By Dr. Yinan Kevin Wang
Lyme disease which is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacterial infection. It is transmitted to the human being through bite by an infected deer tick. All the symptoms would be started from 3 to 32 days after the tick bite, and there are a lot of the different symptoms will be happened which depend on the different infection’s stage.
Mostly the symptoms have three stages:
Stage 1: The symptoms start 1-2 weeks after bitten by the deer tick. The earliest sign is the rash as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. That means the bacteria are multiplying in the blood flow, and the rash will disappear after 4 weeks. And there are some symptoms come with the rash, the character like a flu such as chills, fever, sore throat, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and enlarged lymph nodes.
Stage 2: The symptoms start several weeks or months after bitten by the tick. About 8%-15% the patients have the obvious neurological signs such as numbness, tingling, Bell’s palsy, and the heart-implicated.
Stage 3: The symptoms occur couple of weeks even in two years after the bite. About 80% the patients have the arthritis signs mostly on the big joints. And the other symptoms will show on as irregular-heartbeat, shorten memory, difficulty concentrating.
How the western-medicine treat the Lyme disease?
The best time to treat the Lyme disease is the early stage by using 14-21 days course of the oral antibiotics to clean the infection. Mostly the medicine is doxycycline for adults and children older than 8 years old; and cefuroxime and amoxicillin for adults, younger children, and women who are nursing or breastfeeding.
How the eastern-medicine treat the Lyme disease?
There is no any historical data to teach us what is the Lyme disease, and how to treat it, because there is no found this disease at that time. But we still can use the Chinese-medical to treat it by analyzing all the symptoms of the Lyme disease in the different stage.
The first stage of the Lyme disease, TCM believe the reason is the body hit by the damp-toxin and heat-toxin, and the pathogeny attacks the defensive-phase (the body surface and the muscles), so there are a lot of the symptoms show as the flu. When the patient’s immune system is weak, the pathogeny will be through in the qi-phase even the nutrient phase that will cause the body aches and the erythema migrants.
The therapeutic principle is clear the damp-heat and detoxifying. The formula we will use CHAI GE JIE JI TANG being a main formula and depend on the symptoms will do some change.
The second stage of the Lyme disease, TCM believe the pathogeny which does not get the good control block the blood-flow and qi-flow on the heart and spleen. It causes the deficiency of both heart and spleen. Therefore, the patient will appear the symptoms such as numbness or pain in the nerve area, Bell’s palsy, and palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
The therapeutic principle is clear the damp-heat and tonify the spleen and heart. We will use the formula FU ZI XIE XIN TANG and BAN XIA XIE XIN TANG being the main formula.
The third stage of the Lyme disease, TCM believe the body is really weakness during the long-time infection, the qi and blood of the body are deficiency. And the liver and kidney have been damaged by the pathogenic factors. After that, the dampness deeply attacks the joints, so there are many symptoms as the arthritics. In fact, the arthralgia is not the only symptom they have, there are a lot of the different symptoms will show on the body such as the tinnitus, edema, memory losing, anxiety, etc.
The therapeutic principle is eliminating wind and dampness, tonify the liver and kidney. So, the acupuncture and Chinese herbs will be used in this course, and I will talk the detail below.
What is the different between the western-medicine and the eastern-medicine when they treat the Lyme disease?
Firstly, the most antibiotics can cause the liver kidney Damage. The liver being a detox organ must resolve all this chemical, but long-term intake these medicine the liver cannot do the detox very well, the liver function will decrease, the immune system will be weak, they couldn’t clear the bacteria and virus completely. After that, the bacteria and the virus will go further, they will pass the defense and damage the organs.
Secondly, due to the lack of the good method treat the arthritics, the Lyme disease develop the third stage, they cannot treat it well and hard to clear all the infection from the joints. The just can give the analgesic to release the pain, but cannot totally clear the arthritics. But all the analgesic still can cause the liver kidney Damage, it is not good for the body healing.
When the eastern-medicine treat the Lyme disease, we will use the acupuncture and the Chinese herbs. All these treatments use the nature method to help the organ getting heal and cannot cause any the damage to the organ.
Above all, TCM is good at treating the arthritics, there are many successful case to prove the Chinese medicine on treating the joint pain and joint swollen achieved good results. Therefore, for the late stage of Lyme disease the eastern-medicine will have a great helpful.
What we do in our clinic to treat the Lyme Disease?
Mostly the early Lyme Disease cannot be known and be treated immediately by using TCM, so we pay more attention to work on the last stage in our clinic. Like I said, mostly in the last stage of the Lyme Disease, the patient’s immune system had already damage by the pathogenic, that means the body’s energy-flow is going down, they cannot protect the body very well, so the patients easily attack by some bacteria and virus like flu. Our principle call YI QI JIE DU, FU ZHENG QU XIE (means boost energy-flow and detoxification).
The first step, we will use acupuncture to open the whole body’s meridian, waking up the immune system and improve them to rising the patient’s defenses, and it still can let the body easy to absorb the Chinese herbs which we will use be a daily treatment. We will use the points BAI HUI, ZHONG WAN, QI HAI, GUAN YUAN, ZU SAN LI, to boost the energy-flow. And we will use BU ZHONG YI QI TANG which will be a drinking formula to do the daily boost. The herb called HUANG QI in this formula is the main herb be used. The function of it is tonify QI and Blood, work on fatigue, dizziness, numbness, and circulation problem. It is good for re-built the immune system.
The second step, we will do the targeted treatment. Depend on the different patients’ symptoms, we will use the acupuncture and the different herbs to treat.
If the main symptom is joint pain kind like RA(Rheumatoid Arthritis), we will use the points QU CHI, WAI GUAN, YANG LING QUAN, YIN LING QUAN, XUAN ZHONG, ZU SAN LI, HE GU, TAI CHONG and BA XIE, BA FENG to help the body do more detox, clean the wind-damp-heat toxic to release the pain and clean the inflammation. And we still need use the basic formula DU HUO JI SHENG TANG, JUAN BI TANG be our main formulas, and still need add some extra herbs inside, as HU ZHANG, TU FU LING, JI XUE TENG, YUAN HU. Those herbs have been known really worked for arthritis case and RA case.
If the symptoms are vasculitis or neuritis, that means the blood-flow cannot supply the brain and muscle enough then cause the central nervous system problems as the headache, emotional, lost memory, anxiety, etc., or cause the peripheral nervous disease such as body ache, numbness, weakness muscle, cold hands and feet, local skin change the color, etc. We use the acupuncture points JIAN YU, QU CHI, WAI GUAN, WAN GU, HE GU, YANG CHI, BA XIE work for the upper body; and use BI GUAN, LIANG QIU, FENG SHI, ZU SAN LI, JIE XI, BA FENG to work for the lower body. The points will help the body’s circulation increase and can help them to clean the inflammation easily. The herbs mostly we will use in the formula are GE GEN (which is good for increase the blood-flow to the brain), JI XUE TENG (which is easily targeted the herbs to the local nerves ending).
If the symptoms show more about the liver and kidney problems, which the reason could be using the medicines long-term or haven’t get the right treatment, so the liver and kidney will damage by the toxic. We use points TAI CHONG, TAI XI, SAN YIN JIAO, QI MEN, SHEN SHU, GAN SHU, HE GU to reactivate their functions, then they can do more detox. The formula we will use LIU WEI DI HUANG TANG, ZHEN WU TANG to help the liver and kidney improving theirs functions.
All in all, using the TCM to work on the Lyme Disease is a good, safety, effective treatment choice, and relative to the western medicine it has its unique result.