Published: May 5, 2022 | Updated: May 6, 2022
Daisy seeks to raise awareness of ‘the world’s most misunderstood pandemic’ with new book
It’s a disease that affects hundreds of thousands – and potentially millions – of people in the UK and across the globe.
Indeed, Daisy Ilchovska describes it as the world’s most misunderstood pandemic.
Now the Bournemouth-based nutritionist, published researcher and former Lyme Disease patient has released a new book – Lyme in the Limelight – aimed at raising awareness.
Ten per cent of all proceeds will go to the charity, Lyme Disease UK.
Lyme Disease is the fastest-growing vector-borne bacterial infection (viral diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, lice, biting flies, and fleas) in the UK.
It can trigger more than 40 different symptoms in infected individuals including fatigue, brain fog, muscle twitching, flu-like symptoms, painful arthritis and severe neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness and non-epileptic seizures.
The infection is clinically very difficult to diagnose and, says Daisy, there could be many issues with the standard used two line testing on the NHS, which yields a large percentage of false negative results.
According to government statistics there are only about 2,000-3,000 reported cases of the disease in the UK.
However, some infectious disease modelling-based research suggests that the true scale of the issue here in the UK could be 132,000 new infections every year with as many as 2.8 million people in the UK living with chronic Lyme Disease.
Some other European countries such as Germany are suggested to have as many as ten million people living with chronic Lyme.
Daisy, 36, said: “These figures show a true pandemic scale.
“While Covid has been the most well-known pandemic to date, Lyme is a silent pandemic that continues to affect hundreds of thousands who are often dismissed by doctors and the conventional medical community due to gross misunderstanding and stigma surrounding the disease.
“In my clinic I see at least three new Lyme Disease clients a week.
“Some don’t even realise that Lyme can be behind their mysterious symptoms, which many doctors and conventional tests have not been able to pinpoint.”
After starting her career in communications, Daisy was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition rheumatoid arthritis ten years ago at the age of 26.
Doctors told her to expect to be disabled within the next eight years.
When the disease kept progressing, she started independent research on nutrition and complementary therapies and began applying her findings to her diet and lifestyle.
Within a few years the symptoms were disappearing and Daisy slowly phased out the medications.
She was inspired to write ‘Lyme in the Limelight’ because of her own experience with the disease.
Three years ago she was bitten by a tick, which went undetected, and developed a neurological manifestation of Lyme Disease which leads to a disorder of the central nervous system.
Daisy overcame Lyme through her own research and seeking out world-class treatment in Germany.
She said: “I don’t remember being bitten by a tick or having the signature rash, but within weeks my initial flu-like symptoms and twitching muscles turned into non epileptic seizures, burning sensations at the bottom of my feet, severe insomnia and brain fog.
“Neither my GP, nor the number of private doctors I saw, could help me or at least tell me what was going on, but some were quite dismissive that it could be Lyme Disease.
“At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I travelled to Germany to seek treatment for the disease ultimately saving my own life.
“There I met many people from all over the world with similar stories.”
‘Lyme in the Limelight’ explores how Lyme patients can take control of their own health and treatment.
It offers a story of hope outlining the variety of lifestyle changes available as well as new research on the link between Lyme and autoimmunity.
Most importantly, says Daisy, it presents a practical, evidence-based road map for resilience and recovery that shows Lyme patients that they do not have to suffer in silence.
Instead it empowers them by providing a huge range of tips and techniques on overcoming Lyme.
Prof Yehuda Shoenfeld, one of the most prominent scientists and researchers in the area of autoimmune diseases and Editor of numerous medical journals, said: “Lyme Disease is an underappreciated persistent bacterial infection, which can cause a multitude of symptoms and also trigger several different types of autoimmunity, including neurological autoimmune diseases.
“Daisy does a great job of explaining the mechanisms behind it and how you can manage it through supplements, diet and lifestyle changes.”
The 367-page book is available in hard copy and ebook format via Amazon by clicking here.
Having completed an MSc in Personalised Nutrition, Daisy is now a qualified and registered Nutritional Therapist.
She practises at the London Clinic of Nutrition and her own virtual clinic in Bournemouth, Optimal Health Nutrition, which helps people to overcome health challenges through evidence-based strategies.