Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Can Lyme Disease Be Treated Years Later

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How To Remove A Tick

Long Haul Lyme Disease Risk Found: Even in Early Treated Patients | Johns Hopkins Rheumatology

A tick must remain attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to spread Lyme disease. The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to remove a tick as soon as possible.

The blacklegged tick that spreads disease-causing bacteria resembles a tiny spider. Young ticks are around the size of a poppy seed, while adult ticks are around the size of a sesame seed. Ticks of all ages are reddish-brown.

Below are some steps for tick removal.

  • Step 1: Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Avoid squeezing the tick.
  • Step 2: Using the tweezers, pull the tick carefully and steadily away from the skin. Avoid yanking or twisting the tick, as this could cause its mouthparts to remain in the skin.
  • Step 3: After removing the tick, dispose of it by putting it in some alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
  • Step 4: Apply antiseptic to the tick bite.

Has Niaid Looked At The Potential Benefits Of Long

Yes. NIAID has funded three placebo-controlled clinical trials on the efficacy of prolonged antibiotic therapy for treating PTLDS. The published results were subjected to rigorous statistical, editorial, and scientific peer review.

These trials were designed to ensure that several key parameters were addressed:

  • The susceptibility of B.burgdorferi to the antibiotics used
  • The ability of the antibiotics to both cross the blood-brain barrier and access the central nervous system and to persist at effective levels throughout the course of therapy
  • The ability of the antibiotics to kill bacteria living both outside and inside mammalian cells
  • The safety and welfare of patients enrolled in the trials

The first clinical trial, which included two multicenter studies, provided no evidence that extended antibiotic treatment is beneficial. In those studies, physicians examined long-term antibiotic therapy in patients with a well-documented history of previous Lyme disease but who reported persistent pain, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. Those symptoms are common among people reporting PTLDS. Patients were treated with 30 days of an intravenous antibiotic followed by 60 days of an oral antibiotic.

In 2016, a clinical trial conducted in the Netherlands also concluded that in patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease, longer term treatment with antibiotics did not provide additional benefits compared with shorter term regimens.

Can Lyme Disease Be Detected By A Blood Test

In a word: yes!

A blood test does not only detect Lyme disease it is the most accurate and preferred test for diagnosing the disease. If a patient with Lyme disease shows signs that the central nervous system has been affected by the disease, western blot testing on the cerebrospinal fluid can be performed. If ordering from Walk-In Lab, a doctors note is not needed. Just pick your Lyme disease test and place your order online.

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Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease

The CDC reports that late stage Lyme disease may appear days to months after the initial tick bite and may include but are not limited to:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes in new places on the body
  • Facial palsy, also known as Bells palsy paralysis of one side of the face
  • Arthritis or joint pain and swelling, especially of large joints
  • Intermittent tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, or bone pain
  • Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
  • Dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

As mentioned above, late stage Lyme may also be characterized by the recurrence of early stage symptoms, such as fatigue.

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Some Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms

Can You Treat Lyme Disease Years Later

As mentioned, chronic Lyme disease consists of a broad cluster of physical, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Some of these symptoms are much more common, while others almost never occur, but can be deadly. But even the less severe symptoms, such as chronic fatigue and pain, can lead to drastic changes in quality of life for chronic Lyme patients.

Chronic Lyme survivors have reported experiencing the following symptoms for months to years after infection:

  • Intermittent fevers, chills, and sweats
  • Chronic inflammation

Chronic Lyme disease can be linked to deadly symptoms, such as Lyme carditis .

According to Lymedisease.org, studies consistently show that chronic Lyme disease patients have poorer quality of life than those with other chronic diseases. One of their own studies showed that 75% of surveyed patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe.

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The Numbers On Chronic Lyme

Because Lyme disease is commonly missed or misdiagnosed, statistics vary on how many Lyme patients go on to experience chronic symptoms. The following research nonetheless paints a basic picture of the problem.

  • An estimated 5-20% of patients may have chronic symptoms after getting Lyme disease, according to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
  • The treatment failure rate for chronic Lyme disease patients was estimated at 26-50% in 2004, compared to 16-39% for early Lyme patients, according to Lymedisease.org.
  • Up to 15-40% of late-stage Lyme patients develop neurological disorders, which are responsible for many common symptoms of chronic Lyme disease.

