Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real?

By A. J. Lindsley, Lindsley Chiropractic

The question of chronic Lyme disease is one I often answer in my office on a daily basis for my patients who have previously been diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been treated with antibiotics. Although they followed the standard of care for treatment and a course of antibiotics, many of their symptoms seem to persist for years after the initial diagnosis. Other patients may fall into another category that have symptoms associated with Lyme disease but have never been treated for Lyme disease due to the fact that they tested negative on the standard Western Blot test and did not have the bull’s-eye rash that is characteristic in some that have been infected by a tick. Often individuals seeking care by our medical system in these situations are told that all of their symptoms are in their head, and some are even referred to seek psychiatric help instead of the medical practitioner really listening to the patient and all of the symptoms.

One of the causes of chronic Lyme is the biofilms that bacteria and parasites are able to wrap themselves in during a normal course of antibiotic treatment, allowing many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme disease to go hide wrapped in these biofilms, waiting for the immune system to become weakened before attacking again.

The truth about so many of these patients are suffering from a hidden case of Lyme disease is that the testing methods are not good enough to detect the chronic cases. A simple blood draw on a chronic Lyme disease patient may show they have made antibodies to the Lyme bacteria, but often the number of bands (five specific bands are required) to create a CDC (Center for Disease Control positive Lyme case) are not present. Chronic Lyme hides in the brain and joints, which is considered outside the blood stream. None of the testing methods that are standard actually test these tissues, and over time they turn into a chronic disease diagnosis with very little understand

Many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme leave the blood stream and invade the joint tissue using the synovial fluid and cartilage as its long-term living quarters. These bugs secrete ammonia which is 46,000 times higher pH than our tissue. Our immune system recognizes these chemical toxins and reacts by creating superoxide and peroxide as part of our immune response to these invaders. Most of us have used peroxide on a cut because it is good at killing bacteria that may be in the cut. The body uses the same peroxide to help fight infections in our tissues. The problem becomes when we have a long-standing infection in our tissues (joint and brain tissue) with ammonia and peroxide reacting in these tissues, we often see the effects as many different diagnoses that are dismissed as part of the aging process.

Chronic Lyme exposure in the brain tissue often results in one of four common neurological diagnosis: MS (multiple sclerosis), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, or some form of dementia. Many of these neurological processes are considered partially genetic but have a strong association with autoimmune issues where the body has become confused and overwhelmed to the point where it attacks itself. Slowly we are seeing the number of people with these diseases rising with no known cause and no real treatment. Today one in nine Americans (11 percent) at sixty-five years of age have a diagnosis of dementia, one in four (25 percent) at seventy-five years of age, and one in two (50 percent) at eighty-five years old. Currently 5 million Americans have dementia, and in twenty-five years 25 million diagnosed cases are predicted. Forget about nursing homes; we have a new business called memory care home facilities. Unless we begin to look for the chronic Lyme in the brain tissue and develop specific testing for these tissues, we will see these neurological diseases continue to rise and progress into younger and younger generations.

We are seeing, I believe, the same effects in chronic joint conditions. In the United States we are currently replacing over a million hips and knees per year! The prediction is 4 million joint replacements per year by 2035. Very few people are physically active enough to wear their joints out in a lifetime, so we have to ask ourselves what could be causing this extreme number of failures. Even more concerning is the number of non-contact sport injuries we are seeing in our young children. There have been over a million knee surgeries on children under the age of eighteen for ACL and meniscus tears in our young athletes. These injuries were unheard of just twenty years ago. I hear all the time in my clinic how these kids are pushed too hard in sports year-round. The truth is that a conditioned athlete does not get injured; an athlete with a hidden case of Lyme is chronically injured. Some of these injuries may be attributed to some trace mineral deficiencies but certainly not to overtraining.

Chronic Lyme, I believe, is the main factor involved in most of the “chronic disease processes” we are seeing affecting all generations and much earlier than ever before.

For more information, contact Lindsley Chiropractic Clinic & Natural Healing Center, 1565 195th Ave., Bloomer, WI 54724, 715-568-5058, www.lindsleychiropractic.com

Calling All Kids: Get Outside and Get Active

by Jamie Hoover, YMCA Healthy Living Director

It is summertime in Wisconsin again! School is out and the weather that we dream about throughout the depths of winter is finally upon us. As a health and fitness professional as well as a lifelong Wisconsin resident, I am telling you now, create an environment for the kids to get outside and get active!

Kids ages six and older should be active for 60 minutes or more each day. Current trends show that kids ages eight to eighteen get an average of seven hours of screen time each day, which includes television, computer, smartphone, and video game usage.

