Take Care Of Your Yard
Mowing the lawn regularly will make your backyard less attractive to ticks. Be sure to pull tall weeds and to remove leaf litter, particularly from under shrubs and around the perimeter, because thats where ticks hide. Secure your outdoor trash cans to discourage rodents that carry deer ticks.
Illustration: Keith Negley
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also known as a deer tick. The first sign of Lyme disease is often a red, circular rash that appears 3-30 days after the tick bite. The rash may be small at first, but it can expand over time to form a large bulls-eye shape.
Other early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, joint pain, headaches, and fatigue. If untreated, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause more serious problems such as meningitis , paralysis of facial muscles, and heart rhythm abnormalities. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.
How To Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease
As temperatures rise, many of us head outdoors for a much-needed dose of nature and adventure. Common hiking and camping supplies often include water, non-perishable food items, a compass, a cell phone and a first aid kit. But preparation for one common danger still often goes unmentioned: ticks and their risk of Lyme disease.
Over 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, making it the most common arthropod borne illness in the United States. Certain species of ticks carry the disease from one host to another usually deer or rodents. However, ticks can also attach to humans. When a tick latches on to your skin to feed, it can carry bacteria to you causing an infection: Lyme disease.
So before you lace up your hiking boots, learn more about Lyme disease to protect yourself and your family.
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How Can You Prevent Lyme Disease
Hidden in the wooded and brushy areas where you live, hike or explore are tiny bloodsucking parasites called ticks. Different types of ticks can infect you or your pet with different diseases without you knowing it. Robert E. Docherty, APNP, Gundersen Moundview Hospital and Clinics, explains how you can prevent Lyme disease.
A bite from deer ticks, which are common in our area, can cause Lyme disease. It’s an infection that shows itself by:
- A skin rash at the bite site that often looks like a bulls-eye, but can be a solid red, oval patch
- Muscle pain, stiffness and swelling of joints
After you’ve been outside, check yourself for ticks, especially along the belt or bra line, back of the knees, groin, underarms, ears, hair line of the neck and in your hair. The tick must hang on to you for at least 36 hours to cause infection.
If you find one , remove it using tweezers to grab the tick by the head, as close to the skin as you can. Wash the spot with soap and warm water and bring the tick to your closest hospital or clinic right away if you develop symptoms.
Our care providers can treat you with antibiotics if they catch the infection early. If Lyme disease isn’t treated right away, it can spread to your joints, heart and nervous system.
Protect yourself from Lyme disease and other infections caused by ticks by:
What Do I Do If I Have A Tick
If you do get bit by a tick, do not panic. The CDC recommends these simple steps to make sure you remove it properly:
1. Grasp the tick with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers right next to your skin. Try to get as close to the ticks mouth as possible.
2. Pull the tick straight out in a slow, steady motion, making sure not to twist or crush it.
3. After removal, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
4. Do not crush a tick with your fingers. You can dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag or container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
If you have any of the symptoms of Lyme disease and have been bitten by a tick, make sure to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Although death from Lyme disease is rare, it is crucial to visit your doctor to avoid any permanent damage.
About Iredell Health System
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Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures, which feed on the blood of animals and sometimes people.
If you are involved in outdoor activities which take you into the countryside, parks, or gardens with wildlife such as squirrels and hedgehogs, you may be at risk of tick bites.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which is transmitted by tick bites.
The earliest and most common symptom of Lyme disease is a pink or red circular rash that develops around the area of the bite, three to 30 days after someone is bitten.
The rash is often described as looking like a bullseye on a dartboard.
You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as:
- muscle or joint pain
Contact your GP if a rash or other symptoms develop within a few weeks of a tick bite, as early treatment can prevent progression to chronic disease.
If Lyme disease is left untreated, further health issues may develop months or even years later, including:
- problems affecting the nervous system
- inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord
Lyme Disease Test And Treatment
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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Solvents Chemicals & Pesticides
I also tested high for solvents and attribute this to living near the freeway in San Francisco and on Wilshire Blvd for years in Los Angeles. We used to get black soot on our patio and we were breathing that in our home to. Always be very conscious of where you are living and dont live too close to freeways or busy roads. Also make sure to have a chemical free home and buy organic to avoid pesticides. Moving away from the freeway and living by the beach as well as all the detox I was doing fortunately cleared the solvents from my body.
It is very important to use non toxic cleaning products and beauty and skin care products as well as we want to limit our chemical exposure while trying to detox and heal.
Basic Ways To Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease
A mom of two with a background in journalism, I took health into my own hands and started researching to find answers to my own health struggles. My research turned into a blog that turned into an amazing community .When Iâm not reading medical journals, creating new recipes, you can find me somewhere outside in the sun or undertaking some DIY remodeling project that inevitably takes twice as long as it was supposed to.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The infection is transmitted by tick bites. It takes between 3 and 32 days to feel the first symptoms of the disease from the moment the tick bites you.
The early phase of Lyme disease can sometimes be without any symptoms and people affected by this disease turn to doctors only when the late manifestations occur.
The widespread hotspots and the growing trend make this disease one of the most significant epidemiological problem in the US and in the world.
The disease occurs in all age groups. The largest number of cases is reported between May and July although ticks can be active throughout the year is there are favorable climatic factors.
Lyme disease is characterized with many different symptoms. For example, circular rash is one of the most common ones.
Redness on the skin, fever, dizziness, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain are some other symptoms associated with Lyme disease.
