Wednesday, February 14, 2024

How Can You Find Out If You Have Lyme Disease

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Signs Of Lyme Disease That Appear On Your Skin

Lyme Disease Very Treatable If Caught Early

Signs of Lyme disease

If you see a rash or another sign of Lyme disease on your skin, see your primary doctor right away. When caught early and treated, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and most people recover fully.

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a black-legged tick. If you are bitten by this tick and develop Lyme disease, you may see a bulls-eye rash. Its a common sign of Lyme disease, but its not the only sign.

Lyme disease occurs in stages. Heres what you may see on your skin during each stage.

Boiling Point: The Lyme + Fibromyalgia + Chronic Fatigue Connection

The misery of chronic illness is very real. But if youre the one whos suffering, you know that those around you typically cant see it or understand it not family, friends, or even medical providers.

They dont know what its like:

to push through oppressive fatigue day after day.to be tired beyond exhaustion but unable to sleep.to ache all over so badly that all you want to do is curl up in a ball inside a dark closet.to feel like you have the flu every day of your life but still have to go to work.to be isolated, both socially and professionally.to have bizarre symptoms that no one can put a finger on.to be told that all your lab tests are normal, even though something is obviously wrong.to become dependent on symptom-suppressing drugs prescribed by well-meaning doctors who didnt know enough to know better.

I can relate better than most doctors because Ive lived it. I am part of a growing epidemic of people suffering from chronic ailments that the modern medical system is at a loss to help.

An unexpected twist during my late 40s changed my life and career path forever. Unrelenting stress from a too-busy medical practice combined with an entanglement of unpredicted life stressors plunged me into chronic misery that took me 10 years to escape.

Then, I became the patient I could almost sense my doctors roll their eyes the minute I came through the door.

What To Do When You Get Bit By A Tick

If you get bit by a tick and you have the tick in your possession, get it tested at your local testing facility. The facility will likely test it for Borrelia burgdorferi. We also recommend you get tested as well, even if you are not experiencing symptoms or you did not get a bullseye rash. Nearly half of the people who contract Lyme disease dont even show signs of a bullseye rash.

If you think you may have Lyme disease and you have been dealing with symptoms for months or even years, you are likely disillusioned with your health journey and you need some well-deserved answers. You dont have to accept your symptoms as a life sentence as even the most complex cases can be helped. We have a strong track record of helping our clients get to the root cause of their symptoms so they can get on a lasting road to recovery. If you have questions or you just want to talk to someone about your health journey, we are here for you. Go here to book a 30-minute complimentary call with one of our trained health advisers. Be well!

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Understanding Lyme At The Cellular Level

To truly understand Lyme disease and why herbs are the best solution, you have to think at the cellular level. More than anything else, Lyme disease is an assault on cells of the body.

The human body is composed of trillions of living cells. Everything that happens in the body results from the actions of cells. Symptoms occur when cellular functions are compromised. The type of symptom reflects the types of cells being affected.

When the borrelia spirochetes spill into the bloodstream from the tick bite, their one goal is reaching tissues of the body. The immune systems job is keeping them from getting there.

As soon as the bacteria enter the bloodstream, white blood cells of the immune system immediately begin engulfing and destroying the bacteria with potent acid. Sometimes, however, the bacteria are able to turn off that process and stay alive inside the WBC. The compromised WBC unwittingly becomes a Trojan horse that transports the bacteria to tissues throughout the body even across the blood-brain barrier into the brain.

Despite their mechanisms of persistence, casualties on the bacteria side are high and most of the bacteria are eliminated. All it takes for success, however, is a few bacteria reaching tissues of the body joints, brain, heart, everywhere. Once on site at tissues, the remaining spirochetes immediately begin scavenging nutrients, such as collagen from joint tissue and myelin from nerve tissue to create more spirochetes.

Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds

How to Spot Lyme Disease

The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.

The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.

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Connections To Chronic Illness

Whether you are symptomatic or not depends a lot on the health of your cells. Your cells are not defenseless!

All of our cells have an internal housekeeping system called autophagy. Cells continually break down misfolded proteins, burned-out mitochondria, damaged DNA, and worn-out parts and recycle them into new proteins and cell parts. It is also the mechanism by which cells expel many types of intracellular microbes. The fact that our cells can expel intracellular microbes is another important and often unrecognized part of our natural defenses.

