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Tick Tock - Time for a TICK CHECK

EEK! TICKS. Do you really need to worry about them? I mean, everyone gets tick bites, right? Right, but YES you DO need to be mindful of ticks.



Ticks carry more than just Lyme disease. Other known tick borne diseases include Borellia, Babesia, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Mycoplasma. Typical signs to look for after a tick bite include fever, bullseye rash (only 50%) swollen lymph node, body rash, stiff neck, headache, joint pain, etc. Nontypical signs associated with other tick diseases include eye floaters, migrating arthritis pains, joint swelling, sinus problems, drenching night sweats, rage/anger, stretch-mark like rash, pain in the shin bones or feet. These might be later signs. Initially, looking for fever, rash, nausea/vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, etc.


We used to think Lyme was only in certain parts of the country but Lyme and other tick coinfections are everywhere. Do not believe anyone that says otherwise. Most people WILL be exposed to these infections at some point, but the body SHOULD be able to clear it, for example 56% of people with asthma have this bacteria in their lungs versus 9% of the people that do not have asthma (statistics from Chronic, written by Dr. Steven Phillips). That discussion is for another email though….


Some symptoms of Lyme disease and co-infections to be aware of… fatigue, fevers (especially recurring), headaches, heart palpitations, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness or arthritis type issues, eye floaters, swollen lymph nodes, red stretch mark rash, etc… This is not an exhaustive list. Lyme and co-infections can cause a number of symptoms and if you have concerns about a chronic case it is best to be tested by a Lyme literate practitioner. Exposure to Lyme can trigger auto-immune disease as well. Children under 15 account for 25% of cases of Lyme disease. In children, be on the lookout for reoccurring joint pain, fever, fatigue, neuropsychological or behavioral changes, new onset sleep problems, bedwetting, etc. A bullseye rash is present in only half of cases. Dr Charlotte Mao is the leading pediatric infectious disease physician at Harvard’s Dean Center for Tickborne Illness. She has seen a lot of infection induced neuropsychiatric symptoms in children. One of the biggest things she sees is anxiety in children and postulates that our pediatric anxiety epidemic could be partly due to Lyme and Bartonella. BUT the problem is that that does not translate into pediatricians or even adult providers checking for Lyme and co-infections. Many don’t know how, why, or what to look for in later onset of symptoms.


Okay, so the goal isn’t to be fearful of ticks and not go outside, the goal is to be empowered that when you encounter a tick you know what to do!


WHERE TO CHECK FOR TICKS | In and around the ears and hair, inside the belly button, under the arms, around the waist, between the legs, back of knees. These are the most common spots but to be honest, I do a full body check on my kids. Ticks are sneaky and like to hide. Behind the ears, on the neck, scalp, waist especially…



WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FIND A TICK ATTACHED | Remove it! But how?

  • Using tweezers. Using fine tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with a steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick. You want the head intact.

  • Using a tick key. I find this to be very helpful for quick and easy tick removal with the head.


AFTER REMOVING THE TICK | After removing the tick, put it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. If no concerning symptoms appear and the tick was on for a very short time (like just an afternoon or evening) and you are not concerned, then throw the tick away. But if symptoms do appear or you become concerned or you are not sure how long the tick was on but suspect a longer period of time, go on and send the tick to get tested. www.tickreport.com is the website I use. It does cost $50. But it is MUCH easier to treat Lyme in the acute phase than it is to treat once chronic symptoms have appeared.


After I remove the tick, I make a paste of bentonite clay and andrographis and a drop of tea tree essential oil (I only recommend Young Living). I leave the paste on for for 30 minutes or so. I repeat daily at least for a week. After a bite I give my children Ledum homeopathic remedy for one week as well as astragalus. See the manufacturer’s website for dosing, but I give my children 2 pellets and they put them under their tongue. An adult dose would be 5 pellets. Please check with your provider about dosing on Astragalus. The Black Drawing Salve from Earthley is also a great tool for bug and tick bites.


Other things I do when a tick bite or other typical illness occurs:

  • Whole food vitamin C (I use Young Living Super C chewable, Earthley Immune Aid, or Acerola powder from Perfect Supplements)

  • Antioxidants (Ningxia Red from Young Living, it is a wolfberry puree)

  • Inner Defense or oregano oil on the bottom of feet (both from Young Living)

  • Nutrient dense whole food eating, gelatin gummies made from bovine gelatin, great to heal gut lining, etc.


BASIC TICK PREVENTION |

  • Keep grass cut short.

  • Keep chickens, guineas, or opossums outside the house as they eat ticks.

  • Avoid shaded, wet areas.

  • Wear light colored clothing.

  • Create a landscaping area around the border of your yard with large rocks, wood chips, stacked wood, etc. This deters ticks!

  • Take a shower after coming inside.

  • Natural sprays for yard (we use Wondercide)


DIY homemade tick repellent recipe |

  • 5-10 drops of Clove

  • 10 drops Vetiver

  • 10 drops Citronella

  • 10 drops Oregano

  • 5 drops Geranium

  • 5 drops Lemongrass

  • 5 drops Eucalyptus.

In a 4 oz glass spray bottle, add oils, a splash of witch hazel, and distilled water. Shake before each use. (For little ones can dilute further in an 8oz spray bottle or forego eucalyptus and clove as they can be hot.)


Want to dive deeper into this topic and to feel empowered with steps to take? There is a course a couple of my friends created all about ticks - you should check it out HERE!


PLEASE NOTE: This is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. These things are supportive in nature. This is not meant to be medical advice, this is meant to be educational. Please speak to your healthcare provider before changing anything in your healthcare routine.


 

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