Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Do You Get Chronic Lyme Disease

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Natural Remedies For The Chronic Inflammation Of Lyme Disease

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

Everyone knows that inflammation isnt good, especially when it becomes chronic. But to do something about it, you need to understand whats driving the inflammation in the first place.

Though you cant actually see chronic inflammation, you can certainly feel it. It manifests as joint discomfort, stiffness, general achiness, fatigue, low stamina, brain fog, slow mental activity, depressed mood, and all the other symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease. Simply put, you feel inflamed.

The root of inflammation is excessive turnover of cells. We all lose cells, and up to a certain point, its perfectly normal. Cells in the body are constantly wearing out, getting injured, or being invaded by microbes. In fact, we typically lose 50-70 billion cells every day. While much of cellular turnover is accounted for by cells that are shed from the body, such as skin and intestinal cells, tissues inside the body are losing cells, too.

When cells die, they break apart and create debris. If enough debris collects in tissues, it obstructs the flow of water, nutrients, and oxygen that cells need to stay healthy. At the same time, metabolic waste produced by cells is trapped around the cell, which, of course, isnt a good thing. If enough debris collects, cells start to choke in their own waste.

How Long After Treatment Should The Horse/dog Be Re

Antibodies decrease slowly but gradually after the pathogen is cleared from the hosts circulation. Re-testing should not be performed too early. For horses/dogs with positive values for antibodies to OspF but negative values for antibodies to OspC , retesting should be done 3 months after the treatment was started. For horses with a positive OspC antibody value retesting can be done 6-8 weeks after the treatment started. At the time of retesting, a decrease of antibody levels can be expected in successfully treated animals. Serum antibodies may not have completely disappeared at this time. However, they should have dropped by about 40% of the original positive value.

Lyme Mimics Many Illnesses

Lyme disease is a source of chronic illness for a rapidly growing number of people. The CDC estimates that 300,000 new cases of Lyme are contracted per year.

Some data suggests that a more likely number is 1,000,000 cases per year.

That being said, it is rarely properly diagnosed.

Lyme disease mimics many disorders. This leaves both doctors and patients without a clear cut answer as to what Lyme looks and feels like. Lyme is usually not even on the list of diseases to check for. But chronic Lyme disease doesnt run its course in a week or two like the flu.

Lyme disease symptoms are broad and not specific to Lyme alone. Symptoms can manifest as other chronic disorders like:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , and Parkinson’s
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other joint inflammation

With Lyme resembling these other diseases, the cause behind them may remain unidentified.

The Lyme bacteria come in three different forms:

  • Spirochete
  • Intracellular
  • Cyst
  • Only the spirochete form triggers the bullseye rash. This makes early recognition and treatment of Lyme difficult because this is the telltale sign people and practitioners are looking for. Most chronic Lyme sufferers report going to several doctors over many months before Lyme is recognized. Unfortunately, by that time Lyme has spread to many organ systems causing more damage and symptoms.

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    Q: Whats The Best Test For Diagnosing Lyme Disease

    First and foremost, Lyme disease, as with any disease, should be diagnosed based on a clinical history and physical exam, not by test results alone.

    Its important to note that the complex, conservative two-tiered testing criteria for CDC positive cases was developed for disease-tracking only. It shouldnt be used by physicians as the sole criteria for diagnosis or denying treatment to patients.

    Whats more, not all Lyme tests are created equal. The major labs typically look for only one strain of Lyme bacteria, the B31 strain of Borrelia burgdorferi. I prefer using specialized labs that test for multiple Lyme strains. Three of the labs I use are MDL, Galaxy, and IGeneX.

    One tick can inject multiple species of disease-causing microbes in a single blood meal, so, based on symptoms, I sometimes test for other tick-borne infections.

    If a patient has night sweats, shortness of breath, stabbing chest pains, or autonomic symptoms , Ill test for Babesia, a malaria-like red blood cell infection.

    For a pinprick rash on the extremities and/or severe illness, Ill test for spotted fever. Bartonellosis can present in many ways, including neuropathy, or neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as panic attacks, rages, psychosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

    Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease Support

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:

    • Fever
    • Joint pain and swelling
    • Swelling of the lymph nodes
    • Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite

    Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.

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    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.

    Symptoms Check Out? Get Tested. Get Answers.

    Signs Of Lyme Disease That Appear On Your Skin

    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.

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    Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.

    The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.

    If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.

    References:

    Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.Am J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.

    There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.

    What Causes Lyme Disease

    How to Overcome Chronic Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is caused by bacteria. In the United States, this is usually a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It spreads to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The ticks that spread it are blacklegged ticks . They are usually found in the:

    • Northeast
    • Upper Midwest
    • Pacific coast, especially northern California

    These ticks can attach to any part your body. But they are often found in hard-to-see areas such as your groin, armpits, and scalp. Usually the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours or more to spread the bacterium to you.