The benefits of activity and exercise for children are vast and far reaching. A healthy diet, physical activity, and active play are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle for children as their bodies and brains are rapidly developing. Conversely, children who are overweight or obese are more likely to be obese as adults, which can raise the risk for health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and cancer just to name a few.1,2

An often overlooked benefit of physical activity for children is the impact it has on their mental health. Physical activity has been shown to stimulate brain growth and boost cognitive performance. Studies indicate that fit children tend to have greater brain volume in the hippocampus, a brain region associated with memory,3 and that more active children have faster reaction times and accuracy,4 as well as showing more extensive information processing during tasks.5 In other words, results suggest that aerobic exercise can enhance focus and improve cognitive flexibility. Physical activity has also been correlated with both short- and long-term benefits in the classroom. A study, with replicated results, linked aerobic activity with improved math skills and increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with executive function.6

There are also many physical benefits aside from risk prevention, and perhaps some much needed personal time for caretakers and chaperones. Examples of physical benefits include:

  • Maintains blood sugar levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps grow strong muscles and bones
  • Improves sleep
  • Can boost self-esteem
  • Can help relieve stress
  • Enhances athletic performance

What does all of this mean? It means that physical activity is a must, and not only for children, but for adults as well. A key component to being active and staying active is to individualize it to each and every person and child. Being active doesn’t need to be a complex or expensive endeavor. Eau Claire has been named a top “Small Town to Live” by numerous publications and was also ranked number 4 in a poll of the 16 best places to live in the United States by Outside Magazine for many active reasons, including our running and biking trails, our beautiful terrain of woods and water, and our many great parks! The Y also offers many great options such as youth sports leagues, Athletic Enhancement Camp, and the Kids of Steel Triathlon!

Whatever your physical activity preference is, make the most of your summer by getting out, getting active, and enjoying our city!

 

Sources:
1. Freedman, D. S., et al. “The relation of childhood BMI to adult adiposity: The Bogalusa Heart Study.” Pediatrics, 115(1): 22–27, 2005.
2. The Writing Group for the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, et al. “Incidence of diabetes in youth in the United States.” JAMA, 297(24):2716–2724, 2007.
3. Chaddock-Heyman, L., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., and Kramer, A. F. “The importance of physical activity and aerobic fitness for cognitive control and memory in children.” Monogr Soc Res Child Cev, 79(4): 25–50, 2014.
4. Hillman, C. H ., Pontifex, M. B., Raine, L. B., Castelli, D. M., Hall, E. E., and Kramer, A. F. “The effect of acute treadmill walking on cognitive control and academic achievement in preadolescent children.” Neuroscience, 159(3): 1044–54, 2009.
5. Hillman, C. H., Castelli, D. M., and Buck, S. M. “Aerobic fitness and neurocognitive function in healthy preadolescent children.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(11): 1967–1974, 2005.
6. Davis, C. L., Tomporowski, P. D., McDowell, J. E., Austin, B. P., Miller, P. H., Yanasak, N. E., Allison, J. D., and Naglieri, J. A. “Exercise improves executive function and achievement and alters brain activation in overweight children: A randomized, controlled trial.” Health Psychology, 30(1): 91–8, 2011.

Define: Hunger

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire

Ever feel hungry? Of course you have. Feeling hungry is our body’s natural way of letting us know it is time to eat. What is often misconstrued is understanding how truly “hungry” we actually are. As a trainer who is dealing with nutrition questions on a daily basis, one of the first questions I ask people is, “Do you feel hungry during the day?” Often the answer I receive is, “No.” For many people this is simply because we are undereating and need to gradually increase calories in order to boost our metabolism so we can actually burn MORE calories by putting better food into our bodies on a more consistent basis.

On the other end of the spectrum are those of us that eat a sufficient amount (or too many) of calories on a regular basis. If we are eating enough calories during the day, odds are we feel hungry, or at least we certainly would if we missed snack time! Some foods make you hungrier without actually doing anything for you, like sugars and refined carbs. Whereas foods high in fiber, healthy fats, and proteins can assist to not only increase your metabolism and nourish your body, but can also help so you aren’t hungry constantly. From here, I put “hungry” into six different categories to help explain what type of hunger we are actually experiencing, and how to combat those types of hunger!

