Protection is paramount and awareness is key to early detection and treatment of tick-borne disease.
Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) May 17, 2012
This year’s unusually mild winter and the early onset of warm temperatures has led to the early emergence of ticks searching for a fresh, warm-blooded meal. In addition, a smaller crop of acorns is reported to be a contributing factor as it reduced the population of white-footed mice—ticks’ preferred host—causing them to feed more hungrily on humans and pets.
These trends point to greater chances of contracting Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses particularly in the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and North Central U.S.
Ticks are not insects, they are related to spiders, scorpions, and mites, all of which are classified as Arachnids. Ticks in the nymphal (immature) stages are active in May, June and July. Research has shown that ticks most often transmit Lyme disease to humans during the nymphal stages, probably because numphs are so small they go unnoticed on a person’s body. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2010 about 22,000 cases of Lyme disease and 8,000 more probable cases were reported nationwide.
According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, the signs of Lyme disease can vary but often include the red rash that may appear around the site of the bite, fever, joint pain, fatigue and chills. As the bacteria continue to invade the body, people may experience a stiff neck, tingling and severe headaches. . Even if these symptoms fade away, untreated Lyme disease may lead to arthritis, nervous system abnormalities, and an irregular heart rhythm.
Babesiosis is another infection transmitted by ticks and is caused by a parasite that lives in red blood cells. The babesia microti parasite infects and destroys red blood cells, and the disease—which is a malaria-like illness—can cause hemolytic anemia. Symptoms begin anywhere from five days after a bite or longer, and may include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, nausea, tiredness, and a rash. Unlike Lyme, Babesiosis has been known to be fatal. Therefore diagnosis and treatment should begin as soon as possible after it is contracted.
Because tick bites are usually painless, the incubation period is long, and the symptoms so varied, a tick-borne disease may go unrecognized for weeks or even months.
Moreover, these diseases often mimic other conditions—such as the flu, meningitis, or in some instances Multiple Sclerosis—making it easy for there to be a misdiagnosis. Further complicating matters is the fact that diagnostic tests are not always accurate or conclusive.
Test timing is a factor in diagnosis. According to Sally Hojvat, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Microbiology Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “It’s important to know that blood tests that check for antibodies to the bacterium that causes Lyme disease are not useful if done soon after a tick bite. It takes two to five weeks for initial antibodies to develop.”
A single tick bite can transmit more than one tick-borne illness—besides Lyme and Babesiosis—such as anaplasmosis, bartonella and tularemia. These co-infections further complicate diagnosis and treatment.
PREVENTION AND DEFENSIVE MEASURES
Lou Paradise, president and chief of research, Topical BioMedics, Inc., the makers of Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream, Rhinebeck, NY, says now is the time to avoid contact with ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. “Protection is paramount and awareness is key to early detection and treatment. The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid wooded and grassy areas where ticks are usually found, and exercise proper precautions when you are outdoors.” says Paradise.
Here are tips to help keep you and your family safe from the tiny but formidable threats and the health hazards they present.
--Wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots.
--- Keep your lawn manicured and avoid walking in wooded, brushy, and grassy areas. When hiking in an overgrown or wooded area, try to stay near the center of the trail.
--There are a number of plants you can cultivate around your yard that repel ticks, including lavender, garlic, pennyroyal, pyrethrum (a type of chrysanthemum), sage, American beautyberry, and eucalyptus.
--Take a shower or bath within two hours of coming back inside, then perform a whole-body tick check. In the case of Lyme disease, infection from a tick to a human typically takes 30 – 40 hours, so spotting and removing them quickly is an important first defense.
-- After being outdoors, remove clothing and wash and dry at a high temperature as ticks may be lurking inside the folds and creases. Washing alone will not kill ticks—even with bleach—it’s the heat of the dryer that does the trick.
-- Your four-legged friend may pick up an unwanted hitchhiker and bring it into the house. Be sure to inspect pets for ticks after they’ve been outside for your sake as well as theirs since pets can also contract Lyme disease.
--Make it a daily habit to check yourself, your children, and pets for ticks. Nymphal ticks are the size of a poppy seed in early spring and are particularly hard to find and prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin and back of the neck.
--If a tick is found, remove it promptly and properly. Using tweezers carefully grasp the tick by its mouthparts that are close to the skin. NEVER squeeze or rupture the body of the tick while still attached because its belly contents, which may contain disease-producing organisms, could be expressed into your bloodstream. Pull tick steadily away from your skin.
