What Is An At
An at-home Lyme disease test will typically be a blood finger prick test.
If you have been exposed to the bacteria Borrelia that leads to the infection of Lyme disease, your body will have created one or two antibodies to fight it off. The test will look for the presence of both types of antibodies, known as immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G .
You will receive your test kit along with account information so that you can get your test results as soon as theyre ready. Follow the manufacturers instructions exactly as they are described.
Each test has different instructions, so its important to read the kits detailed information before getting started.
- swollen lymph nodes
Lyme disease that remains unnoticed or untreated can go on to progress to disseminated Lyme disease. With disseminated Lyme disease, symptoms can also include neurologic conditions, such as cranial nerve palsy and meningitis that mimics aseptic meningitis. Heart inflammation can also be a sign of Lyme disease.
You may want to get tested for Lyme disease if youre experiencing symptoms and you either:
- know you were bitten by a tick
- recently spent time in an area where ticks are common
However, if youre currently experiencing a bulls-eye rash, its best to go to a doctor rather than take an at-home test. Thats because the outlook for Lyme disease is best when treated early.
When choosing at-home Lyme disease tests to feature, we looked at:
- ease of directions
- Collection method: blood
- Results: 25 days
Signs And Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease
Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.
Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.
The appearance of the erythema migrans rash can vary widely.
- Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
- Erythema migrans rash :
- Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
- Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days
- Expands gradually over several days reaching up to 12 inches or more across
- May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
- Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or bulls-eye appearance
- May appear on any area of the body
- Does not always appear as a classic erythema migrans rash
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
- Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
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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.
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Avoid Processed Junk Food Sugar And Gluten
Our bodies arent designed to handle all any of the chemicals in processed food. And, because Lyme is an inflammatory condition its best to avoid sugar and gluten. Many people also find it helpful to avoid dairy.
I thought my diet was pretty healthy before. But once I cut out most of the processed foods it really helped reduce the inflammation and body pain I was having.
Now, if I eat packaged foods, gluten, or a sugary dessert, I feel it in my body. Or as I sometimes say, I pay for it later. I end up regretting it because my joints hurt.
But its always a good reminder to me of how much healing real food provides for our bodies. And its great motivation to maintain a healthy diet full of real food, avoiding the junk.
What You Need To Know About Borrelia
Borrelia is an ancient microbe dating back 15-20 million years, and possibly even longer. Its an extremely adaptable microbe that can infect most anything with blood today, it commonly infects mammals, birds, and even some reptiles.
Infection is imperative for borrelias survival. To complete its life cycle, it must infect a new host via a tick-bite, reproduce within that host , and then reboard a new tick when the host is bitten again.
That last step reboarding a new tick is crucial. If the host is never bitten by another tick, the microbe reaches a dead end. It cant spread to new hosts. Here are some either key facts you should know about borrelia:
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How To Protect Yourself
“Ticks are often found in wooded areas with tall grass, so wearing high socks and long pants when you’re spending time in these habitats can offer some protection,” says Dr. Kuritzkes. But that’s not foolproof, he admits and can be uncomfortable on hot summer days.
“That’s why checking for ticks after spending time outside is so important,” he adds. “Ticks can be found anywhere on the body, but they often like to hide in areas like the groin, armpits, and scalp.”
Ticks can also be difficult to spot because they are so tiny: Most humans are infected with Lyme disease by immature ticks, called nymphs, which can be less than 2 millimeters in length.
Wearing insect repellant with DEET, or treating your clothing with a permethrin spray, can also help keep ticks away. And if you do find a tick that’s attached itself to your skin, remove it as quickly as possible using fine-tipped tweezers. If you suspect that a tick may have been feeding for more than 24 hours, call your doctor: They may suggest you take a prophylactic course of antibiotics to ward off infection.
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That’s one reason it’s been difficult for doctors to come up with an effective Lyme disease vaccine for use in humans. “Hopefully someday we will have one,” Dr. Kuritzkes says. “For now, avoiding tick bitesand removing ticks as quickly as possibleis really the best defense.”
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Lyme Disease
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves exposure to 100 percent oxygen at a high pressure. Its often in a room called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to promote wound healing.
There isnt much research about the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Lyme disease. But a 2014 case study from Taiwan reports that it treated Lyme disease in a person who hadnt responded to antibiotics. Still, more large-scale studies are needed to understand whether its an effective treatment.
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Who You Really Are
Almost a decade later, with Lyme in my distant past, I see everything so clearly. Wellbeing comes down to this simple rule: You must become who you really are. You must follow your own path. There are elusive cures everywhere but your cure will always be unique. No one gives you the magic formula or the key to reveal it.
What we need to remind ourselves is that we are always right where we need to be.
Lyme disease patients now ask me the hardest questions Ive ever had to answer. Now that you know what you know, could you have healed without antibiotics? Without stem cells? What would you say to someone who is just starting?
Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts
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.
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What Is On The Horizon For Lyme Testing
Because Lyme bacteria are not usually present in high enough numbers to be detectable, blood tests to look for Borrelia are not helpful.
Better diagnostic tests are needed that are direct and can detect infection at all stages of Lyme disease. Researchers are studying new diagnostic methods using better antibody tests, direct detection methods, and different ways to measure immune response to Lyme disease.
Early Signs And Symptoms :
- Erythema migrans rash A characteristic ring-shaped rash often termed Bulls eye
- Occurs in approximately 70% 80% of infected persons.
- Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days .
- Expands gradually over several days, reaching up to 12 inches or more.
