What You Need to Know About Lyme & Inflammation


Did you know that the immune system is under attack when you have Lyme Disease?

According to Hopkins Medicine, a recent study “showed that Borrelia burgdorferi alters dendritic cells, which normally present antigens — proteins from pathogens such as bacteria and viruses — to immune system T-cells, signaling an immune response against the foreign invaders. However, Borrelia burgdorferi stops this communication, which may then lead to the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells.”

And what happens next? Inflammation.

Lyme & Inflammation

Inflammation is how the body responds to infections, such as Borrelia burgdorferi. Every symptom stated is either caused as a result of the infection itself, or is a response to an immune system that attacks itself, causing inflammation. Specifically, inflammatory cells and cytokines looking to trap bacteria that results in swelling, redness, or other unseen measures.

The most talked about consequence of Lyme inflammation is Lyme arthritis. Approximately 60 percent of patients with untreated Chronic Lyme disease will develop Lyme arthritis as a result of this inflammation.

This list identifies the more specific symptoms and results of Lyme and inflammation:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle discomfort
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) (bladder pressure/pain)
  • Triggered autoimmune diseases
  • Hepatitis
  • Eye inflammation
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Overload of toxins
  • Bruising
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue
  • Adrenal Fatigue

Lyme Disease & the Immune System

Lyme can cause the immune system to accidentally attack itself —much like an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disease is a disorder where the immune system becomes hyperactive, and begins attacking normal healthy cells rather than foreign invaders.

A few examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • and many more.

The symptoms of these autoimmune disorders are very similar to Lyme symptoms. Additionally, research has shown that if someone has a genetic predisposition to autoimmune disease, Borrelia burgdorferi infection can trigger it. It only becomes more complicated once you realize that chronic, active infection (such as Lyme) should be treated differently than an autoimmune disorder.

The Two Types of Inflammation

Acute inflammation: The response to a sudden body change that helps cells start the healing process

Chronic inflammation: The body sends out inflammatory cells even when there is no reason to

Lyme patients experience chronic inflammation. Infection, along with toxins, are huge causes of inflammation.

Overload of Toxins

When toxicity invades the body, it is the immune system that must fight back against it. This takes resources away from fighting Lyme, and puts them towards fighting toxins.

It is not uncommon for those suffering with Lyme to also be burdened with mold and heavy metals. The only way to truly cleanse the body of toxins at the cellular level.

Lyme Arthritis & Joint Pain

According to the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania, “Lyme arthritis is caused by the bacteria that causes Lyme disease getting into your joints and causing inflammation of your tissues. Over time, this can cause damage to your cartilage.”

Lyme arthritis is found in:

  • Knees
  • Ankles and Wrists
  • Hips
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders

Anti-inflammatory supplements and drugs, along with hot treatments, are essential for those suffering with Lyme arthritis and joint pain.

Unfortunately, even after Lyme bacteria has been removed from the body, there can be lasting effects on the body due to damage that has already been done. If you believe you are suffering with Lyme arthritis or a potential triggered autoimmune disorder, consult your healthcare practitioner immediately.

Essentially every symptom of Lyme can be traced back to inflammation as a response from a triggered immune system. Finding ways to boost the immune system and promote a healthy inflammatory response are key to combating the devastating effects of Lyme disease.

Chronic Lyme affects the entire body. Learn more about the symptoms of Lyme.

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