Unfortunately, living in Canada does not keep you safe from acquiring Lyme disease. To date, the provincial public health units claim there are more than 17,000 cases of Lyme disease in humans. This means Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in Canada.
The highest risk areas for encountering a black-legged tick, or deer tick, that transmits the bacteria associated with Lyme disease include the following:
- British Columbia in Vancouver Island, Vancouver Lower Mainland, and the Sunshine Coast
- Manitoba in Lake of the Woods, Pembina Escarpment, St. Malo, Vita Arbakka region, Argazzi, and Sandilands Forests
- Ontario in Pointe-Pelee National Park, Rondeau Provincial Park, Turkey Point Provincial Park, Long Point peninsula, Wainfleet bog, Prince Edwards Point, Thousand Island National Park
- Quebec in the southern parts of Monteregie, Estrie, Centre du Quebec
- New Brunswick in Saint John, North Head, Grand Manan Island
- Nova Scotia in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Lunenburg, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Pictou, and Queens counties
Likely, the estimate of 170,000 plus is extremely underestimated since many cases of Lyme disease go unreported and misdiagnosed. Doctors mistake Lyme disease symptoms for other disorders. The doctors who do think to test for Lyme disease are given faulty tests that are inaccurate most of the time. That’s right, you can have Lyme disease, but the tests say you do not have it, leaving the infection to grow and become chronic.
Canada’s Knowledge of Lyme Disease
According to the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network, Canada needs the following to combat Lyme disease effectively:
- A clear view of the history of Lyme Disease in Canada
- An understanding of how Lyme Disease impacts the effectiveness of testing methods
- More evidence on prevention and intervention techniques
- More training and education of doctors on Lyme disease
Many would likely add that Canadian doctors also need alternative treatments to offer patients with Lyme disease when antibiotics do not work.
Why Antibiotics Do Not Always Work
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for someone with Lyme disease. The reason is that Lyme disease results from a bacterial infection, which can be eliminated with antibiotics. For most people, antibiotics work. However, others are left with lingering, painful symptoms long after the round of antibiotics is delivered.
Here are some reasons antibiotics may not work:
- The doctor did not prescribe the right kind or strength of antibiotic
- The doctor did not prescribe antibiotics for a long enough period
- The doctor did not diagnose you with Lyme disease early enough
Lyme disease progresses in three stages: early localization, early dissemination, and late dissemination. Antibiotics work best when used in the early localization phase. The longer Lyme bacteria remain in the bloodstream, the more time they have to become stronger, multiply and spread throughout the body.
Coinfections and Bacterial Defenses
Another reason antibiotics do not always work, and why it is crucial to get the right treatment as soon as possible, is because of coinfections and the many ways Lyme bacteria can defend themselves against treatments.
Ticks that carry Borrelia burgdorferi or Lyme bacteria can also carry other types. Certain bacteria commonly appear alongside Lyme bacteria, including the following:
- Powassan virus
- Borrelia miyamotol
Unless your doctor knows about coinfections, they may not think to test for them when testing for Lyme disease. If they go undetected, they will produce symptoms that can be debilitating even if the Lyme bacteria is treated effectively.
Lyme bacteria are extremely good at avoiding detection by the body’s immune system and antibiotics. Their defenses include being able to go inactive or dormant, which is also why the tests for Lyme disease are faulty. They only test for active bacteria.
Another defense used by Lyme bacteria is the creation of biofilms, which are tiny shields used for protection. An example is a plaque on teeth. The plaque is a biofilm that protects the bacteria on teeth, allowing them to cause decay. Biofilms can be built anywhere in the body.
Lyme bacteria, also called spirochetes, have claw-like features that allow them to grasp onto tissues and cells. They are so strong that they can travel against the flow of blood without being flushed out. This makes it extremely hard for antibiotics to bind and destroy them.
The Importance of Alternative Treatments
If your doctor’s only resource for treating Lyme disease is antibiotics, it’s time to look outside your area for a Lyme-literate specialist. Don’t wait for Canadian doctors to catch up. Your health is essential today, and traveling to see a Lyme-literate doctor, even if you have to travel to Mexico, do it. Here you will find a renowned Lyme specialist equipped with advanced treatments like the ones below:
- Biofilm Eradication
With biofilm eradication, doctors create a protocol that breaks down the biofilms protecting spirochetes to allow binding substances to attach and carry the bacteria out of the body.
- Therapeutic Apheresis
Apheresis is exchanging unhealthy, infected blood with healthy, donated blood. One of the most effective ways to eliminate bacteria from the bloodstream is by simply drawing them out and replacing them.
Hyperthermia involves achieving internal temperatures that mimic natural fever, which is the body’s way of flushing out bacteria and viruses. Not everyone gets a fever that rises high enough to eliminate bacteria. With hyperthermia, your doctor will control your internal temperature and raise it to the degree that wipes out spirochetes.
- IV Therapies
IV therapies get antibiotics, vitamins, and minerals into your bloodstream in the fastest and safest way possible. Rather than give your oral medicines that are degraded as they pass through the digestive system, your doctor will administer them intravenously. Your body then gets 100% of the dose.
Finding a Lyme Literate Doctor
The best way to find a Lyme-literate doctor is to keep an open mind and consider options outside Canada. When searching, don’t make the location a factor. Instead, find the doctor with the proper credentials, reputation, accessibility, and, most importantly, the knowledge and advanced techniques to help you overcome Lyme disease.