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Tips to Deal with Ticks and/or Lyme Disease

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This is the season for ticks, which means you may be at risk of getting infected with Lyme disease, as well as Babesia, Erlichia, Bartonella and other associated diseases.
If you get Lyme disease and/or a related disease, you may get some or more of the following ailments: fatigue, muscle or joint pain, headaches, mental confusion, fever or chills and swollen lymph nodes.
Why am I bringing this up now?
Well, in the past week, two people (one friend and one acquaintance) sought me out to discuss Lyme disease. They both know that back in 2008, one of those teeny-tiny bugs got far too cozy with me (burrowing under my skin — yuck!) and gave me this Modern Menace. So now I know a bit about this devastating condition.
In 2008, after being afflicted with Lyme disease, I plunged into investigative journalist mode. (My background is as a reporter.)
So I began holding Gab with the Gurus shows to help others, reading books, etc. Therefore, here are some Lyme disease resources for you and your loved ones:
First I invite you to read and comment on my op ed piece on AOL News last year about Lyme disease — http://tinyurl.com/LymeDiseaseOpEdConnieAOL10
Then listen to my Gab with the Gurus Shows about Lyme disease. I’ve done several. Here’s my last show about Lyme in 2010: http://tinyurl.com/LymeDiseaseGabGurus2010Connie
Now, listen to links to two Gab with the Gurus shows with Lyme experts in 2009 http://tinyurl.com/LymeDiseaseGurus07-09Connie and http://tinyurl.com/LymeDiseaseGurus08-09Connie
And check out my very first Gab with the Gurus Show right after I got Lyme disease in 2008. I was joined by more amazing experts. (Bear in mind that I wasn’t feeling well when I did this show and was kind of spacey and wiped out.) Listen here: http://tinyurl.com/LymeDiseaseGabGurus08-08Connie
Watch this trailer for the dramatic, eye-opening film, “Under Our Skin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxWgS0XLVqw
See this blog post about Lyme disease, too, and how you can get Bitten in the City.
Now, for a few pointers if you’ve been out near nature and aren’t feeling right:
Get some help right away!
Bear in mind that fewer than 50 percent of people know they were bitten by a tick.
See what’s called a Lyme-literate doctor pronto. You can find one through ILADS (that’s the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society at www.ilads.org or the Turn The Corner Foundation at ww.turnthecorner.org.
If you do have Lyme disease, I believe that one week or 10 days of antibiotics isn’t enough. Of course, bear in mind that I am NOT a doctor, and I’m not giving medical advice. This is my perspective based on my own experiences and the considerable research that I did. That’s why it’s imperative to see a Lyme-literate doctor.
Purify your diet big time. Get on what I call a Quality Diet. You don’t want your body to be a hospitable host for those nasty spirochetes.
In particular, cut out all processed carbs and sweets. This is very important! (After being diagnosed with Lyme disease, I started laughing when the doctor told me to quit sugar. For some reason, in my fatigued, fuzzy-headed state, it struck me as humorous. I’m not sure why, but bear in mind that I felt awful and I’d already been off sugar since 1998.)
Educate yourself. You need to learn about this scary disease. I highly recommend Pamela Weintraub’s book, Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic. You also may want to read Coping with Lyme Disease and User’s Guide to Treating Lyme Disease.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t been bitten by a tick, here are some ideas what to do when you go out outdoors:
When you go into nature, wear long pants! Then, make sure to tuck your pant legs into your socks so those little critters can’t crawl up under your pant legs. Apparently, some ticks even can crawl down into your shoes. They’re even small enough to crawl through socks.
If you don’t wear long pants or if you do, make sure that every time you come back from nature, especially tick-infested areas such as in the Northeast, very, very carefully check your and/or your loved ones’ bodies body for ticks! This is imperative! (You can even whip out a mirror and a magnifying class to inspect under your arms, near or even in your ears, inside your belly button, between your legs, on the back of your knees, and even near your hair. (One Lyme expert found a tick washing her hair after being out in nature!) That’s why, with my long curly hair, I usually hide it under a hat under my helmet if I’m out bicyling.
When you’re back home, take off your clothing and toss everything in the washing machine and the dryer. Make sure to put the the dryer at high heat, because that’s how ticks are killed.
Bear in mind that your pets may be tick carriers, too, so inspect them, too. Just think — they often frolic about in nature so when you hug or pet them, those ticks could be transferred to you.
If you do find a tick attached to your skin, pull out a tweezer and pluck it out. Do not pull it out with your hands. At that point, you may even want to get the tick checked for Lyme disease. (URL coming of places that do that.)
Read more extensive information at www.turnthecorner.org or www.ilads.org.
Would you like to chat about ticks and Lyme disease? Post comments here, on this Sugar Shock Blog and on my Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/smarthabitsfans
Look forward to connecting.

