Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
- Report being bitten by a tick, or
- Live in, or have recently visited, a tick-infested area.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will consider:
- Your symptoms
- How likely it is that you were exposed to infected blacklegged ticks
- The possibility that other illnesses may cause similar symptoms
- Results of any lab tests
Most Lyme disease tests check for antibodies made by the body in response to infection. These antibodies can take several weeks to develop. If you are tested right away, it may not show that you have Lyme disease, even if you have it. So you may need to have another test later.
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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A Reasonable Approach To Post
If you are being treated for PTLD, there is no magic bullet to treat this problem, but here are some important steps to consider:
- Choose a doctor you trust and who can work closely with you.
- If your doctor agrees to start antibiotics for several months, make sure you talk about the risks and cost, as this can be dangerous and expensive.
- Make sure not to rely solely on antibiotics. The evidence for a benefit from antibiotics is weak, and we rely mostly on physicians clinical experience and interest in the disease to design a personalized therapeutic plan. For some, a more holistic approach may be the way to go.
- If you try supplements, ask about their source and purity, as they are not FDA-regulated.
- Consider looking for services in medical school hospitals or clinics where they may have programs with ongoing research on how to diagnose and treat Lyme.
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
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually appear one to 30 days after a tick bite, but most commonly between seven to 14 days. The first sign is usually a skin rash and flu-like symptoms.
There are three stages of Lyme disease:
Stage 1: Early localized disease
- Occurs one to 30 days after a tick bite
- Characteristic skin rash of Lyme disease
- Migrating red rash with bullseye appearance occurring at or near the site of the tick bite
- Asymptomatic or itches or burns
- Develops around seven days after the tick bite
- Rash expands over a matter of days
Stage 3: Late disease
- If untreated, Lyme disease can progress to chronic Lyme disease or stage 3 of Lyme disease. Stage 3 Lyme disease occurs months to years after the initial infection or a period of latency. Most patients presenting with late disease do not have erythema migrans because the rash urges the patient to seek treatment earlier.
- Skin manifestation:
- Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans: Found almost exclusively in patients of European descent. It commonly affects older women and is characterized by bluish-red discoloration on the back of the hands, feet, knees and elbows.
Acute And Chronic Lyme
Acute Lyme or Tick Borne Illness usually happens in about 2-3 weeks after the infection, but can happen sooner or later than that too. You might have a fever, chills, headaches, muscle or joint pain. It can feel like a flu. It can last 5-7 days and then go away. The tricky thing is that some people who get infected by a tick never have an acute illness! And many people with an acute TBI dont ever remember having a tick bite!
Thats why many people dont even think about Lyme when they develop chronic symptoms like fatigue, arthritis, muscle pain or brain fog that drag on for months and months. There can also be other symptoms like intermittent fevers and heachaches and neurological symptoms like strange sensations and/or numbness or tingling anywhere in the body. The good news is that WE do think about Lyme in every patient with these symptoms at Blum Center and do the testing and pick up hidden Lyme or Tick infections all the time.
The name Chronic Lyme has been given to people who have these symptoms for months and sometimes years. Some people have Chronic Lyme and dont know it. And even when they start treatment with antibiotics, they continue suffering with Chronic Lyme because once its been in your body for a long time, its very hard to get rid of it, even with antibiotics.
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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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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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Video Answer: Cynthia Li & Mark Hyman
Dogs may develop Lyme disease from the bite of a blacklegged tick, which may transmit bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Once ill, dogs can become feverish and lame in one or more joints. They also may exhibit sluggishness, and their lymph nodes may swell.
Antibiotics generally provide relief from Lyme disease, but relapses can occur.
Spot-on tick-control products can kill or repel ticks that carry Lyme disease, as can some tick collars.
There is a Lyme disease vaccine for dogs, but its not always part of a dogs routine vaccination protocol.
- Other ways that Lyme disease can affect dogs include creating stiffness, particularly in their gait. Some dogs will experience sensitivity to touch from the inflammation, which may be accompanied by labored breathing. The most serious of the ailments caused by Lyme disease is the onset of kidney problems.
Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
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Do You Provide Lyme Disease Treatment In Norman Ok
Yes! Immediate Care of Oklahoma has locations near you in Norman where we provide Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about Lyme disease or to schedule a consultation with us, contact us. or better yet, just come see us in-person for on-the-spot care. Our clinics are located over at 800 24th Ave NW Norman, OK 73069 and at 3400 Tecumseh Rd Norman , OK 73072.
We hope to see you soon here at Immediate Care of Oklahoma, and we look forward to helping you recover quickly and effectively!
