Lyme Disease Prevention
Each year, 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the United States and thousands more may go undiagnosed. Lyme disease infection is most common in the spring, summer, and fall, so now is a good time to become more aware of how to prevent and treat it.
The Upper Midwest and the Northeast account for the vast majority of Lyme disease cases. If you live in one of these areas, it is especially important to safeguard your family. Sadly, the prevalence and geographic span of the disease is growing at an alarming rate.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is most commonly spread by a bite from an infected tick. Lyme disease is an inflammatory infection, and the body’s response has a lot to do with the immune system. Common symptoms include a bullseye rash, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, achy joints, and headaches. Over time, symptoms can worsen and become more difficult to treat.
In some cases, Lyme disease persists even after treatment with antibiotics and is referred to as chronic Lyme. There are numerous factors that contribute to this condition, so let’s explore them and how to protect your family.
Identify the Underlying Cause of Lyme Disease
One of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid getting bitten by ticks. This involves checking for ticks after being outdoors, wearing long clothes, and using bug repellent. As rates of Lyme disease infection rise, researchers are looking more deeply into the cause beyond the initial tick bite. Environmental factors and a weakened immune system have been identified as leading factors. What are the factors hindering recovery?
Prevent Mold Toxicity
Exposure to certain types of molds can weaken the immune system, and people with Lyme disease are more likely to suffer from mold toxicity. This is not an allergy but an inflammatory response from the immune system to mold. The first step in the healing process involves removing the patient from an unhealthy environment and mitigating mold exposure.
Leaks in the roof, exterior walls, foundation, and plumbing system can create breeding grounds for mold in the home. It is important to fix leaks, remove the mold, and then maintain safe humidity levels. It is then essential to address sources of indoor humidity from bathing, cooking, washing, and drying clothes. Humidity problems are especially common in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms and can be mitigated with an effective ventilation strategy that removes moisture. Unfortunately, exhaust fans are often ineffective in solving moisture problems, especially in tightly constructed homes.
Zehnder heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems extract excess moisture while supplying fresh, filtered air to bedrooms and living rooms. Zehnder HRVs have helped reduce mold counts in homes and have been used to improve the health of people suffering from chronic Lyme disease.
Boost the Immune System
Stress, lack of sleep, and a diet high in processed foods can all take its toll on the immune system. When combating or preventing chronic Lyme disease, take actions to improve your immune system. Reduce stress levels by avoiding stressful activities or traumatic situations, exercise, and get plenty of restful sleep. Avoid processed sugar and eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially high-antioxidant foods including leafy greens, brightly colored veggies, and berries.
There is a strong connection between immune function and the health of the gut. Beneficial microbes are necessary for the proper function of our bodies and exposure to pollution, antibiotics, and processed foods can throw off the balance. Take a probiotic supplement and consume foods rich in probiotics to help restore a healthy balance in the gut, including apple cider vinegar, miso soup, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and yogurt. These foods help boost the immune system naturally and improve the function of the digestive system. Vitamin D, magnesium, B-complex, and Omega-3 fatty acids are also important in treating Lyme disease and increasing cellular function.
The healing process from Lyme disease often involves identifying the factors hindering recovery and finding solutions. Knowing the environmental factors that can hinder recovery and ways to strengthen the immune system are important in overcoming restoring health.