Determining The Source Of Your Symptoms
Again, its important to note that symptoms of tick-borne diseases in humans can vary greatly from person to person and can change over time if diseases are not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
The presence of any one of the symptoms above does not alone guarantee that you have a tick-borne disease, but if you do experience them alongside any other potential symptoms, its important to talk to a trusted doctor and get tested immediately.
IGeneX is proud to offer highly accurate, highly sensitive diagnostic testing for all major tick-borne diseases in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonellosis, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. Learn more about IGeneX testing today.
Lyme Disease Signs In Pets
Clinical Lyme disease is not common in pets, unlike humans, and 90% of infected pets will not show any disease signs. The disease is rarely reported in cats. Lyme disease signs typically do not occur for weeks or months after infection. Signs may include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Some pets, although rarely, may experience a complicated case of Lyme disease infection caused by bacteria present in their kidneys. Signs may include:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Low blood pressure
Hallmark Signs And Symptoms Of Infection
Chronic infection with any stealth microbe is associated with nonspecific symptoms . Even the symptoms that are considered classic for a particular microbe do not always occur. There are numerous species and strains of all of the different microbes, each of which have slightly different characteristics. If a classic symptom is present, however, it may help with diagnosis and treatment.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease depend on how long youve been infected. If youre pregnant and have been bitten by a tick or live in or travelled to an area with Lyme disease, talk to your health care provider.
Early signs and symptoms include:
- A rash called erythema migrans . This rash looks like a bulls eye around where the tick bit you. It may feel warm and may or may not be itchy.
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are glands throughout the body that help fight infection. You usually cant feel them unless theyre swollen.
Later signs or symptoms include:
- Being short of breath
Dog Beats The Odds Of Lyme
A rugged rascal since puppyhood, Cowboy had weathered many scuffs, but in spring 2012 his owner, Jay Phillips, noticed something very wrong. Though he had been fine the previous day, suddenly the Boston terrier was reluctant to move or eat and began crying late one night. He seemed limp and in the morning he was paralyzed from the neck down.
It was terrifying, said Phillips. I raced him to Cornell University Hospital for Animals and they took samples for a bunch of tests.
The doctors suspected Lyme disease, and proteinuria and hypoalbuminemia seen on blood work raised concern about the possibility of Lyme nephritis, a condition in which Lyme disease attacks the kidneys.
Test results told us that Cowboy’s kidneys were being damaged at two different locations, both at the glomerulus and the renal tubules , said Dr. Catherine Cortright, who oversaw the case. The glomerular damage was causing protein to leak into Cowboy’s urine. The tubular damage resulted in glucose remaining in the urine rather than being pumped back into the body and saved. It caused cells to be sloughed into the renal tubules and appear in the urine.
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Data Analyses And Metabolic Biosignature Development
LC-MS data were processed and biosignatures were developed as previously described with minor modifications and as shown in Supplementary Fig. ,,. Briefly, MPP software version B.12.01 was used to identify MFs with a minimum absolute abundance of 5,000 counts and MFs present in at least 25% of the samples in at least one group. Raw LC-MS data were normalized following integration with MassHunter Quantitative Analysis software as previously described. Minor modifications to biosignature development included the exclusion of drug metabolites and the development of two biosignature lists per ionization mode created using a 1.5- and a 2.0-fold change cutoff. Thus, a total of four metabolic biosignatures were created for each comparison .
Is There Treatment For Renal Damage Caused By Lyme Disease
As mentioned above, the only treatment available for Lyme disease is antibiotics. Following this, lingering symptoms need to be treated separately and specifically for their severity. If kidney disease does develop because of Lyme disease infection, it will need to be treated separately but in conjunction with other symptoms and chronic ailments.
To control the symptoms and slow further damage to the kidneys, doctors may prescribe medications for:
- High blood pressure
- Bone health
- A low-protein diet
These medications all play a critical role in the restoration of the renal system, but each one will be specific to a patients needs and their level of kidney damage. In the worst cases, kidney disease can progress to a dangerous level. This is called end-stage kidney disease. In this case, treatment will come in the form of dialysis or a kidney transplant. These more serious treatments are done only in the worst cases to avoid complete kidney failure.
Image by on Pixabay: Can Lyme disease cause urinary retention? Yes, and it could lead to serious kidney disease if left untreated.
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Is There A Vaccine That Will Protect My Dog From Lyme Disease
A safe and generally effective vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine is initially given twice, at two- to four-week intervals.
“Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity.”
Annual revaccination is necessary to maintain immunity. Vaccination against Lyme disease will be determined by your pet’s lifestyle and individual risk assessment. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM|
An Introduction To Lab Testing
Lyme disease tests can serve as valuable resources for the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne disease. But its important not to get too hung up on the results.