--Clean the wound and disinfect the site of the bite.
--For identification and to test for the presence of the organism that causes Lyme disease, place the tick in a small vial filled with rubbing alcohol and bring it to a Department of Health laboratory or other testing facility.
--Lyme symptoms are not always present. A person may have Lyme disease without presenting the most obvious and “classic” symptoms such as bulls-eye rash, flu, joint pain or swelling.
--Educate yourself. The more you know and understand about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness, the greater your chances are of avoiding infection and detecting illness if it occurs.
SAFE, NATURAL TREATMENTS
Doctors will often prescribe antibiotics if they suspect Lyme or another tick-borne illness. Here are some other ways you can assist your body further with safe, natural treatments. (Always see a doctor/healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment, and tell them if you are doing any self-care treatment.)
Neuropathic pain is a misfiring of nerve impulses caused by toxins that have damaged nerve tissue and surrounding micro-capillary, depriving the nerve of the oxygen it needs to function properly. This is what causes burning, throbbing, and aching pain in joint and nerve tissue. Without oxygen, cells are destroyed. For healing to take place, the tissue needs to be detoxified and normal blood flow restored. Unfortunately, chemical pain pills add toxins to the body, thereby exacerbating the condition.
“With tick-borne diseases, the body needs to detoxify, especially joint, muscle and nerve tissue,” says Paradise. “ Topricin’s combination of natural biomedicines help the body rebalance healing chemistries needed to detoxify the area by stimulating lymphatic drainage around the nerve tissue and restoring normal oxygenated blood flow to the area—thus supporting the optimal environment for healing/repairing the damage and the first steps of restoring normal nerve function and the beginning of easing of pain.
“Free of chemicals and other irritants, Topricin helps restore vitality to joint, nerve, and muscle tissues while providing safe, effective pain relief. It should be applied as needed three inches on and around the affected joint and massaged in until absorbed three-four times daily until relief is achieved.”
The reference book Prescription for Nutritional Healing offers the following recommendations for helping to recover from Lyme Disease.
Nutritional supplements recommended include:
--Essential fatty acids (for helping to reduce inflammation and joint stiffness)
--Pancreatin and bromelain (to aid protein digestion and reduce inflammation)
--Evening Primrose oil capsules (to help combat pain and inflammation, with significant benefits to the skin and cardiovascular system)
--Garlic (immune system stimulator with antibiotic properties)
--Kelp (a rich source of B-vitamins and minerals, aids in detoxification)
--Vitamins A, C, and E (antioxidants and immune system support)
--“Green drinks” provide chlorophyll (aids in detoxification while providing important nutrients and enzymes).
Herbs recommended include:
--Alfalfa (supplies minerals and detoxifies the body)
--Dandelion root, ginseng, hawthorn, horsetail, and marshmallow root (help cleanse and rebuild the blood and damaged tissues)
--Echinacea (immune enhancer fights bacterial and viral infections; caution: should be used with caution if you are allergic to ragweed)
--Goldenseal (use for one week only as a natural antibiotic; caution: do not use during pregnancy and with caution if you are allergic to ragweed)
--Milk thistle extract (protects the liver and kidneys and stimulates the production of new liver cells)
--Red clover (cleanses the bloodstream, helps fight infection)
For more information on Topricin, visit http://www.topricin.com.
About Topical BioMedics, Inc.
Topical BioMedics is the research and development leader in patented topical natural biomedicines for pain relief. The company’s flagship product, Topricin® Pain Relief and Healing Cream, was introduced in 1994 and is now a leading natural therapeutic brand. A combination formula of natural biomedicines in a natural base, Topricin has been awarded a patent for the treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia and neuropathy.
Made in the U.S.A., Topricin products are formulated with approved medicines as found in the HPUS (Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States) and are in compliance with FDA rules for homeopathic over-the-counter medicines. Topricin is available in three formulas: original Topricin, Topricin Foot Therapy Cream that targets foot and ankle pains, and Topricin Junior for children, with 5% of sales donated to pediatric cancer care foundations. Safe for diabetics and pregnant and nursing women, the products contain: no parabens, petroleum or harsh chemicals, are odorless, greaseless and non-irritating, and produce no known side effects.
Topricin is available in pharmacies, natural food stores and other fine retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Fred Meyer, Wegmans, and other retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as direct from the Topical BioMedics’ online store at http://www.topricin.com .
U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. National Libraray of Medicine
NY State Department of Health