What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers don’t know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
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How To Avoid Tick Bites
To reduce the chance of being bitten:
- cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
- use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
- stay on clear paths whenever possible
- wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off
How Infusions Can Help You Recover From Lyme Disease
I dont know about you, but I LOVE living in the Westchester area, especially in the summer. Crisp evenings, proximity to beaches, and embracing the outdoors brings me so much joy. However, one thing I dont love about Westchester in the spring, summer and fall are the Lyme disease-carrying-ticks that are everywhere. The official name of the microbe that causes Lyme is Borrelia Bergdorfi. And these annoying and harmful pests carry other infections, too, like Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia and more. Collectively we call these Tick Borne Illnesses or TBIs. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are three of the ten states where the majority of Lyme cases are reported in the United States! The problem is that we all love the outdoors and your favorite summer activities could be putting you at risk.
Most of you probably already know this and check yourself for ticks after every evening beach walk or nature walk. If you dont, then this is definitely your first line of defense. If you find a tick on your body and it has been there for at least 4 hours, and has hooked itself in your skin, remove gently with a tweezer, and call your doctor. You can save the tick and have it tested for Lyme. At Blum Center we believe in treating aggressively, and recommend antibiotics whether or not you develop a rash. If that tick has latched onto you, whether or not is engorged or swollen, then treating right away is your best defense against developing acute or chronic Lyme disease.
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Duration Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can last a month or two or as long as months or years, depending on whether or not it is promptly or effectively treated.
When treated with antibiotics, most people recover from Lyme disease within a few weeks. If it isnt treated right way because symptoms werent present or it was misdiagnosed, the infection can affect different parts of the body and last one to four months.
Late persistent Lyme disease may develop without proper treatment. This phase can cause arthritis, fatigue, and numbness. Although it is rare, heart problems such as inflammation around the heart can occur months or years after the tick bite, notes Michigan Medicine.
Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In early disseminated Lyme disease, which occurs weeks to months after the tick bite, other symptoms may develop, including:
- Additional erythema migrans lesions
- Nerve pain.
- Facial or Bell’s palsy, a paralysis or weakness in the muscles on one side of the face.
- Lyme carditis, in which Lyme disease bacteria enter the tissues of the heart and interfere with the normal process that coordinates the beating of the heart symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
Late disseminated Lyme disease, which develops months to years after the infection begins, may cause:
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, especially in large joints such as the knees
- Pain in the tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Abnormal muscle movement
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet
- Cognitive problems, including issues with speech and short-term memory
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness from meningitis
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What Is Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease is also referred to as Lyme borreliosis, a bacterial illness that certain species of infected ticks can transmit to humans, dogs and other animals.
Since ticks dont fly or jump, they make contact with their host by lurking on the tips of long grass or bush, then quickly grabbing onto your dog when he walks by. He then crawls on to his body to look for a place to bite.
An infected tick carries the spiral-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, then bites a dog or person, transmitting the virus through the bloodstream.
Once its entered the bloodstream, the bacteria can reach different parts of the body and result in problems with specific areas or organs, including joints, as well as general illness. The disease can be transmitted after a tick has been attached to a dog for 24 to 48 hours.
Lyme Disease: Resolving The Lyme Wars
- By , Contributor
Its finally getting warm here in New England, and most of us have plans to enjoy the beautiful weather. And thats why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report raising awareness about how to prevent the tickborne infections that typically occur during this time of the year. Lyme disease is probably the most well-known, and the one for which diagnosis and treatment are most controversial.
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Where Are Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Found
Though Lyme disease occurs in every state, risk of infection varies. The vast majority of cases are from the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and the Pacific case, though recent changes in deforestation, and migrating bird and deer populations have impacted these statistics. Ticks are most often found in farm fields, wooded areas, shrubs and long grass.
Yes Treating Lyme Without Antibiotics Is Possible
Yes, treating Lyme without antibiotics is possible. Lets take a closer look at how you can do this.
Theres a lot of conflicting information out there about lyme disease.
Lyme isnt a chronic condition vs. Lyme can certainly be chronic.
Just take antibiotics for a few weeks and youll be cured vs. Take antibiotics for years, but you still wont be cured it will just be in remission.
Antibiotics are the only thing that works for Lyme vs. Antibiotics dont work well for treating Lyme.
Lyme can be cured vs. Lyme cant be cured.
Its enough to make your head spin. And to make things worse, if youre the unlucky one with the Lyme diagnosis, youre probably not thinking all that clearly due to the intense brain fog.
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