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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

What You Need to Know about Your Microbiome and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the number one fastest growing disease in the US today. It is also the number one disease most discounted and misdiagnosed per outdated benchmarks used to determine if you have it or not. This results in not only getting proper treatment as soon as possible but also many people not having the information to fully understand all the ways you can contract this disease.


When we think of Lyme disease, we often think it the result of visiting the woods or some remote area where ticks are roaming, but more and more cases are found disturbingly closer to home. Your backyard, the local park, your neighborhood streets. Ticks are not limited to residing in the woods and remote areas these days and have become a pest we simply cannot ignore anymore.


Lyme disease is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks). You can also get Lyme Disease from other infected carriers, such as mosquitos, flies and other biting insects. It can also be passed between mother and baby when pregnant.


Now before you whip out the chemical arsenal of bug repellents, there are natural ways to protect yourself and support your health if you are bitten. These are much less harmful to you and the environment as well. What often gets missed in the quest to protecting ourselves is that all chemicals used have a trickle down effect to animals and our environment that can cause illness, disease and other problems in our habitat and that of wildlife. You may not care about that if you are bitten but it is something we all need to be mindful of before going out full warfare against ticks.


Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted through ticks, has become a growing concern in recent years. While preventive measures like tick checks are crucial, there’s another defender in the battle against Lyme disease that you might not be aware of – your microbiome. This complex ecosystem of microorganisms residing in your gut and on your skin plays a significant role in bolstering your immune system and potentially protecting you against Lyme disease.


Microbiome: Your Invisible Army

Your microbiome comprises trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that call your body home. It’s like an invisible army, working tirelessly to maintain your health by aiding in digestion, supporting your immune system, and even influencing your mood.


You digestive system is directly tied to your immune function so maintaining a healthy microbiome starts with digestive improvements so your body can perform at its best. Studies have shown a healthy microbiome can help your immune system identify and protect against infectious threats, including Lyme bacterium.


Recent research shows that the composition of your skin microbiome can influence your attractiveness to ticks. Certain bacteria on your skin can produce chemicals that either attract or deter ticks. A balanced skin microbiome might be the best help to deter ticks from latching on you in the first place.


This means of course that our gut-brain-immune axis is interconnected and creating harmony and balance here is vital. Doing so will reduce inflammatory response making it more difficult for Lyme disease to manifest.


The best way to create a healthy microbiome is through a healthy balanced diet, plus added fiber, prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes where needed. Minimizing processed, artificial and manufactured foods is key as this can quickly disrupt the microbiome balance and alter digestive flora.


Your microbiome is a remarkable ally in the fight against Lyme disease, influencing your immune response, tick defense, and overall well-being. By nurturing a diverse and balanced microbiome through a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can harness the power of these tiny protectors to potentially reduce your risk of Lyme disease. However, always remember that prevention remains key, so continue to practice tick-awareness and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


With your microbiome as a resilient shield, you can step into the great outdoors with confidence, knowing that you have an invisible army ready to defend your health.


Know your Tick Risk at Home

Here are the food and home-related risks where Lyme disease can occur:


1. Outdoor Risks:

Wooded and Grassy Areas: Ticks carrying Lyme disease are prevalent in wooded regions, parks, hiking trails, and areas with tall grass. When spending time in these environments, especially during warmer months, you may encounter infected ticks. They are a year-round concern for many areas of the country where warmer winters occur.


Wildlife: Ticks often attach themselves to animals like deer and rodents. When you come into contact with these animals or their habitats, you may be at risk of tick exposure.


2. Home and Yard Risks:

Ticks in Your Yard: Ticks can also inhabit your yard, especially if it borders wooded or grassy areas. Tall grass, leaf litter, and woodpiles can provide tick-friendly habitats. Keep your yard well-maintained and consider tick-control measures.


Pets: Dogs and cats can carry ticks into your home. Regularly check your pets for ticks, especially if they roam in tick-prone areas.


