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Symptom Checklist - This is GREAT! Etc.
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January - January 7

I've found a wonderful symptom checklist you can print out. Just google this: "Joseph Burrascano MD symptom checklist" - you should be able to find his deluxe model for physicians. It has a long list of symptoms, and boxes for severity of symptoms and frequency. Looks very handy. It could jar your memory about things you've forgotten, or things you need to think about. Especially since a lot of the various symptoms on the list, even the strange mysterious ones, are things I've seen mentioned on this website over the past couple years, related to "fibromyalgia." And here's the REALLY interesting thing… Dr. Burrascano specializes in treating Lyme Disease!

I've been researching this lately. Most of the testing for Lyme is woefully inadequate, and a number of doctors think some fibromyalgia is untreated Lyme Disease. Although it's concentrated in certain areas like the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, it does occur all over the US and Canada, and probably other places too. Lyme Disease occurs with a variety of other bacterial diseases (co-infections) carried by ticks and other insects. It takes different tests to find all the bacteria, and then, different antibiotics to kill out the different bacteria you have. No one seems to be able to agree on the treatment for Lyme, although it is suggested that if you get a bull's eye rash and you live in an area where Lyme is prevalent, you should be put on prophylactic antibiotics - from what I've read, the recommendations are 300-600 mg/day of doxycycline for at least 6 weeks. That's more than most regular (uninformed) doctors give you. But we all have to talk with our doctors, do our own research, and make our own decisions about risk vs. reward. Antibiotics come with risk… but so does Lyme Disease if you don't treat it. Untreated, Lyme Disease can make some people very, very sick. But if treated early, the long term problems might be prevented.

Lyme bacteria is a spirochete, which looks like a tiny corkscrew worm. It can also form round cysts, which go dormant and can hide in the body, inside the cells. So if you get a blood test, it might be negative because the spirochetes are not floating around in your blood, they are hiding in your tissue cells. Later, something can trigger the cysts to open up and release the bacteria in spirochete form. It can invade your brain, heart, joints, etc. It can cause encephalitis with severe headaches. For some people, there seems to be a four week cycle of "flares." Repeated testing with a lab that specializes in diagnosing Lyme is necessary for most people, and false negatives are common. Tests are getting better though!

I found something recently on You Tube - they have recently discovered that Lyme bacteria secrete a substance called "biofilm" (google it) - which forms a protective mucus-like barrier around the bacteria that antibiotics cannot penetrate. This is why it's so hard to eradicate an infection! Guess what helps to break up this biofilm? Serrapeptase, which is a supplement we discussed on here last year, as being helpful for joint pain. You can plug it into the search box to get the old conversations. Another supplement some people use, but I have not yet researched, is colloidal silver. I know there are some risks to taking that. And serrapeptase should not be taken if you are taking blood thinning medications.

One thing is for sure. The information the CDC and NIH is putting out (and that is probably what your doctor is going by) is not the same as what's being said by the Lyme specialists and the community of people who have long-standing experience with Lyme. There is an overlap of fibromyalgia symptoms with those of Lyme Disease. It would be good to read up and educate yourself about this - at least there are some treatments available for Lyme, and progress is being made! What if some of us have treatable Lyme Disease instead of "incurable" fibromyalgia?

 

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