  1. Starving – The feeling that you could “eat a horse.” At this point you are more than likely shaky, lightheaded, and possibly sick feeling.
  2. Pretty Hungry – This is go time! Time to definitely be eating some food. You are maybe even a little past the point of when you should have last eaten. Right now there are some pretty empty sounds coming from your stomach, and this feeling more than likely came on gradually.
  3. You Could Eat – This is my typical response when I am not all that hungry, but know I will be within an hour. At this point there is no reason to be eating. Drink some water, see how you feel, and then start to plan or prepare for your next meal.
  4. Content – If you are not hungry, and also not full, why would you need to eat? This is one that gets a lot of people late at night. You have had dinner, you are going to bed in an hour, and there is no reason to eat! Don’t feel bad though, this is a common, learned, habitual movement (my favorite suggestion is to do air popped popcorn with light olive oil!). Typically I tell people to either drink some water or substitute something with essentially no caloric value to wean themselves away from late night snacks.
  5. Full – Stop! Slow down, put that fork down between bites, eat slower, take a drink between each bite, use a smaller plate, put the rest of the food away in containers for tomorrow! Going beyond this point is usually what makes us sick, wastes our money, and keeps our waistband tight.
  6. Overfull – Typically overeating happens often when we waited to eat until we were starving. You get all excited to eat again and start to cram anything and everything we can into your face too quickly! Afterward you feel sluggish, slow, tired, and sometimes quite uncomfortable. This can be easily avoided by trying to stay between numbers 2 and 5 at all times!

Massage during Pregnancy: Great for You and for Baby!

By Danielle Wagner, licensed massage therapist, Refined Touch Massage

Massage Benefits during Pregnancy

Are you expecting? Experiencing any aches and pains? Massage during pregnancy can help greatly with pain relief during a time when most medications should be limited. It also encourages relaxation and increased circulation, which can help with reduction of swelling. Massage therapy also assists hormone regulation, helping with depression and anxiety (including post-partum depression). Massage therapy during pregnancy helps to address the inflamed nerves that often lead to sciatic nerve pain and tension in the low back and legs from increased uterine pressure.

Massage Is Good for Baby Too

Receiving massage during your pregnancy doesn’t just benefit you. Babies can sense and respond to the mother’s level of stress. Massage is great at lowering your stress level, and lowering the stress level in the mother also helps keep baby stress free. Massage therapy is a great way to take time for you and also connect with baby. Many mothers love to have their stomachs massaged. This is referred to as “baby’s first massage” and can be done during a massage session after you’ve completed your first trimester.

Massage Helps Prepare You for Delivery

The benefits of massage continue through your delivery, as having regular massage during pregnancy has been associated with lower complications during childbirth. Massage during pregnancy helps to prepare the body for childbirth by increasing range of motion and elasticity in joints and muscles used for delivery.

Pregnancy Massage Precautions

A pregnancy massage is a little different than a regular massage. When you receive a pregnancy massage, the therapist uses cushions or pillows to support the pregnant body. We use side lying positions to make sure that you are completely supported. Tables that provide a hole for the abdomen can cause uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments and should be avoided.

There are a few precautions to take into consideration. If yours is a high-risk pregnancy, you have experienced pre-term contractions, bleeding, preeclampsia, are experiencing severe swelling, severe headaches, or have had previous pre-term labor and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), you should speak to your doctor before receiving a massage.

It is safe to receive massage during the first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy. Please remember that excellent communication is a must for any therapeutic massage to be effective.

To schedule a massage, contact Danielle today at refinedtouchmassage@gmail.com

Who Says Parenting Is Easy?

By Melinda Gardner, Executive Director of APPLE PCC

Someone recently showed me a book that really made me laugh. It’s called Parenting Is Easy: You’re Probably Just Doing It Wrong. It’s a book of stock photos of “perfect parents” and some funny captions about how “easy” parenting is.

Well–if you’re a parent, you KNOW that’s not true! Having a baby changes everything. It’s one of the most amazing experiences anyone can have. It can also be very overwhelming. We all need help and support and encouragement in raising our children.

The APPLE Pregnancy Care Center has been helping pregnant women and parents in the Chippewa Valley for over thirty-six years. We know that pregnancy can be an emotional time, and we all need support.

That is where our “Earn While You Learn” program comes in. We have an extensive curriculum to offer parents (women AND men) who want to learn about everything from pregnancy, nutrition, childbirth, parenting, and even life skills. Our moms and dads (and pregnant clients) can come in every week and chose what they want to learn. Each hour spent learning “earns” points to purchase diapers, formula, baby clothing, furniture, toys, and so much more.

The items you can earn are donated by individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations in the community. The Chippewa Valley is an amazing place, and we know it is full of people who love to give and help others.

Here’s what one of our moms says about her experiences here: “The staff are all super, caring, and helpful. I have felt very comfortable with them, and learning everything there is to know about having a baby is just amazing. I have gained a ton of knowledge about caring for an infant and what is going to happen when I have my baby. Getting diapers there has helped me out tremendously. I would recommend the center over and over again to anyone.”

If you’re pregnant and needing help and support, or are a new mom or dad who could use formula or diapers or much more, please don’t hesitate to call 715-834-7734 and make an appointment. We’re here for you. All of our services are free and confidential.

You’ll be glad you called.