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How Does Lyme Disease Affect You

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How Should A Tick Be Removed

What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

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.

Other Digestive Issues That May Be Associated With Lyme Disease

Other digestive signs that give clues there may be an underlying infection like Lyme disease are candida and parasite infections that are difficult to treat. Infection with Borrelia causes immune dysfunction, making it challenging to treat yeast or parasitic infections until Lyme is successfully treated.

Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

There’s no sure way to avoid getting Lyme disease. But you can minimize your risk. Be aware of ticks when you’re in high-risk areas. If you work outdoors or spend time gardening, fishing, hunting, or camping, take precautions:

  • Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Use an insect repellent containing 10% to 30% DEET .
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
  • Keep long hair pulled back or wear a hat for protection.
  • Don’t sit on the ground outside.
  • Check yourself for ticks regularly both indoors and outdoors. Wash your clothes and hair after leaving tick-infested areas.

If you use an insect repellent containing DEET, follow the directions on the product’s label and don’t overapply it. Place DEET on shirt collars and sleeves and pant cuffs, and only use it directly on exposed areas of skin. Be sure to wash it off when you go back indoors.

No vaccine for Lyme disease is currently on the market in the United States.

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How Can Lyme Disease Last For Years

Category: Health Published: October 9, 2015

If treated, Lyme disease does not last for years. However, for some people, the after-effects of the disease can linger for months and sometimes even years. Alternative medicine providers call this condition “Chronic Lyme disease,” but this title is simply wrong. For a person who has been infected with Lyme disease and then treated, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is measurably no longer present in his body, even though he may still feel some symptoms. The correct title for this condition is therefore “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.”

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is delivered to humans through tick bites. From the bite site, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Usually, but not always, an infectious tick bite causes a characteristic red rash at the site of the bite. Other symptoms include fever, muscle soreness, headache, fatigue, and dizziness. In a few cases, symptoms can also include mood swings, memory loss, and sleep disturbance. If left untreated for too long, Lyme disease can lead to nerve damage, thereby causing shooting pain, numbness, and even paralysis.

The CDC states,

What Happens At Your Appointment

Here

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.

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Where Can Lyme Disease Be Contracted

Deer ticks are found all over the 48 contiguous United States, with high concentrations in New England, the upper Midwest and northern California. They live in many different environments but are most commonly found in forests, wetlands, and areas with dense vegetation. Although ticks arent active when its below freezing, they begin to emerge after a few days of warming temperatures, and from then on they remain active until temperatures drop below freezing again.

Later Signs Of Lyme Disease

What if Lyme disease isnt detected early on? The longer that disease-causing bacteria linger in the body, the more they disseminate, and as these microbes spread to tissues throughout the body, they can trigger a litany of symptoms. CDC says these may include:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes. These lesions may pop up on other areas of the body
  • A type of facial paralysis known as Bells palsy
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Knees and other large joints are vulnerable
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

You might have persistent or episodic symptoms, says Dr. Green. Pain that seems to move through the body? Thats common too. The hallmark of late Lyme is migratory joint pain: today my right knee hurts and tomorrow Im limping on my left ankle, and, oh, my third finger of my right hand swelled up, and, oh, my neck has swelled up, she says.

In rare cases, Lyme disease bacteria can enter the tissues of the heart. This complication, called Lyme carditis, can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain.

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Lyme Disease: Symptoms & Side Effects

Lyme disease is a tick-born illness with over 150 symptoms, usually involving multiple systems. There are three stages of Lyme disease: early localized, early disseminated, and late persistent. If left untreated, it may progress into long-term disabilities. However, it is important to note that Lyme disease can lie dormant in your body for a prolonged period of time, and will invade when your immune system is compromised.

  • Irritable bladder

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Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

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.external iconAm 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.

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Which Organs Can Lyme Disease Damage

Although Lyme can cause damage to allorgans in the body, the most notable organs are the brain and heart. When itattacks the brain and central nervous system, patients can suffer cognitiveimpairment such as memory loss, poor concentration, problems with sleep, andvarious mood changes. The disease does this by crossing the blood-brain barrier and multiplying and inhibiting the proper function and transferof blood and oxygen to where it needs to be.

Lyme carditis is the disorder that occurswhen the bacteria that causes Lyme makes its way into the heart tissue. When itdoes, it wreaks havoc on the communication system and electrical signals fromthe upper and lower chambers of the heart, resulting in light-headedness,fainting, heart palpitations, and an abnormal heartbeat.

Because the cells of the bacteria thatcause Lyme disease are able to disguise themselves under a biofilm, the immunesystems ability to properly attack the actual infection is threatened. Thiscauses the released immune cells to attack the body instead of the bacteria.Lyme disease bacteria cells also have a way of hiding in plain sight, meaningthat if theres too much of a threat to their existence, they can lay dormantuntil theyre able to flourish again. This leads to the illness becomingchronic and harder to treat in the long run, which aids in the bacterias waron the body and all organs.

Featured image byRobina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Does Lyme Disease Stay With You For Life

Yes and no. The answer to this question depends on the duration of the infection prior to treatment, and on the vast array of complex activity within a body affected by Lyme. But it also depends on you. Being vigilant and taking care of yourself conscientiously goes a long way towards living symptom-free for long periods of time, if not for the rest of your life.

