If you’re like me, all you know about Lyme Disease, is that its spread by ticks. You don’t view Lyme as a threat. Moreover, you’re unaware that in 2015 there were roughly 30,000 reported cases and 10,000 possible cases of Lyme in the United States alone.
Honestly, I was clueless that Lyme had reached such proportions, until I spoke with my best friend Elena LaGoo. Right now, she’s battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which she recently linked to Lyme bacteria.
Elena’s life is riddled with mysterious ailments that began at a very young age. Within this article, you’ll get an in-depth look at the unraveling of Multiple Sclerosis manifested Lyme Disease as well as an overview of prevention and protection for yourself and your loved ones.
this is Elena’s story
Growing up in the Midwest, checking for ticks after a long day outside was standard practice and getting bit from time to time was common.
However, at a young age Elena began experiencing strange symptoms.
Around the age of ten she experienced tingling sensations in her skin, swollen lymph nodes and various infections.
At fifteen she contracted mono and facial shingles which lasted roughly one year.
She, “never fully recovered” after the mono; she was always tired and she experienced double-vision for months at a time. Elena suffered from Gastrointestinal issues and was later diagnosed with chronic fatigue.
Nevertheless, her symptoms were never linked to one source.
For relief she began implementing energy work, massage, acupuncture and herbal remedies; essential oils and dietary adjustments.
In her nineteenth year, she experienced the facial paralysis known as Bell’s Palsy. Consequently, Elena and her family decided to get an MRI.
Around the same time, Elena says, “…the nerves controlling my legs began to go haywire”.
MRIs reveled lesions on Elena’s Myelin Sheath along her cervical spine and on surface of her brain.
Given Elena’s symptoms and the MRI results, doctors reached the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The Myelin Sheath
Myelin Sheath is the fatty insulation that protects the nerves within the brain and spinal cord. Essentially a ‘helping hand’ for nerve impulses; insulating and supporting transmission of messages from the brain to various parts of the body. Because of the Myelin Sheath messages transfer at amazing speeds.
Notice the un-myelinated neuron on the left with impulses barely leaving one node towards the other.
Whereas the neuron on the right with a healthy Myelin Sheath shows the impulse traveling quickly (and in its entirety) from one node to the other.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), the body’s immune system T cells attack the myelin sheath that protects the nerve fibers. The T cells either partially or completely strip the myelin off the fibers, leaving the nerves unprotected and uninsulated.
Ultimately, pulses from the brain are misdirected, misinterpreted and sometimes fail to complete their journey towards the intended parts of the body.
Eventually the damage to the Myelin Sheath can become so severe that it destroys the nerves themselves.
“MS is a chronic disease that damages the nerves in the spinal cord and brain, as well as the optic nerves. Sclerosis means scarring, and people with MS develop multiple areas of scar tissue in response to the nerve damage.”
Progressive disease resulting in severe fatigue, numbness, blurred vision, and impairment of muscle coordination and speech.
Over the first 6 years following her MS diagnosis Doctors prescribed several medications. Each with a list of harmful side effects.
Most of the drugs were self-administered injections of, as Elena puts it,
…a pseudo infection to somewhat distract the immune system from attacking itself….all the while making you feel like shit!
She also received a blood brain barrier disruption or infusion to keep white blood cells out of the brain; keeping them from attacking her Myelin. Surgeries of this caliber pose extremely high risk to the patient.
Spasms began to overtake her legs. A baclofen pump was placed in her abdomen to administer medicine directly into her spine. The surgery caused a cerebral spinal leak which made her sick for months until it could be patched. By that time Elena was using a walker to get around.
She made the journey to Panama twice for umbilical cord stem cell transplants and went as far off the beaten path as to experiment with fecal transplants. The stem cell treatments were “great” she said, and offered much-needed relief.
Still persisting – she made a last-ditch effort to fight the MS by flying to Arizona for a TVAM (transvascular autonomic modulation) in which her veins were purposefully collapsed and inflated to “hopefully” relieve some of her dizziness. Sadly, it was extremely invasive yet offered no relief.
Three years later – nine years from the first diagnosis of MS – after repeated negative Lyme Disease labs – Elena found something promising. When Elena discovered an in-depth Lyme Disease test that she had not been aware of before…
This test revealed what she had speculated –
she was infected with Lyme bacteria.
Doctors deduced that the bacteria had been in her system from such a young age that it slowly manifested into MS. Though seemingly unfortunate, a Lyme diagnosis was music to her ears. Now she had a target, “a stealthy bacteria to fight against.” Elena was only 28 years old.
Lyme disease also known as the Lyme complex, is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete type bacteria and other co-infections. Spirochetes are “a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi“, stealthy bacteria that can burrow, change dna and penetrate any system within the body.
“The past 12 months has been a revolutionary time in Borreliosis research. No less than five major Medical Universities have published independently in the last year, openly discussing things that were only discussed quietly under the table just a few years earlier. ” – Thomas Grier
“Lyme is called “The Great Imitator,” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases.” Borrelia survive by creating biofilms or bacterial communities that antibiotics and white blood cells cannot get to or detect.
As previously mentioned, in 2015, there were 30,000 reported cases and roughly 10,000 possible cases of Lyme in the United States alone. These numbers have been steadily increasing over the decades.