The problem of chronic Lyme disease, cant be solved exclusively by looking at lab results, which is something I know from personal experience. In fact, becoming overly obsessed with lab results can hinder the recovery process.
Lab work provides a snapshot of whats going on inside your body. But multiple other factors including your symptoms, the length of time youve had them, and clinical presentation, as well as the environments in which you live, work, and travel all factor into making an accurate diagnosis.
Furthermore, the human body is an immensely complex biological machine, with millions of different biochemical functions happening simultaneously. Lab tests provide an ever-so-small glimpse at certain key functions of different systems in the body. From those indicators, determinations can be made about how well the body is functioning and whether illness is present.
Laboratory assessment, however, is far from absolute. Because the human body is so complex, the ability of lab testing to predict a specific chronic illness, such as one from a tick-borne disease, is often limited. All labs are subject to variability and different interpretations.
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Testing Beyond The Lab
Certain types of symptoms require evaluation by diagnostic procedures conducted by specialists in their respective fields. These symptoms include:
- Neurological symptoms: Severe neurological symptoms are evaluated with a nerve conduction test and MRI of the brain to assess the nervous system. The purpose is ruling out multiple sclerosis.
- Cardiac symptoms: Heart symptoms like chest pain and irregular heartbeat are evaluated by EKG and Holter monitor . Findings may lead to cardiac catheterization.
- GI symptoms: Stomach pain and symptoms are often evaluated by an upper endoscopy. Lower intestinal and colon symptoms are evaluated by colonoscopy. Routine colon cancer screening with colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years for everyone over 50.
Common Types Of Testing For Microbes
Testing is getting better, and there are a variety of different ways to test, but none of them are anywhere near 100% accurate. Testing is mostly useful for diagnosing acute illness. This is especially true when symptoms of illness suggest infection with a higher virulence microbe that might respond to acute treatment with antibiotics. New innovations may gradually improve testing for chronic illness associated with stealth microbes.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Acute And Late Stage Lyme
One reason chronic Lyme disease is harder to detect and treat than Lyme at earlier stages is that chronic Lyme disease symptoms are more wide-ranging and varied. Chronic Lyme disease can cause symptoms of early Lyme disease such as fatigue and muscle aches to recur, but it can also cause new symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
The Damage Lyme Disease Can Do
Lyme disease can damage all of the bodys systems. Specifically, the illness can wreak havoc on:
- The heart and circulatory system
- The central nervous system
- Gastrointestinal system
So, can Lyme disease cause damage to the renal system? Yes. Lets get to the bottom of how that occurs, and what can happen if it does.
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Natural Medicines For Bladder Issues In Lyme Treatment
Treatment is directed at rebuilding the healthy lining of the bladder and decreasing inflammation. Glycosaminoglycans for the bladder lining can protect the lining of the bladder. These are supplied by glucosamine sulfate. Also the sulfur from glucosamine sulfate has a pain reducing and anti-inflammatory effect on the damaged bladder lining. L-arginine helps to increase nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide may decreased production of inflammatory prostaglandins. Quercetin also helps by decreasing histamine release from allergies and through its anti-inflammatory effects by decreasing both the production of inflammatory cytokines from infections like borrelia and bartonella and inflammatory prostaglandins. A bladder ease herbal combination product includes all of these substances in addition to others that help the bladder. Ultimately treating the borrelia or bartonella infections with antimicrobials may decrease inflammation cytokines and can cure the Interstitial Cystitis.
What Is The Renal System
The renal system is made up of several different parts of the body that are designed to regulate the urinary or excretory system. The parts of the body that make up the renal system are:
- Urinary tract
The system is responsible for filtering out toxins, expelling them from the body through the urinary tract. The kidneys are the main organ involved in the proper functioning of the renal system, and they do more than just excrete things the body doesnt need. They are also in charge of keeping a healthy amount of certain minerals available and in the bloodstream by playing a key role in nutrient absorption.
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Viruses Bacteria And Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Create Hypercoagulability
Pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and mold create an inflammatory state in the human body. Inflammation triggers the coagulation cascade leading the formation of an insoluble mesh-like protein called fibrin. Fibrin is deposited along the inner blood vessel cells called endothelial cells. Bacteria such as Bartonella and viruses get trapped in the fibrin, which contributes to their survival.
It is well documented viral infections increased coagulation. Recently, there has been a surge of studies published implicating coagulopathy as the cause of serious illness even death in COVID-19 . Bacterial infections have also been associated with increased coagulation possibly as a way to trap and kill the infection to protect the human. Mast cell activation syndrome is also associated with coagulation abnormalities.