Experts dont know for sure why some people experience persistent symptoms, even with treatment. However, some believe the Lyme infection may trigger an auto-immune response that manifests in the chronic symptoms detailed below.

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How Common Is Untreated Lyme Disease

Its difficult to get exact numbers when it comes to Lyme disease, in part because theres only limited accounting of the conditions frequency overall, and its often misdiagnosed or mistaken for other conditions.

Currently, its estimated that 476,000 people develop it in the United States every year, with 81% of the cases clustered in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and mid-Atlantic regions.

A significantbut shrinkingproportion of those with the disease end up progressing without treatment. Current estimates are hard to come by. In 2012, researchers estimated that about 16% of Lyme disease cases present without rashincreasing the chance that the case is missed, overall. From 1.6% to 7% of all infections have no symptoms.

Knowledge and awareness of this disease have grown over the past couple of decades, greatly improving outcomes. This improving prognosis is associated with better care and detection, leading to timelier intervention.

If you live in a hot spot area for black-legged ticks, never hesitate to reach out to your healthcare professional if youre feeling sick or have a rash.

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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease

Most of the people who get Lyme disease and receive treatment early will be fine. Treatment can cure Lyme disease but you might still have some long-term effects. Untreated Lyme disease may contribute to other serious problems but its rarely fatal.

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome

Even after proper treatment, some people may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS. The symptoms dont mean that you still have an infection. PTLDS probably wont respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms that resolve at some point over the next six months.

Chronic Lyme disease

Chronic Lyme disease is a term used by some for a condition in a person who had Lyme disease and the symptoms of PTLDS. Some people consider chronic Lyme disease to be the same as PTLDS. However, some people receive a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis without a Lyme disease diagnosis. Sometimes, extended treatment with antibiotics helps.

This term may be why some people think a Lyme disease infection can occur without being bitten by a tick. There isn’t enough proof that mosquitoes can transmit Lyme disease. Many researchers dislike using the term chronic Lyme disease.

The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease

Living with Late Lyme Disease

Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.

Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.

SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/263611/view

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.

Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.

Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.

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Symptoms Of Post Treatment Lyme Disease

  • Include severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, & cognitive problems
  • Can significantly impact patients health and quality of life
  • Can be debilitating and prolonged

Our research indicates the chronic symptom burden related to PTLD is significant. Although often invisible to others, the negative impact on quality of life and daily functioning is substantial for PTLD sufferers.

The chronic symptom burden related to Lyme disease is considerable, as shown on the left side of the graph above, and statistically significantly greater than the aches and pains of daily living experienced by the control group, on the right.

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In this blog, you will learn:

  • What the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease are
  • How Lyme Disease is diagnosed
  • Why it is important to get a correct diagnosis so that treatment can be targeted and effective

Do your clients suffer from fatigue, headaches or muscle or joint pain? Do they have Lyme Disease and do you know how to treat it? Then this blog on Lyme Disease is for you. Please read on for the details!

Do you get stuck clinically with symptoms of Lyme with your patients? Would you like to have a larger impact on improving pain or fatigue issues? The key to the treatment of many diseases may just be an individual approach using nutrition, lifestyle and exercise. If you want to improve your patients quality of life, you need a customized approach to address each patients root causes. Our functional medicine course will teach you how to do this. Look into our functional medicine school : we will educate you to have a greater impact on improving your clients lives.

** Please note: If you want the short summary version of this article, then please click here **

What is Lyme Disease ?

Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Borrelia is a bacterium that is transmitted by an infected black-legged tick. It is most commonly spread by a tick bite. The disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first identified in 1975 in the US.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease

Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:

  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Increased severity of initial illness
  • Presence of neurologic symptoms

Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.

In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.

Treatment Of Lyme Disease

Follow The Yellow Brick Home

Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease is important and can help prevent late Lyme disease. The following treatment regimens reflect CDCs interpretation of the most current data for four important manifestations of Lyme disease. These regimens are consistent with guidanceexternal icon published by the by the Infectious Disease Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology.

Some patients report persistent symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking even after treatment for Lyme disease. The state of the science relating to persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease is limited, emerging, and unsettled.

Additional researchexternal icon is needed to better understand how to treat, manage, and support people with persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease. In light of these research gaps, recommendations for treatment of persistent symptoms in people previously treated for Lyme disease are not provided here.

If you are interested in information on chronic Lyme diseaseexternal icon, see NIHs website.

