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Psychology Today on neuroborreliosis

Lyme disease can affect every system in the body, including the brain. So what happens when a doctor you respect tells you that your unbearable pain is all in your head? Read this hair-raising account of one family's journey to hell and back, in the latest issue of Psychology Today. In their story, you're bound to recognize parts of your own.

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SELF writer describes Lyme nightmare

In the June 2008 issue, SELF magazine contributing editor Tula Karras vividly tells her story of misery and confusion before finally receiving a correct diagnosis of Lyme disease after suffering eight years of symptoms. Somehow she pulled through, keeping her obviously brilliant writing skills intact. Blessings to Tula! And kudos to SELF for printing this honest piece of writing about the challenge of Lyme.

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Lyme disease prevention

I don't like thinking about ticks. You don't like thinking about ticks. We don't like anything about the little buggers, least of all the fact that when you're outdoors on a lovely summer day, you must think about them! However, protecting yourself, your kids and your pets can give you a sense of control and actually help prevent infection or re-infection from a tick bite. Here are two ways to make you feel a bit safer from Lyme this summer.

First, check your body thoroughly (and teach older children how to check theirs) when you've been hiking or picnicking or doing anything outdoors where you suspect there may be ticks lurking. Give special attention to the area around your ankles, the backs of your knees, your waistband and your armpits. Ticks start out low to the ground and climb up. Shower when you get home, but remember that ticks do not wash off. You must remove them with a tweezers. To remove, gently grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight out without twisting or turning. Some people recommend squeezing fresh garlic juice directly on the bite immediately. Antibiotic cream may work as well. Place the tick in a plastic baggie for testing.

Second, eliminate the habitats ticks love in your yard. Ticks don't like to hang out in the middle of the yard unless there are tall grasses to climb. They do like the moist, shady areas around the perimeter of the yard, ornamental plantings and gardens. Ticks like leaf piles. Rake leaves and get rid of them. Keep shrubs trimmed and cut off low branches. Have a professional spray the perimeter of your yard. Do a bit of research to see what types of tick control insecticides are recommended for use in your area. Tick killing agents are not as toxic to humans as they once were.

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Parasites and Lyme symptoms

Lyme disease symptoms are not only caused by the Borrelia bacteria. Co-infections from other bacteria transmitted through ticks, such as mycoplasma and parasites are also responsible. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but not parasites.

Dr. Eva Sapi, director of Lyme research at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, went online to search for information about a particular parasite with the official name of microfilaria nematode. There she found a European website with pictures of the microfilaria, and discussion about a protocol for treating Lyme with salt and vitamin C. Prior to stumbling across the website, she did not know about that particular protocol.

Although she is pleased and surprised to discover that patients have gotten help from the protocol, she expressed some concern that we in the US are behind in Lyme research. Apparently the salt and C protocol is treating a parasite connected with Lyme disease that researchers in the US haven't even begun to isolate.

"I talked to Lyme patients and some of them, like you, are very familiar with the protocol," Dr. Sapi told me, "and said that it even helped them tremendously."

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