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    Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can vary from person to person after being bitten by a tick.

    Lyme disease occurs in stages. The signs and symptoms of each stage can overlap. In some people, Lyme disease may present in a later stage without a history of prior signs or symptoms.

    The most commonly reported sign of Lyme disease is an expanding skin rash that typically begins at the site of the tick bite. This rash is called erythema migrans. It slowly grows to more than 5 cm in diameter over several days, and can sometimes:

    • be circular or oval-shaped
    • look like a target or bull’s eye
    • go unnoticed, especially if it’s on:
    • dark skin
    • a part of the body that’s difficult to see

    Some people may not develop a rash.

    Other early signs and symptoms include:

    • fever

    If left untreated, the infection could spread to the joints, heart and nervous system.

    Images of erythema migrans rash

    Image 1Footnote a: A rash that looks like a bull’s eye at the site of a tick bite.

    Image 2Footnote a: An oval-shaped red rash.

    Image 3Footnote a: A red rash that has expanded across the width of a limb.

    Image 4Footnote a: A red rash and blisters on a forearm.

    Image 5Footnote b: A rash on a shoulder.

    Image 6Footnote c: A rash on the back of a knee.

    Footnote a

    Later symptoms of Lyme disease can appear days to months after an infected tick bite, and may include:

    • more rashes
    • migratory pain that spreads in the:
    • joints
  • thinking and reasoning symptoms, such as:
  • memory loss
  • Antibiotics Cant Kill Parasites

    Lyme bacteria love to hide inside parasites. Just like you, parasites have a microbiota. You may have a mix of good and bad microbes in your gut. But parasites are a Pandoras box of terrible microbes one being Lyme.

    Even if you get rid of Lyme in the rest of your body, the bacteria hiding in parasites can reinfect you. This is why the disease may come back, despite long and intense antibiotic treatment. But the Lyme inside the parasites is protected and will reinfect the host. It may be impossible to conquer Lyme without getting rid of the Lyme carrying parasites because it’s addressing the infection in the wrong order.

    Antibiotics also do not always travel past the blood/brain barrier. If the Lyme disease bacteria have settled there, they may not be affected at all.

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    Lyme Bacteria Can Camouflage Themselves

    Your immune system notes a microbes identity by memorizing its protein sequence or genetic code. Each of your immune cells uses this code to scan for the bacteria.

    But the microbes dont play fair. They can change little parts of their DNA so they dont fit the code. Theyre like criminals continually changing their appearance. This means your immune system has to search for many codes, not one.

    Biofilm is another reason Lyme is difficult to detect with blood tests. This not only protects them from our immune system, but also from being killed by antibiotics. Biofilm can make them up to 10,000 times more resistant to antibiotics. Not only that, antibiotics can trigger them to make the biofilm even stronger.

    Whats more, the bacteria morph their DNA every time you take antibiotics. This makes them increasingly resistant to the drugs.

    What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease

    Loudoun Lyme 10k/5k/1k

    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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    Q: Can You Cure Chronic Lyme Disease

    In my practice, Ive helped many of my tick-borne disease patients return to full health. Every patient is unique, with different genetics, co-morbidities, and co-infections. To me, the important thing is to evaluate clinical response and not to cut off treatment at some arbitrary end point.

    I assess symptoms at the beginning of each visit, then treat until symptoms improve or resolve. For any patient who is ill for an extended time, after the illness is controlled, I initiate rehabilitation protocols to help the person feel normal again. A patient must become fit to fully recover from a protracted state of ill health.

    When To See Your Gp

    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.

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    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.

    Some Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms

    What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

    As mentioned, chronic Lyme disease consists of a broad cluster of physical, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Some of these symptoms are much more common, while others almost never occur, but can be deadly. But even the less severe symptoms, such as chronic fatigue and pain, can lead to drastic changes in quality of life for chronic Lyme patients.

    Chronic Lyme survivors have reported experiencing the following symptoms for months to years after infection:

    • Intermittent fevers, chills, and sweats
    • Chronic inflammation
    • Numbness and tingling in the limbs
    • Dizziness and shortness of breath
    • Tremors
    • Heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat
    • Anxiety and paranoia
    • Multiple-chemical sensitivities
    • Seizures

    Chronic Lyme disease can be linked to deadly symptoms, such as Lyme carditis .

    According to Lymedisease.org, studies consistently show that chronic Lyme disease patients have poorer quality of life than those with other chronic diseases. One of their own studies showed that 75% of surveyed patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe.

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    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
    • Muscles and joints

    As Lymedisease.org points out, these symptoms can evolve, disappear, and reappear at different times.

    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:

  • 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:

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