daria Anne as I give the lowdown on “All Things Lyme,” including where to get help if you’re currently suffering. To listen online, click on this link or listen by phone by dialing (347) 945-7246

And in keeping with my part of spreading the word during National Lyme Awareness Month, look for my daily posts throughout the month of May entitled “Did You know?”