I’m a little suspicious of authority. I hardly ever take what so-called “experts” say at face value.

And when I hear about new guidelines from the feds… or “breaking news” coming out of the latest conference… I embrace a healthy amount of skepticism.

Before I give ANY credence to anything coming from the “authorities,” I dig past the headlines and what they WANT me to think.

In fact, I’m much more likely to listen to what my own patients tell me. What I can glean through their collective wisdom is a lot closer to the truth than I’ll get out of Pharma-funded studies and parrots with PhDs.

That’s why I was excited to hear that the latest development in Lyme disease arose out of the efforts of everyday people.

And what they found chills me to the bone: The ticks that can carry Lyme disease have spread a lot farther than we thought.

Translation: We’re not as “safe” from Lyme disease as we’ve been told.

In the new study, regular people from 49 states pulled ticks off themselves, their kids, and their pets and shipped them off in a baggie for the researchers to examine further.

Now, not every tick carries Lyme… and some ticks can actually carry and transmit OTHER diseases.

But the 16,000 ticks that were sent in by these civilians provided a much larger data set than the scientists could ever get on their own in such a short period of time. And their multiple locations covered much more ground than most studies ever do – making this a truly national analysis of the Lyme threat.

And the result? Well, our fastidious friends and neighbors found Lyme-carrying ticks in some unexpected places – more specifically, 83 counties across 24 states where we didn’t think folks were at risk.

That means that some folks who thought they might have Lyme… or who knew SOMETHING was wrong but couldn’t get proper diagnosis or treatment… might finally get the help they need.

Because it’s quite possible that there’s no state in the Union that’s safe from Lyme.

Now, there’s already a bit of a blind spot in the mainstream medicinal community when it comes to Lyme. For instance, if you don’t have that “bull’s-eye” rash… or if the offending tick bite occurred months or years ago… you must not have Lyme.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Folks with Lyme DON’T always exhibit a rash, and the symptoms can linger long after they’re supposedly “cured!”

Of course, there are also plenty of folks who experience mystery symptoms that go undiagnosed as long as they’re under the care of a doc who doesn’t bother to look for Lyme! (Or who doesn’t know it when he sees it.)

If you find a tick on yourself, remove it immediately. (There are very good YouTube videos that show you just the right way.)

And regardless of whether the thing bit you, get checked out right away. You may have to go through a process of elimination to find a doc who’ll take your concern seriously, but it’ll be worth the time and effort.

Later today, I’ll have the scoop on another danger of ticks you need to be aware of – and how to prevent them from latching on in the first place.