The 3 Obstacles To Neurological Lyme Disease Treatment
Chronic Lyme disease is often associated with neurological symptoms that are both debilitating and increasingly difficult to treat. At Envita we understand Lyme disease better than anyone and we are familiar with the struggle patients experiencing neurological Lyme symptoms face. There are three major areas of conflict that patients with neurological Lyme symptoms battle.
Envita Medical Centers doesn’t make any guarantee of outcomes. Results are not typical and will vary from person to person and should not be expected.
Does Every Tick Bite Cause Lyme Disease
Lyme can be transmitted only from an infected blacklegged tick attached for at least 36 hours. A bite from an uninfected tick cannot produce the disease.
Even in an endemic area, not all ticks are infected, and the percentage of infected ticks fluctuates yearly and differs by location. So, while not every tick bite can cause infection, every tick bite is a high alert to watch for symptoms of a possible tickborne infection.
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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How Long Does Lyme Disease Last
Lyme disease symptoms can begin anywhere from three to 30 days after transmission of the infection from a tick. If treated early on with antibiotics, most people feel better within a few weeks, said Dr. Zemel.
According to the CDC, it’s not uncommon for people to experience lingering symptoms like fatigue and joint or muscle pain for a few weeks or months after treatment. Additional antibiotics won’t help these symptoms, however, and most people improve on their own over time.
In a small percentage of cases, people continue to experience symptoms for more than six months after their recommended course of antibiotics is completed. This is sometimes referred to as chronic Lyme disease, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases but that name is misleading, said Dr. Kuritzkes, because there is no evidence that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is still present in the body. Instead, the CDC refers to this condition as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
“As with many other kinds of infectious diseases, some people are left with some debilitating symptoms that don’t go away,” said Dr. Kuritzkes. “I like to compare it to polio: Some people who had polio are left paralyzed, but that doesn’t mean they have chronic polio they have permanent damage from the infection, even after it’s gone away.”
Understanding Neurologic Lyme Disease
- May 13, 2021
Lyme disease is a condition that is carried by infected black-legged deer ticks. These ticks are usually found in wooded areas with tall grass. Ticks intended targets are deer and other woodland animals, but will just as easily attach themselves to hikers, hunters, and unsuspecting adventurers. Lyme disease cases are consistently on the rise and the CDC estimates that the current numbers, around 300,000 cases every year, are dramatically underreported.
Dr. Joseph Schneider, DC, DACNB head neurologist at the Hope Brain and Body Recovery Center utilizes state-of-the-art treatment methods and expertise to help patients suffering from Neurologic Lyme Disease. Our team understands how much of a burden Lyme Disease can be and want to help you manage your symptoms and restore your quality of life.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Prompt treatment for Lyme disease reduces the risk of lingering symptoms and complications. If youve already been treated with antibiotics but continue to experience issues, talk to your healthcare provider to determine if additional treatment is necessary. Patience and proactive communication with your healthcare professional will help you get back to your usual state of health.
Lyme Is Not The Only Threat
As mentioned earlier in this article, there is another group of borrelia that causes a disease that is similar to, but biologically distinct from, Lyme. This disease, called Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever or TBRF, is often characterized by fevers that wax and wane every few days. However, many patients never experience relapsing fevers or any fevers at all. Like those of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, TBRF symptoms can often go undetected or be mistaken for other conditions, which can give the disease time to develop into neurological symptoms.
So, as with Lyme, it is crucial to get an early and accurate diagnosis of TBRF. Be aware that TBRF will not show up on a Lyme test the test must be designed to test for TBRF borrelia in order to show accurate results. If symptoms are Lyme-like but test results are negative, doctors should consider the possibility of TBRF.
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Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease
Late stage Lyme disease is usually the resultant stage of poorly treated Lyme disease during the first or second stage of the disease. At this point, the Lyme causing bacteria has spread throughout the body and affected the joints, nerves, and brain. One experiences severe symptoms such as severe headaches, heart rhythm disturbances, arthritis in the joints, brain disorders and numbness in the extremities. In addition to that, one also feels very tired, experiences mental fogginess and poor concentration, facial palsy where one is unable to control their facial muscles as well as sleep problems. Not to mention, pain that migrates and occurs from time to time is usually excruciating because the bacteria has already affected the nervous system.
What Is Late Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.
People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.
Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:
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Does Lyme Disease Go Away On Its Own
It’s certainly possible for people to get Lyme disease and to clear the infection on their own, without treatment, said Dr. Kuritzkes. “But it’s better to be treated, because some of the complicationslike arthritis and myocarditis and damage to the central nervous systemcan be very serious.”
The type of bacteria that causes Lyme disease is in the same general family as the type that causes syphilis, said Dr. Kuritzkes. “That doesn’t mean anything similar in terms of transmission, but syphilis has several different phases, with primary and secondary and tertiary symptoms,” said Dr. Kuritzkes. “The infection can hide out in the body for a long time and can cause problems down the road if it’s not treated.”
What If I Don’t Feel Better After Treatment
If you’re treated for Lyme disease and don’t feel better after you’ve finished your treatment, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she may recommend a longer course of antibiotics or may be able to prescribe another medication to help with symptoms like joint or muscle pain.
You might also want to seek a second opinion, especially if your Lyme disease diagnosis was not initially confirmed via a two-step blood test. If your body has not responded to antibiotics, it’s possible that something else besides the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is making you sick.
