Urgent care tips for tick bites

Urgent care tips for tick- and vector-borne infections:

  • You can still have Lyme disease if you didn’t develop a rash. 
  • The doctor should check your whole body for rashes — even in hair, behind ears, between toes, in the groin and butt cracks…everywhere!
  • Physical exam should include checking ALL joints for synovitis.
  • Lyme disease is a diagnosis based on SYMPTOMS ONLY! 
  • No lab test is required to access adequate treatment.
  • The current Lyme test catches only 1 of 12+ strains of Lyme Borrelia, and misses all the strains of tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia.
  • The current 2-tier model is outdated. 
  • At the very least, a Western blot should be ordered without what’s called a ‘reflex’ based on the screening test.
  • The Lyme test used in urgent care does not turn “positive” for 4-9 weeks, so:
  • A NEGATIVE TEST IN URGENT CARE DOES NOT RULE OUT LYME DISEASE
  • The lab test used in urgent care tests your immune system reaction (antibodies). It does not test for the presence of the infective agent (antigen). 
  • If the screening test is positive for Lyme at your urgent care visit, either your bite was longer than 4 weeks ago, or this is a reactivated infection. Either way, it needs treatment.
  • A single dose of doxycycline is NOT sufficient treatment for tick borne infections.
  • Treat presumptively if symptomatic, especially in Lyme-endemic areas.
  • Test for co-infections based on incidence data for your area. Check tickreport.com for a good map.
  • I prefer to use herbs when using Rx’s to reduce bacterial resistance and reduce side-effects.
  • I also use things like vitamins E and C, fish oil or Resolvins, and enzymes to reduce thick blood seen with tick borne infections.
  • Borrelia grow slowly, so treatment needs to last a minimum of 60 days in order to be effective.
  • Don’t stop treatment until fully free of symptoms.

ps – sorry for my confusing phrasing about prescription antibiotics and herbs. I don’t always use prescription antibiotics, but when I do, I always combine with herbs.

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This content is health information and not intended as personal medical advice. Viewing will not establish a doctor-patient relationship. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. The information discussed is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Reliance on information provided by Dr. Jill Crista, employees, or others appearing at the invitation of Dr. Crista is solely at your own risk.