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Selection Of Study Subjects

From 1976 through 1983, 582 subjects with facial palsy, erythema migrans, or Lyme arthritis were entered into the initial studies of Lyme disease at Yale . All these patients were evaluated by one of us . Details of the patients clinical pictures were recorded, and serum samples were frozen at 70°C for any subsequent determinations. Of 582 subjects, 126 had moved from the area, were lost to follow-up, or had died. In 1994, in an effort to obtain as many patients as possible who had had facial palsy for the current study, all 44 patients who had this manifestation and still lived in the area were contacted, and 31 agreed to participate. Of the 412 patients who had erythema migrans or Lyme arthritis without neuroborreliosis, a random sample was selected by random number table to obtain similar numbers in each of the patient groups. Of the 52 patients in the erythema migrans group who were contacted, 26 agreed to participate and 26 declined. Of the 56 patients in the Lyme arthritis group who were contacted, 30 agreed and 26 declined.

Has Niaid Looked At Whether Infection Persists After Antibiotic Therapy

Several recent studies suggest that B. burgdorferi may persist in animals after antibiotic therapy. In one study, NIAID-supported scientists found that remnants of B. burgdorferi remained in mice after antibiotic treatment. Another team of NIAID-supported investigators found that intact B. burgdorferi persist in nonhuman primates after antibiotic treatment. It was not possible to culture these bacteria and it is not clear whether they are infectious. More recent work by Hodzic et al. replicated the earlier finding of persisting DNA but non-cultivatable B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment using a mouse model. In 2017, scientists at the Tulane National Primate Research Centers, funded in part by an NIH research resources grant, reported evidence of persistent and metabolically active B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment in rhesus macaques.

In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, NIAID-supported researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy). This study remains underway.

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Study Shows Evidence Of Severe And Lingering Symptoms In Some After Treatment For Lyme Disease

In a study of 61 people treated for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Johns Hopkins researchers conclude that fatigue…

In a study of 61 people treated for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Johns Hopkins researchers conclude that fatigue, pain, insomnia and depression do indeed persist over long periods of time for some people, despite largely normal physical exams and clinical laboratory testing.

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is a real disorder that causes severe symptoms in the absence of clinically detectable infection, says John N. Aucott, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

The findings, published in the December issue of Frontiers in Medicine, could spur further investigation into the cause of persistent symptoms, a source of medical controversy. As Lyme disease rates have steadily climbed in the United States since it was first recognized in the mid-1970s, so have reports of a collection of symptoms that patients commonly refer to as chronic Lyme disease. Experts in the field have questioned the validity of this term because of the lack of direct evidence in this group of patients of ongoing infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Other Johns Hopkins researchers who participated in this study include Alison W. Rebman, Ting Yang, Erica A. Mihm, Mark J. Soloski and Cheryl Novak.

Can You Live With Lyme Disease And Not Know It

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

One of the only reliable ways to know whether or not you have Lyme disease is through a lab test. This means that if symptoms go unnoticed, it is possible to live with the disease for weeks, months, or even years and not realize it. This is why its crucial to get tested if you suspect you could have contracted Lyme disease.

LetsGetCheckeds at-home Lyme Disease Test can identify Borrelia antibodies in the blood, which can indicate the presence of Lyme disease . Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to help throughout the process to answer any questions you may have.

You should consider taking the test if:

  • You are presenting with symptoms of Lyme disease
  • You live in a place that is rich in vegetation or a woodland area
  • You live in Northern America or Northern Europe
  • You go camping or hiking on a regular basis, particularly during the Summer or Autumn
  • You come into contact with larger woodland animals on a regular basis

If you develop the erythema migrans rash, or if you experience any neurological symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.

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Evaluation Of Study Subjects

Follow-up evaluations, which were performed at a field clinic in East Lyme, Connecticut, 19941996, included a medical history and physical examination, questionnaires about current symptoms and health status, and neuropsychological tests. The study was approved by the Human Investigations Committee at New England Medical Center. Information about current symptoms was first obtained by a symptom questionnaire, and the answers and the past medical history were discussed with a single physician investigator . The physical examination, which was also performed by that investigator, included examination of the joints, a tender point examination, and a detailed neurologic examination of strength testing, light touch sensation, pinprick, position sensation, reflexes, extraocular muscles, and facial and trigeminal nerve function.

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