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.
What Treatment Approach Did Well Patients And High Responders Use
We asked patients what their treatment approach was and listed four options a) antibiotics, b) alternative treatments, c) both antibiotics and alternative treatments, and d) no treatment at all. High treatment response was most closely associated with the use of antibiotics compared to patients who were using alternative treatments alone or forgoing treatment altogether. Treatment with antibiotics for Lyme disease was far higher among well patients and high responders compared to non-responders .
As you can see in the chart below, many patients who were taking antibiotics were also taking herbal supplements, which can be antimicrobial . So it is possible that there was a synergistic effect between antibiotics and herbal supplements.
When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can avoid Lyme disease by avoiding tick bites, checking for ticks, and removing ticks promptly, before they become lodged in the skin. Some tips:
Avoid tick playgrounds: Ticks like low-level shrubs and grasses, particularly at the edges of wooded areas. If youre hiking, try to stay in the center of the trail and avoid bushwhacking. Walk on cleared paths or pavement through wooded areas and fields when possible.
Dress appropriately: Long pants with legs tucked into socks and closed-toed shoes will help keep ticks away from skin. Light-colored clothing helps make ticks visible.
Insect repellant: Products that contain DEET repel ticks but do not kill them and are not 100 percent effective. Use a brand of insect repellent that is designated as child-safe if your child is 1 year or older. For infants, check with your pediatrician about what brands are safe to use. You can also treat clothing with a product that contains permethrin, which is known to kill ticks on contact.
Shower after outdoor activities are done for the day. It may take four to six hours for ticks to attach firmly to skin. Showering will help remove unattached ticks.
- all parts of the body that bend: behind the knees, between fingers and toes, underarms and groin
- other areas where ticks are commonly found: belly button, in and behind the ears, neck, hairline, and top of the head
- anywhere clothing presses on the skin
Who’s At Risk And Where Are Ticks Found
The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:
- for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
- from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
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Symptoms Of Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
The onset of early disseminated Lyme disease can begin days, weeks, or months after a person is bitten by an infected tick. The symptoms reflect the fact that the infection has begun to spread from the site of the tick bite to other parts of the body.
At this stage, the infection causes specific symptoms that may be intermittent. They are:
- multiple erythema migrans lesions, which are circular or oval rashes that occur near the bite site and can be solid or resemble a bulls-eye
- Bells palsy, which is paralysis or weakness of muscles on one or both sides of the face
- meningitis, which is inflammation of the protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord
- neck stiffness, severe headaches, or fever
- severe muscle pain or numbness in the arms or legs
- pain or swelling in the knees, shoulders, elbows, and other large joints
What You Can Do To Avoid Tick Bites
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Here are some ways to protect yourself if you venture into forests or overgrown areas between the woods and open spaces:
- Cover up by wearing protective clothing like closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Pull your socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs
- Wear light-coloured clothes to make spotting ticks easier
- Use insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin on your skin and clothing — always read and follow label directions
- Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
- Do daily “full body” checks for ticks on yourself, your children and pets
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How You Get Lyme Disease
If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.
Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
Ticks don’t jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.
Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.
Touched By Lyme: When Lyme Disease Isnt Caught Early
The question was posed on one of LymeDisease.orgs online discussion groups. A mother had found a bulls-eye rash on her 5-year-old son. She took him to urgent care and was given two weeks worth of antibiotics. Is that enough, she wondered, or should she pursue something more?
The following remarkably detailed response was posted by another mother on the group. I feel there are many lessons to be learned from her hard-earned wisdom. With her permission, I share it with you here. In the interest of protecting her familys privacy, she prefers to remain anonymous.
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An Introduction To Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a serious disease caused by the bite of infected small insect-like parasites called blacklegged ticks. Lyme disease can have severe symptoms but it can be treated — very effectively if caught early.
While not all blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease, populations of infected blacklegged ticks are growing. This means that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada. There are several ways to reduce the risk when spending time outdoors in areas where there may be ticks. Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed and their bites are usually painless, so you may not know you’ve been bitten. That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for ticks and the symptoms of Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Treatments Near Me
When youre diagnosed with Lyme disease in its early stage, Dr. Kotsanis starts your treatment with antibiotics that can clear the infection. This usually cures most people quickly. However, when Lyme disease isnt diagnosed early, it can require up to a month of oral antibodies and, in severe cases, even IV antibiotics.
Some Lyme disease treatments offered at Kotsanis Institute include:
Insulin potentiation therapy: A special form of antibiotics is given to at-risk patients.
IV therapy: A Glutathione or Myers Cocktail helps more severe cases of Lyme disease.
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy: This is used to help manage pain and to recharge a patients cells to restore their health.
Therapeutic apheresis: Its a blood filtration that extracts the infection or bacteria from Lyme-infected cells found in your blood.
Ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy: This oxidative therapy is given intravenously, and can absorb viruses and bacteria in the blood.
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Treatment For Erythema Migrans
People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent late Lyme disease.
