Black Americans And Lyme Disease
The hallmark EM bulls eye or target shaped lesion or rash may be less visible on people of color or it may be missed because doctors have less experience or education diagnosing EM on patients of color which could delay diagnosis of Lyme disease according to research published in September 2018 in PLoS One.
Further indication of late or missed diagnosis is the greater incidence of late-Lyme arthritis among Black Americans when compared with white Americans, which is associated with ongoing infection, per an article published in December 2019 in Cureus.
Taking Care Of Yourself
You can still do a lot of things, but you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle to prevent getting hurt or cut. For instance, avoid sports such as football and downhill skiing.
Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, to give your body the nutrients it needs. Ask your doctor if you should avoid food with quinine and aspartame, like tonic water, bitter lemon, bitter melon, some diet sodas, and sugar-free foods.
You probably shouldnt take medicines that make bleeding easier, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Check with your doctor to see if its OK for you to drink alcohol, and if it is, how much.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and, rarely, Borrelia mayonii. Humans can get Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected blacklegged tick, according to the CDC.
Usually the deer tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, notes the Mayo Clinic.
Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, and some ticks carry other diseases.
A persons chances of getting bitten by a tick and getting Lyme disease can depend on where they live, travel or what they do for a living. Common risk factors for contracting Lyme disease include the following:
- Spending a lot of time in wooded or grassy areas, especially in the Northeast and Midwest United States
- Exposed skin, which can make it easier for ticks to attach or bite you
- Removing ticks incorrectly or removing them 36 hours or more after theyve attached to your skin which allows the bacteria from the bite to enter your skin
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What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans by tick bites. The ticks that carry the spirochete are:
Black-legged deer tick
Western black-legged tick
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. Not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Depending on the location, anywhere from less than 1% to more than 50% of the ticks are infected with it.
While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Tick-borne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
People aren’t able to become immune to Lyme disease. So even if you’ve had Lyme disease, you can get it again. No vaccine is available currently to prevent the disease.
The FDA approved a Lyme vaccine called LYMErix in 1998. The vaccine was not 100% effective, however. The FDA still recommended preventing the disease in other ways. In 2002, the company that made LYMErix said it would no longer offer the vaccine.
To help prevent Lyme disease, follow these guidelines.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme can affect almost every system in the body. Because there are so many symptoms, it can be tough to nail down what is causing a person to feel so sickly. Indeed, the only true sign of Lyme disease is a bulls-eye rash that appears around the site where the tick bite occurred. With that said, not many people with Lyme disease report seeing a bull’s eye rash.
People with this disease often experience the following symptoms:
- Mental health challenges like moodiness, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks
What Problems Can Lyme Disease Cause
While tick bites are very common, especially in the Midwest during the spring, summer and fall, there is still reason to take note of the bites. Many people do not get sick from tick bites, but if the bite is not checked, disease could be growing under the skin. Tick bites are often not painful, even when disease is involved. The lack of discomfort may appear to be a blessing, but it is a large reason that seniors must understand what the early signs of Lyme disease look like and what the disease entails. So, what problems can Lyme disease cause? And what should you watch for? Early indicators include:
A fever, joint aches and chills A rash that looks like a bulls eye Migraines Shortness of breath or dizziness Struggles with short-term memory Swollen lymph nodes
For seniors, these symptoms present complications because a symptom of Lyme disease often mimics symptoms of other conditions common in older adults. If seniors discuss any of these symptoms with their physician, they should also mention any known tick bites or any time spent outdoors in order to make their concerns clear. If Lyme disease is detected early, any antibiotic can heal the infection within three weeks. However, the longer Lyme disease goes untreated in seniors, the harder it is to cure.
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What Are The Main Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can cause a myriad of different symptoms. Initially, the condition can feel like the flu as it is accompanied by symptoms such as body and muscle aches, fatigue, fever, and headaches. A signature sign that someone has contracted Lyme disease is the rash that occurs at the site where the tick latched on. The rash is red and looks much like a bulls eye symbol.
Some other symptoms that can arise in an early case of Lyme disease include chills and swollen lymph nodes. These signs should not be ignored because, as mentioned above, getting prompt treatment will make all the difference in how the disease progresses throughout the body. For those who deem the symptoms too mild to get a proper diagnosis, the bacteria can cause permanent damage until treatment is sought.
