by Barry Keate
Lyme disease is a tick-borne malady common in the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States and in some areas on the West Coast. Thirty thousand cases are reported each year to the Centers for Disease Control, but the CDC estimates that far more cases – perhaps 300,000 per year – go unreported. (1) New data show that the incidence of Lyme disease is growing rapidly.
As many as 48% of untreated patients develop hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, and other neurological conditions. (2) We previously published an article on Lyme disease and its side effects. Now there is evidence of a promising new treatment, which will help cure the condition and relieve the tinnitus it causes.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is found in mammals such as mice and deer, but 95% of cases are transmitted by the white-footed mouse. Ticks that feed on this mouse transmit the disease to humans. They are most likely to transmit the infection after one or more days of feeding on a person.
The most effective way to prevent infection is to wash clothes and bathe after outdoor activities. In the nymph phase, when the ticks are most likely to transmit the disease, they measure less than 2 mm (about 0.08”). Their small size makes them difficult to detect, so thorough bathing is required, with special attention to the areas they like most: the scalp, the area behind the ears, the armpits and the groin.
Early stage Lyme disease causes a red, circular rash. After four to six weeks, flu-like symptoms appear, including sore throat, head and neck aches and fatigue.
According to the CDC, 80% to 90% of Lyme disease cases are resolved through the use of antibiotics, particularly doxycycline and amoxicillin. However, 10% to 20% of patients develop the chronic form.
Chronic Lyme disease is a persistent and devastating illness that can harm any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system. It may cause severe symptoms, such as jaw pain, difficulty swallowing, respiratory infection, ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, severe headache, seizures, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Spread of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease has spread rapidly. Once confined to western Wisconsin and the coastal states from Connecticut to New Jersey, it has moved north to Maine and south down the East Coast, into Washington, DC, and southern Virginia. In the Midwest it has spread into northern Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and more of Wisconsin. There are also small pockets of Lyme on the West Coast. (3)
Climate change is certainly part of the problem, and a growing population of deer, which feed the ticks, has also been a factor. But a third factor outweighs these.
When Europeans arrived centuries ago, the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York was thickly forested. The settlers clear-cut nearly all the forests to plant crops and raise livestock. Since then, much of the forest has returned, but it’s not what it was. Now it’s broken up into small pieces, with roads, farms and housing developments separating forested areas.
The mice thrive in these fragmented landscapes, because their predators need big forests to survive. With fewer foxes, hawks and owls to eat them, the mice fill the forests. They are chronically infected with Lyme and covered with ticks; a mouse might have 50 to 100 ticks on its ears and face.
When people build homes at the edge of the forests, they put themselves at great risk of catching Lyme disease. In the Northeast most people catch it around their homes – while gardening, playing in their backyards or mowing their lawns.
The Hudson River Valley in particular experienced a mouse plague during the summer of 2016. This will make the summer of 2017 especially risky, where Lyme disease is concerned.
If you find a tick, remove it as quickly as possible. The longer it stays on the skin, the more likely it is to spread the Lyme bacteria. Generally, it takes about 24 hours for a tick to infect a person, after it starts biting.
After you remove the tick, watch for Lyme symptoms, like a red rash or a fever. If any appears, see a doctor immediately. The earlier treatment begins, the better is your chance for a full recovery.
Progress Toward Better Treatment
A primary difficulty in treating Lyme disease comes from its ability to morph into different forms. Initially it is in the spirochete form (corkscrew shaped). This is the form antibiotics can treat.
When conditions are unfavorable for its survival, the bacteria can morph into the L-form, then into dormant round bodies, which then hide in a biofilm form. Antibiotics do not work on this form and they may actually increase it. Then, when conditions are more favorable, it will return to its original, spirochete form.
A clinical study in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology found that whole leaf Stevia extract can terminate late stage and chronic Lyme disease. Yes, you read that correctly. The sugar substitute extracted from the Stevia plant, which is grown in South America, can kill Lyme disease. (4)
Laboratory tests measured the effects of Stevia and several antibiotics on different forms of the Lyme bacteria. Treated cells were established for 7 and 14 days. Stevia left no viable cells, but 10% of the cells treated by antibiotics were still viable. This was true for any form of the bacteria.
The researchers concluded, “Results from this study suggest that a natural product such as Stevia leaf extract could be considered as an effective agent against B. burgdorferi.”
It's important to know this was a laboratory test and was not conducted on humans. Appropriate dosages for people were not discussed. Further research needs to be conducted to show safety and dosage. Also, there are many Stevia products on the market that proclaim to be pure Stevia but are not. There are several products that are pure Stevia but you have to read the labels carefully to ensure purity. Some contain fiber (inulin), which is good. Some products however include other sugar additives like maltodextrin or fructose, among others. Stevia should be listed as the only sweetener ingredient.
Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26.7® for Tinnitus Relief
Another natural product can help with a common effect of Lyme disease. The disease can cause hearing loss, which in turn can cause tinnitus. Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in numerous clinical trials to help those who have this specific condition. (5)
As with all dietary supplements taken for specific conditions,
it can take up to three months to get the full benefit of Arches. We recommend the Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply (four bottles). This kit discounts the single bottle price and avoids the possibility of running out during the critical initial period.
Start using Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit now to reduce annoying tinnitus sounds.
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1 – https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/humancases.html
2 – Fallon BA, Nields JA, Burrascano JJ, et al. The Neuropsychiatric Manifestations of Lyme Borreliosis. Psychiatr Q 1992; 63: 95-117.
3 – NPR: Surge in Mice is a Harbinger for Lyme Disease. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/03/06/518219485/forbidding-forecast-for-lyme-disease-in-the-northeast
4 – Theophilus PA, Victoria MJ, et al. Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro. Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp), 2015 Nov 12;5(4):268-80.
5 - Alexander von Boetticher, Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011; 7: 441-447.