Many Lyme patients reported that the healing phase from tick-borne disease took them up to 12 months or more. Patients who opt for cellular therapies and foundational medicine methods have found that the reward of a sustainable result and a therapy approach that syncs with the bodys own healing process comes with the downside of slow recovery. During the recovery phase it is recommended that patients manage symptoms with home remedies and a natural supplement regimen, to control histamine reaction, inflammation, sleeping disorders, pain flare ups and so forth. Again, it is also very important to care for oneself in a broader sense, with special attention to proper nutrition, mental health care, a sustainable exercise program, and community support. Lyme is a debilitating disease, but it need not be a life sentence.

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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease

Some people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bull’s-eye rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. If this occurs, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage.

However, signs of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people. The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. In fact, Lyme disease is practically unheard of in cats.

“Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells.”

Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells. Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.

Some pets are infected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body. Non-specific signs which may indicate that Lyme disease is affecting the kidneys include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia , and weight loss. The kidney form of the disease is less common, but often fatal.

Which Organs Are Affected By Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease In Toddlers

The organs affected by Lyme varydepending on the severity of the illness and how early it is caught andtreated. In the early stages, the disease attacks mostly the immune system,compromising its ability to fight off the infection. As the disease spreads, itdoes so throughout the entire body, affecting every organ it reaches.

As Lyme can affect all the organs in thebody, it can cause a variety of problems. The symptoms that occur with Lyme diseasecan also mimic other conditions, like the flu as mentioned above, or moreserious conditions such as ALS/MND , MS , fibromyalgia, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and over 300 otherconditions.

Image by on : The spread of Lyme disease bacteria cells works a lot like the cells of the immune response.

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How Do I Remove A Tick From My Dog

Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The deer tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but is a little more obvious in the adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dog’s skin and firmly pull it straight out. There are also tools available called Tick Twister® or Tick Key® which can be useful. However, take care to use them cautiously as twisting or jerking the tick may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. See your veterinarian if you are unsure or unable to remove the tick from your dog.

Make sure you protect your fingers from exposure by using a tissue or a disposable glove.You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease does not appear to be transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick’s contents, including blood, on your skin.

Note: The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.

Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment

Symptoms

Symptoms of Lyme disease vary and may develop days or weeks after a person is infected from a tick bite. Early symptoms may include:

  • Fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue or swollen lymph nodes.
  • A rash at the site of the tick bite develops in 70 to 80 per cent of people infected.
  • A distinctive expanding, red ‘bulls-eye’ rash may develop at the site of the bite in some people.
  • Later symptoms may include dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, mental confusion or inability to think clearly , nervous system disorders .

Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis of Lyme disease can be difficult as your symptoms may be similar to other illnesses. Inform your health care provider of any travel outside of the province and whether you have developed a rash around a recent tick bite.

Prevention and early diagnosis of Lyme disease are important. Consult a health care provider as soon as possible if you think you may have Lyme disease. The earlier you receive a diagnosis and treatment, the better your chances to make a full recovery.

Your health care provider should:

  • review your symptoms
  • find out if you were in an area at risk of having Lyme-infected blacklegged ticks
  • do a physical examination and
  • order laboratory blood tests to see if you have certain antibodies that could indicate you have the disease.

Treatment

  • sleep disturbance
  • muscle and joint pain or
  • mental confusion or inability to think clearly.

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What’s The Best Way To Prevent A Tick Bite

Ticks can’t fly or jump. But they live in shrubs and bushes and can grab onto you when you pass by. To avoid getting bitten:

  • Wear pants and socks in areas with lots of trees and when you touch fallen leaves.
  • Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
  • For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
  • Shower within 2 hours after coming inside. Look for ticks on your skin, and wash ticks out of your hair.
  • Put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might be on them.

How do you know if you’ve been bitten?

Since ticks are so small, you’ve got to have pretty good eyes to see them.

If you have a small, red bump on your skin that looks like a mosquito bite, it could be a tick bite. If it goes away in a few days, itâs not a problem. Remember, a tick bite doesnât necessarily mean you have Lyme disease.

If you notice a rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye, you might have a tick bite. Talk to your doctor about treatment.

If you have an allergic reaction to ticks, you’ll notice a bite right away.

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Testing for Lyme DiseaseâWhat You Need to Know

Lyme disease can affect different body systems, such as the nervous system, joints, skin, and heart. The symptoms of Lyme disease are often described as happening in three stages. Not everyone with Lyme has all of these, though:

  • A circular rash at the site of the tick bite, typically within 12 weeks of infection, often is the first sign of infection. It’s considered typical of Lyme disease, but many people never get one.

    The rash sometimes has a “bull’s-eye” appearance, with a central red spot surrounded by clear skin that is ringed by an expanding red rash. It also can appear as an growing ring of solid redness. It’s usually flat and painless, but sometimes can be warm to the touch, itchy, scaly, burning, or prickling. The rash may look and feel very different from one person to the next. It can be harder to see on people with darker skin tones, where it can look like a bruise. It gets bigger for a few days to weeks, then goes away on its own. A person also may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, tiredness, headache, and muscle aches.

  • The last stage of Lyme disease happens if the early stages weren’t found or treated. Symptoms can begin anytime from weeks to years after an infectious tick bite. In kids and teens, this is almost always in the form of arthritis, with swelling and tenderness, particularly in the knees or other large joints.
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