About Lyme Disease Biobank
The Lyme Disease Biobank was launched with a Fund-A-Need campaign at Bay Area Lyme Foundations annual LymeAid® benefit in May of 2014. That same year, collection began with a pilot study on Long Island, NY. Since then, LDB has enrolled more than 1,000 participants from eight collection sites located on the East Coast, Upper Midwest, and in Northern and Southern California.
This research program is designed to provide blood, urine, and human tissue samples to investigators working on better diagnostics and new treatments for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. We are collecting samples from people with early Lyme, as well as from people with chronic/persistent Lyme. By collecting tissue samples, LDB will help researchers study how pathogens invade human tissues. All samples include detailed medical and health histories and testing results.
At this time, LDB blood and urine samples are enabling more than 70 research projects in academia and industry.
Lyme Disease Biobank is a supporting organization of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Since 2016, LDB has been supported by the LaureL STEM Fund, Bay Area Lyme capital campaigns, and a generous donation from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
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Lyme Mimics Many Illnesses
Lyme disease is a source of chronic illness for a rapidly growing number of people. The CDC estimates that 300,000 new cases of Lyme are contracted per year.
Some data suggests that a more likely number is 1,000,000 cases per year.
That being said, it is rarely properly diagnosed.
Lyme disease mimics many disorders. This leaves both doctors and patients without a clear cut answer as to what Lyme looks and feels like. Lyme is usually not even on the list of diseases to check for. But chronic Lyme disease doesnt run its course in a week or two like the flu.
Lyme disease symptoms are broad and not specific to Lyme alone. Symptoms can manifest as other chronic disorders like:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Neurological disorders like Alzheimers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , and Parkinsons
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other joint inflammation
With Lyme resembling these other diseases, the cause behind them may remain unidentified.
The Lyme bacteria come in three different forms:
Only the spirochete form triggers the bullseye rash. This makes early recognition and treatment of Lyme difficult because this is the telltale sign people and practitioners are looking for. Most chronic Lyme sufferers report going to several doctors over many months before Lyme is recognized. Unfortunately, by that time Lyme has spread to many organ systems causing more damage and symptoms.
The Role Of Lyme Disease Tests
The purpose of the most common type of Lyme disease testing is to determine whether you have developed antibodies as a result of past exposure to the Borrelia bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Antibodies are proteins created by the immune system that target specific threats like bacteria and viruses.
Blood testing alone cannot determine whether you have Lyme disease. Instead, testing can provide helpful information that your doctor can consider along with other factors, such as any symptoms youve had and whether youve been exposed to ticks that can carry Borrelia, to determine if a diagnosis of Lyme disease is appropriate.
Beyond blood testing, it is possible to analyze fluid from the central nervous system for signs of the Borrelia bacteria.
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Some Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms
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
- Numbness and tingling in the limbs
- Dizziness and shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Multiple-chemical sensitivities
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.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Dogs with lameness, swollen joints, and fever are suspected of having Lyme disease. However, other diseases may also cause these symptoms. There are a few blood tests that may be used for confirmation. The first is an antibody test, that your veterinarian can perform in the clinic setting using a special test kit. This test detects the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. A test can be falsely negative if the dog is infected, but has not yet formed antibodies, or if it never forms enough antibodies to cause a positive reaction. It is recommended to test no earlier than 4 weeks after a tick bite. Some dogs that have been infected for long periods of time may no longer have enough antibodies present to be detected by the test. Therefore, a positive test is meaningful, but a negative is not. A follow up test called a QC6 test can be done to assess the numerical antibody level as confirmation.
Other tests including PCR , ELISA , joint fluid analysis, and culture can also be done with varying degrees of sensitivity, but are done less commonly. General blood and urine tests are also often done to assess kidney function and look for loss of protein in the urine. See handout Testing for Lyme Disease in Dogs for further information.
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Chronic Fatigue In Lyme Disease
Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms associated with Lyme disease and associated infections. The fatigue can either be persistent and low-grade or can be cyclical with other symptoms related to the infections. For some suffering with fatigue from Lyme disease, they have to manage how much energy they can expend in a day, while others can hardly get out of bed. Reduced levels of energy significantly interfere with normal day-to-day activities such as work and household chores, and can also affect relationships.
Fatigue Impacted Allies Relationships and Life
It is not uncommon for people to get labeled with chronic fatigue syndrome before a diagnosis of tick-borne infections is made. With any syndrome, the symptoms are described but the underlying cause is not. Other infections such as Epstein-Barr virus and mycoplasma can also contribute to chronic fatigue.
Causes of Lyme-Related Fatigue
Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections can affect different organ systems on the body, including some that play a role in energy production.
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