3. Food-Related Risks:

Game Meat: If you hunt or consume game meat, be aware that ticks can attach to wild animals and may carry Lyme disease. Properly inspect and prepare game meat to minimize the risk.


Home Gardens: Ticks can also lurk in gardens, particularly if there are tall plants or overgrown areas. When gardening, wear protective clothing and conduct tick checks afterward.


Grocery store meats and produce. There is an increasingly alarming rate of Lyme found in our grocery store products as animals and crops are constantly exposed to chemicals, antibiotics and vaccines that weaken their natural immunity and make them more susceptible to diseases that we cannot combat chemically. This also in turns weakens our own immunity when we consume these products.


4. Indoor Risks:

Ticks Indoors: Ticks can sometimes find their way indoors on clothing or pets. Regularly check yourself, your family members, and your pets for ticks if you’ve been in tick-prone areas.

With these risk factors in mind, there are several steps we can take to safeguarding our personal environment and mitigating these exposure risks including:


5. Home Safety Measures:

Tick Checks: After spending time outdoors in tick-prone areas, thoroughly check your body for ticks. Pay close attention to hidden areas like the groin, armpits, and scalp.


Protective Clothing: When venturing into tick habitats, wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes. Tuck pants into socks, and use tick repellents on exposed skin.


Tick Removal: If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it carefully with fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to your skin’s surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure


5. Tick Control:

Landscaping:

  • Mow the Lawn: Keep your lawn well-maintained by mowing it regularly. Ticks thrive in tall grass, so maintaining a shorter grass height can reduce tick habitat.

  • Create a Barrier: Consider creating a barrier between wooded areas and your yard by using wood chips or gravel. This can deter ticks from migrating into your yard.


Natural Repellents:

  • Cedar Mulch: Cedar mulch, when spread in your yard or garden, can act as a natural tick repellent due to its aroma.

  • Nematodes: Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms that can be applied to your yard. They prey on tick larvae and can help reduce tick populations.

Tick Tubes:

  • Tick tubes are cardboard tubes filled with treated cotton balls. Mice, which are common tick carriers, collect the cotton for nesting, and the treated cotton kills ticks on the mice, reducing the tick population.

Opt for Organic:

Shop local farmer’s markets, organic produce and meat sources to reduce your consumption of chemicals.


Keep Your Yard Dry:

Ticks prefer humid environments. Ensure good drainage in your yard to reduce moisture levels, making it less attractive to ticks.


Prune Vegetation:

Trim and prune bushes, shrubs, and low-lying branches. This reduces the amount of shade and humidity in your yard, making it less appealing to ticks.


Deer Deterrence:

Deer are common hosts for ticks. Implement deer deterrent measures, such as fencing or planting deer-resistant plants.


Tick-Repellent Plants:

Certain plants, like lavender, rosemary, and marigolds, have natural tick-repelling properties. Plant them strategically in your yard or garden.


Regular Tick Checks:

Perform regular tick checks on yourself, family members, and pets after spending time outdoors. Prompt removal of attached ticks can prevent potential bites.


Tick-Proof Your Home:

Seal gaps and cracks around the home’s foundation and walls


Remember that while these natural methods can help reduce tick populations in your yard, no method is entirely foolproof. Also, while we want to reduce our own risk we want to also prevent contamination of chemicals in our environment that can be harmful to us, pets, and wildlife.


Taking appropriate precautions when spending time in tick-prone areas and promptly addressing ticks if they attach to your skin are essential steps in reducing the risk of Lyme disease. If you develop symptoms like a fever, rash, or joint pain after a tick bite, seek medical attention promptly, as early treatment can be effective in preventing Lyme disease complications.


More importantly, starting with your microbiome health can be the best option we have for creating a resilient shield for our health. We can thoroughly enjoy the great outdoors with confidence, knowing that you have an invisible army ready to defend your health.


To work with me on your holistic health needs, please visit dragonspitapothecary.com





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