Lyme disease results from a tick carrying the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi biting and transmitting the bacteria to a human’s bloodstream. Ticks that carry Lyme bacteria in the United Kingdom (UK) include sheep, deer, wood, and castor bean ticks.
Ticks have a lifecycle of about three years in which they grow through various phases. With each phase, they attach to a warm-blooded species to feed on its blood. In the latter stages, the warm-blooded species may be pets or humans.
When ticks attach to humans, they embed themselves under the skin to feed on your blood. While feeding, they release the Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream, which multiplies and spreads through the body. The longer the bacteria stay in your blood, the more difficult it is to eliminate them.
Lyme disease can affect anyone in the UK and their ability to function at work, home, school, and socially. For example, Kirstie Haysman, a former beauty pageant contestant and the 2015 Miss Hertfordshire, suffered symptoms for numerous years without relief. Finally, she traveled to a Mexico clinic outside the UK. There, they were able to diagnose and treat her accurately.
How Many People Have Lyme Disease in UK?
While there are over 1,100 laboratory-confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the United Kingdom annually, there are many more cases diagnosed based on symptoms alone. More than 2,000 cases can meet the diagnosis of Lyme disease. You must also consider the thousands of cases that go undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, and unreported.
The symptoms of early Lyme disease mimic the common cold or flu symptoms. Primary physicians often treat the symptoms without considering they may be due to a tick bite. This happens more when a human does not get a bullseye rash associated with Lyme disease or gets it in a place where it goes unnoticed.
Later symptoms of Lyme disease mimic other diseases, like Lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. To make things worse, tests for Lyme disease are not always accurate, leading to many misdiagnoses.
Lyme disease symptoms are discussed in more detail below, along with treatments and why it is key to travel for alternative treatments.
Is Lyme Disease Rising in the UK?
Lyme disease is rising across Europe, increasing by 14% every year. There are many reasons for the high growth, including people building homes and buildings on top of tick habitats. With the removal of forest areas for commercial or residential development, ticks must find ways to survive, including feeding on warm blood. Feeding on the blood of small animals is replaced with feeding on humans since they encounter people more often in newly developed areas.
Other reasons for an increase in Lyme disease cases in the UK include the following:
- Climate change and warmer weather mean ticks are more active throughout the year. Many people think ticks die in freezing weather, but that is not true. They go dormant, but only when under zero degrees Celsius.
- People in the UK spend more time outdoors but may not use the prevention methods necessary to avoid Lyme disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Different stages of Lyme disease occur, each with varying symptoms that can be painful and debilitating. In the early stages, symptoms may include:
- Digestive problems
- Stiff necks
- Joint pain
If left untreated, the above symptoms can worsen. Also, new symptoms may appear, such as:
- Facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your limbs
- Pain and swelling in the joints
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Inflammation around the heart, brain, or spinal cord
- Anxiety, depression, or other mental health symptoms
The final stage of Lyme disease can appear months or years after the initial tick bite. You may experience any of the above symptoms plus one or more of the following:
- Sleep disturbances
- Brain fog
- Trouble following conversations
- Trouble forming sentences
- Chronic, severe fatigue
- Worsened mental health symptoms
- Cardiac problems
Treatment for Lyme Disease in UK
The UK’s typical treatment for Lyme disease follows the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Doctors use general recommendations based on patient symptoms, including treatment, first alternative, and second alternative antibiotics. Doxycycline is the initial treatment for most, then amoxicillin and azithromycin. All three are oral antibiotics.
Even if you are lucky enough to receive an early Lyme disease diagnosis, oral antibiotics are not always enough. Lyme-literate doctors prefer intravenous antibiotic treatments, so you receive all the doses directly into your bloodstream, where the bacteria live.
Lyme-literate doctors exist, but some of the best are outside of the UK, which is why many people travel to Mexico and other countries for treatment. They also know antibiotics work best when combined with alternative Lyme disease treatments.
Alternative Lyme Disease Treatments
Researchers develop alternative treatments with the idea that because Lyme bacteria live in your blood, there must be numerous ways to get them out. Alternative treatments cleanse your blood and boost your natural immune system so it can better protect you from pathogens. Below are some alternative treatments that work:
- Therapeutic apheresis, including plasmapheresis, is where your unhealthy blood is exchanged for a donated, healthy type.
- Hyperthermia involves your doctor slowly raising your body’s internal temperature to a degree that activates your natural immune system to help it do its job.
- Intravenous therapies, including IV immunoglobulin treatment, IV vitamins and nutrients, IV antibiotics, and low-dose immunotherapies.
- Biofilm eradication protocols eliminate the tiny shields Lyme bacteria build to protect themselves while in your blood.
You no longer must visit multiple doctors and specialists within the UK only to be disappointed when their recommended treatment does not work. You don’t have to feel like your symptoms are not real simply because the doctor cannot find the source. Instead, save time, energy, and money with a Lyme-literate doctor, even if they are outside the UK. Let someone like Dr. Morales at Lyme Mexico help you get back the life you deserve.