Chronic infection underlies a wide variety of medically important diseases that either follow directly from primary infection or may require months, years or even decades to develop.
Chronic Viral Syndrome
Chronic Viral Syndromes are illnesses that have developed and remain alive in the body. Chronic Viral Syndrome can weaken your immune system. This leaves you susceptible to other infections and diseases. At Dr. Magdalena Swierczewski, Integrative~Concierge Medicine, we can treat your Chronic Viral Illness so you can regain a healthy life. It’s often believed that a virus is gone after you recover from a viral infection. But many viruses “set up housekeeping” in the body and never leave.
What is a Virus?
A virus is composed of nucleic acid, eitherDNA or RNA, surrounded by a protein coat. It requires a living cell in which to multiply. A viral infection can lead to a spectrum of symptoms from asymptomatic (no overt symptoms) to severe disease.
People may get viruses by swallowing or inhaling them, by being bitten by insects, through sexual contact, or congenitally (passed by a pregnant person to the fetus).
Most commonly, viral infections involve the nose, throat, and upper airways, or systems such as the nervous, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems.
Doctors may base the diagnosis on symptoms, blood tests and cultures, or examination of infected tissues.
Antiviral drugs may interfere with the reproduction of viruses or strengthen the immune response to the viral infection.
For example, consider Genital Herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus II). This virus is sexually transmitted. It has an initial phase but can come back over and over. Most patients suffering from Genital Herpes either need continuous treatment or frequent re-treatment. Long-term treatment is preferred. Genital Herpes is contagious even when there are no obvious lesions.
Some viruses never leave your body (for ex: HSV, CMV, EBV), and it’s essential to understand what havoc they can wreak. They can weaken the immune system and leave the body susceptible to other infections. Infectious agents such as yeast, bacteria, and viruses take the opportunity to start multiplying. This creates a condition known as Chronic Viral Syndrome. Strengthening the immune system is key to keeping the infection dormant. Accurate diagnosis and getting control of these infections are critical as well.
Many patients are unaware that they have underlying infections. Symptoms can be subtle and vague. A lot of physicians don’t know how to holistically treat these patients. As a result, patients may feel better short-term but are faced with frequent flare-ups long-term.
Symptoms that present with chronic infections include, but are not limited to:
Periods of exhausting fatigue following a stressful event
Frequent sore throat
Chronic sinus or lung infections
Chronic yeast (Candida) infection
Several chronic viruses that are the most common and problematic are:
Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV1) – the “fever blister/cold sore” virus
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – this virus is a particularly dangerous virus, and can affect many systems; brain, sinuses, retinas, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, and skin
Who is at risk for Chronic Viral Syndrome?
This illnesses can affect anyone from any age or ethnic group.
The Solution to Chronic Viral Syndrome:
Through intensive and thorough laboratory testing, the underlying viruses and other possible infections can be diagnosed and correctly treated. Treatments include repairing the immune system (gut optimization, hormone and nutritional support), antiviral prescription medications, IVs, natural supplements that greatly boost the immune system, as well as peptide therapy . When a patient has received a full course of therapy, often they no longer have the symptoms produced by these disorders and are capable of returning to their normal life.
Lyme DiseaseWhat is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. At first, Lyme disease usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. But if it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Prompt treatment can help you recover quickly.
What causes Lyme disease?
In the United States, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi (B burgdorferi). It spreads to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The ticks that spread it are blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks). They are usually found in the:
Pacific coast, especially northern California
Not all species of ticks can carry these bacteria. Immature deer ticks, called nymphs, are the most common vectors for Lyme disease. They are about the size of a pinhead. Nymphs pick up bacteria when they feed on small rodents, such as mice, infected with B burgdorferi.
These ticks can attach to any part your body. But they are often found in hard-to-see areas such as your groin, armpits, and scalp. Usually the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours or more to spread the bacterium to you.
You can get Lyme disease only if you are bitten by an infected tick.
Stages of Lyme Disease
There are three stages of Lyme disease:
Stage 1 is called early localized Lyme disease. The bacteria have not yet spread throughout the body.
Stage 2 is called early disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have begun to spread throughout the body.
Stage 3 is called late disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have spread to distant sites such as the joints and nerves.
Who is at risk for Lyme disease?
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Early symptoms of Lyme disease start between 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bites you. The symptoms can include:
A red rash called erythema migrans (EM). Most people with Lyme disease get this rash. It gets bigger over several days and may feel warm. It is usually not painful or itchy. As it starts to get better, parts of it may fade. Sometimes this makes the rash look like a “bull’s-eye.”
Muscle and joint aches
Swollen lymph nodes
If the infection is not treated, it can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. The symptoms may include:
Severe headaches and neck stiffness
Additional EM rashes on other areas of your body
Facial palsy, which is a weakness in your facial muscles. It can cause drooping on one or both sides of your face.
Arthritiswith severe joint pain and swelling, especially in your knees and other large joints
Pain that comes and goes in your tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
Heart palpitations, which are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, pounding, or beating too hard or too fast
Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
As part of the integrative panel, Dr Swierczewski also tests for other infectious organisms: CMV, HSV, EBV, Hepatitis A/B/C, H.pylori, Lyme (complete lyme panel) and other tick-borne disease like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis (anaplasma phag.), Babesia, Borrelia Burgorferi, and Bartonella.
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