Lyme Disease has been linked to
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Heart Disease
This list continues to grow as symptoms appear.
Getting the Word out About Lyme
Unfortunately reports of Lyme Disease are often incorrectly reported. CDC reports show roughly 30,000 cases a year, yet lymedisease.org states that the numbers are ten times that at 300,000.
General practitioners are not trained to look for the symptoms of Lyme Disease and not trained to diagnose or treat Lyme. Millions of people may be living with Lyme Disease, overlooked or misdiagnosed by their family physician.
If you have noticed any of the symptoms associated with Lyme Disease it is advisable to seek testing to begin treatment as soon as possible if the bacteria appears.
Lyme bacteria sheds its DNA as a defense, therefore, it eludes the immune system – your strongest line of protection against foreign invaders. Since Lyme tests are searching for white blood cells (or cells fighting the immune system), tests results are often incorrect — flawed in their inability to detect the bacteria unless it was very recently contracted.
Thankfully, Elena explored many Lyme tests. For more information on advanced testing click here.
Lyme Disease was first ‘Lyme Arthritis‘ detected in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. When an onset of arthritic symptoms, thought to be JRA or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis were brought to the attention of a group of Yale scientists.
Bacterium were carefully traced to two streets, then to arthropods and finally – ticks. They named the disease after the city in which it was discovered.
PREVENTION & Protection
The best way to prevent exposure to ticks is to avoid tall brush and cover your skin and hair when in areas of tall grass and overgrowth. Commonly spread by ticks in the wild, Lyme Disease can also be spread by spiders and mosquitoes. Bacteria can be passed congenitally from mother to child and is believed to be transmittable through sexual intercourse.
Essential oils that have been shown to deter ticks and fleas include lavender, pennyroyal, Sweetgrass, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and lemon.
- 20 Drops of Rose Geranium Essential Oil
- 10 Drops of Sweetgrass Essential Oil
- 5 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 Drops of Citronella or Lemon Essential Oil
- 4oz of Rubbing Alcohol, Witch hazel, Vodka, Apple Cider Vinegar or Distilled Water
- Glass Spray Bottle
Directions for Use
Add all of the ingredients into the spray bottle and spray on clothes before going outside. Shake before using.
Note: While you can use water, the other options are better for keeping the oils in solution. Regular tap water may contain contaminants, so distilled water is preferred.
For natural repellents you can buy and apply, use this link, and give 20% of each purchase to Lyme Disease research.
Early detection is key in fighting the bacteria. The chances of it appearing in a Lyme test are far greater within the first week of exposure. Onset symptoms are mild and easily overlooked, but can be treated early on with antibiotics.
For more information about natural tick repellent and prevention check out this great article.
Insect repellents and repellent clothes contain permethrin and DEET, items that can have harmful effects on humans and beneficial organisms like bees.
Below is a list of the Signs & Symptoms of Lyme Disease, provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
“Early Signs and Symptoms
(3 to 30 Days after tick bite)
- Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans (EM) rash:
- Occurs in about 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
- Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days)
- Expands gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more (30 cm) across
- May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
- Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or “bull’s-eye” appearance
- May appear on any area of the body
- See examples of EM rashes
Later Signs and Symptoms
(days to months after bite)
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
- Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis)
- Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- Problems with short-term memory”
Inevitably, since Elena was already in the later stages of Lyme Disease doctors prescribed “antibiotics…lots and lots of antibiotics” as she puts it.
Following Elena’s Lyme diagnosis she underwent nine months of routine Intravenous Argentyn Silver treatments to combat the bacteria attacking her body. Experimenting with supplements, herbs, ozone therapy, colonics and lipid exchanges.
With the baclofen pump still in her abdomin she’s trying to taper off the medicine to remove it; but its proving difficult.
Consequently, after exhausting all of her funds for one year of treatment without successful eradication of the bacteria, Elena decided to try Bee Venom Therapy.
Bee Venom Therapy
Bee venom contains peptides that break up bio-films within the body, killing bacteria while regulating the immune system. Eventually, dormant infections become acute and weaken under the power of the now strengthened immune system.
Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) “is by no means a quick fix or for the faint of heart. Protocol involves being stung along the spine by 10 honey bees three days a week for two to three years. Seems like a long time… but when you have been sick for half of your life it is worth the wait.” – Elena LaGoo
Deep down this monumental feat is a hopeful and exciting step for Elena and her loved ones. Her mother and husband have assembled a hive with little life savers being born every day. Elena and her husband Charlie only sting with bees who are near the end of their natural life cycles and they lovingly thank each bee for their sacrifice.
The way I look at it if you stop trying, you are quitting. I am not willing to quit. Although this “dis-ease” has taken a lot from me it has also taught me a ton. About listening to and respecting my body; treating it like a shy child with love and encouragement; it has also taught me patience, grace and unconditional love for myself.
– Elena LaGoo
In the video below you can see the happiness that emits from Elena’s family as they move one step closer to relieving her ongoing pain.
Please spread the word about Lyme Disease, it could be affecting the ones you love.
Tell us about your experiences and ask questions in the comments below.
***I am not a doctor. Please seek assistance from a family physician or homeopathic healer if you have questions and concerns as a result of what you just read.