Lyme Disease and COVID-19
As spring progresses into warmer weather, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease increases should you get a tick bite. Some of the symptoms of Lyme disease can be similar to the COVID 19 infection as they both cause your body to be inflamed. Managing inflammation in your body helps you feel better when you have Lyme disease, and may help to avoid the serious inflammatory reactions of a COVID 19 infection.
A common question I am asked is; “Having Lyme disease, am I at risk for having a serious complication from COVID 19? And what can I do to strengthen my immune system?”
As we have many questions at this point in our understanding of the COVID 19 virus, the following discussion is scientific speculation based upon how our bodies work and what has proven to be effective for other infections and disease states.
Note: If you currently are suffering from the symptoms of Lyme disease, such as joint and muscle pain, brain fog, body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc., your body is inflamed and you need to be treated. Effective treatment for Lyme disease will decrease your inflammation and you will feel better.
Proactively Managing Inflammation Helps Achieve a High Level of Health
Proactively managing your bodies inflammatory response will help you feel better if you acquire Lyme disease and may be of help during a COVID 19 infection.
Cytokines Cause Inflammation
Inflammation from tick infections can appear similar to some of the symptoms of COVID 19: shortness of breath, air hunger, headaches, fevers, sore throat, body aches, night sweats and fatigue. These symptoms are generated from your body fighting the infection resulting in the release inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines can aid your immune system to kill pathogens or, when excessive, inflame the body. The symptoms we experience with Lyme disease (bacterial infection) are that of marked inflammation, and with the COVID 19 infection, what harms people is excessive inflammation in the lungs, called a cytokine storm. The generation of cytokines can have different origins but manifest in similar symptoms. Let’s examine how we can decrease inflammation in the body to decrease the consequences of a cytokine storm.
Sources of Inflammation In Our Bodies
- Lyme disease and co-infections – 20% of people treated for Lyme disease develop recurring symptoms. Persistent infection drains the body of it’s natural defenses and results in increased inflammation throughout your body, brain and nervous system.
- An inflamed, leaky gut causes large food proteins to be absorbed into your blood stream, triggering a systemic inflammatory immune response. The immense surface area of the large intestine can be a primary promoter of inflammation in your body. A leaky gut invariably results in food intolerances, molecular mimicry, localized and systemic inflammation.
- Food allergy/sensitivity can be caused by a leaky gut (Intestinal permeability)
- Insomnia – increases cytokines, lowers your anti-inflammatory defenses
- Sinus ecology- altered natural bacterial and fungal balance can be a driver of inflammation. Chronic nasal mucous is a sign of inflammation in your sinuses and can pour cytokines into your body. Bacterial and fungal sinus infections can cause fatigue, body pain and brain fog.
- Nutrient deficiency can render us more vulnerable to inflammation. Our anti-inflammatory mechanisms depend upon nutrients to work. NAC, Glutathione, Curcumin, Quercetin, Polyphenols, Vitamin C, Glutamine, fiber, and others are a few of the crucial nutrients in helping our bodies fight inflammation
- Toxicity – In your bodies effort to mount a defense against foreign toxins, energy and nutrients can be depleted and allow further inflammation.
- Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and other heavy metals, pesticides, mold toxins, are all things that can be tested for and cleared from your body
- Long-term stressors such as unregulated depression, anxiety and chronic pain raise the stress hormone cortisol. In the short run this can be helpful, but in the long run decreases your immune function rendering you more susceptible to infection.
How We Can Help
Prioritize the sources of inflammation – we use a careful history, then select specific lab tests that can include: current bacterial and viral infections, inflammatory markers, food sensitivity testing, leaky gut testing, hormone testing for cortisol, thyroid, testosterone, estrogen and other hormones.
Systematically addressing the root causes of inflammation will allow your body to fight invading bacteria and viruses more effectively. You will experience how inflammation has decreased when you are not stiff and sore anymore, have more energy, and your memory improves.
Supplements can be important in modifying inflammation, but if major sources of self- generated inflammation are not addressed, the supplements will be less effective.
Now more than ever it is essential to decrease inflammation in your body
A proactive health strategy will help you now and in years to come
Contact our clinic today to help you address the causes of inflammation: https://naturopathic-doctors.com/contact/
Our support staff is available to schedule an appointment or answer questions from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. They are also available on Wednesdays from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Our Doctors are still seeing patients via telehealth during our normal business hours. We look forward to serving you.