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How To Know If Lyme Disease

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Can Lyme Disease Be Detected By A Blood Test

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

In a word: yes!

A blood test does not only detect Lyme disease it is the most accurate and preferred test for diagnosing the disease. If a patient with Lyme disease shows signs that the central nervous system has been affected by the disease, western blot testing on the cerebrospinal fluid can be performed. If ordering from Walk-In Lab, a doctors note is not needed. Just pick your Lyme disease test and place your order online.

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Can Infection Be Spread Directly From One Dog To Another Dog Or From My Dog To My Family

Direct spread of Lyme disease from one dog to another dog has not been reported, even when infected and uninfected dogs have lived together for long periods.

Spread of Lyme disease from dogs to people has not been reported either, but people are equally at risk for Lyme disease if they are bitten by an infected tick.

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

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Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog

Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.

If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.

Is There A Blood Test For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease and other tick

If your doctor suspects that you have Lyme disease, they may order two blood tests. These will look for signs that your body is trying to fight it off. The results are most precise a few weeks after youâve been infected.

These tests are:

ELISA test. This test canât check for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It can only look for your immune systemâs response to it.

Once Borrelia burgdorferi gets into your blood, your body begins to make special proteins called antibodies to fight it off. The ELISA test checks for those antibodies.

Although itâs the most common way to check for Lyme disease, the ELISA test isnât perfect. It can sometimes give false âpositiveâ results. On the other hand, if you have it done too soon after youâve been infected, your body may not have developed enough antibodies for the test to detect them. This will give you a ânegativeâ result even though you do have Lyme disease.

Western blot test. Whether your ELISA test comes back positive or negative, your doctor will need to do this blood test, too.

A Western blot uses electricity to split certain proteins in your blood into patterns. This is then compared to the pattern of people known to have Lyme disease.

At least five band matches means that you have Lyme disease. Still, not all labs have the same standards. Thereâs a chance that you could get a âpositiveâ result from one and a ânegativeâ result from another.

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Who Gets Lyme Disease

Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:

  • spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
  • having pets that may carry ticks indoors
  • activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas

Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease

Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.

Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

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Overview

Lyme disease is an underreported, under-researched, and often debilitating disease transmitted by spirochete bacteria. The spiral-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are transmitted by blacklegged deer ticks. Lymes wide range of symptoms mimic those of many other ailments, making it difficult to diagnose .

The blacklegged ticks can also transmit other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These are known as coinfections . These ticks that transmit Lyme are increasing their geographical spread. As of 2016, they were found in about half the counties in 43 of 50 states in the United States .

Lyme is the fifth most reported of notifiable diseases in the United States, with an estimated 329,000 new cases found annually . Some studies estimate that there are as many as 1 million cases of Lyme in the United States every year .

Most people with Lyme who are treated right away with three weeks of antibiotics have a good prognosis.

But if youre not treated for weeks, months, or even years after infection, Lyme becomes more difficult to treat. Within days of the bite, the bacteria can move to your central nervous system, muscles and joints, eyes, and heart .

Here is a list of 13 common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease Test And Treatment

How to know if you have Lyme disease

If you think you may have Lyme disease, contact your physician right away.

Your doctor may do a test for Lyme disease. The FDA regulates diagnostic tests to ensure that they are safe and effective. Its important to know that blood tests that check for antibodies to the bacterium that causes Lyme disease are not useful if done soon after a tick bite. It typically takes 2 to 5 weeks after a tick bite for initial antibodies to develop.

For this reason, your doctor may recommend treatment with antibiotics before the diagnostic tests are complete. According to the CDC, patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Early symptoms of Lyme disease start between 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bites you. The symptoms can include:

  • A red rash called erythema migrans . Most people with Lyme disease get this rash. It gets bigger over several days and may feel warm. It is usually not painful or itchy. As it starts to get better, parts of it may fade. Sometimes this makes the rash look like a “bull’s-eye.”
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If the infection is not treated, it can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. The symptoms may include:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of your body
  • Facial palsy, which is a weakness in your facial muscles. It can cause drooping on one or both sides of your face.
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, especially in your knees and other large joints
  • Pain that comes and goes in your tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations, which are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, pounding, or beating too hard or too fast
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

Later Signs Of Lyme Disease

What if Lyme disease isn’t 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 Bell’s palsy
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Knees and other large joints are vulnerable
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

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

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Can Lyme Disease Completely Be Cured

Taking oral antibiotics typically cures Lyme disease after two to four weeks. You may need to get antibiotics through the vein for four more weeks. However, theres no reason to think that Lyme disease stays in you forever after treatment.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If youre going to spend time in an area that might have ticks, take measures to avoid being bitten. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to make it harder for ticks to bite. If you feel sick after being in an area that probably has ticks, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. If your provider prescribes antibiotics, make sure you take all of them as instructed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/16/2022.

