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How Do I Know I Have Lyme Disease

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What If A Tick Bites My Dog

How Do You Know If You Have Lyme Disease

The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.

Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.

About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.

What if my dog brings ticks into my home?

Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.

Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.

Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.

Show Sources

John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

CDC.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â

American College of Rheumatology.

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.

What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:

  • Joint disease

  • Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease

Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.

Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

Read Also: How To Treat Chronic Lyme

Stage : Quickly Expanding Rash

After being bitten by a black-legged tick, a quickly growing rash can appear. This is the earliest stage of Lyme disease, known as stage 1.

Most people who develop a rash, get it within days or weeks of being bitten by a tick.

Where you see the rash: If you develop a rash, it appears near the tick bit you. For most people, that means the back, groin, armpit, or a lower leg. However, a tick can bite you anywhere.

What the rash can look like: You may see a spot or bump on the skin, which is the bite mark. Around or near the bite mark, a rash develops. Some people see the bulls-eye rash . You can also have one of the other rashes shown here.

Early rash caused by Lyme disease

Notice the bite mark in the center of this early rash, which will expand quickly.

Bull’s-eye rash on woman’s upper arm

This is another early sign of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease rash with lighter color on the outside

This rash has expanded, but you can still see the bite mark in the center.

Rash from Lyme disease has begun to clear

As the rash begins to clear, the redness fades.

If you develop a rash during this stage, you may notice that it:

  • Feels smooth and warm to the touch

  • Causes a burning sensation

  • Itches or feels painful

  • Has an outer edge that feels scaly or crusty

When the rash and symptoms begin: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the rash begins 3 to 30 days after the tick bites you.

About 50% of people who have Lyme disease develop flu-like symptoms , which include:

What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease

Help does anyone know if this is Lyme disease or some ...
  • Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.

  • There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.

  • The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.

  • If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.

Read Also: Signs Of Lyme Disease In People

Q: Why Is Lyme Disease So Controversial

The controversy is mostly centered around whether persistent Lyme disease symptoms are caused by an active bacterial infection or an autoimmune condition, where a person’s immune system attacks the body after the microbes have been eradicated by antibiotics. Based on my experience treating hundreds of patients and actively reviewing new evidence on chronic Lyme out of Tulane and Johns Hopkins, I have no doubt that the Lyme disease bacteria is capable of hiding out in the body for months to years, causing destructive long-term inflammation and illness.

The challenge is getting the best diagnostic and treatment evidence out in a timely manner so that our “first responders” in medicineemergency room physicians and primary care doctorsrecognize early Lyme so that none of these patients reach the potential chronic stage, where long-term damage can prevent a full recovery. I’m currently working with a nonprofit, Invisible International, to accelerate this process. The bacterium that causes Lyme disease was discovered in 1981, 40 years ago, and I believe medicine can do better by these patients.

For a checklist of common Lyme disease symptoms or to find an experienced tickborne-disease physician, visit the Lymedisease.org website. To learn more about diagnosing and treating vector-borne diseases, watch Invisible International’s online, evidence-based physician medical education courses.

Healthsymptoms Of Lyme Disease: Why The Disease Is So Hard To Diagnose

Those folks will often have a prolonged fever that doesn’t seem to be connected with a head cold or stomach bug, Norris noted. They may also suffer from aching muscles.

If you’re planning on spending any time outside this summer, it’s important to keep in mind the major signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

To learn more, watch the above video with NBC medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.

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Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints

Joint pain and stiffness, often intermittent, are early Lyme symptoms. Your joints may be inflamed, warm to the touch, painful, and swollen. You may have stiffness and limited range of motion in some joints .

Pain may move around. Sometimes your knees may hurt, whereas other times its your neck or your heels. You may also have bursitis . Bursae are the thin cushions between bone and surrounding tissue.

The pain may be severe, and it may be transitory. More than one joint may be affected. Most often the large joints are involved .

People often attribute joint problems to age, genetics, or sports. Lyme should be added to that list, as these statistics indicate:

  • One study estimates that 80 percent of people with untreated Lyme have muscle and joint symptoms .
  • Fifty percent of people with untreated Lyme have intermittent episodes of arthritis .
  • Two-thirds of people have their first episode of joint pain within six months of the infection .
  • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs may mask the actual number of people with joint swelling .

Summary:

Joint pain that comes and goes, or moves from joint to joint, could be a sign of Lyme.

How Should A Tick Be Removed

How Do You Know If You Have Lyme Disease?

Grasp the mouthparts with tweezers as close as possible to the attachment site. Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. Pull firmly and steadily upward to remove the tick. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands. The NYSDOH has created a video on proper tick removal and a printable card with steps on how to remove ticks . See or call a doctor if there are concerns about incomplete tick removal. Do not attempt to remove ticks by using petroleum jelly, lit cigarettes or other home remedies because these may actually increase the chance of contracting a tick-borne disease.

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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.

What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.

How do you throw away a tick?

Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.

Also Check: Lyme Disease How Long Does It Last

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.

So When Do You Need Blood Tests For Lyme Disease

LYME DISEASE: How do I know if I have Lyme disease?

In some cases, you can have Lyme disease without the rash. Or you may not see the rash before it goes away on its own.

In these cases, your doctor should ask you about your medical history and do a thorough physical exam. Your doctor should look for these signs that you might have Lyme disease:

  • You were in an area with ticks and Lyme disease.
  • You also have fever or redness, warmth, and swelling in one or a few joints at a time usually the knees, shoulders, or wrists.

Other symptoms can occur later on. Talk to your doctor about testing and treatment choices.

This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.

04/2013

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Moving Forward With Chronic Illness

Today Tait works as a writer and speaker. Her first book publishing in August, The View from Rock Bottom: Discovering Gods Embrace in our Pain, chronicles her journey with her health and how it impacted her faith. Writing gives her the freedom to work from home, but she’s well aware that for many years the financial burden has been on her husband, a software developer.

They recently took a rare vacation to Mexico. It was the first time theyd been on a plane together since their honeymoon more than a decade ago.

Tait has days when she feels strong enough to attend a speaking engagement at a church or play with her kids at the park. But she also has days when she struggles to move her body and relies on her cane.

For Tait, the hardest part is knowing that she would, in all likelihood, be completely healthy today had she just been diagnosed sooner. And the scariest part is knowing that it was all out of her hands.

I was asking for the right tests. I was saying the right things. I was showing up constantly and saying, This isnt working, Im not well. But eventually you start to doubt yourself, when you hear enough times that maybe its all in your head.

Now that she has answers, she can at least begin to move forward.

How Is Lyme Disease Treated

With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.

If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.

If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.

Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

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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.

What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease

Are you sick with something the doctors can’t find? Lyme disease (part 1 of 2)

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.

Recommended Reading: Lyme Research And Healing Center

Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It

The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.

But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New

Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.

In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.

In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.

Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.

Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?

Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.

Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?

There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:

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

Also Check: Lyme Disease And Neurological Problems

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