Image by on Untreated Lyme disease can lead to confusion and other cognitive issues.
Lyme Carditis: How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Heart
2 Minute Read
As the weather warms, you may hear about more cases of Lyme disease. This condition, which spreads through tick bites, can cause a wide range of symptoms and even affect your heart if left untreated.
When Lyme bacteria reach your heart tissue, it can cause Lyme carditis, which affects your hearts electrical system. Learn more about this condition.
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Lyme Endocarditis: A Review Of The Literature
A computerized literature search was conducted using the PubMed databases for relevant articles on LE published in English from 1977 to July of 2019. A possible connection between LD and valve involvement in a 56-year-old male was described in 1993 by Anish. The diagnosis was based on clinical findings: aortic valvular vegetation revealed by transesophageal echocardiography, positive Borrelia spp. serology, and prompt improvement after ceftriaxone therapy. However, neither histopathologic nor molecular screening of valvular tissue was performed in order to confirm the suspicions of LE . Canver et al. described a case of fulminant LE with involvement of mitral valve in a B. burgdorferi seropositive patient, but again, without valve tissue analysis for confirmation . Borrelia bissettii was detected in the aortic valve tissue of a patient with endocarditis and aortic stenosis in the Czechia. Molecular analysis of a valve sample confirmed the presence of B. bissettii DNA .
Table 1. Summary of Case Reports of Lyme Endocarditis.
Tick-born disease and the transmission of disease-causing agents are significantly influenced by weather and climate as well, which has an indirect effect on humans . Milder winters and warmer falls and springs may enable the extension of Lyme borreliosis to higher altitudes and latitudes, predominantly in the north of Europe . Thus, the level of influence depends on the kind of vector .
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
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Dont Let Doctors Tell You Its All In Your Head Dig Deeper Until You Found The Problem And The Solution
Doctors often sneer at complaints of fatigue. Usually, because they cant find a precise diagnosis in their medical books, it sometimes gets written off as a psychosomatic illness . Weve been conditioned to trust doctors and to respect their years of study, but even doctors make mistakes they arent infallible.
Never give up and keep searching until you find a doctor that takes you seriously, and that cares enough to help you find solutions. In many ways, youre facing a condition in which you must do your research after all, its your body, not your doctors.
Ideally, they should listen to you and what youre experiencing, believe you and then offer solutions. Remember, its in your best interests to insist on healing and answers. If your doctor isnt as concerned about your well-being as you expect, move on and seek a second, third, fourth, even hundredth opinion!
Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
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Adrenal Gland & Back Pain A Common Connection
Lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and the leading contributor to missed work. It is second to headaches in the realm of neurological disorders. The lower back may be painful due to a bulging disc, an injured/pulled muscle, arthritis, or even a problem from elsewhere in the body such as the foot or knee, referring pain to the lower back. Just in the United States alone, low back pain suffers spend over 50 billion dollars a year diagnosing this pain via X-Ray, CT scans, MRIs, and other studies, and then treating this pain thru either natural methods such as chiropractic or acupuncture, or more extreme methods via painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery. There are many reasons for low back pain, too many to discuss in just one article, but a very common and overlooked problem resulting in lower back pain is that of adrenal gland stress. Though not actually adrenal gland pain, the glands can cause lower back pain if theyre under stress.
Your adrenal glands will give you warning signs that they are under stress long before they give up on you. Here are some common signs and symptoms that your adrenal glands are stressed:
- Bright lights bother your eyes
- You get dizzy when you stand up or change positions quickly
- Headaches across the forehead, over or behind the eyes
- Your eyelids twitch
Can Lyme Cause Tachycardia
Lyme disease patients can suffer from various autonomic dysfunctions, particularly Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome , arguably the best-studied autonomic disorder.
Can Lyme disease cause muscle wasting?
In the weeks after infection, nerve pain, shortness of breath, numbness in the hands, short-term memory issues, joint pain, neck stiffness, and facial twitching or paralysis may occur. Lyme patients may also feel a pattern of muscle weakness thats diagnostically similar to ALS.
Can Lyme cause muscle tightness?
BODY ACHE. If youve contracted Lyme disease, you may experience muscle soreness or joint pain. Your knees are most likely to be affected, and joint pain can get more severe as the disease progresses.
