You have seen the News and read the Headlines—the government has issued a Lyme disease warning. The Nardella Clinic urges all patients to heed these warnings and practice prevention when outdoors. Ticks are second only to mosquitoes in transmitting diseases to humans. There is not a geographical boundary to the presence of disease carrying ticks.
Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when going into a suspected tick area, such as a hike in a field or wooded area. Clothing that is light in colour is best. This helps with seeing any ticks that may have attached themselves. Use a known tick repellent applied to your cloths. Pants should be tucked into socks. Be diligent in checking skin and hair for any ticks after leaving the area. If ticks are attached to a skin area or clothing remove them using tweezers. Pet must be examined as well. They are a common way for ticks to become a problem in a home.
Infection, as a result of a tick bite, can get increasingly worse as time goes on. It is important to take action early if you have been bit by a tick or you are experiencing the symptoms of Lyme disease. Tick bites are usually painless and many people do not even know they have been bitten. The symptoms vary from person to person but include fever, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, headaches, poor memory and concentration, chest pain, palpitations, joint pain, numbness/tingling, swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes. The classic “bulls-eyes” rash traditionally associated with Lyme disease only occurs in less than 50% of people bitten by ticks. If not treated early, Lyme can spread to the heart or brain.
If you find a tick on your body, CAREFULLY remove it to reduce your risk of becoming infected. Grasp the tick firmly using tweezers, as close to your skin as possible and pull away without squeezing the tick. Then clean the area with soap and water. Keep the tick in a sealed container and bring the tick to our naturopathic doctors who will send the ticket away to have it tested for the Borrellia bacteria and other co-infections. If Lyme disease is suspected antibiotics are immediately required, as the early use of antibiotics is necessary to prevent the progression of the disease.
If a patient suspects that they or someone that they know may have Lyme disease, the Nardella Clinic offers diagnostic and treatment services. Our naturopathic doctors have extensive experience with the treatment of Lyme disease and have participated in the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society preceptorship training.