Those with multiple symptoms of Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Arthritis, Neurological symptoms would do well to read the following written by a vet I know, it summarises what he has learnt about Lyme Disease very well.
Lyme is also known to cause backache and the link at the end of the article takes you into some excellent research which the Daily Mail ran an article on. Very well worth a read.
Lyme (borrelia) infection is, by conventional wisdom, usually caught from infected ticks, which by the way, are everywhere, as they are carried by birds and all domestic animals and wildlife. Hosts for ticks can be any small animal, like hedgehogs, so allotments often comprise hot-spots for Lyme. Even if you remove the tick before it has time to transmit Lyme, you can still get other serious co-infections from the tick, such as Bartonella (we call it "cat-scratch fever"). Babesia is a malaria-like infection. There’s a list of other infections including Ehrlichia, Tick-Borne Encephalitis and others which may not yet be recognised in the UK but which will become important with Global Warming helping the vectors (insects) to survive.
Lyme Disease can be transmitted by other biting insects like stable-flies, fleas, lice, mites - and can also be transmitted from a mother to her offspring, either via the placenta or through the milk. Or like syphilis, by sexual contact. It appears to be a linked to some autism in children and also Alzheimer's.
The scary thing about Lyme (Borrelia) infection is its effects on the body. It can mimic virtually every other disease. The bacterium itself is the most sophisticated known to man. Being a corkscrew-shape spirochaete it resembles its relatives like Leptospira (Weil's Disease) caught from rat's urine, and Syphilis, but it has many more genes and plasmids to generate its outer surface proteins (OSP's) so it can change its coat to avoid detection by the body's immune system.Which is why we get negative blood tests, as our current blood tests (serology) are very primitive and only pick up antibodies generated by our immune systems in response to OSP's presented to it.
Simple bacteria often move around by being driven by a rotating filament attached to one end, that acts just like an outboard motor,spins and moves the bacterium. Borrelia has a bundle of flagellae wrapped around its cellular contents, which act like an "inboard motor" and drive the bacterium in a corkscrew manner which enables it to penetrate every cell in the body. Classically it penetrates the cartilage of joints and causes an arthritis that appears to move from joint to joint, so-called "migratory arthritis", and which occurs even in young children. Infact it was first characterised because of an outbreak of arthritis in children.
It also gets into nerve tissue and causes mayhem, known technically as "neuro-borreliosis". Facial nerves are attacked and you get classic Bell's Palsy with droopy eyelids and jaw. This can spread to the intestine and cause signs of constipation and colic, known as 'Bell's Palsy of the Gut'. It can affect nerves feeding glands so there are many glandular effects. A big problem for some people is allergy. Many people recover from allergic situations when treated for Lyme.
If a suspected Lyme infection is treated within the first few (4 to 6)weeks of the actual infection, with reasonably high doses of even simple penicillin, it may be eliminated. But many people don't know whether they've been bitten, let alone when, as they may not have the classic tick-bite "bull's eye" rash.
Once the bacteria have penetrated deep into the tissues - they prefer the low oxygen levels found in cartilage, tendon, etc - they can be difficult, or often impossible, to reach with antibiotics. High doses and long courses are absolutely essential. Rotating antibiotics can help. The bacterium can also hideaway in the form of cysts, coccal forms, and in biofilms where they are neither recognised by the immune system nor touchable by antibiotics - just the same as Syphilis and Tuberculosis.
Special drugs called "CystBusters" like metronidazole can be used, in cycles, to get them out. But once established, you may have the infection for life, and you can only control, perhaps never cure, it with repeated courses of antibiotics.
One myth is that all antibiotics have potentially serious side effects, such as you may develop an allergy to penicillin. None of the side effects are unconquerable and are often worth the risk considering the life destroying effects of Lyme Disease. It is normal to prescribe long-term antibiotics for certain well-known diseases like TB, Brucellosis, and Syphilis. Lyme is at least as important as these.
The problem of resistant bacteria, like MRSA in hospitals, has everything to do with the hospital environment and hygiene and very little to do with the use of antibiotics. In fact, it is"under-treatment" of infections by doctors that has allowed resistant organisms to survive. If they used higher doses and longer courses in the first place, the organisms would not have had a chance to develop resistance.
By the way, drug resistance in Lyme doesn't seem to be a problem when antibiotics are rotated properly - it's co-infections like Babesia that cause the problems.
The Daily Mail Article
Could bacteria have caused your back pain? (And will a simple dose of antibiotics cure it for good?)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1249524/Could-virus-caused-pain--And-simple-dose-antibiotics-cure-good.html#ixzz0f2f7pCjy