Monday, September 26, 2022

I Have Lyme Disease Now What

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What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:

  • Joint disease

  • Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease

Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.

Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular rash around the tick bite. The rash:

  • usually develops around 3 to 30 days after you’ve been bitten
  • is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board
  • will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised
  • may get bigger over several days or weeks
  • is typically around 15 cm across, but it can be much larger or smaller

Some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body.

Around 1 in 3 people with Lyme disease won’t develop a rash.

Some people with Lyme disease also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:

Remember to tell them you’ve been bitten by a tick.

Risk Factors For Post

Youre at a greater risk for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome if youre infected by the bite of a diseased tick. If the infection progresses to the chronic stage, your symptoms might continue for weeks, months, or even years after the initial tick bite.

You may also be at a higher risk for these long-term symptoms if youre not treated with the recommended antibiotics. However, even people who receive antibiotic therapy are at risk. Because the cause of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is unknown, theres no way to determine whether it will progress to the chronic stage.

Typically, the symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome resemble those that occur in earlier stages. People with persistent symptoms often experience lingering episodes of:

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Is There Any Relationship Between Sleep Apnea And Lyme Disease

We do not know of any evidence that Lyme disease causes sleep apnea, although sleep apnea has been associated with other encephalitic disorders. Sleep apnea may look like Lyme disease. For example, patients with sleep apnea may be difficult to arouse when asleep, will have excessive daytime sleepiness, and may complain of insomnia. They may have morning headaches, inattentiveness, and a decline in school or work performance. Hypertension may also occur. One can have sleep apnea without being obese. The problem can occur in children as well as adults. The diagnosis is made at a sleep lab after special tests of respiratory function and all-night polygraphic sleep monitoring. Patients with central sleep apnea may have lesions in the medulla with ninth and 10th cranial nerve palsies with trouble swallowing or speaking. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea tend to be overweight and to have large tonsils. These patients may snore and then have 10-30 second periods at night when breathing appears to stop. Patients will then take a deep snorting breath and then return to sleep, unaware of what just happened. Treatment is determined by the severity of the symptoms and the type. In central apnea, medroxyprogesterone and protriptyline can be helpful. Weight loss and surgical correction are the treatments for the obstructive type. Patients may experience enormous relief after the surgery. Symptoms previously incorrectly attributed to Lyme disease may now resolve completely.

The Main Controversies Surrounding Lyme Disease

Lyme disease now in all 50 states

The blood test the CDC recommends to diagnose Lyme checks for an immune response to the bacteria, not for the Borrelia itself. Thats why the test can be negative if the disease is present for less than a month. It takes at least a couple of weeks to mount an immune response that would turn the test positive. It is easier to diagnose Lyme if you have the classic bulls-eye rash that shows up a few days after the tick bite. In these cases, testing is not even necessary. But the rash only shows up in 80% of cases.

If making a diagnosis can be complex, the controversy about the treatment is so intense that some have even coined the dispute Lyme wars. The clash emerged from doctors offices, and spread to public hearings in statehouses around the country. One of the main points of contention is the duration of antibiotic treatment not only for acute Lyme but also for PTLD. The evidence to recommend a specific length of antibiotics treatment is scarce. Most physicians follow the two- to-four-week treatment the CDC recommends. Some studies funded by the National Institutes of Health did not show any benefit when patients used several months of antibiotics. However, there is anecdotal evidence from a few patients who improved after months of antibiotic treatment. The naysayers believe this is probably due to a placebo effect.

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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.

What Are The Reasons For Having More Ticks Now Than There Used To Be

There are a plethora of reasons why Lyme disease is spreading more mow. Some of them are listed below:

  • Drastic climate changes such as very hot or very cold temperatures
  • Planting of new trees especially in the Northeastern U.S.
  • Increasing frequencies of people coming in contact with white-tailed deer which is the favorite way for a black-legged tick to travel
  • Moving away of people from large cities to their natives

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Some Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms

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
  • Heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Multiple-chemical sensitivities

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.

