Let’s Talk Ticks

This year our staff is taking extra precautions to educate patients about the dangers of tick bites and Lyme disease.  According to the Center for Disease Control, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector borne infectious disease in North America. While you might assume you are safe in Idaho, Lyme disease has been documented in every state in America.  Summer time is a period of increased risk for contracting Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses. People and their pets spend more time enjoying the outdoors.  This translates to more contact with tick habitat such as along waterways, on trails, and in the forest. Ticks may also find their way onto you or your pet when you walk through your yard, garden, or local park.  It is important to know how to protect yourself and your family from these potentially debilitating diseases. Ticks can transmit a number of serious and even potentially fatal illnesses. A single tick bite can result in becoming infected with one or more of the following pathogens: Anaplasmosis, Babesia, WA-1, Lyme disease, Borrelia, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado tick fever, Ehrlichiosis, Powassan virus, Relapsing fever, Parasites, Tularemia, Q Fever,  and Rickettsia.    Wearing long sleeves and long pants with the legs tucked into the socks to will limit skin exposure and venerable to bites.  Permethrin treated clothing provides some protection but can be pricey.  The CDC recommends 20% DEET products, but there are valid concerns when using this on pets, children, the elderly or immune compromised individuals.  DEET has been shown to be a carcinogenic.  It is also a neurotoxin and hormone disruptor that can affect cognitive function and disrupt the delicate endocrine system.  If you would want to avoid the risks associated with pesticides essential oils safely and effectively repel most insects.  Try the Tick Off Essential Oil Insect Repellent recipe blended by our Clinical Herbalist.  This formula is designed with specific essential oils that are known to ward off ticks.

Should you or your family be bitten by a tick or show signs or symptoms of Lyme disease our Clinical Herbalist has the Byron White Tick Bite Protocol. Jessica can walk you through the natural method of addressing tick bites and talk to you about your options.  Having successfully battled Lyme disease herself she is also an advocate for Lyme patients and is forming a Lyme disease support group in the Treasure Valley.  You can reach out to her by contacting our clinic or finding her on Facebook.