Treatment regimens listed in the following table are for the erythema migrans rash, the most common manifestation of early Lyme disease. These regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a persons age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions.
|30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses||500 mg per dose|
*When different durations of antibiotics are shown to be effective for the treatment of Lyme disease, the shorter duration is preferred to minimize unnecessary antibiotics that might result in adverse effects, including infectious diarrhea and antimicrobial resistance.
NOTE:For people intolerant of amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime, the macrolide azithromycin may be used, although it is less effective. People treated with azithromycin should be closely monitored to ensure that symptoms resolve.
How To Prevent Lyme Disease From Progressing
Learn the symptoms of early Lyme disease so that you can seek treatment promptly if you contract the infection. If you get timely treatment, you can avoid the potential complications of early disseminated Lyme disease and later stages.
- rash, such as:
- a red, expanding bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite
- a round or oval rash that can be as wide as 6 to 8 inches
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Quinine Derivatives To Boost Intracellular Antibiotics
Inside of cells, Lyme may live in cave-like structures called vacuoles. In these vacuoles, Lyme germs create a hostile acidic environment that can limit the effectiveness of various antibiotics. Quinine derivatives, like hydroxychloroquine , can make the inside of cells more basic which can help the tetracyclines and macrolides mentioned above work better.
- Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
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What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
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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.
When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they have recently received a tick bite. It is not possible to know whether a tick is carrying Lyme disease, and the symptoms may take weeks to appear.
The earlier a person receives a diagnosis and treatment, the higher the likelihood of a quick and complete recovery.
It is not always possible for a person to tell if a tick has bitten them. As such, people should also see a doctor if they experience any Lyme disease symptoms. A doctor will ask about the persons symptoms and duration and whether the person has spent time in tick-infested areas.
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Autoimmune Reaction In The Brain
Her various infections, including Lyme, have caused an autoimmune disease that causes her brain to attack her dopamine receptors. This has caused horrific OCD symptoms which would have caused her to end her life had we not found great relief with intravenous immunoglobulin treatments. . I left my engineering career to care for her in 2006, and I am still a major source of support for her.
We have spent several hundred thousand dollars out of our own pockets to try to get my daughter well. Our insurance company has spent more than that.
Things get slowly better, but she is still not self-supporting and we have concern for her future. We are very fortunate most people cannot afford the amount of treatment we have been able to give our daughter.
My daughters story is not the worst-case scenario. She now has a positive quality of life after years of that not being the case. Some people never get that far. This is what CAN happen if Lyme disease is not aggressively treated at the very beginning.
Everyone reacts to Lyme differently. Some people, even though extremely sick, respond well to standard ILADS treatment and soon put the disease behind them forever. Some people, like my daughter, just cant clear it, even after years of treatment.
Treatment For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be effectively treated with 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics. The sooner treatments start, the better.
Depending on your symptoms, and if you are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, you may require a longer course of antibiotics. Some people experience symptoms that continue more than 6 months after treatment. Research continues into the causes of these persistent symptoms and methods of treatment.
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Tetracycline Plus Macrolide Plus Grapefruit Seed Extract Plus Japanese Knotweed
- doxycycline 100 mg 2 pills 2 times a day
- clarithromycin 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- grapefruit seed extract 250 mg 1 pill 2 times a day.
- Japanese knotweed½ tsp 3 times a day
- Tetracyclines and macrolides both block protein production by binding to the protein production apparatus in germs called ribosomes. But they each bind to a different part of the ribosome improving the blockade of protein production.
- Japanese knotweed is added here to treat persister Lyme. It also may treat growing Lyme and can lower inflammation cytokines.
Treatment For Chronic Lyme Disease
Sometimes, people go through treatment for Lyme disease but their symptoms donât go away. If this lasts over 6 months, itâs known as chronic Lyme disease or âpost-treatment Lyme disease syndromeâ .
Doctors still arenât sure why some people get PTLDS. Some believe that getting Lyme disease may cause damage to your tissues or immune system. Others believe itâs because the bacteria that causes Lyme hasnât completely gone away.
There is little evidence that taking more antibiotics at this stage will help. They may actually be harmful. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating the symptoms youâre still having. This will be different for everyone. Some people could benefit from a medicine that relieves fatigue, while others may need a drug that can help with headaches or very sensitive skin.
More research is needed to figure out how best to treat PTLDS. Itâs something that can be frustrating. Just remember: Many people who have this condition do start feeling like their old selves after a few months.
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Risk Factors For Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
Youre at risk for early disseminated Lyme disease if youve been bitten by an infected tick and remain untreated during stage 1 of Lyme disease.
Youre at an increased risk of contracting Lyme disease in the United States if you live in one of the areas where most Lyme disease infections are reported. They are:
- any of the Northeastern states from Maine to Virginia
- the north central states, with the highest incidence in Wisconsin and Minnesota
- parts of the West Coast, primarily northern California
Certain situations also can increase your risk of coming into contact with an infected tick, such as:
- gardening, hunting, hiking, or doing other outside activities in areas where Lyme disease is a potential threat
- walking or hiking in high grass or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks into your home