I started this post last week in response to the incredible amount of questions I get on the topic. The post quickly grew into three posts. Part 1 is about how to avoid being bitten. Part II is about what to do when you are. Part III, posting next Monday, is about getting the proper diagnosis and the potential pitfalls of antibody testing.
If you would like to read Part I click here
If you would like to read Part III click here
If you would like to read about my experience with lyme disease click here
If You Do Get Bitten
- Don’t panic. Proper removal of the tick is of the upmost importance. It is better to leave the tick on you for a few extra minutes and remove it correctly than you would be ripping it off with your fingers. Improper removal increases your chances of disease transmission.
- My favorite tool for removing ticks is the Tick Twister. Follow this link for a video on how to use. It removes the tick where the mouth meets your skin. The important thing is not to startle or scare the tick. When you do it regurgitates the infection into you. This means do not burn or squeeze the tick while it is attached to you. This includes not applying Vaseline to the tick. This causes the tick to suffocate which falls under the “do not startle or scare the tick” category https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIoCTWYJsvo
- If the tick is imbedded, making it difficult to get the tick twister in between the tick’s mouth and the tool, then you can put a little peppermint or eucalyptus oil on a Q-Tip and place it right next to the tick. The ticks really don’t like the smell and will back themselves out enough to allow you the remove it safely. Be patient. It might take a minute or two.
- Apply Andrographis tincture, hydrogen peroxide or topical iodine to the bite site. Then cover it with moistened bentonite clay (about the size of a pea) and cover with a band aid for 24 hours.
- Save the tick and send it in to tickreport.com
- Mark for calendar for 6 weeks post tick-bite. Most symptoms like headaches, body aches, bell’s palsy, fatigue, fever and trouble thinking will appear many weeks after the bite. By that time people are not thinking about the bite they got weeks earlier. If any symptoms appear in that time period go to a Lyme Literate practitioner immediately.
- Not all lyme disease transmissions result in a bullseye rash. If you don’t have the rash it does not mean you are in the clear.
- Immediately post-bite go to a doctor/naturopath to discuss antibiotics or appropriate preventative herbals.
I can’t stress enough the importance of being seen by a Lyme Literate doctor. Lyme disease is misunderstood and difficult to test for using standard methods. Our beloved PA, Jerry Simons (via The Morrison Center in Manhattan) is probably the most versed practitioner in Lyme disease on the East Coast. Has been in the trenches with it for 20+ years. Originally Jerry worked with Dr Burrascano who was a true pioneer in treating Lyme. To see his bio click here https://www.morrisonhealth.com/staff/gerald-t-simons-pa-c/
Flu-like symptoms, joint pain, bell’s palsy or developing a bullseye rash are telltale symptoms of Lyme. The lesser known symptoms that get overlooked tend to be headaches, fatigue, stomach aches, blurry vision and depression. This is especially true in children. If you, or your children suddenly develop any of these symptoms, or have a change in personality, seek the assistance of a Lyme Literate practitioner ASAP.
For more information, to order Hit the Road Bugs natural tick repellant, or to make an appointment with me or Jerry Simons call our office STANDwellness 631-500-9021.
By Tapp Francke Ingolia