Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. The Center for Disease Control reports that as of 2012, 95% of United States Lyme disease cases occurred in thirteen states—all in the northeast and upper Midwest. However, the West is highly saturated with people deeply immersed in outdoor lifestyles. There are definite steps that can be taken to prevent and get an earlier diagnosis of Lyme disease. The warmer months are here and so are insects—it is time for the outdoors—enjoy, but consider taking a few precautions this season as you head outdoors.

 

“We treat Lyme disease patients often at Sierra Integrative Medical Center. The strongest pattern we see is one of misdiagnosis, followed by inadequate course of treatments.”
– Dr. Bruce Fong, DO, HMD, Medical Director at SIMC.

 

If you have been outdoors and notice flu-like symptoms or migraine-like headaches, seek medical assistance. If you find and remove a tick from your body, keep this tick in a tightly screwed jar, so that it can be identified and if necessary, tested for carrying Lyme disease. Don’t ignore persistent signs.

Here are 10 simple steps that will help you prevent Lyme disease:lyme disease prevention, preventing lyme disease, lyme treatment

1. When outdoors in wooded or grassy areas, keep your head covered. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are tiny—about the size of a pin-head and are more difficult to find when in hair.

2. Check yourself thoroughly when coming in from a hike or outdoor woods.

3. Stay on the trail, preferably the middle of the trail.

4. Wear light-colored clothing that will let you see ticks more easily.

5. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.

6. Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair. (Ticks seek heat and these places offer heat and are less sensitive to the feel of insects)

7. Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.

8. Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks. (Some research suggests that shorter drying times may also be effective, particularly if the clothing is not wet.)

9. When in heavily-wooded areas with ticks, use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin and clothing for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.

10. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.

Learn more about Lyme disease at www.ilads.org, the site of the International Lyme And Associated Diseases Society.

Our Integrative Approach to Lyme Disease

Sierra Integrative Medical Center (SIMC) optimizes health service by drawing from all schools of medicine. We utilize scientifically proven conventional treatments in combination with alternative therapies that are designed to strengthen the body so it can heal itself. Services are designed to provide a holistic healing approach with a broad range of healing modalities, including but not limited to homeopathy, natural and biological medicines, behavioral medicine, nutritional therapies, orthomolecular integration, and neurotherapy.

Learn more about how we treat Lyme Disease.
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