So far, we’ve talked to my trusted pal and doctor Kenneth Bock, Integrative MD about adrenal fatigue and basic supplement recommendations. Today, we’re chatting about Lyme Disease, which is especially important this time of year whether you live in the Catskill Mountains or Palm Beach.
Recently, I was faced with the seriousness of this condition when my dog Lola was bitten. She’s doing well now, but this scary, first hand experience woke me up to the big health implications of a tiny tick bite. I strongly suggest talking to your veterinarian asap about how you can protect your fur-kid from those little buggers.
Every time I walk through my yard or take a hike I immediately check my skin and Lola’s fur and skin for ticks (and I often find a couple on both of us!). This simple precaution prevents what could be a big health issue. And the good news is that there’s a lot we can all do to stop Lyme Disease before it starts or to treat it effectively. So let’s get this tick-busting party started and review what we’ll be exploring in today’s video.
In this video, we’ll answer these questions:
What is Lyme disease?
How can you identify a tick bite?
What are the signs of Lyme disease?
What tests should you get if you think you have Lyme disease?
How can you treat Lyme disease?
What is chronic Lyme disease?
What’s a positive long-term perspective on living with Lyme disease?
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If you’d like to learn more about Lyme disease, check out Dr. Bock’s website. And to find out where ticks are most prevalent, take a look at these geographic distribution maps. You might be surprised about their abundance in your neighborhood!
Update: Additional Tick Tips & Recommendations
Thank you for sharing your Lyme disease resources and supporting each other in the comments below. I read through every one of your thoughtful words and pulled together the following tips, websites, blogs, videos and educational tools to help guide you on your journey to wellness. (Please note that these are suggestions from my readers.)
Tick Bite Prevention
Wear light-colored clothing. It makes ticks easier to see and remove before they can attach to feed.
Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Wear closed footwear and socks. Tuck your pants into your socks.
Put a tick and flea collar on your pet and check them for ticks periodically.
If you frequent the areas where blacklegged ticks are established, examine yourself thoroughly for ticks. It is important to do this each day. Pay special attention to areas such as groin, scalp and armpits. Use a mirror to check the back of your body or have someone else check it.
For pets: In addition to checking your pet regularly, you need to use repellents, vaccine, keep hair short and avoid “at risk” places. Also, your pet can collect a tick and then give it to you.
For humans, I recommend avoiding “at risk” places (tall grasses, bushes, forest border, for example) … Take a shower when you come back and use a fine comb on your hair (especially the neck line).
The best way to remove un-embedded ticks without exposing ourselves to them is to catch them with the sticky side of a piece of transparent tape and then quickly close it. Then we can look at the insect and also discard it safely. It’s easy to carry gift wrapping tape with you on a hike or to the beach.
Using fine-tipped tweezers, carefully grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly.
Don’t squeeze it. Squeezing the tick can cause the Lyme disease agent to be accidentally introduced into your body.
Don’t put anything on the tick, or try to burn the tick off.
After the tick has been removed, place it in a screw-top bottle (like a pill vial or film canister), and take it to your doctor or local health unit … Establishing the type of tick may help to assess your risk of acquiring Lyme disease.
It is important to remember where you most likely acquired the tick. It will help public health workers to identify areas of higher risk.
Thoroughly cleanse the bite site with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.