Early Detection Is Key
Lyme disease is easiest to treat at the early or acute stage, within the first 30 days of exposure. This is why its so important to take precautions to prevent tick bites, both during and outside of tick season. Protect yourself when near potential tick habitats, always perform tick checks after outdoor activity , and dont delay seeking medical attention if you notice any symptoms that might be related to tick-borne illness. Its important to get tested as soon as possible for the best chances of recovery.
What Is Lyme Disease
Several countries around the world, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and all 50 states in the US have already reported cases of Lyme. The disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia, and it is spread by ticks. One of the biggest controversies surrounding Lyme is determining whether or not someone has the so-called persistent or chronic Lyme disease. The CDC and most specialists prefer to use a different term, post-treatment Lyme disease .
How Can Lyme Disease Last For Years
Category: Health Published: October 9, 2015
If treated, Lyme disease does not last for years. However, for some people, the after-effects of the disease can linger for months and sometimes even years. Alternative medicine providers call this condition “Chronic Lyme disease,” but this title is simply wrong. For a person who has been infected with Lyme disease and then treated, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is measurably no longer present in his body, even though he may still feel some symptoms. The correct title for this condition is therefore “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.”
Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is delivered to humans through tick bites. From the bite site, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Usually, but not always, an infectious tick bite causes a characteristic red rash at the site of the bite. Other symptoms include fever, muscle soreness, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. In a few cases, symptoms can also include mood swings, memory loss, and sleep disturbance. If left untreated for too long, Lyme disease can lead to nerve damage, thereby causing shooting pain, numbness, and even paralysis.
The CDC states,
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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.
Recurring Lyme Disease Rash Caused By Reinfection Not Relapse
Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks like this one. A study finds that some people can be reinfected many times with the bacteria that cause the disease. Lauree Feldman/Getty Creative Imageshide caption
In recent years, a disease spread by ticks has become more common across the country.
Lyme disease causes a skin rash, and in some cases, more serious symptoms. The rash usually goes away with antibiotics, but some people say they have other symptoms that persist for months or years.
Now a study published in the latest issue of The New England Journal of Medicine suggests those with a recurring rash don’t have one long illness. Instead, they’re getting new infections from fresh tick bites.
Researchers recently conducted an experiment in which they examined Lyme disease-causing bacteria in the blood of 17 patients suffering from a recurrence of the rash. Then they compared these bacteria to a sample taken from the same patients during an earlier flare-up of Lyme symptoms.
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What If Ive Had Lyme Disease For Years
If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, the spirochetes can spread and may go into hiding in different parts of the body. Weeks, months or even years later, patients may develop problems with the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system, and skin.
Do Dogs Have Lyme Disease Forever
Some time since, or just prior to, the last test, your dog was bitten by a tick that harbored the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi.
According to a study at Cornell University, 94% of dogs that have been exposed will never develop disease symptoms.
This means a positive test is not the end of the world.
Lyme can be treated with antibiotics.
And there are many ways to prevent tick bites.
But there’s no vaccine available if you want extra protection against the disease .
Yet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a vaccine called LYMErix was sold to prevent between 76 and 92 percent of infections.
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You’ve Been Diagnosed With Another Condition Without A Known Cause
“Like its cousin Syphilis, which is also caused by a spirochete bacterium, Lyme is called ‘the great imitator’ because it can impact any organ system or tissue of the body,” says Reihman. So, when someone is diagnosed with a condition that has no known cause, the cause is sometimes Lyme. Conditions that can stem from Lyme include Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, chronic pelvic pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic migraines, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as well as a number of mental health conditions.
“If the diagnosis doesn’t have a known cause or cure and you’re not satisfied with that as an answer, it’s worth it to look into getting treatment for Lyme and seeing if that makes a dent in your symptoms,” says Reihman.
Can Lyme Disease Be Dormant For Years
Lyme disease can remain dormant for weeks, months or even years. When symptoms do eventually develop, they can be severe and patients often need aggressive treatment. Intravenous treatment is often required to treat late-stage infection. Late-stage treatment can last many months as seen in other infections as well.