Even if you do recover completely from a Lyme disease diagnosis, your immune system may continue making antibodies to fight Lyme disease bacteria for months or even years after the infection is gone. Those antibodies won’t protect you from getting a second Lyme disease infection, however, so be sure to take steps to protect yourself from ticks in the future.
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What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
The first-line standard of care treatment for adults with Lyme disease is doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic. Other antibiotics that have activity against borrelia include the penicillin-like antibiotic, amoxicillin, and the second generation cephalosporin, Ceftin. The mainstay of treatment is with oral antibiotics, but intravenous antibiotics are sometimes indicated for more difficult to treat cases of neurologic-Lyme disease, such as meningitis, and cases of late Lyme arthritis.
Understanding Symptoms Of Neurological Lyme
LNB is thought to occur in about 15% of Lyme disease cases, according to research in Frontiers in Neurology but a definite percentage is impossible to pin down. The majority of people with Lyme disease experience some form of neurological symptoms, but a specific composite of symptoms that constitute neurological Lyme is not well defined. Making matters worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , does not recognize LNB as a separate entity, and it doesnt acknowledge the existence of a chronic or persistent form of Lyme disease.
Studies suggest that the most common symptom of LNB is facial nerve palsy , which is characterized by temporary paralysis on one side of the face. Some people also experience sound sensitivity and discomfort in the ear on the paralyzed side, and if youre unable to close that eye, dry eye can occur. Most people eventually recover fully from Bells palsy, with improvement in the first few weeks and continuing for three to six months, but a subset of people may develop lifelong symptoms.
Another common symptom of LNB is neurogenic pain that starts in the back and radiates down the legs. With that comes weakness, numbness, and tingling in the lower extremities. For most people, symptoms begin resolving within the first few weeks after starting treatment, however, others may have pain that lasts for months or years.
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Treating Lyme Neuroborreliosis In Children
Recommendations for treating children and adults
Antibiotic treatment should be carried out in the case of Lyme neuroborreliosis with inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid syndrome .
In the case of a possible Lyme neuroborreliosis , antibiotic treatment may be considered after a thorough differential diagnosis and if there is no evidence of another disease.
Antibiotic treatment should take place over a period of 14 days or 1421 days .
Reference is made to the S2k Guideline Cutaneous Lyme Borreliosis for the treatment of polyneuropathy associated with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans .
If a distally symmetrical polyneuropathy is suspected as a manifestation of Lyme neuroborreliosis without accompanying ACA , the same procedure recommended for possible Lyme neuroborreliosis can be used.
Cerebral vasculitis resulting from Lyme borreliosis should be treated with antibiotics in accordance with the recommendations for late Lyme neuroborreliosis.
Analogous to the recommendations for cerebral vasculitis of another aetiology , the additional administration of steroids and/or 100 mg/d of ASS can be considered for cerebral vasculitis resulting from Lyme borreliosis.
In addition to antibiotic treatment, symptoms should also be treated .
Recommendation for choosing antibiotics for children and adults
Recommendations for monitoring the treatment of children and adults
The Chance Of Getting 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.
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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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The list of possible symptoms is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. The following are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. But symptoms are slightly different for each person.
The primary symptom is a red rash that:
Can appear several days after infection, or not at all
Can last up to several weeks
Can be very small or grow very large , and may resemble a “bulls-eye”
Can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites
Can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all
Can disappear and return several weeks later
Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, you may have flu-like symptoms such as the following:
Weeks to months after the bite, the following symptoms may develop:
Neurological symptoms, including inflammation of the nervous system and weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles
Heart problems, including inflammation of the heart and problems with heart rate
Eye problems, including inflammation
Months to a few years after a bite, the following symptoms may include:
Inflammation of the joints
Neurological symptoms including numbness in the extremities, tingling and pain, and difficulties with speech, memory, and concentration
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Will We Ever Cure Chronic Or Neurological Lyme
Chronic and neurological symptoms of Lyme disease can be downright debilitating. Is it truly possible to overcome them? Watch as Dr. Bill Rawls discusses what it means to cure or heal chronic or neurological Lyme disease, plus he shares important stress factors to consider in your recovery. Learn more about neurological Lyme disease here.
Chronic Lyme Disease Patients Profoundly Debilitated
Many patients with chronic Lyme disease are profoundly debilitated. Investigators of the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials documented that the patients quality of life was consistently worse than that of control populations and equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure. Pain levels were similar to those of post-surgical patients, and fatigue was on par with that seen in multiple sclerosis.
An LDo published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that patients suffer a worse quality of life than most other chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Over 70% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported fair or poor health. Similar results have been found in other studies. Many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are common in other diseases. The CDC surveillance criteria for confirmed cases specifically exclude most of the symptoms that patients report, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, other pain, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathy, and headaches. However, these common symptoms can be severe and may seriously affect quality of life.
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Home Remedies For Late Stage Lyme Disease
As a way of keeping Lyme disease in check, there are several home remedies you can embrace to improve your condition. However, you should not rely on home remedies alone to cure late stage Lyme disease, instead, it should supplement the antibiotic treatment. If you leave in an area infested with the carriers of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria, that is the black-legged or deer tick, you should be careful when you are outdoors. Some effective home remedies which ease the symptoms of Lyme disease include eating foods with nattokinase enzyme and Beta-glucan which stimulates the immune system, taking probiotics to counter the side effects of the prescribed antibiotics, and consuming an essiac herbal formula that consists of burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm, and rhubarb. There are no studies that support that home remedies work effectively, so they should only be applied to improve the condition and not as a curative treatment.