- May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
- May appear on any area of the body.
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
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Wipe It Out In The Wild
Any effort to snuff out Lyme disease has to start with its eight-legged bloodsucking hosts. Until you get rid of it in the environment, youve got to keep investing in prevention in humans, Hu said. Whereas if you wipe it out in the wild, its one and done, right? Eradicating Lyme in the ecosystem, however, is easier said than done. While the bacteria that cause the disease live in ticks, the ticks dont pass it down to their offspring directlyinstead, they feed on a vertebrate host, such as a white-footed mouse, and pass the pathogen to it. When another tick feeds on that same host, it too picks up the bacterium.
Many of the efforts by Hu and other scientists have been focused on breaking that chain. One promising technique Hu developed, for example, was to vaccinate mice by leaving out vaccine-infused food for them. The oral vaccine contained a virus that would express a Borrelia antigen that would make the mice immune to Lyme. The idea was to feed it to mice in the wild, and have fewer infected mice, which would translate into fewer infected ticks, and fewer human cases, Telford said. While the scientists insist the technique is safe, however, its been held up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is leery about releasing a virus in a world beset by a pandemic. We got stuck in regulatory purgatory, Hu said. No one wants to put a live virus out in the wild right now.
For Depression And Anxiety
Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have proven benefits for improving mood. Psychotherapy has many different types such as supportive, dynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior therapy, transference focused psychotherapy each of which offers benefit. Pharmacotherapy also has many different types. For depression the first-line options usually are SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclics or other agents with more unique modes of action.
A few noteworthy tips on anti-depressant agents:
- Most anti-depressant agents also help in reducing anxiety. However the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Specific anti-anxiety agents such as clonazepam or diazepam may not necessarily help fight depression.
- Most anti-depressants take three to eight weeks before an effect is seen. Therefore, it is unwise to stop an anti-depressant after only three or four weeks, as staying on it another two to three weeks may lead to a good response.
- Dosage makes a difference. Some anti-depressants work fine at low doses some medications however are effective only at higher doses. Some medications are more effective as the dose is increased. Other antidepressants may have a therapeutic range one has to achieve at least a certain dosage .
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
A healthcare provider will diagnose Lyme disease based on symptoms, physical findings and whether or not you’ve been in an area populated by infected ticks.
Many people dont remember or know that theyve been bitten by a tick. This is because the tick is tiny, and its bite is usually painless.
Your provider will confirm the diagnosis using a blood test. If your first blood test is negative for Lyme disease, you won’t need another test. If the first test is positive or equivocal, your provider will conduct the test again. You have to have two positive results to be diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Key Points To Keep In Mind
- Most Lyme disease tests are designed to detect antibodies made by the body in response to the infection.
- Antibodies can take several weeks to develop, so patients may test negative if infected recently.
- Antibodies will persist in the blood for several months or even years after the infection is gone. Thus, the test cannot be utilized to determine if a patient has been cured.
- Infection with other diseases, including some tick-borne diseases, or some bacterial, viral, or autoimmune diseases, can result in false-positive test results.
- Some tests give results for two types of antibodies, IgM and IgG. A positive IgM should be disregarded if the patient has been sick for more than 30 days.
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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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My Experience With Antibiotic Treatment For Lyme
When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease, my first response was standard: Try antibiotics. But every time I started a new round, I was absolutely miserable by the second week.
Nausea, abdominal discomfort, and feeling generally terrible all over increased until I was forced to stop the drug. Probiotics didnt help, and I had the same response to different types of antibiotics. While some people tolerate antibiotic therapy better than others, it became obvious that I would have to find a different solution.
I later discovered that my experience was not unique many people seem to have the same response to oral antibiotics. I also met numerous people who had undergone 6-9 months of intravenous antibiotic therapy, only to be right back where they started within a couple of months of finishing.
Though there may be some logic in using antibiotics for 2-4 weeks during acute infection, many people develop symptoms despite initial use of antibiotics. And as I came to know the microbe better, I began to understand why antibiotics are not necessarily a good treatment for chronic Lyme disease. Though some people do overcome Lyme disease with antibiotics, those results arent consistent enough to be considered reliable. To date, no clinical studies have shown benefit from long-term antibiotic therapy for chronic Lyme disease.
Who’s At Risk Of Lyme Disease
The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:
- for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
- from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
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Lyme Disease Treatment: 2 Herbal Compounds May Beat Antibiotics
Lyme disease transmitted via tick bite affects thousands of people in the United States and around the world. Currently, doctors use antibiotics to treat it, but could plant-based remedies be more effective?
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi .
The disease spreads to humans through the bite of a tick that carries the bacterium, and it affects an estimated each year in the U.S. alone.
Currently, healthcare professionals choose between three antibiotics in the treatment of Lyme disease. These are doxycycline, cefuroxime, and amoxicillin.
Sometimes, however, antibiotics are not effective in eradicating all traces of B. burgdorferi from the system, which means that the disease can persist.
When this happens, bacterial cells that have developed antibiotic resistance can continue to proliferate. These are known as persister cells .
Because of this, researchers have been looking into alternative modes of fighting the bacterium, and their first line of inquiry has focused on natural remedies.
In 2018, an in vitro study suggested that 10 plant-derived essential oils could help fight off B. burgdorferi.
Now, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, and from the California Center for Functional Medicine and Focus Health in Berkeley, have conducted a new study that has led them to believe that two specific plants may lead to more effective therapies against Lyme disease.