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Your Pain Moves Around Your Body
Another hallmark sign of Lyme is migratory pain â that is, pain that travels from one body part to the other. You might, for example, find that your right knee is hurting one day and your left knee is hurting the next. Common kinds of pain associated with Lyme include joint paint and nerve pains that create shooting or zapping sensations, says Reihman.
Do Dogs Recover From Lyme Disease
Lyme disease in dogs is curable, however, this may depend on each case and at what stage of the disease the dog receives treatment during.
In most cases, symptoms will begin to lessen after 3 days of treatment.
When treating Lyme disease, it’s important to know that this illness is not always curable.
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Common Causes Of Chronic Illness Flare
When youre in the middle of a chronic illness flare-up, it can be difficult to pinpoint what might have triggered your reaction. But understanding your triggers is an important step in healing your body: It helps ensure youre not contributing to the problem, and that you can prevent flare-ups in the future.
If you feel like youve tried everything to manage or avoid flare-ups with no luck, keep reading to learn about 10 of the most common causes that you might not know about. By understanding what causes flare-ups, youll be able to gather the tools you need to avoid them in the future and feel better longer.
1. Herxheimer Reactions
Herxheimer reactions are common among Lyme disease patients using antimicrobials. When bacteria start to die off, they shed body parts called endotoxins that can circulate through the body and trigger a whole-body inflammatory reaction. The result: Lyme symptoms temporarily intensify.
Usual Herxheimer reactions include fatigue or generally feeling terrible all over. Generally, they start with the introduction of a new therapy, and ramp up as the serving size of the treatment is increased. Ordinarily, herxing is much more intense with conventional antibiotics than with herbal therapy the latter causes more gradual die-off and thus a less intense immune response.
2. Bacterial or Viral Flare-up
3. Acute Viral Infections
4. Bacterial Resistance
5. Food Reactions
6. Flu Vaccines
7. Drug Reactions
8. Inadequate Sleep
Common Misconceptions About Lyme Disease:
1. If a dog tests positive for Lyme disease, it means she has it.
2. Dogs are much more likely than people to become ill from Lyme disease.
3. A dog infected with Lyme disease will tend to start showing symptoms within a month, and sometimes within the first 18 hours.
4. Dogs can transmit Lyme disease to people.
5. Lyme disease strikes only in warm weather.
A lot of times, a dog will test positive for Lyme disease, and her owners get nervous that their pet is sick and needs treatment, but the dog is fine. How can that be?
Its because testing positive for Lyme simply means that antibodies to the illness have been detected in the dogs blood. It does not mean that the animals body is actually being affected by the disease. How can that be?
The fact that a dog can test positive for Lyme disease yet not actually have it in a way that matters has led to a lot of nervous owners, and sometimes, even veterinarians who have over-treated. To clear up the misconceptions, heres what you need to know.
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Treating A Herxheimer Reaction Can Cause A Flare Up
|Chronic Lyme is a condition that causes consistent suffering and debilitation through enigmatic and bizarre symptoms. Being your own biological detective and working with your treating physician can increase your chances of identifying what the cause of your symptoms are, and allowing the appropriate treatment method or remedy to be applied. There is so much to know and learn about chronic Lyme, and if you feel overwhelmed, thats actually normal. If youre new to chronic Lyme, or never gave much thought to telling the difference between a herxheimer reaction and a flare up, it can take time some time to be able to tell the difference between the two. In this case, experience is the greatest source of knowledge — it truly is on-the-job training.|
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite
Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.
Do You Ever Fully Recover From Lyme Disease
Although most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with a 2- to 4-week course of oral antibiotics, patients can sometimes have symptoms of pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that last for more than 6 months after they finish treatment. This condition is called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome .
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Chronic Lyme Disease Symptom Severity
In LDos chronic Lyme disease survey, over 75% of patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe and 63% reported two or more such symptoms. Find out more about LDo peer-reviewed published surveys. The chart below shows the severity of ten common chronic Lyme symptoms.
The survey also found that patients with chronic Lyme disease have high disability and unemployment rates. Over 40% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported that they currently are unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% report that they have received disability at some point in their illness.
Can You Have Lyme Disease Without Knowing
The Lyme test came back positive. Greene is one of many people who dont notice early signs of Lyme disease, brush off the symptoms, or whose medical providers missed the symptoms, which often include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye skin rash called erythema migrans, considered the hallmark of the disease.
