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Introduction to Lyme Coinfections

By Beth Aust, RN, Holistic Health Coach

May is Lyme disease awareness month. This will be the first in a series of blogs we will share to help educate you on Lyme Disease & Coinfections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme is the most common vector borne disease in the United States. If left untreated, this invisible illness can result in long term health complications.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium (spirochete) called Borrelia burgdorferi. In its early stages, Lyme disease commonly results in a rash, joint pain, and headaches. Later-stage Lyme disease is characterized by arthritic pain, cognitive difficulties, fatigue, and other symptoms that can have an enormous effect on a patient’s life. The CDC estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year in the US.

Here at IMofCNY we are blessed to have Dr. Heidi Puc who is a board-certified Hematologist-Oncologist, specially trained in Integrative medicine, AND has undergone special training through the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) as well as preceptorship with Dr. Richard Horowitz. A book we commonly recommend to our Lyme patients is How Can I Get Better? by Richard I. Horowitz, MD.

Dr. Puc follows ILADS guidelines when treating our Lyme patients. The ILADS website shares a sister site that offers Lyme education. You can learn more at Want to learn Lyme 101? On the ILADS website, click the “Research and Literature” tab, then the “Lyme Disease 101” tab.

Tick-borne infections are zoonotic meaning they are passed from animals to humans. “Vectors” like ticks, mosquitos, and fleas transmit the disease from animals to humans. Ticks can carry many bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans all at the same time, and transmit them in a single bite.

The most common tick-borne diseases in the United States include Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Relapsing Fever, Tularemia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Diseases acquired together like this are called co-infections.

We will be bringing you education on various coinfections that may tag along with Lyme, so stay tuned to the blog!

AND... It is tick season, so be sure you read our tick prevention blog post:

Dr. Heidi Puc as well as her new PA, Jeffery Roy, offer ACUTE TICK BITE CONSULTATIONS right here at Integrative Medicine of Central New York to evaluate you, and provide recommendations for testing and treatment based on your individual assessment. They can also perform tick removal in the office and provide information on where to have the tick tested if you so choose. Feel free to give the office a call at 315-741-5774.

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