May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
At Back to Health Wellness Centre, our practitioners recognize the importance of raising awareness of Lyme Disease as it is one of the fastest spreading infectious diseases in the world.
Lyme Disease is carried by ticks, which are migrating all across Canada at an alarming speed. Canadian scientists predict that by the year 2020, 80% of the population in Eastern Canada (including Manitoba) will be living in a tick-populated area.
The Lyme bacteria may also be passed from a pregnant mother to her child in the womb and there are concerns this infection may be sexually transmitted. In addition Babesia, a Lyme Co-Infection, has been found to be in the United States blood supply.
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), there are 300,000 NEW cases of Lyme in the United States every year most of which occur within 400 miles of the Canadian border. The numbers in Canada are also growing at an alarmingly fast rate!
VOCAL Ottawa: Voices of Canadians about Lyme Disease
Join this Canada-wide initiative on Saturday June 3rd at Parliament Hill (and in other capital cities across Canada) from 1-4 pm.
OUR GOAL: To raise awareness about this EVER growing silent epidemic to the general public, and to unite Canadians across Canada who are suffering from Lyme disease!
HOW CAN YOU HELP: Please continue to share this information, and invite your family and friends to join this event.
VOCAL (Voices of Canadians about Lyme Disease) will be hosting events to raise awareness of Lyme disease including galas, walks, and demonstrations. We will be hosting an event on Parliament Hill; the seat of our federal government, and are inviting musical performers as well speakers, including celebrity advocates, politicians, doctors and researchers! Our goal is to bring more recognition to the general public as to the risks and severity of Lyme disease, and to the plight of those living with Lyme disease.
Note: that we are a completely grass roots organizing committee comprised of people living with Lyme Disease and our supporters who are committed to bringing more awareness and action to this worldwide silent epidemic. We have several movements underway in Canada that are attempting to change this.
For more information or if you want to sponsor this event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyme Disease: Children and Youth
“Children are at highest risk for Lyme Disease where up to 60% will develop chronic symptoms which may impede them from achieving their genetic potential.” – Dr. Elena Frid
The following video was made by a young woman who is a university student in Canada…here she chronicles the interrupted lives of some of her friends… Link to Video: ”Lyme Interrupted: Our Stories” , watch the following video for stories on children living with Lyme disease.
Children with Lyme disease have special issues. Since they can’t always explain what feels wrong, they may just come across as cranky and irritable. They suffer when their bodies hurt, when their illness disrupts their sleep at night, when they struggle in school, when they don’t even feel like playing. They may feel confused, lost and betrayed by parents and teachers who fail to recognize that they are sick and need help. Mothers and fathers may not understand what the child’s normal baseline is. Is this the “terrible twos” or “the nine-year-old change” or is something really wrong?
Because the symptoms of Lyme disease can be non-specific, vague and changeable, adults may not even realize these children are ill. They may suspect them of making things up to gain attention or to avoid school. Children with Lyme often have trouble in the classroom, because the disease can contribute to learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
Children are especially vulnerable to tick-borne diseases because they are physically low to the ground, where the ticks are. They play in leaves, roll on grass, cuddle with pets and otherwise increase their exposure to ticks.
Lyme pediatric specialist Charles Ray Jones, Medical Doctor, compiled a list of common symptoms of infection in his young patients:
- severe fatigue unrelieved by rest
- nausea, abdominal pain
- impaired concentration
- poor short-term memory
- inability to sustain attention
- difficulty thinking and expressing thoughts
- difficulty reading and writing
- being overwhelmed by schoolwork
- difficulty making decisions
- uncharacteristic behavior
- outbursts and mood swings
- joint pain
- noise and light sensitivity
Among Dr. Jones’ patients, only half have had a known tick attachment. Fewer than 10% have had an erythema migrans rash (bull’s-eye). Dr. Jones has also documented congenital, or gestational, Lyme disease in some children he thinks were infected in utero or by breastfeeding. In these patients his suspicion is raised when the child has:
- frequent fevers
- increased incidence of ear and throat infections
- increased incidence of pneumonia
- joint and body pain
- poor muscle tone
- gastroesophageal reflux
- small windpipe (tracheomalacia)
- cataracts and other eye problems
- developmental delay
- learning disabilities
- psychiatric manifestations
Some Other Video Links:
This song was written by the friend of a young woman living in Oshawa, Ontario who has Lyme disease to help raise awareness: “Wake up Call” by J-Preece ft Karbine :
“Memory loss is abnormal at any age ! There is always an underlining problem when one deals with memory issues. Learn about Lyme Disease” – Dr. Elena Frid
Link to Interview with Dr. Elena Frid:
- Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
- Lyme Ontario
- Lyme Interrupted (Facebook page)
- Team Ottawa Lyme Fighters (Facebook page)
- Lyme OHOH Canada (Facebook page)
- Ottawa Lyme Disease Support Group (Facebook page)
- Link to article “Lyme in the Pines: Mother of infected son wishes to spread word of the dangers of this disease”