Shatavari: A Favorite Fertility Herb Deconstructed
Lyme disease, or rather Tick Borne disease or Lyme disease complex, de-
notes an illness of an infectious nature that can manifest as a simple rash (bulls eye),
flu symptoms and joint pain, to a myriad of symptoms ranging from fatigue, joint
and muscle pain, cardiac, neurologic and ocular problems, all the way to cognitive
dysfunction. It has be-come endemic in the United States and Canada, stretching
from the northeast to the Midwest and extending to northern and southern
Lyme disease, and co-infections which will be discussed later, are known to
be caused by the bite of a tick. In the classic case, where a tick bite is found, a bull’s
eye rash can develop within 3 to 30 days. A bull’s eye, called erythema migraines, is
a rash with a red ring around a clear center, which may have evidence of a bite in
The tick has to bite someone, and then take a blood meal. The microbe that
causes Lyme disease is a class of bacteria called a spirochete. It resides in the mid-
gut or belly of the tick. The blood meal, the tick takes with the bite, has to travel to
the mid-gut and mix with the bacteria. and then is injected into the person it has
bitten. It then spreads in the skin, causing the rash. The infection then can
disseminate or spread to different parts of the body.
The Center for Disease Control states that the tick has to be attached for 36 –
48 hours for the process to transmit the bacteria, and thus contract the disease. I
feel, and this is supported by ILADS, a professional society of like-minded Lyme
literate physicians, that this is understated. In over 30 years of practice, I have seen
over 12,000 patients with tick borne disease, and have found that transmission of
the illness can occur, in many cases in 6-12 hours. There are reports in the
literature, documenting spread of Lyme disease after only 6 hours of tick
Less than 50% of patients contracting Lyme disease; ever see or remember a
tick bite. They may just get a bull’s eye rash, or just present with symptoms of Lyme
disease. To make things more complicated and confusing in diagnosing Lyme
disease, less than 50% of patients getting Lyme disease present with the typical
bull’s eye rash. For another curve in the road, the bacteria are being found in other
insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas. A recent article reported that the spirochete
that causes Lyme disease can be found in semen and vaginal fluid. It has been shown
that the bacteria can be transmitted from a mother to her child, through the
placenta and through breast milk.
When I talk about “Lyme disease”, I am discussing the field of what we
recognize as “Tick borne disease”. Yet, there are other microbes that can be involved
with blood borne diseases. Some of these are listed below:
• Bartonella, a ubiquitous gram-negative bacteria, which has a predilection
for the cells lining the blood vessels. It can affect the nervous system, joints,
heart, eyes and GI tract to name a few.
• Babesia, an intracellular malaria like parasite
• Erhlichia and Anaplasmosis, organisms called Rickettsia
• Borrelia myiamotoi, relapsing fever, Q fever are other spirochetal diseases
• Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Brucella
• Viruses like Powassen, etc.
Each of these organisms can present with their own individual set of
symptoms and some symptoms overlap. If there are multiple infections, which are
being seen more and more, there can be effects on the immune system. If one
bacterium or infection suppresses the immune system, that could make the other
infection more difficult to treat. This would have to be considered during drafting a
Tick Borne disease is becoming a major problem in the United States. In
2013, the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, upgraded their reporting from 30,000
cases a year to 300,000 cases a year, a 10-fold revision. And considering that
approximately 1 in 10 cases are reported, this would constitute epidemic
In cases where a person is having: multiple symptoms, they live in an
endemic area, and they have been worked up for a myriad of symptoms with no
diagnosis; they need to consider the possibility of Lyme disease. I can’t say how
many times a patient, in exploring their health, has told me that their physician
would not order a Lyme test, saying that they “can’t have Lyme disease.” Not to be
too confusing, in the scenario just mentioned, merely getting a Lyme test may not be
enough. The testing available for both Lyme disease and coinfections is not very
sensitive. The take home...a negative test, in the context of Lyme symptoms, does
not rule out Lyme disease. In the words of an MD, who treated Lyme disease in
Missouri, “Absence of proof is not proof of absence.”
So far in this article, when it comes to the possibility that tick borne disease is
an issue, the surface has only been scratched as to the problems that a concerned
health person might encounter. Information is power – and informed use of
information, when it comes to one’s health, is imperative. These issues, and those
outlined above, will be the focus of future articles.
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