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Checking For And Removing Ticks
Check With Local Health Officials
The Environmental Protection Agency and your state regulate pesticides. Check with local health officials about the best time to apply acaricide in your area, as well as any rules and regulations related to a pesticide application on residential properties. You can also contact a professional pesticide company to apply pesticides at your home.
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Perform Daily Tick Checks
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Search your entire body for ticks when you return from an area that may have ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body and remove any tick you find. Take special care to check these parts of your body and your childs body for ticks:
- In and around the ears
- Inside the belly button
- In and around all head and body hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
Check your clothing and pets for ticks because they may carry ticks into the house. Check clothes and pets carefully and remove any ticks that are found. Place clothes into a dryer on high heat to kill ticks.
Use Insect Repellent To Help Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria carried by an infected blacklegged tick . This type of tick usually lives in wooded areas, like forests, or in places with high grass and bushes. Lyme disease is most common in the northeast and upper Midwest of the United States. You can check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if you live in an area with Lyme disease.
Ticks that spread Lyme disease are very small and may be hard to see. Young ticks can bite during the spring and summer, and adult ticks are more active during cooler months. Ticks cant fly, but they can crawl onto you from a plant or an animal.
A tick with Lyme disease has to be on your body for about 2 days before you can get infected. Ticks can bite you anywhere on your body. After being outside, make sure to check for ticks under your armpits, behind your knees, in your hair and around your groin.
You cant get Lyme disease from touching, kissing or having sex with someone who has Lyme disease. And you cant pass it to your baby in breast milk. If you get infected with Lyme disease during pregnancy, it may cause problems for your baby.
How can Lyme disease affect your pregnancy?
We dont know for sure about the effects of Lyme disease on pregnancy. Untreated Lyme may cause complications during pregnancy, including:
Untreated Lyme disease also may cause your baby to have a rash after hes born.
What are the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease?
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How To Prevent Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disorder in the United States. It can affect your joints, nervous system, heart, skin, and eyes. It’s transmitted through the bites of certain species of ticks known as black-legged or deer ticks. Adult deer ticks are about the size of sesame seeds and nymphal ticks can be the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Reducing exposure to ticks is your best defense against contracting Lyme disease. There are a variety of methods you can use to prevent and control Lyme disease.
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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Responding Correctly If You Are Bitten
Although prevention remains the best way of protecting yourself from ticks, by following Floraineâs tips further down in this article, you will know how to react if you are bitten anyway. If you discover a tick when hiking or after returning, remove it quickly and correctly! The bacteria is only passed on 24 to 48 hours after being bitten. However, beware, this risk increases if the tick is stressed. Avoid traumatising it with disinfectant sprays or any aggressive products. Avoid pressing it otherwise it may regurgitate!Two methods can be used to correctly remove a tickâUse tick tweezers sold in the pharmacy or specialist store. This very recognisable tool is shaped like the foot of a doe. After catching the tick as close to the skin as possible, turn the tick tweezers to unscrew the tick.- If you do not have tick tweezers, you can use eyebrow tweezers. Take the tick by the head, as close to the skin as possible, to avoid pinching it and making it regurgitate. This time, do not turn. Remove the tick straight.- Always disinfect after having removed the entire tick.
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Women And Chronic Lyme Disease
Weve discussed how it may be more difficult for women to receive an accurate Lyme disease diagnosis and may be more resistant to treatment. Unfortunately, that also means they may be more susceptible to chronic Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
A strange long-term complication typically seen in older women is acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. This symptom involves bluish-red lesions on doughy-swollen skin, with the later stage causing skin atrophy, prominent blood vessels, and skin that appears shiny. People may also experience fibroid nodules on bony parts of the body.
In cases of chronic Lyme disease, the hypothalamus, the master gland that affects the production of thyroid hormones, is affected by the infection, leading to an imbalance. While balanced hormones are important to everyone, low thyroid hormone levels can make pregnancy difficult and even lead to miscarriage.
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How To Use A Natural Approach To Beat Lyme Disease
Aching joints, overwhelming fatigue, and sometimes realizing youve forgotten something important. If these symptoms sound familiar, then you or a loved one may be suffering from Lyme Disease. This illness can be a debilitating problem to navigate and often leaves sufferers with more questions than answers. If you or someone you know has contracted this disease, you know how overwhelming it can be. There are standard medical treatments for Lyme Disease, but there are also natural approaches, and well explore both methods below.
Preventing Tick Bites And Lyme Disease
There’s currently no Lyme disease vaccine available for humans. However, there are clinical trials taking place in Europe and the U.S.
The best way to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases is to prevent tick bites. Check your provincial public health authority to find out where infected ticks are most likely to be found.
- Wear light coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants to spot ticks easily.
- Tuck your shirt into your pants, and your pants into your socks.
- Wear closed-toe shoes.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin to clothing and exposed skin .
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing .
- Walk on cleared paths or trails.
- Keep children and pets from wandering off paths.
- Avoid using trails created by animals , as ticks are often found on the grass and plants along these trails.
Do a check for ticks on yourself and your:
- Outdoor gear, such as backpacks
- Shower or bathe as soon as possible, as it can help you find unattached ticks. If you don’t shower or bathe, do a full-body tick check on yourself and your children.
- If you find an attached tick, remove it as soon as possible.
- To kill unattached ticks on your clothing, put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes. If your clothes are damp, you may need to dry them for longer.
- If you wash your clothes, use hot water and dry on high heat. Ticks can survive a cold/warm wash cycle.
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