What Causes Lyme Disease?


Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Rawls.
What causes Lyme disease? That’s a big question. Most people would
answer that question by saying “the microbe Borrelia burgdorferi.” That was
the microbe that was discovered in the original Lyme patients from Lyme,
Connecticut back in the 70s. But, now we know that there are at least twelve
different species of Borrelia worldwide that can cause Lyme disease and Lyme
disease-like syndromes. So we know that it’s not just one microbe — it’s a whole
spectrum of microbes. And then when you start looking at the difference
between acute Lyme disease, which is an infection with Borrelia, compared to
chronic Lyme disease, which is what most people are experiencing, then you
start looking at the co-infections. So there’s mycoplasma and
bartonella and Babesia and all these other microbes that can be spread by
ticks or are present where there is Lyme disease. So it’s not
ever just one microbe. There are always other microbes involved. And if you look
at these microbes independently Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia — they can
cause very very similar symptoms to Lyme disease. So technically, somebody
could have one of these other microbes, or several of these other microbes,
not have Borrelia, and have all of the symptoms of Lyme disease. But the
question really even goes back to the original studies of Lyme disease. Lyme
disease was “discovered back” in 1976 in Lyme, Connecticut. The city was growing
and people were moving out into wooded suburbs and they started getting
tick bites. And a group of children and some adults got an acute febrile illness
and became definitely sick. They gathered the blood specimens,
sent them off and a researcher by the name of Willie Burgdorfer was the one
that was researching this material that had analyzed these specimens. Well, he
didn’t just find one microbe — he found a number of microbes and he had to pick
one to say, “Well, what is this coming from?” So he, in his research, he found this
microbe that was a form of Borrelia then ended up taking his name — Borrelia
burgdorferi — and that’s what he defined as the microbe that was causative of the
condition that occurred in Lyme, Connecticut. So we’ve identified that
microbe with this disease ever since. But very interestingly, toward the end of his
life Dr. Burgdorfer wrote about the possibility that maybe that wasn’t the
complete cause, because he also found a species of Rickettsia in those samples,
which is really interesting. And toward the end of his life, he was questioning,
“Well, was it Rickettsia? Was it Borrelia?” and we know that Rickettsia is more
apt to cause an acute febrile illness than Borrelia is. So even today, we’re not
quite sure. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s never “a” microbe.
Ticks can carry hundreds of microbes. So, when you’re trying to answer that
question, “What causes Lyme disease?”, it’s not as straightforward as it might seem.
We know microbes are involved, we know a certain kind of microbes that we define
as stealth microbes are involved, but I don’t ever look at Lyme disease as “an
infection” with “a microbe”. So if you’d like to know more about
this kind of information and some opinions that might be a little bit
contrary to the mainstream, check out my website RawlsMD.com and you
may want to sign up for our newsletter. I’m constantly trying to write about new
ways of looking at this really odd illness that we’re having
to deal with today. Thanks for watching my video. I hope you found it helpful. Be
sure and subscribe to my channel, so you don’t miss any upcoming videos. And while
you’re at it, please take the time to leave me a comment. I would really like
to know of any questions that you might want answered in future videos. Thanks
for watching.

1 thought on “What Causes Lyme Disease?

  1. I've been struggling from debilitating chronic fatigue & pain for last 7 years. I was bedridden for years especially during winters. I got my diagnosis (babesiosis) just a few months ago. Anyway, I found a lot of coping techniques & now I'm like 85-90% normal.

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