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Six Years After Tick Bite Its Markand The Illnessstill Show
You see that little spot on my calf? You wouldnt think that a small bite like this would change someones life, turn it upside down, crush their goals and dreams, shake them to their core, causing immense pain and profound fatigue along with a multitude of other symptoms and issues.
That bite also caused a secondary neurological disorder which affects my heart and all body systems , as well as a brain lesion. That bite is from a tick. Yes thats a tick bite from six years ago! Out of the hundreds of people with Lyme disease that I have met, only one other had a re-appearing bite years after she was bitten. This is not very common, but it does show how resilient and chronic this bacteria can be.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday. We were at a local creek, and the tick was only attached for a few hours. My husband saw the tick, as well as my parents, and my father removed the tick for me.
A few weeks later I developed flu-like symptoms and a rash . Because my case was not a textbook diagnosis, I was sent away without even being prescribed precautionary antibiotics.
Also, I was told that we did not have Lyme disease in Georgia so the doctor refused to order a Lyme disease test. Pretty tragic that the urgent care doctors decision and lack of knowledge has affected my entire life six years later.
We need recognition, we need accurate testing, we need Lyme-literate doctors, we need understanding, we need awareness, we need a cure!
Ticked Off: 10 Years Living With Lyme Disease
I don’t know when or where I was bitten by the tick that gave me Lyme disease it could have been during a stroll through a park or even while petting a dog. But I do remember when my symptoms first struck: November 1994. I was 26, with an entry-level job in New York City, straight off the hay wagon from Texas and replete with enough energy to go to the gym after work, play pool until 3 a.m. and roll into the office the next day with a clear head. My illness began like the flu, but when the fever lingered for a month despite two weeks of antibiotics, I found a doctor on my plan who could see me before the weekend.
A specialist in chronic fatigue syndrome, the doctor ran a few tests and then christened me with a CFS diagnosis. In practically the same breath, she pointed to a glossy women’s magazine on her desk and said proudly, “I’m in this month’s issue.” I nodded, impressed. Armed with a vial of pork liver extract that I was to self-inject weekly , I left feeling relieved. There was a name for what had been plaguing me for more than a month, and it wasn’t lethal.
Several weeks later, fatigue became the least of my problems. My muscles began to seize up, a constriction like being on the starting block at a race, waiting for the gun to go off. Worse, I had heart palpitations and dizzy spells several times a week. I was afraid I was having a heart attack, but my doctor assured me the spells were typical of CFS. Was that supposed to make me feel better?
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Lyme Disease
Despite some skepticism in the medical community, chronic Lyme disease is a growing epidemic in the U.S. This stems partly from the shortcomings of many of the officially recommended Lyme disease tests, which leave too many patients with untreated infections that then become persistent and debilitating.
The following article will cover what you should know about chronic Lyme and provide an introductory but non-exhaustive chronic Lyme disease symptoms checklist.
Does Heat Make Lyme Disease Worse
Some patients bodies have trouble regulating blood pressure and heart rate, and extreme temperatures can send those processes into distress. Common Lyme symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, and joint acheshard enough to deal with on a moderate dayare intensified in the heat of summer or the bitterness of winter.
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Can Lyme Disease Lay Dormant For 20 Years
Can Lyme disease lay dormant for 20 years? Lyme disease can remain dormant for weeks, months or even years. When symptoms do eventually develop, they can be severe and patients often need aggressive treatment. Intravenous treatment is often required to treat late-stage infection.
Can Lyme disease go undetected for years? If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, the spirochetes can spread and may go into hiding in different parts of the body. Weeks, months or even years later, patients may develop problems with the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system, and skin.
Can Lyme disease last 20 years? If treated, Lyme disease does not last for years. However, for some people, the after-effects of the disease can linger for months and sometimes even years. Alternative medicine providers call this condition Chronic Lyme disease, but this title is simply wrong.
Can Lyme disease be detected 30 years later? No. The tests for Lyme disease detect antibodies made by the immune system to fight off the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Your immune system continues to make the antibodies for months or years after the infection is gone.