Announcements

Off Vacationing to Walk My Talk: Do You Take Time for You?

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Lately, I’ve been striving to walk my talk. Sure, I stay away from sugar and refined carbs and work out, but I just work too hard and don’t take enough time for me.
So I’m off on vacation now taking some much-needed time for me.
Back on July 13 to help you again.
Do you walk your talk? If so, I encourage you to do so. I’m already feeling much more invigorated and ready to give back.
By the way, if you have sugar issues, did you know that I offer coaching (of course, my time is limited).
If you’re fed up with your sugar issues, it would be my honor to help you break free of your sugar addiction. And I know we can do that together!

Announcements

Lyme Disease: You Can Get Bitten in the City & Country: Learn About this Controversial Infectious Disease With “Under Our Skin” Creators

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I’m concerned. People quickly reading this New York Daily News article may falsely conclude that you can only get Lyme disease in wooded or rural areas in Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island and Westchster County.
That’s not true. You can get “Bitten in the City,” which is what happened to me last year at this time. (You can learn about Lyme disease and my horrible experiences in last year’s radio show.)
In my opinion, a lot more than 538 New Yorkers got Lyme disease last year. You see, many people have this disease but don’t know it, because doctor’s often misdiagnose Lyme disease as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc.)
Anyhow, of course, there’s truth to the statement that “city dwellers have less exposure to ticks,” as Dr. David David P. Calfee of Mount Sinai tells reporter Katie Charles, but it’s false that “Rocky Mountain fever is the only disease known to be transmitted in all five boroughs.”
Incidentally, because of my experiences with Lyme disease, I’m now inspired to write a book about it. “Bitten in the City: Facts & Fallacies about Lyme Disease” is the working title for this book.
Tune in July 14 to my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show for a special show about Lyme disease in which I talk with Andy Abrahams Wilson, director/producer of the poignant documentary, “Under Our Skin.”

Health News & Tidbits

Lyme Disease Featured on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s “Oprah & Friends Radio Show”

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Hurrah to Dr. Mehmet Oz for discussing Lyme disease on the “Oprah & Friends Radio Show.”
The acclaimed Dr. Oz — who, of course, appears often on “Oprah” — conducted interviews with “Under Our Skin” filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson and reporter Kathy Fowler.
Listen now to the fascinating “Oprah & Friends Radio Show.”
I also encourage you to listen to my Gab With The Gurus Radio Show about Lyme disease in August. In the show, I discussed my bout with this menacing disease, and I also interviewed Pamela Weintraub, author of the groundbreaking new book, Cure Unkown; Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association; Bernard D. Raxlen, M.D.; Steven J. Bock, M.D.; Dr. Qingcai Zhang; author Rebecca Wells (“Ya-Ya” novels) and Kris Newby, senior producer of the new documentary, Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease.

Catching Up With Connie

Music: No Need to Turn to Sugar, Drugs, Booze, Etc. When Soothing, Uplifting Tunes Can Lift Your Spirits

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As I’m sitting here faced by an almost non-stop, ferocious, crushing Lyme disease-induced headache, which makes sleep virtually impossible, I’m easily riding it through, thanks to the fabulous tunes of "Miss Saigon" to which I’m now listening. Which leads me to ask those of you who are suffering with bad habits: Why turn to sugar, […]