Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How Do I Find Out If I Have Lyme Disease

Must read

What Can A Workplace Or Home Do To Reduce The Presence Of Ticks

Heres What To Do If You Find A Tick Bite

Keep the lawn and yard well maintained to prevent ticks from living near the home or workplace.

  • Keep the grass mowed. Trim trees and shrubs.
  • Remove leaf litter, brush, and weeds at the edge of the lawn, and around stonewalls and woodpiles.
  • Clean up and seal stonewalls and small openings around the home to help discourage rodents.
  • Keep stacked firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings.
  • Keep any pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your veterinarian about tick repellents for your pets.
  • Move childrens swing sets and sandboxes away from the woodlands edge and use a woodchip or mulch foundation.
  • Consider using hard landscape items such as woodchips, mulch, stones, gravel, tile, or metals.
  • Create a border or barrier between the lawn, woods, or stonewalls to discourage deer and rodent activity.
  • Widen woodland trails.

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

Chronic Lyme Dos And Donts

Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.

Dont Miss: Lyme Disease Doctor Los Angeles

You May Like: How Does Lyme Disease Affect Humans

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.

When To See Your Gp

Is Lyme Disease Curable?

You should contact your GP or dial NHS 111 promptly if you feel unwell with any of the symptoms described above after being bitten by a tick or after spending time in areas where ticks may live.

Take this leaflet with you if you are unsure what to say and remember to let your GP know if youve recently had a tick bite or spent time in areas where ticks may live.

Diagnosing Lyme disease can be difficult as many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions. A spreading erythema migrans rash appearing some days after a known tick bite is characteristic and should be treated with antibiotics.

If you dont have this rash but do have other symptoms of Lyme disease, blood tests can be carried out that look for antibodies against the borrelia bacteria.

Blood tests can be negative in the early stages of the infection as the antibodies take some time to reach levels that can be detected.

You may need to be re-tested if Lyme disease is still suspected 4 to 6 weeks after a first negative test result.

If you have long-lasting symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist in microbiology, infectious diseases, rheumatology, or neurology as appropriate for further investigation and management.

Read Also: How To Check For Lyme Disease

Read Also: Can Lyme Disease Cause Jaw Pain

Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Early symptoms will typically develop 1 to 4 weeks after being bitten, however, they can appear anytime between 3 to 30 days after exposure.

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular red rash usually, but not always, at the site of the tick bite.

The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dart board and is known as erythema migrans. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.

The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, its around 15cm across but it can be much larger or smaller than this.

Some people may develop several rashes on different parts of their body. However, around one in every 3 people with Lyme disease do not report seeing a rash.

As well as a rash, people with early Lyme disease may experience any of the following:

  • flu-like symptoms such as fever and sweats, chills, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, joint or muscle pains
  • paralysis of the facial muscles, typically only on one side of the face
  • nerve pains, which may be shooting, sharp or prickly and which follow the course of the nerve

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.

Read Also: Can Lyme Disease Cause Hair Loss In Dogs

Four: Prevent Relapse At The End Of A Lyme Disease Treatment

Follow the steps outlined in Finished? And How to Prevent Relapse. Be sure to take Transfer Factor L Plus 1 pill 2 times a day to boost your immune system. Read Transfer Factors: Turn On The Army for more information. Also consider using one prescription antibiotic or the otoba bark extract and cats claw following the recommendations I discuss in Finished? And How to Prevent Relapse. These herbal and prescription antibiotics will police the environment to swat down the Lyme germs and to keep them in remission.

Also Check: How To Treat Long Term Lyme Disease

Diagnosis Testing And Treatment

How To Know If You Have Lyme Disease (Tests & Diagnosis)

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:

  • Some people who receive antibiotics early in disease may not have a fully developed antibody response or may only develop an antibody response at levels too low to be detected by the test.
  • Antibodies against Lyme disease bacteria usually take a few weeks to develop, so tests performed before this time may be negative even if the person is infected. In this case, if the person is retested a few weeks later, they should have a positive test if they have Lyme disease. It is not until 4 to 6 weeks have passed that the test is likely to be positive. This does not mean that the test is bad, only that it needs to be used correctly.
  • If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.

    * Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar 11:93-7.

    The most common co-infections that occur with Lyme disease are anaplasmosis and babesiosis. In general:

    References:

    Don’t Miss: Can Lyme Disease Cause Blood In Urine

    What Criteria Do Doctors Use To Choose Different Antibiotics

    Partly, doctors rely on what medicines have been shown in published studies to be effective for Lyme disease. For neurologic Lyme disease, the best tested antibiotic is IV ceftriaxone . For early Lyme disease, the best tested antibiotics include oral doxycycline, cefuroxime and amoxacillin. Physicians however often use other antibiotics well. For example, because one mouse study and several in vitro studies indicate that the agent of Lyme disease can penetrate and lodge inside cells, some doctors prefer to use medications that have good intracellular penetration ). Other factors that go into the decision include whether the patient is allergic to a particular family of antibiotics or whether the patient can tolerate oral medications intolerance might suggest the use of intramuscular penicillin whereas if a person is allergic to penicillins or cephalosporins a doctor would want to avoid long-acting intramuscular penicillin-family medicines.

    To our knowledge, having had a Lyme disease infection that has been treated does not have a negative impact on the ability to become pregnant.

