Parasitic Infections: A Common Condition When Suffering From Lyme Disease
Lyme disease symptoms can start to show as early as three days following being bitten by a tick. Symptoms range from a fever and rash to nerve pain, facial palsy, and inflammation in the spinal cord and brain. Many people are unaware that parasitic infections are also a common co-condition of chronic Lyme. Parasites exist in various organs, including in those who do not have Lyme. So what exactly makes those with Lyme so vulnerable, and what can be done to treat and prevent parasitic infections?
The Vast Community of Parasites
The scientific community has long established that Borrelia burgdorferi is the culprit behind Lyme disease. This bacteria is transferred between a tick into a human host when the tick bites that person. However, researchers now are also aware of the coexistence of many members of the parasitic community living inside and outside of the gut in those with Lyme disease. These communities tend to be exponentially larger than Borrelia, Babesia, and Bartonella. They tend to dwell within biofilm communities and lead to the body’s inability to successfully combat various infections.
Treatment of Coexisting Infections
This symbiotic relationship of the newly-discovered parasites and Lyme infections makes it all the more difficult to treat patients with Lyme, whose immune systems are already compromised because of the disease. Doctors are learning to treat the parasitic infections and will often treat those before focusing on treating Lyme. Doctors generally follow a basic parasite protocol, although there are alternative natural remedies available. The biggest drawback for these natural remedies is that they are very experimental and might not work on large communities of parasites.
Prevention is Key
Since parasites are avid travelers between hosts, the best thing anyone with Lyme can do is take preventative measures to keep themselves from contracting parasites. There are a number of proactive steps that Lyme patients can take to keep parasite infections at bay, including:
- Keeping pets off the bed and allowing someone else to change a cat’s litter box or scoop up dog feces.
- Avoid consuming sushi unless it’s at a reputable restaurant.
- Keep children out of sandboxes, yards, and other areas where animals might defecate.
- Wash and disinfect fresh produce.
- Avoid salad bars at restaurants.
- Trim and clean fingernails regularly.
- Thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water.
Parasites can be extremely annoying and wreak extra havoc on the bodies of those with Lyme. Those with Lyme should be encouraged to tell their doctors if they notice or suspect any parasite activity and actively work to treat the infection as soon as possible.