References

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Who Gets Lyme Disease And At What Time Of Year

How to know if you have Lyme disease, which affects 300,000 Americans ...

Lyme disease is transmitted via the bite of infected ticks, which attach to any part of the body, but often to moist or hairy areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp.

While everyone is susceptible to tick bites, campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and other leafy outdoor venues are at the greatest risk of tick bites. As many a suburban gardener can attest, with the expansion of the suburbs and a push to conserve wooded areas, deer and mice populations are thriving, too, providing ample blood meals for ticks. For lyme disease to be transmitted, a tick needs to feed on the host for 24-48 hours.

In the majority of cases, tick bites are reported in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But this can extend into the warmer months of early autumn, too, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. Similarly, a mild winter can allow ticks, much like other insects, to thrive and emerge earlier than usual.

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Using Cbd Oil In Your Dogs Treatment Plan

There is anecdotal evidence that suggest CBD is a holistic solution that can improve your dogs overall mood and increase their appetite. The increase in appetite is important because Lyme disease in dogs can reduce their appetite. Although CBD oil is not a treatment for Lyme disease in dogs, it can help stimulate appetite and can help mitigate any pain or discomfort your dog may be feeling. If your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease you should speak with your trusted veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan that suits your dog.

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Late Lyme Disease Symptoms

  • Have you had any of the following symptoms typical of late or chronic Lyme disease?
  • New onset fatigue, widespread pain, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment are common symptoms of late Lyme disease. Many symptoms of late or chronic Lyme disease are non-specific and common among diseases. What sets Lyme patients apart is the severity of symptoms and the degree of functional impairment. Patients report pain at the severity of post-operative patients, fatigue at the level of patients with multiple sclerosis, and functional impairment comparable to those with congestive heart failure. Most patients with chronic Lyme disease report one or more of the following symptoms as severe or very severe: fatigue , sleep impairment , joint pain , muscle aches , other pain , depression , cognitive impairment , neuropathy , headaches and heart-related issues . Chronic Lyme patients generally report more than one symptom and average three severe or very severe symptoms.
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    Does Cbd Cure Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease causes various symptoms which weaken health. Cannabis-based alternatives like CBD can help with this vector-borne disease.

    Most people have experienced mosquito bites more than tick bites. Both insects can cause skin infections and other unpleasant effects that may need medical attention. However, ticks bite, which leads to Lyme disease, seems to cause more harm than other insects. An individual with a bite from an infected tick will contact Lyme borreliosis because of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Most doctors recommend antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment. Although antibiotics can effectively treat this condition, most victims still complain about the same symptoms, despite using the treatment as instructed. Individuals struggling with Lyme disease are troubled about how to manage that condition. Some know CBD’s medical benefits but are unsure whether this cannabis compound can help them get better. Is it worth using CBD if you have Lyme disease? Does CBD have any part in curing Lyme disease? Find out.

    Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints

    How to Spot Lyme Disease | WebMD

    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.

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    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.

    Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

    If Lyme disease is left untreated, it may progress to early disseminated Lyme disease, which spreads from the bite location to other parts of the body. It may begin to affect the skin, nervous system, and heart. This stage can occur days to months following the initial infection.Neurologic symptoms occur in approximately 10% of untreated people.

    Inflammation of the nervous system can cause:

    • Facial paralysis
    • Numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or weakness in the arms or legs
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Severe headache or neck stiffness

    Lyme carditis, which affects approximately 5% of people in this stage, occurs when the infection reaches the heart tissue and slows down the heart rate too much. Some people may not have any symptoms, while others may experience severe effects requiring hospitalization.

    Symptoms include:

    • Light-headedness
    • Shortness of breath

    During this stage, you may develop multiple erythema migrans rashes on areas distant from the original bite. You may also experience headaches, muscle or joint pain, or extreme fatigue.

    Early disseminated Lyme disease can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics for two or more weeks, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

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    How Do I Remove A Tick

    You should know how to remove a tick just in case one lands on you or a friend. To be safe, remove the tick as soon as possible.

    If you find a tick:

    • Use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head or mouth, next to your skin.
    • Pull firmly and steadily on the tick until it lets go of the skin. If part of the tick stays in your skin, dont worry. It will eventually come out. But call your doctor if you notice any irritation in the area or symptoms of Lyme disease.
    • Swab the bite site with alcohol.

    Note: Dont use petroleum jelly or a lit match to kill a tick. They wont get the tick off your skin quickly enough, and may just cause it to burrow deeper into your skin.

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