    How Do I Know If I Have Lyme Disease

    The DMV is a hotspot for Lyme Disease. Most of us know someone who has had it. According to the CDC, its now the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. And the Mid-Atlantic is one of the hardest hit regions. The CDC estimates that 476,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme each year. But some experts believe CDC numbers are low. Lyme symptoms can look like other illnesses, so patients are sometimes misdiagnosed. Veterinarians, who are often at the forefront of Lyme Disease detection because of screening practices, are predicting high levels of Lyme for 2022.

    Also Check: What Antibiotics Treat Lyme Disease In Humans

    What To Expect At The Vets Office

    If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.

    • Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
    • Urine protein screening In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
    • Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.

    Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease and Permaculture Part III: Positive Change is All Your ...

    Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.

    This stage is characterized by:

    • arthritis of one or more large joints
    • brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations, and sleep disturbance
    • numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
    • park or wildlife management

    The majority of tick bites happen in the summer when ticks are the most active and people spend more time outside. However, its also possible to get Lyme disease from tick bites in early fall, and even in late winter if the weather is unseasonably warm.

    Lyme disease prevention mostly involves decreasing your risk of experiencing a tick bite.

    Take the following steps to prevent tick bites:

    Contact a doctor if and whenever a tick bites you or your loved ones.

    Don’t Miss: How To Test For Lyme Disease In Adults

    How Was It Discovered

    In 2013, scientists at the Mayo Clinic noticed an unusual result while testing blood from patients who were thought to have Lyme disease. Cooperation between Mayo Clinic, state public health agencies, and CDC confirmed that a new type of bacteria that infects people had been found in blacklegged ticks.

    How Do You Know If Your Lyme Disease Is Treated And Finished

    Patients ask me this question all the time. We diagnose the disease, we treat with antibiotics, or herbs, or homeopathics. We feel better. We stop the treatment. And either we continue to feel better, or we relapse and have to start all over again.

    Is there no way to test whether the spirochete is gone?

    The Lyme disease.org website has an excellent article ondiagnosis of Lyme disease.

    The National Geographic website has a good description of the deer tick, and thehistory of Lyme disease.

    Standard Lyme testing includes the following:

    • ELISA or IFA test
    • If that test is positive, then a Western Blot test is run
    • If 5 out of the 10 possible Lyme bands are positive, you are diagnosed with Lyme disease
    • If fewer than 5 of the 10 possible bands are positive, you are diagnosed as negative.

    Not all the bands which appear on a Western blot are specific to Lyme disease even though one ofthose non-specific bands is required by the CDC for diagnosis.

    Two of the bands which are specific to Lyme disease are not on the CDC list of bands required to be positive.

    How much sense does that make?

    For more detailed information about the IFA and Western blot testing, check out theIGeneX website.

    There is another test that can give us an idea whether the Lyme disease is actually gone out of our systems. This is an inflammatory marker, so it tells us whether there is continued inflammation or whether that inflammation is no longer present.

    Bottom line:

    Read Also: How Long For Lyme Test Results

    How To Remove Ticks

    Tick bites aren’t always painful. You may not notice a tick unless you see it on your skin. Check your skin and your children’s or pets’ skin after being outdoors.

    To remove a tick:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool. You can buy these from some pharmacies, vets and pet shops.
  • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick. Dispose of it when you’ve removed it.
  • Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.
  • The risk of getting ill is low. You don’t need to do anything else unless you become unwell.

    When To Get Tested For Lyme Disease

    Ticks and Lyme disease – all you need to know

    Only a small amount of tick bites lead to a Lyme disease diagnosis. Your healthcare provider could order a test for Lyme disease if you have a history of tick bites, and youre showing symptoms that are consistent with this condition. Youre also more likely to get Lyme disease screening if you live in an area where the disease is common.

    You should seek medical assistance if you had Lyme disease symptoms in the past, even if the symptoms went away on their own. The disease can persist even after symptoms have resolved and detecting Lyme disease in asymptomatic patients makes it possible to start treatment.

    Recommended Reading: How To Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease

    How To Prevent Post

    While you may not be able to prevent post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, you can take precautions to prevent coming into direct contact with infected ticks. The following practices can reduce your likelihood of getting Lyme disease and developing persistent symptoms.

    If a tick bites you, contact your doctor. You should be observed for 30 days for signs of Lyme disease. You should also learn the signs of early Lyme disease and seek prompt treatment if you think youre infected. Early antibiotic intervention may reduce your risk of developing chronic symptoms.

    The signs of early Lyme disease can occur from 3 to 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. Look for:

    • a red, expanding bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite

    Lyme Disease: How Can My Primary Care Provider Help

    In our region, more and more primary care providers are taking Lyme Disease very seriously. You dont necessarily need a high-priced Lyme Disease specialist who doesnt accept insurance. With solid communication, your PCP can help catch and treat Lyme early, leading to positive outcomes. At Comprehensive Primary Care, our providers are highly responsive to potential Lyme Disease cases and ready to combine robust testing with proactive treatment. If you have symptoms or exposure, make an appointment with our primary care team.

    Also Check: Long Lasting Effects Of Lyme Disease

    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!

    Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts

    Self

    Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.

    You May Like: Do Lyme Disease Symptoms Come And Go

    More articles

    Popular Articles