A free information session on the perils of Lyme Disease is being offered in Cranbrook on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Dr. Ernie Murakami, founder Murakami Centre for Lyme Research, Education & Assistance, will be speaking at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre starting at 7 p.m.
A press release by the organizers says that Dr. Murakami has treated and consulted with over 3,000 people that have presented positive serology for Lyme and co-infections in Canada. His longterm goal is “to help get rid the layers of mistrust and misguided information to expose the truth and weak areas that need to be addressed by our current health care system behind this disease.
“Dr. Murakami … has made it his life’s work to further educate and treat Lyme in Canada.”
Admission to the presentation is free, though donations will be accepted to help cover the travel costs of Dr. Murakami
The presentation is an initiative of Julia O’Shannassy from Fernie, who herself is afflicted with Lyme Disease.
“Prior to becoming ill, I was very active. I became very ill in the Fall of 2012 — it felt like I was coming down with the flu.”
After consultations with her GP and various specialists, O’Shannassy was finally told she had a virus.
“By the spring, I was starting to feel a bit better, but my health went downhill again very quickly. By July I was completed exhausted all the time, had severe joint pain and couldn’t concentrate.
“I started doing my own research and stumbled upon Lyme Disease.
O’Shannassy said she also learned that diagnosis and treatment in Canada are poor, so she went to specialist in the Seattle to get diagnosis and treatment.
“I had a positive blood test and started antibiotic treatment at the end of August, 2013. I have now been on antibiotic treatment for 13 months. I also take various supplements and try to eat a fairly strict diet.
“I would say that I am now 80 per cent better, but still have a ways to go until I am able to be as active as I once was.
“I just want to get the message out to people that Lyme Disease is in the East Kootenay but that you may not be able to get proper diagnosis and treatment in this area.”
Some facts about Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly spreading vector-borne diseases in the world. It is an inflammatory infection that spreads to humans through tick bites.
Three stages of Lyme Disease:
Stage 1: Early infection (first few days after infection)
Stage 2: Infection spreads (days to weeks following infection)
Stage 3: Chronic Lyme (days to weeks after infection if left untreated, or not properly treated, for months/years after infection)
Lyme disease is most treatable during Stage 1.
Symptoms worsen during each stage of infection, ranging from flu-like symptoms to neurological illnesses, including paralysis. With chronic Lyme disease there is not one system of the body that can be unaffected… this includes various hormone production as well. Lyme Disease is very often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Research shows that it can take several rounds of antibiotics to overcome Lyme infection. Talk to your doctor about additional antibiotic treatments if you’ve been experiencing symptoms for an extended period of time.