Can Lyme disease cause atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia , can increase your risk of strokes, heart disease or other heart-related complications.
When does Lyme carditis occur?
Lyme carditis typically occurs between June and December, with a range of 4 days to 7 months after tick bite or EM . The cardiac manifes tations of early disseminated Lyme disease are usually coincident with other features of the disease .
Does Lyme carditis show up on ECG?
ECG changes and electrophysiological findings As with viral myocarditis, changes in surface ECG are a common finding in Lyme carditis. Diffuse myocardial involvement frequently results in ST segment changes.
Can Lyme cause AFIB?
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Does Lyme Cause Thyroid Problems
Some evidence suggests that Lyme disease can lead to thyroid problems. As seen above, one of the late-stage symptoms of this chronic illness is hormonal imbalances and deficiencies.
Researchers know that chronic illness and prior infections can cause thyroid problems like and Hashimoto’s disease. Inflammation of the thyroid gland is the hallmark sign of autoimmune thyroid disease. Because Lyme disease is a system-wide infection, leading to tissue inflammation in whatever organ it infiltrates. When the thyroid becomes inflamed, it struggles to produce enough thyroid hormone. The body needs thyroid hormones to regulate metabolism in the form of blood pressure, blood temperature, and heart rate.
It is relatively common for people with Lyme disease to develop Hashimoto’s. Some doctors may test their patients for Lyme disease if they have Hashimoto’s and struggle to manage symptoms. There is a lot of overlap between Lyme disease and Hashimoto’s disease, adding to the complexity of these two health conditions.
Can Lyme Affect Your Blood Pressure
While there is not a specific connection between Lyme disease and low blood pressure or Lyme disease and high blood pressure, Lyme disease can affect the heart.
Can Lyme disease cause a heart murmur?
What you need to know about Lyme carditis. Symptoms related to Cardiac/Pulmonary: Chest pain or rib soreness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block, heart murmur or valve prolapse. Over 300,000 people in the USA will contract Lyme disease each year.
Can Lyme disease cause heart flutters?
Lyme carditis can cause light-headedness, fainting, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain. Patients with Lyme carditis usually have other symptoms such as fever and body aches, and they may have more specific symptoms of Lyme disease, such as the erythema migrans rash.
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Later Signs Of Lyme Disease
What if Lyme disease isnt detected early on? The longer that disease-causing bacteria linger in the body, the more they disseminate, and as these microbes spread to tissues throughout the body, they can trigger a litany of symptoms. CDC says these may include:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes. These lesions may pop up on other areas of the body
- A type of facial paralysis known as Bells palsy
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Knees and other large joints are vulnerable
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
You might have persistent or episodic symptoms, says Dr. Green. Pain that seems to move through the body? Thats common too. The hallmark of late Lyme is migratory joint pain: today my right knee hurts and tomorrow Im limping on my left ankle, and, oh, my third finger of my right hand swelled up, and, oh, my neck has swelled up, she says.
In rare cases, Lyme disease bacteria can enter the tissues of the heart. This complication, called Lyme carditis, can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain.
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Nutritional Supplements For Blood Sugar Control
Last but not least, consider incorporating supplements that support blood sugar control. A few of my favorites are alpha-lipoic acid , N-acetylcysteine , GTF chromium, and berberine. ALA and NAC offer the additional benefits of boosting the bodys production of glutathione, an antioxidant essential in the battle against B. burgdorferi. In addition to lowering blood sugar via mechanisms similar to metformin, a popular antidiabetic drug, berberine also supports a healthy gut microbiota and activates AMPK, a key anti-inflammatory molecular pathway that is also activated by fasting.
Want to learn more about my approach to nutrition in Lyme disease? My upcoming book The Lyme Disease 30-Day Meal Plan offers a comprehensive diet and lifestyle approach to easing Lyme symptoms and optimizing recovery. You can pre-order it here on Amazon today!
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Research And Statistics: Who Can Get Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. People who spend time outdoors such as campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and other leafy outdoor venues are at the highest risk.
Between 2004 and 2016, the number of disease cases from ticks have doubled, per the CDC. In 2018, there were 33,666 reported cases of Lyme disease, down from 42,743 cases in 2017.
The 10 states with the highest reported number of tick related diseases were Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia and New Hampshire.