Ticks can carry multiple infections at once. They carry Lyme disease and infect you with more than one disease when they bite and embed it in your body. The Borrelia bacteria cause Lyme. This bacterium does not cause other infections. It is its own separate infection that generates its own negative symptoms, such as Lyme disease. Along with Lyme, other unique infections from the tick enter your system, creating similar or additional negative symptoms, making it a co-infection. Having Lyme disease and co-infections can make symptoms worse. The most common co-infections are listed below.
Babesia is a parasite that some compare to malaria. It infects red blood cells and causes severe flu-like symptoms. Because it attacks the red blood cells, some people may experience anemia and flu-like symptoms. You may have fevers, chills, fatigue, aches, pains, and nausea.
You may also feel hungry for air and like you can’t seem to breathe in enough air.
Ehrlichia or Anaplasma
Ehrlichia and anaplasma are similar co-infections that attack your white blood cells and cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, chills, and aches. They form clusters in blood cells but are still easy to miss under microscopes.
Low white blood cell counts can be dangerous, even fatal. Because the white blood cells are attacked, symptoms can range from mild to severe. It would help if you got a correct diagnosis to avoid damage to the kidneys or liver.
Low platelet count and anemia are two other significant symptoms of these co-infections. Someone with a severely weakened immune system will struggle to fight the symptoms.
Bartonella lives inside the lining of your blood vessels. Signs of Bartonella can include red marks on your body that resemble stretch marks. You may also have flu-like symptoms, lack of appetite, swollen glands, and neurological symptoms.
Additionally, some have balance problems, tremors, and potential psychiatric problems. Bartonella creates chronic infections because it can cycle in and out of blood vessels.
Spotted Fever Group of Rickettsia
This group includes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rickettsia Parkeri, Rickettsia Philipii, and Rickettsia Helvetica.
Rashes that start at the wrist or ankles and then work outward, flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, and myalgia are common symptoms within this group. These need to be treated as soon as possible, with various techniques to eliminate the infection.
Colorado Tick Fever
Colorado Tick Fever is acquired when the Rocky Mountain tick infected with the disease bites you. Symptoms other than those associated with Lyme include abdominal pain, vomiting, biphasic fever, and severe weakness.
Mycoplasma lacks a cell wall around its membranes. There are over 100 species of mycoplasma. As a co-infection, these bacteria can worsen respiratory problems and lead to conditions such as pneumonia. Mycoplasma is naturally resistant to antibiotics, making this co-infection a good candidate for advanced treatments offered by Lyme-literate doctors.
Powassan virus can cause encephalitis or inflammation of the brain and be fatal if left untreated. It can take up to three weeks to develop symptoms from the virus. Initial symptoms are similar to Lyme disease. Progressive symptoms include confusion, trouble speaking, seizures, and loss of coordination.
Q Fever symptoms are so similar to Lyme disease, in the beginning, it makes detecting the disease difficult. Chronic Q fever symptoms include swelling of the limbs, night sweats, and endocarditis.
If a tick stays latched onto your body for a week or longer, you run the risk of developing tick paralysis. This happens when a female tick releases a neurotoxin into your system. It causes numbing and tingling throughout the body. Removing the tick may alleviate some of the symptoms. However, there may also be lingering effects that a Lyme-literate doctor should address.
Tick-borne relapsing fever
Tick-borne relapsing fever presents with early-stage Lyme disease symptoms like sweating, stiff neck, flu-like symptoms, and more. Over time, however, symptoms morph into intense shaking, chills and sweating, drop in blood pressure, and falling body temperature.
Tularemia is one co-infection that doesn’t require a tick bite to become infected. It can be transmitted through inhalation or transference. Tularemia produces symptoms such as skin ulcers. If you inhale dust that contains tularemia, you may develop respiratory problems such as pneumonia tularemia. Symptoms are sores in your mouth or throat, you may have consumed food or drink with tularemia. If in your eye, you may have rubbed your eye with a finger that had tularemia on it.
If you have this co-infection, you must avoid donating blood because this infection can be transmitted through blood, even from a pregnant mom to her unborn child. Blood banks do not test for co-infections like Babesia, so you must be cautious of this when possible.
Treatments for Co-Infections
- Therapeutic Apheresis- a process in which your unhealthy blood and plasma are replaced with healthy, donated blood and plasma.
- Intravenous (IV) antibiotics and vitamins- Lyme disease is a blood disorder. It’s essential to fight the infection where it lives- in your blood. So, we send antibiotics directly to your bloodstream.
- Hyperthermia is a process in which your doctor increases your body temperature, so you develop a fever, which is your body’s way of defending itself naturally.
- Supplement protocols using vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutraceuticals extend the benefits of your treatment protocols.
- Oxidative medicine works to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. It helps detox toxins from your system, acting as an antiseptic.
- Immune modulation works with your blood, like through a dendritic cell vaccine. Dendritic cells activate your natural white blood cells that attack and destroy bacteria.
- The biofilm eradication protocol means biofilms, or outer protectors, are attacked from the inside and the outside and broken down until they can no longer reproduce and form more biofilms.
If you think you may have a Lyme disease co-infection, or want more information, give Lyme Mexico a call today. Our Lyme-literate doctors are eager to help. Together, we can create a plan not to live with Lyme or its co-infections anymore.