But when cells are chronically exposed to poor nutrition, toxic environment, chronic mental stress, and sedentary lifestyle, auto-nagy is impaired and cells become more vulnerable to invasion by intracellular pathogens. Increased cellular turnover and increased microbe activity overtaxes the immune system. At a certain point, a threshold is crossed, such that symptoms occur. The type of symptoms that occur depends on the types of cells affected different microbes have preference for different types of cells in the body. This is one reason why there are so many different chronic illnesses.

How Long Does Lyme Disease Treatment Last

Your Lyme disease symptoms can last from 3 to 30 days after being infected. However, if youre treated early with antibiotics, you usually feel better within a few weeks. Lingering symptoms, such as joint or muscle pain, and fatigue, can be experienced for months after treatment for some patients. Some patients experience these symptoms for more than six months after they finish their antibiotics, which is known as chronic Lyme disease.

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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.

So What Stresses Cells

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The factors that stress or threaten cells are intimately tied to the fact that we must interact with the surrounding environment to survive. The nutrients, water, and oxygen that cells need to thrive must come from outside the body. This mandatory interaction with the outside environment poses a variety of different risks to cells of the body.

All totaled, there are five categories of factors that can stress cells of the body and lead to chronic illness.

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Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

Timing: Weeks to months after a tick bite

In early disseminated Lyme disease, the infection has started to move beyond the site of your tick bite to other parts of your body such as your heart, brain, or spinal cord. Lyme disease that has moved to the brain is sometimes referred to as Lyme neuroborreliosis, or neurological Lyme disease.

Common symptoms of early disseminated Lyme disease include:

  • More than one EM rash

  • Pain that may come and go and move around the body, in joints, tendons, muscles, and bones

  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord , which can cause severe headache, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to light and sound

  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms and legs

  • Weakness or drooping on one or both sides of the face difficulty closing an eyelid

  • Inflammation of the heart that can cause heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. If you are experiencing any of these heart symptoms, seek immediate medical care.

You may also experience a worsening of earlier Lyme disease symptoms.

Lyme disease can cause joint pain , a stiff neck , or weakness or drooping on one or both sides of the face, known as facial palsy .

Can Lyme Disease Be Sexually Transmitted

First of all, if you have been treated for Lyme disease, even if your Western blot is positive, it is very unlikely that there are any spirochetes still circulating in your bodily fluids. Second, there is no good documentation that Lyme disease can be contracted by sexual contact. Given the number of cases of Lyme disease that have been diagnosed over the last 20 years and the fact that there are have been instances where people with active infection are having sexual intercourse but have not yet been treated, one would expect there to be many well documented cases of suspect partner to partner transmission this is not the case. Therefore, for all these reasons, it is highly unlikely that a person could acquire Lyme disease through unprotected intercourse or other sexual contact.

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What Should I Do If I Think I Have Lyme Disease

Early detection is essential to avoiding chronic Lyme. If caught early, it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. Usually, the rash is a telltale sign. However, since not everyone gets it, providers in our region increasingly treat Lyme based on the possibility of exposure . The CDC recommends two-tier testing using tests measuring the bodys antibody response to infection. The most common tests are the

enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the Western blot. The CDC recommends the ELISA test as a preliminary screen, followed by confirmation with a Western blot. The Western blot is considered more sensitive than ELISA testing, so many practitioners rely on that test. However, antibody tests usually do not detect disease right after infection, so many providers in our high-Lyme region will start patients on antibiotics directly after exposure or symptoms.

What Do The Results Mean

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Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are common to many conditions, and test results alone can’t diagnose the disease. To make a diagnosis, your provider will consider your test results along with your medical history, exposure, and symptoms. You may also need other tests.

A negative blood test result means that antibodies to fight the Lyme disease bacteria were not found in your blood. If you had symptoms for longer than 30 days before your test, you probably don’t have Lyme disease.

But if you had symptoms for less than 30 days before you gave your blood sample, you may need to have another Lyme disease test. That’s because it may take a few weeks for your body to make enough antibodies to show up on a test. If your test was done too soon, you could be infected even though your test was negative. This is called a “false negative.”

A positive blood test result means that antibodies to fight the Lyme disease bacteria were found in your blood. In this case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a second blood test on the same blood sample. If the second test is positive and you have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.