How Do I Know If I Have Lyme Disease

Think the Lyme Disease Rash is Always a Bull’s-eye? Think Again! | Johns Hopkins Rheumatology

The DMV is a hotspot for Lyme Disease. Most of us know someone who has had it. According to the CDC, its now the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. And the Mid-Atlantic is one of the hardest hit regions. The CDC estimates that 476,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme each year. But some experts believe CDC numbers are low. Lyme symptoms can look like other illnesses, so patients are sometimes misdiagnosed. Veterinarians, who are often at the forefront of Lyme Disease detection because of screening practices, are predicting high levels of Lyme for 2022.

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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease

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:

  • 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.

Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease

Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.

  • Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
  • A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.

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Stage : Early Localized Disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.

The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but its not painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.

The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans.

Some people with lighter skin have a rash thats solid red. Some people with darker skin may have a rash that resembles a bruise.

The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.

Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:

Youll have a general feeling of being unwell. A rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.

This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.

Symptoms can include:

  • disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
  • neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis

The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

Identify The Tick You Were Bitten By

Know Your Lyme Disease Treatment Options

Its important to identify the tick because different kinds of ticks can carry different bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasites.

There are two families of ticks found in the United States: Ixodidae and Argasidae . Of the 700 species of hard ticks and 200 species of soft ticks found throughout the world, only a few are known to bite and transmit disease to humans. Knowing the type of tick will help you be aware of what possible symptoms to watch for.

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What Is The Significance Of Band 41 On The Igm And Igg Western Blot It Is Not Lyme Specific And The Cdc Requires More Bands To Be Present Before A Diagnosis However It Is A Band For Bacteria So What Else Could Cause That To Be Positive If Not Lyme

The 41 kd band is often found on the Western blot. We did a study where we looked at the banding patterns of patients with chronic Lyme disease and healthy controls from the inner city of NY who have never had Lyme disease. We found that a large percentage of the healthy controls tested positive on the 41kd band. For that reason, we don’t feel the 41kd band has much clinical signfiicance in guiding us as to whether a person has been exposed to the agent of Lyme disease. One reason a positive 41 kd band might emerge is that our mouths contain non-pathogenic spirochetes it is conceivable that some may seed the blood stream periodically and lead to the positive 41kd immune responses.

What Do The Results Mean

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-test process of your sample:

  • If your first test result is negative for Lyme disease, you don’t need any more testing.
  • If your first result is positive for Lyme disease, your blood will get a second test.
  • If both results are positive for Lyme disease and you also have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.

Positive results don’t always mean a Lyme disease diagnosis. In some cases, you can have a positive result but not have an infection. Positive results may also mean you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

If your lumbar puncture results are positive, it may mean you have Lyme disease, but you might need more tests to confirm a diagnosis.

If your health care provider thinks you have Lyme disease, he or she will prescribe antibiotic treatment. Most people who are treated with antibiotics in the early stage of disease will make a complete recovery.

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How Is Lyme Disease Treated

With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.

If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.

If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.

Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

Diagnosis Testing And Treatment

How Lyme Disease Changed One Girl’s Life in an Instant

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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    Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints

    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.

    Chronic Lyme Disease Symptom Severity

    In LDos chronic Lyme disease survey, over 75% of patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe and 63% reported two or more such symptoms. Find out more about LDo peer-reviewed published surveys. The chart below shows the severity of ten common chronic Lyme symptoms.

    The survey also found that patients with chronic Lyme disease have high disability and unemployment rates. Over 40% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported that they currently are unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% report that they have received disability at some point in their illness.

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    Chronic Lyme Disease Patients Profoundly Debilitated

    Many patients with chronic Lyme disease are profoundly debilitated. Investigators of the four NIH-sponsored retreatment trials documented that the patients quality of life was consistently worse than that of control populations and equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure. Pain levels were similar to those of post-surgical patients, and fatigue was on par with that seen in multiple sclerosis.

    An LDo published survey of over 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that patients suffer a worse quality of life than most other chronic illnesses, including congestive heart failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Over 70% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported fair or poor health. Similar results have been found in other studies. Many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are common in other diseases. The CDC surveillance criteria for confirmed cases specifically exclude most of the symptoms that patients report, including fatigue, sleep impairment, joint pain, muscle aches, other pain, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathy, and headaches. However, these common symptoms can be severe and may seriously affect quality of life.

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