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Full moons and lyme disease
The mysterious correlation
What is the direct correlation between a full moon and the increase of symptoms in a person battling Lyme Disease? No one can say with certainty as very little information exists truly explaining why Lyme Disease symptoms become exacerbated during a full moon. What is certain though is that when a full moon occurs, an extensive amount of people enduring Lyme Disease experience a worsening of their symptoms. What is also certain is our relentless desire to discover the enigmatic, and elusive reason and to simply question why.
What are the facts?
So what do we humans know about this subject matter? Well, we know that a full moon occurs every 29.53 days. We also know that the reproductive cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi is roughly every 28-30 days. What has been observed, but not understood or proven why, is that these two events seem to coincide; they happen at the same time continuously. Based on these facts, one may be inclined to reason that the uncanny and mysterious affect of a full moon acts as reminder or alarm clock, if you will, for borrelia burgdorferi to reproduce. Possibly, but many people experience an increase in symptoms in not just a full moon, but a new moon as well. Without definitive, certain or conclusive evidence, one can only assume there is a mysterious correlation between lunar activity as a whole and Lyme Disease.
What is a full/new moon technically?
A full moon is technically when the earth in positioned in between the sun and the moon. The sun's light passes by earth and is reflected on the moon making it appear very bright to those viewing the monthly lunar cycle from earth. This event unfolds every 29.53 days. A blue moon is when a full moon occurs twice in a month as opposed to its normal one time appearance; happening on average every 2.5 years. A supermoon is a full moon in which the earth and the moon are at their shortest distance and this event occurs every 18 years.
A new moon, also known as a solar eclipse, is technically when the moon is positioned in between the sun and the earth. The sun's light passes by the moon and reaches earth allowing its inhabitants to see the silhouette of the moon, or as it's widely know, a solar eclipse. A new moon has the same time cycle as a full moon; appearing every 29.53 days but the two cosmic events alternate every 2 weeks.
Many would assume that the moon's gravitational pull is some how responsible for alerting Borrelia burgdorferi when to reproduce but the moon's gravitational pull does not increase simply because it's full. The two are autonomous of each other. That's not to say that the gravitational pull on the earth does not increase during a full or new moon, or that gravity is ruled out as a suspect entirely. There is another body of mass pulling on the earth during a full and new moon; the sun. When the earth, moon, and sun are aligned as they are during a full and new moon, the gravitational pull on the earth is increased. Let's use logic to understand how an increased gravitational pull on the earth might affect what goes on in our bodies.
Borrelia can't survive outside of its host for long, so it has learned to adapt and utilize the environment it resides in to survive; the human body. 80% of the human body is comprised of water. Water is what covers roughly 75% of the earth's surface. The ocean tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. So based on this logic, it would seem plausible that the increased gravitational pull of both the moon and sun on the earth could some how influence what occurs within our bodies. Whatever the influence is though, it would appear that borrelia is capable of detecting it better than we can. We don't feel or notice the moon's gravitational pull because the earth's gravity is 83.3% stronger, keeping us, the bacteria infiltrating our bodies, and the ocean water adhered to its surface.
Electromagnetic energy is fundamentally the energy created from a magnetic field; more specifically, the earth's magnetic field. This invisible shield protects the earth from cosmic radiation that would otherwise destroy the life on its surface. This magnetic field gives off electromagnetic radiation which affects the cells of our body in subtle but appropriate amounts.
During a full and new moon, it has been noted that electromagnetic energy increases but how? One theory suggests the quartz and rocks within a fault line generate a level of electromagnetic energy when gravity from both the sun and moon tug on the earth. Seems plausible but what does an increase in electromagnetic energy have to do with earth's inhabitants? Well apparently it is believed that animals have the ability to detect changes in electromagnetic energy which leads to traveling, mating and hunting. Bass are believed to spawn during the first full moon after the temperature of the water they reside in reaches 60 degrees fahrenheit. Some species of birds have a migration pattern for mating that coincides with a full moon. For this could certainly explain why borrelia's reproduction cycle happens to occur during a full or new moon.
What do we reason on this strange event as A whole?
It would appear that Borrelia burgdorferi has a reproduction cycle that directly correlates with a full or new moon, which is every 28-30 days. The bacteria obviously has no personal preference as to which moon to reproduce during. Depending on which moon, full or new, you feel worse during, you'll be able to determine the bacteria's reproduction cycle.
It doesn't appear to be the actual reproduction cycle itself that's responsible for the increase of symptoms but the consistent flow of antibiotics that happen to meet the large amount of bacteria that come out of hiding to reproduce. Some people actually increase their antibiotic dosage during a full or new moon in an attempt to kill more of the bacteria at one time.
Much like the treatment used for eradicating Lyme Disease, how a full or new moon affects a person with Lyme Disease is unique to different individuals. Some people start to experience an increase of symptoms a couple days before a full or new moon, some experience symptoms a couple days after, and for the individuals possessing a responsible and prompt infection within, symptoms become exacerbated right on time.