What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A person can get bitten by an infected tick and not have any symptoms of Lyme disease . Others have symptoms. If you develop Lyme disease, you may notice a small red bump within 3-14 days after the bite of an infected tick. The bump is often warm to the touch and slightly sore. The bump usually spreads into a rash that looks like a bulls-eyepink in the center and deeper red on the outside called erythema migrans.
Other signs can appear after several days or weeks, and are similar to flu symptoms:
- Neurological problems such as encephalopathy, meningitis, and facial nerve palsy
- Irregular heart rhythm
Can Lyme Disease Completely Be Cured
Taking oral antibiotics typically cures Lyme disease after two to four weeks. You may need to get antibiotics through the vein for four more weeks. However, theres no reason to think that Lyme disease stays in you forever after treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If youre going to spend time in an area that might have ticks, take measures to avoid being bitten. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to make it harder for ticks to bite. If you feel sick after being in an area that probably has ticks, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. If your provider prescribes antibiotics, make sure you take all of them as instructed.
The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives
The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.
This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.
A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.
If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.
Tips For Reducing Inflammation
Changing diets to reduce inflammation can be daunting, but there are certain things people can do to make it easier.
- No miracle food: People should include a wide variety of foods in their diet rather than relying on a few anti-inflammatory foods. What works for some people may not work for everyone, so people should ensure they get a wide range of nutrients by diversifying their diet.
- Small changes: Rather than changing their entire diet all at once, people can make small changes to gradually replace pro-inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory ones.
- Rainbow meals: The darker or more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the more packed full of antioxidants it is. Choose a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation. People should start simply and aim for
Prognosis And Chronic Lyme Disease
The long-term prognosis for individuals who are treated appropriately with antimicrobials for Lyme disease, regardless of the stage of the illness, is excellent. The most common reason for a lack of response to appropriate antimicrobial therapy is misdiagnosis . Nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue, arthralgia, or myalgia, may persist for several weeks even in patients with early Lyme disease who are treated successfully. Their presence should not be regarded as an indication for additional treatment with antimicrobials. These nonspecific symptoms will usually resolve without additional antimicrobial therapy.
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Is There Any Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Lyme Disease
We do not know of any evidence that Lyme disease causes sleep apnea, although sleep apnea has been associated with other encephalitic disorders. Sleep apnea may look like Lyme disease. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be difficult to arouse when asleep, will have excessive daytime sleepiness, and may complain of insomnia. They may have morning headaches, inattentiveness, and a decline in school or work performance. Hypertension may also occur. One can have sleep apnea without being obese. The problem can occur in children as well as adults. The diagnosis is made at a sleep lab after special tests of respiratory function and all-night polygraphic sleep monitoring. Patients with central sleep apnea may have lesions in the medulla with ninth and 10th cranial nerve palsies with trouble swallowing or speaking. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea tend to be overweight and to have large tonsils. These patients may snore and then have 10-30 second periods at night when breathing appears to stop. Patients will then take a deep snorting breath and then return to sleep, unaware of what just happened. Treatment is determined by the severity of the symptoms and the type. In central apnea, medroxyprogesterone and protriptyline can be helpful. Weight loss and surgical correction are the treatments for the obstructive type. Patients may experience enormous relief after the surgery. Symptoms previously incorrectly attributed to Lyme disease may now resolve completely.
What Is The Significance Of Band 41 On The Igm And Igg Western Blot It Is Not Lyme Specific And The Cdc Requires More Bands To Be Present Before A Diagnosis However It Is A Band For Bacteria So What Else Could Cause That To Be Positive If Not Lyme
The 41 kd band is often found on the Western blot. We did a study where we looked at the banding patterns of patients with chronic Lyme disease and healthy controls from the inner city of NY who have never had Lyme disease. We found that a large percentage of the healthy controls tested positive on the 41kd band. For that reason, we don’t feel the 41kd band has much clinical signfiicance in guiding us as to whether a person has been exposed to the agent of Lyme disease. One reason a positive 41 kd band might emerge is that our mouths contain non-pathogenic spirochetes it is conceivable that some may seed the blood stream periodically and lead to the positive 41kd immune responses.
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What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
A two-week course of antibiotics is the recommended treatment for early Lyme, usually Doxycycline or Amoxicillin. However, providers can extend treatment to 3 or 4 weeks in more complex cases. The NIH is conducting studies on chronic Lyme in search of more effective treatments. For now, many chronic Lyme patients have success with low-dose antidepressants, diet and lifestyle changes and alternative therapies in addition to antibiotics.
Is There A Blood Test For Lyme Disease
If your doctor suspects that you have Lyme disease, they may order two blood tests. These will look for signs that your body is trying to fight it off. The results are most precise a few weeks after youâve been infected.
These tests are:
ELISA test. This test canât check for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It can only look for your immune systemâs response to it.
Although itâs the most common way to check for Lyme disease, the ELISA test isnât perfect. It can sometimes give false âpositiveâ results. On the other hand, if you have it done too soon after youâve been infected, your body may not have developed enough antibodies for the test to detect them. This will give you a ânegativeâ result even though you do have Lyme disease.
Western blot test. Whether your ELISA test comes back positive or negative, your doctor will need to do this blood test, too.
A Western blot uses electricity to split certain proteins in your blood into patterns. This is then compared to the pattern of people known to have Lyme disease.
