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Babesia Like Organisms (BabLO): Consideration, Signs and Symptoms

Wayne Anderson ND image

Wayne Anderson ND combines Functional and Integrative Medicine disciplines with the best of conventional medicine.

By Wayne Anderson N.D.

Copyright c 2010 Dr. Wayne Anderson

Disclaimer: given the fact that Borrelia (Lyme disease) and the co-infections (Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, and others) all have the same mechanisms of action there is significant symptom overlap. These symptom pictures are meant to be used as templates that will vary given the diversity of the >100 Babesia subspecies and the individual patient’s co-morbidities, strengths and weakness. This information is primarily written for practitioners, but may be useful to patients as well.

Overview:

When a patient’s symptoms are predominately head and neck you must think of Babesia Like Organisms (BabLo). When the patient has depression, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit disorder (ADD),  with sweats that are worse at night, think BabLo. If the patient has severe memory and cognitive dysfunction with the same sweats as above, BabLo must be considered. For the patient (with any of the above) that also has temperature intolerance, layering clothing at night due to chill then throws off the bed covers due to overheating, BabLo cannot be ignored. If this same patient has racing or irregular heart rate and it is worse at night you are getting even closer to confirming BabLo. Air hunger can come with it. If the patient (with any of the above) describes their headache as weird, pressure, moving sensations, hot or cold, worse behind eyes, crown or in the occipital area consider BabLo. Babesia causes severe insomnia that is resistant to treatment.

Babesia Microtti

Babesia microtti can be transmitted by the bite of a tick. It lives inside the red blood cells.

General BabLO Considerations:
  • Moves very slowly in its chronic form. Can take years to develop a clear chronic symptom pattern.
  • Affects the brain and head; any atypical or exaggerated symptom related to the head must be considered.
  • Can cause headache, occipital and/or frontal (especially behind the eyes), or the sensation of pressure without pain.
  • Most predominate symptoms are related to cognitive and memory processing.
  • Can cause severe mental health symptoms, could manifest as any diagnosis in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders – Volume Four (DSM -IV).
  • Sweating can remain a symptom in the chronic form, can be drenching, especially at night.
  • Little body pain except the wrist/hands and/or ankles/feet
  • Can have severe temperature instability, hot to cold, with the predominance to chill.
  • Patient can have heart racing (autonomically mediated) usually short runs of tachycardia or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), often at night, with a normal cardiac evaluation.
  • Can have other autonomic nervous system disruptions causing shortness of breath (SoB), orthostatic hypotension.
  • Symptoms can be aggravated when present with other co-morbidities, metal illness, etc.
  • Symptoms can be aggravated by other functional metabolic disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and especially menopause and andropause.

BabLO Symptoms :

Chief Complaint: Usually mental and/or emotional

  • Disabling problem with short-term memory, concentration.
  • Progressively disabling memory.
  • Difficulty with direction.
  • Gets lost in familiar place.
  • Difficulty with simple linear thinking.
  • Severe depression (can have suicidal ideation).
  • Fear! Fear!, Fear!, OCD, anxiety to panic.
  • Any symptom from the DmS-IV.
  • Pressure sensation (more than headache), occipital, crown and behind eyes.
  • Various sensations in the head, hot spots, numbness, crawling, crown tenderness.
  • Hypothalamic Dysregulation.
  • Severe sleep disturbance, delayed sleep onset and frequent waking, with difficulty falling back to sleep.
  • Weird dreams to nightmares.
  • Temperature intolerance, hot and cold with chill dominant.
  • Can have occasional fever, but usually can’t get warm.
  • Sweats, can be drenching, worse at night.
  • Mild fluid imbalance, overloaded or dehydrated.
  • Appetite swings, can’t get enough eat, or no appetite

Coming up:

  1. Bartonella Like Organisms (BLO) : Considerations,  Signs, and Symptoms
  2. A-FNG Part Two: Chronic Mold Infections and Lyme Disease

A curious and dedicated clinician, Dr. Anderson is committed to the ongoing process of learning and teaching. In addition to his clinical practice at Gordon Medical, Dr. Anderson maintained his initial focus on teaching. For over 20 years he taught medical students at Touro Osteopathic Medical School, and supervised residents from Sutter Hospital and interns from the Physician Assistant programs in the clinic setting. He is also a popular speaker on the topics of Lyme disease and neurotoxin illness.

Comments

  1. DonnaJayne, we don’t have discussions on the blog, so no one will be seeing your comment. I highly recommend you see a medical professional who has experience with the kinds of things you are going through. They sound very like what many of the GMA patients go through. Here is information on the Michigan Lyme Disease Association. http://www.mlda.org/ I would contact them to find a good doctor who can test you properly and treat if needed. I wish you the best of luck! Susan

  2. Donnajayne Brown says:

    I have been experiencing ALL off the aforementioned symptoms for yearsand they are progressing. Having been treated by a neurologist for severe migraines for decades I also had ALWAYS lived a very active life having been a distance runner for over 40
    yrs., cross country skiing, as well as a hiker, and an equestrian, and an active animal advocate. etc. However approx 10 yrs ago it was as if I had high a brick wall. Insomnia dictated my life if I slept 10 he’s a week I was lucky. I suffer from severe pain, confusion, poor memory, extreme sensitivity to touch, sweats, cold intolerance and a whole constellation of other confusing and debilitative symptoms. Depression has taken over as the quality of my life has diminished exponentially. Having seen a plethora of specialists with no answers I am at my wits end. New symptoms such as severe muscular “charlie horses” that began in my calves but are predominantly more severe & constant in both wrists & hands but also include my upper back and torso. I was bitten by a tick two yrs ago but a “bulls-eye” rash never developed. However, having been a hiker and active on a farm and in wooded areas my entire life makes me wonder about Lymes and other tick- tranferred ilnesses. Is there anyone out there who has experienced any symptoms like these or similar who can guide or help me?Feeling as if I am running out of life in Michigan.

  3. Hi Paul,
    It is possible for whole families to have the same infections. I would be cautious of shopping for a specific diagnosis. Much better is to see a practitioner who can find out what you actually have, as many conditions have similar symptoms, and it can be easy to get confused. Yes, it is possible to cure Babesia after having it for a long time. It all depends on your genetics, that strength of your body, it’s history, and how you treat. I wish good health to you and your family!

  4. Hi,
    We r trying to get the diagnosis of bebesia. Definitely have all the symptoms. Can it be cured after having for a very long time and is it contagious? We feel the entire family has it.
    Have you seen this before in the entire family?

  5. I wish the best for your family in treating! It is hard enough to be ill yourself, but when the family is sick things are even harder. Take the best care of yourself that you can.

  6. Thank you so much for posting all this great information on Babesia. My family has many symptoms of Lyme Disease and various co-infections that it’s hard to keep them all straight but your descriptions help.

  7. Hi Dave,

    I am very sorry to hear your condition. Babesia can be a very difficult organism to treat. Treatment really needs to be individualized. Patients all respond differently to treatment, so it isn’t possible to tell you what to do. Do you have a Lyme Literate practitioner? If you do not have one, or feel you want another opinion, I suggest you contact your local Lyme support group and get a recommendation. http://www.ilads.org also has lists of members who are educated on treating tick borne illness. You are welcome to contact our office if you are in the northern CA area and set up an appointment with one of our practitioners. Call (707) 575-5180 or email info@gordonmedical.com.

    Best wishes for improvement in your health!

  8. Hello I believe I have had babesia for 15 plus years and I exhibit all the symptoms above what will kill babesia in the Brain I am tired of suffering I am slowly loosing my life I can’t function thank you