As published in the July – August 2011 issue of Vitality Magazine
With the great summer weather in full swing, you want to participate in outdoor activities, but can’t understand why you are suffering from symptoms you typically get during the flu season. You feel fatigued. Perhaps you have chills, muscle aches, joint pains, headaches, and even swollen glands.
Having the summer flu is one possibility, but you may also be in the early stages of Lyme disease.
The diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease have been controversial topics in recent years. Canadian patients get the runaround from many doctors who dismiss even the existence of Lyme disease, while doctors who do diagnose and treat patients become in danger of losing their licenses. Many cases of Lyme disease are misdiagnosed, partly due to the lack of awareness by physicians, and partly because the outdated medical testing procedure, known in medical literature to produce up to 90 percent false negative results, is still used in Canada. Consequently, people infected with Lyme disease go undiagnosed, receive erroneous treatments for side effects of the disease, and suffer unnecessarily.
Homeopathy offers a viable solution in all stages of Lyme disease. Whether you have recently been infected or are suffering from long-term complications of (medically verified or suspected) Lyme disease, homeopathy can set you on your path to recovery and completely restore your health. Most importantly, you do not need a diagnosis or label in order to benefit from homeopathy and recover from Lyme disease
Named after the small town of Lyme, Connecticut, where the disease was first identified in 1975, Lyme disease is a bacterial illness transmitted to humans by the bite of certain types of ticks. These ticks (type of mites) carry a bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, it is possible to be bitten by a tick anywhere in Canada, but approximately 10 percent of ticks are infected with the bacterium causing Lyme disease.
The first sign of infection is a circular rash called erythema migrans, which occurs in most but not all infected people. The rash appears at the site of the tick bite anywhere from a few days to a few months after infection. In the early stages, the symptoms can include fatigue, chills, fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. At this early stage, many cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics. If untreated, symptoms can escalate to extreme fatigue, general weakness, central and peripheral nervous system disorders, arthritis, heart palpitations, and more.
In later stages, Lyme disease can become chronic and trigger serious conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and a host of other illnesses. Some experts go so far as to link autism to untreated Lyme disease (to read more on this, visit the Lyme Induced Autism Foundation’s website: www.lymeinducedautism.com).
George complained of extreme fatigue and very sore joints. The fatigue began shortly following his 60th birthday, four years earlier. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed pain killers. Other than this, his blood tests were “clean” and the diagnosis was “There is nothing wrong with you!” Over time, George had resigned to thinking that his deteriorating health was a normal part of aging.
George had wandering pain and swelling in his knees, hips, arms, and legs. He also experienced numbness in his limbs, had foggy thinking that fluctuated from week to week, poor memory, disturbed sleep, and occasional heart palpitations.
On the advice of a family member, and as a last resort, George sought homeopathic treatment for his declining health. The consultation took its usual course of detailed inquiry into every symptom, feeling, and sensation. We discussed the quality of George’s pains, fluctuations in symptoms at different times of day, what made his joint pain better or worse, in which direction the pain travelled, and how he reacted to pain and discomfort. Following a two-hour discovery session, I took some time to study my findings and come up with a suitable homeopathic remedy.
Individualized treatment is one of the most prominent features of homeopathy. In contrast to the allopathic one-treatment-fits-all model (i.e. prescribing antibiotics in all cases of Lyme disease), homeopathy aims to treat the person’s unique expression of a given illness. No two people express the same illness by manifesting the exact same symptoms. For example, a person suffering from joint pain can experience throbbing, shooting, gnawing, or aching pains. The pain can be positively or negatively affected at different times of day, and can fluctuate with weather patterns, from emotional stress, or from consuming certain foods. This type of careful scrutiny is applied to all physical symptoms. In addition, the patient’s emotional state, living situation, and expression of feelings are also taken into account. A unique profile emerges, corresponding to the features of a homeopathic remedy.
When the prescribed homeopathic remedy matches the patient’s exclusive symptom patterns, something remarkable happens. The remedy awakens the patient’s immune response and helps them overcome illness. Any illness!
The homeopathic remedy Cimicifuga matched George’s unique symptoms, personality and temperament. Within one week of taking the remedy, George reported feeling less tired. One month later his fogginess had diminished by 50 percent. George was amazed at how much better he felt overall within three months.
During his recovery, while reading a health journal, George began to piece together his health puzzle. He started to suspect Lyme disease as the culprit for his ill health. George remembered having the circular rash on his upper arm, but had ignored it because of its quick disappearance. Further investigation led him to a doctor noted for treating Lyme disease. Tests confirmed his suspicion of Lyme disease. He was prescribed antibiotics, but decided to continue his homeopathic treatment instead.
Within ten months of taking the homeopathic remedy, George felt like his old self again – his energy was back to normal, the joint pains significantly improved, his fogginess lifted, and he was sleeping soundly.
Lauren was recovering from Lyme disease for eleven years, prior to her decision to try homeopathy. Over the years, she had taken several rounds of antibiotics and many nutritional supplements. But, Lauren’s recovery had been extremely slow, with major health challenges in the first few years. She was extremely fatigued and needed to sleep several hours each day. Her constant heart pain and palpitations kept her awake at night. Her abilities to think and remember were greatly impaired. She also experienced excruciating burning pains in her abdomen and many joints.
At the time that I met Lauren, she had made progress in her recovery, but she still needed daily naps and felt achy most of the time. Her memory was poor and foggy thinking was a daily reality. As a writer, her hand-eye coordination, something that was automatic, now required effort. Her joints were sore most of the time and she still suffered from weekly abdominal pains.
Within six weeks of taking the homeopathic remedy Spigelia, Lauren reported big improvements. Her energy increased and she only needed to nap once or twice a week. Her thinking was clearer and her memory was slowly recovering. Her pains were less frequent and more tolerable.
Lauren made remarkable progress during her four-month homeopathic treatment. Most of her symptoms disappeared and she was certain that she had made more progress with four months of homeopathic treatment than during the previous eleven years.
While prescribing homeopathic remedies for chronic illnesses is individualized and dependent on a collection of specific symptoms expressed by each individual, there are situations in which remedies can be used to treat large numbers of people affected by the same illness. Epidemics are prime examples where many display common symptoms. In the case of the flu epidemic, the collective symptoms tend to correspond with the remedies Rhus-toxicodendron and Gelsemium.
In the case of Lyme disease, the collective physical symptoms are homeopathically represented by the remedies Ledum Palustre, Kalmia, and Rhododendron.
Having said this, there is still a high probability for individualized expression of Lyme disease. We are all born with inherent weaknesses and predispositions to illnesses, known as miasms. As such, we each experience and express chronic illnesses a little differently than the next person.
For best results and complete recovery from Lyme disease, consult a trained Classical Homeopath.
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