At least five band matches means that you have Lyme disease. Still, not all labs have the same standards. Thereâs a chance that you could get a âpositiveâ result from one and a ânegativeâ result from another.
- Alzheimerâs disease
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How Can You Reduce Tick Habitats Near Your Home
Here are some ways to limit exposure to ticks near your home:
- Mow the lawn regularly to keep the grass short
- Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and around stonewalls and woodpiles
- Stack firewood neatly and in a dry area
- Put barriers to exclude deer around your home and seal stonewalls and small openings to discourage rodent activity
- Place childrens recreational playground sets, patios and decks away from the yard edges and trees. Place them on a woodchip or mulch foundation and in a sunny location, if possible.
- Treat pets that are commonly exposed to ticks with oral or topic acaricides as they could carry ticks into the home
Chronic Lyme: What Happens When Lyme Goes Untreated
The Lyme community typically uses the term chronic Lyme disease to describe a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that crop up after getting Lyme disease and persist for months to years after infection.
The risk of chronic Lyme increases the longer a Lyme infection goes untreated or undertreated. In other words, patients are more likely to recover fully if their Lyme infection is detected and treated as early as possible after the discovery of a tick bite. This stage is usually marked by symptoms such as fevers, chills, muscle aches, and sometimes rashes.
When left untreated or undertreated, however, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body and affect:
- The central nervous system
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
If you feel sick after having spent time in areas where ticks might live, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
If you received a Lyme disease diagnosis and you dont feel well after taking all of your antibiotics, contact your provider. This is especially true if you have symptoms like a stiff neck or mental confusion.
Lyme Disease Has Affected Celebrities Such As Avril Lavigne Kelly Osbourne And Shania Twain Among Others
If you happen to encounter the wrong tick, a walk in the woods can turn into a lingering battle with Lyme disease. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, the result of a tick bite, include a bulls-eye shaped rash and flu-like symptoms that can be very mild and may even go unnoticed. And in at least a quarter of Lyme disease patients, the telltale rash does not develop, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases .
Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics, but if Lyme disease is not detected early, it can cause serious and debilitating symptoms such as nerve pain, severe headaches, arthritis, and cognitive problems. As the NIAID notes, fatigue, pain, and aching joints and muscles can persist in some patients even after treatment, which is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. The symptoms and complications of Lyme disease especially when it comes to what has been called chronic Lyme, though experts are wary of that term are complex and not well-defined. But of course people should seek a medical evaluation if they are feeling unwell, and Lyme disease should be investigated if there has been a history of a tick bite.
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Late Lyme Disease Symptoms
Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease
The CDC reports that late stage Lyme disease may appear days to months after the initial tick bite and may include but are not limited to:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes in new places on the body
- Facial palsy, also known as Bells palsy paralysis of one side of the face
- Arthritis or joint pain and swelling, especially of large joints
- Intermittent tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, or bone pain
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
As mentioned above, late stage Lyme may also be characterized by the recurrence of early stage symptoms, such as fatigue.
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Lyme Disease Blood Test Results Fully Explained
The Lyme disease blood test is used to discover if someone who has the symptoms of a Borrelia burgdorferi infection actually has the bacteria in their bloodstream. Recent infections are much easier to detect and an IgM and IgG blood test will often be ordered as complimentary information gathering tools. This blood test does not always detect the presence of the disease, so patients that have persistent symptoms after having the test may be re-tested in a few weeks.
If any of these tests come back as positive, then other samples will be used to track the stage of the disease to determine if it has reached the chronic infection stage. At this point, a medical provider will order a Western blot test to confirm the presence of Lyme disease.
Prevention Of Lyme Disease
Reducing the risk of tick bites is one obvious strategy to prevent Lyme disease. In endemic areas, clearing brush and trees, removing leaf litter and woodpiles, and keeping grass mowed may reduce exposure to ticks. Application of pesticides to residential properties is effective in suppressing populations of ticks but may be harmful to other wildlife and people.
Tick and insect repellents that contain N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide applied to the skin provide additional protection but require frequent reapplication. Serious neurologic complications in children from frequent or excessive application of DEET-containing repellents have been reported, but they are rare and the risk is low when these products are used according to instructions on the labels. Use of products with concentrations of DEET greater than 30% is not necessary and increases the risk of adverse effects. DEET should be applied sparingly only to exposed skin but not to the face, hands, or skin that is irritated or abraded. After one returns indoors, skin that was treated should be washed with soap and water. Permethrin is available in a spray for application to clothing only and is particularly effective because it kills ticks on contact.
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Lyme Disease Is Remarkably Difficult To Diagnose
The problem with Lyme disease is that the bacteria can create a hard âshellâ around themselves when inactive so that the blood tests are unable to detect them. This is especially true when the disease has reached the chronic stage. The timing of the symptoms is often used by a medical provider to establish a time line to a tick bite or exposure to a high-risk region where the disease is commonly transmitted.
Because the ticks that can spread Lyme disease are often the size of a pinhead, the ticks might not even be notice. A bulls-eye rash at the bite location is a trademark symptom of Lyme disease, but only about half of the people who are infected with the bacteria develop the rash. Once the disease reaches the chronic stage, chronic arthritis, joint pain, and neurological symptoms begin to appear, sometimes several months after the infection.
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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