But positive test results don’t always mean that Lyme disease is causing your symptoms. You could have antibodies from a past case of Lyme disease that your body successfully fought off months or even years ago.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

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Cdc Supports The Development Of New Tests

New tests may be developed as alternatives to one or both steps of the two-step process. Before CDC will recommend new tests, they must be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration . For more details, see: Recommendations for Test Performance and Interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease.

Are There Any Risks To Lyme Disease Tests

There is very little risk to having a blood test or a lumbar puncture.

With a blood test, you may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

With a CSF test, you may feel a little pinch or pressure when the needle is inserted. After the test, you may feel some pain or tenderness in your back where the needle was inserted.

You may also have some bleeding at the site or get a headache. The headache may last for several hours or up to a week or more, but your provider may suggest treatment to help relieve the pain.

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Creating The Perfect Environment For Healing

Healing is the ability of cells to regenerate and recover from being stressed. Healing can only occur if ongoing stresses are reduced enough for cellular recovery to occur.

No doubt, killing bacteria and other microbes is essential for cellular healing, but it must be done without upsetting the delicate balance of other microbes that inhabit the body. This is the problem with antibiotics. Conventional antibiotics dont penetrate into cells very well, but do disrupt the balance of normal flora in the gut and skin. Prolonged use of antibiotics typically leads to a host of issues that disrupt cellular healing and often doesnt eradicate the ongoing infection.

This is where the antimicrobial properties of herbs offer a distinct advantage. Taking an herb with antimicrobial properties isnt like taking an antibiotic. Instead of being a single chemical agent, like an antibiotic, herbs offer a wide spectrum of chemical substances with broad spectrum action against a wide variety of microbes. In essence, it acts like an intelligent defense system that targets pathogens and not normal flora. This allows herbs to be taken for extended periods of time months and even years without disrupting the balance of bacteria and other microbes in the body. Which is exactly what it takes to wear the intracellular microbes down.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed And Treated

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Lyme disease is usually diagnosed when a person develops a bullâs-eye rash, flu-like symptoms , or both. These symptoms usually start a few days or weeks after the person is bitten by an infected tick.

A two-step blood test can verify the presence of Lyme disease antibodies, although it does take a few weeks for those antibodies to develop. And despite what some physicians and advocacy groups claim, a blood test is the only way Lyme disease can be confirmed, Larry Zemel, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine told Health. âSome healthcare providers say they can diagnose Lyme even when patients test negative repeatedly, but that has not been borne out by any scientific study,â said Dr. Zemel.

When people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in its early stages, a 10- to 20-day course of oral antibioticsusually with a drug called doxycyclinewill clear the infection and help them feel better fairly quickly. âThis cures the vast majority of people, and they have a 100% recovery with no lasting effects,â said Dr. Zemel.

If Lyme disease isnât diagnosed right away, it can cause more serious symptoms like arthritis and memory problems. These people may need a full month of oral antibiotics, said Dr. Zemel. About 20% of these patients will need IV antibiotics , and they may also need other medications to treat symptoms like pain and muscle stiffness.

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What Abnormal Results Mean

A positive ELISA result is abnormal. This means antibodies were seen in your blood sample. But, this does not confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease. A positive ELISA result must be followed up with a Western blot test. Only a positive Western blot test can confirm the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

For many people, the ELISA test remains positive, even after they have been treated for Lyme disease and no longer have symptoms.

A positive ELISA test may also occur with certain diseases not related to Lyme disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Does Lyme Disease Cause Peripheral Neuropathy

Yes, patients with Lyme disease may develop peripheral neuropathy a dysfunction of the nerves that transmit electrical signals between the bodys periphery and the spinal cord and brain. Common symptoms of Lyme-related neuropathy include multi-site neuropathic pain , spinal or radicular pain, distal paresthesias , sensory loss, weakness and hyporeflexia. . These symptoms are often caused by malfunctioning of small A-delta fibers and C fibers that carry pain and temperature signals. Pathology of the small nerve fibers can also disrupt autonomic functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and gastrointestinal functions. Involvement of the cranial nerves can lead to blurry vision, double vision, facial droop, loss of balance, or tinnitus .

The precise mechanisms by which these nerve fibers are damaged in Lyme disease remains a subject of active investigation. Some possibilities include: direct assault on the nerve fibers by spirochetes during periods of active infection immune-mediated damage to the nerve fibers or their protective myelin sheaths by the hosts own innate or adaptive immune system or production of antibodies with accumulation of immune-complexes that disrupt the small vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the metabolically-active peripheral nerves.

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