1. What role does the tick life cycle play in tick-borne illness?
Each tick will feed on 3 hosts during a 2 year lifecycle― one each at nymph, larval and adult stages. Because ticks attach to various host animals and feed on their blood, ticks harbor a variety of bacteria and viruses in their gut. These blood-borne bacteria are easily spread from the first host – often a rodent or bird― which “picks up” the nymph in a moist dirt bed― to the second host, a dog or deer. Blood-borne bacteria from the tick’s first two hosts are transmitted to its final host, which is sometimes a human. Depending on what is absorbed from the previous blood meal(s), ticks may transmit bacteria or viruses which cause disease to both people and animals. (Remember, however, that not all bacteria will cause disease.)
For example, ticks get the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease by feeding on white-footed mice, “the reservoir” of this infectious disease. This unique kind of bacteria is called a spirochete. It has a corkscrew shape, like a Slinky™ and can curl has the ability to collapse into a dormant “round body" to survive when conditions are unfavorable―such as when a host is receiving antibiotic treatment in an attempt to kill it. When conditions change, the spirochete bacteria can unravel and continue causing tissue damage and disease.
2. Why is tick-borne borreliosis called “Lyme Disease” in the US?
Have you heard of Leaky Gut Syndrome? It's also known as Leaky Bowel Syndrome or "increased intestinal permeability," and it's a hot topic among health practitioners. Perhaps you've read an article online, seen a friend's post on social media or overhead a conversation in the grocery store. There are many places you may have heard about Leaky Gut, but there is one place where it's not often discussed: your doctor's office. This is because it can be difficult to diagnose, there is no definitive course of treatment, and it has a lot of different causes. But perceptions are changing, and that's good because it may be the medical revelation of the 21st century.
To Find Out More, Let's Take a Deep Dive Into The Small Intestine.
The small intestine is semi-permeable, meaning it allows some very small particles — nutrients, for example — to pass through and exit into the bloodstream while blocking most everything else. The surface area is immense, covered with "villi", or small snake-like cellular protrusions of the intestinal wall. These villi are themselves covered with "microvilli'' - a large magnitude of even smaller snake-like protrusions (or like the bristles on a broom). These microvilli are not visible to the naked eye and are the location of nutrient absorption.