When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and whether youâve been exposed to a tick. They might also run a blood test. In the first few weeks of infection, the test may be negative because antibodies take a few weeks to show up.
Hopefully soon, there will be tests that can diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks after youâre exposed. The earlier you get treated, the less likely itâll get worse.
The Direction Of Antibiotics For Persistent Lyme
It is great to see multiple research studies attempting to identify effective treatments for chronic Lyme disease. None of the antibiotics in current use for Lyme disease were developed for the bacteria that causes Lyme. Newer technology allows hundreds of existing drugs to be screened for their effectiveness against Borrelia. The limitation of most of these studies is that they were performed in vitro , but they establish a starting point for future in vivo studies.
Drug combinations were most effective at eradicating stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi. Since the drugs used in the screening studies were from research drug libraries, some of the effective medications are not available commercially. The results of these studies are helping the Lyme community move closer to finding a cure for chronic Lyme disease. Future in vivo research identifying effective treatments for stationary phase Borrelia will have a significant impact against chronic Lyme.
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Where Are Ticks Found
Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.
They can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.
Theyâre common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
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The Truth About Antibiotic Treatments
Until recently, many doctors in Canada tended to prescribe only one round of antibiotics, irrespective of the stage of infection. However, current research suggests that a single course of antibiotics is often insufficient for treating Lyme disease, especially if the infection has been untreated for several months.
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When Inflammation Becomes Chronic
Imagine if the acute inflammatory process was going on in tissues throughout your body and it never resolved. Thats exactly what happens with the chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease.
The driving force is bacteria invading cells. Its not an all-out invasion like you would find with an acute infection, such as pneumonia, however. Its an insidious migration of bacteria into tissues throughout the body in the brain, heart, joints, muscles, kidneys, intestines, everywhere.
When Lyme bacteria enter the bloodstream from a tick bite, WBCs gobble up the bacteria in an attempt to get rid of them. The bacteria, however, have sophisticated ways of staying alive inside the WBCs. Instead of eradicating the bacteria, the WBCs unintentionally become transport vehicles to distribute bacteria to tissues throughout the body.
On arrival, the bacteria surface and infect other cells. Its not as much a deluge of invasion as it is a random sprinkling. Tissues throughout the body become peppered with cells that have been infected with bacteria.
The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are intracellular, which means they infect and live inside cells. The cells provide nutrients to make new bacteria as well as protection from the immune system. Once the bacteria have used up the resources a cell has to offer, they surface and infect other cells.
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Inspection And Tick Removal
Because recommendations for avoidance are not always practical, particularly for children and during the summer, daily close inspection for ticks should be performed each time one has been outdoors. Parents of children in endemic areas must be vigilant to check for ticksespecially the nymphs, because of their smaller size from the spring to the fall. Checking inside skin folds, behind ears, the umbilicus, groin, axilla, hairline, and scalp must be routine. If one tick is found, search thoroughly for others.
See the image below for a tick removal diagram and instructions.
While these instructions may represent the optimal method for removing the tick, it is more important to remove it promptly than to delay removing it while obtaining forceps or gloves.
A common misperception is that pressing a hot match to the tick or trying to smother it with petroleum jelly, gasoline, nail polish, or other noxious substances is beneficial. This only prolongs exposure time and may cause the tick to eject infectious organisms into the body. Finally, do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its fluids may contain infectious organisms.
Once the tick is removed, wash the bite area with soap and water or with an antiseptic to destroy any contaminating microorganisms. Additionally, the person who removed the tick should wash his or her hands. The removed tick should be submitted for species identification.
Essential Oils For Lyme Disease
It is believed that many essential oils have antimicrobial activities, and some people with persistent Lyme disease symptoms have turned to essential oils to help reduce symptoms of the disease.
Researchers tested 34 essential oils against B. burgdorferi in the lab and found cinnamon bark, clove bud, citronella, wintergreen, and oregano show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, even more effectively than daptomycin, the gold standard antibiotic many people with Lyme disease are prescribed.
These results indicate that essential oils show promise as treatments for persistent Lyme disease, but clinical trials are needed in order to show their effectiveness in humans.
When used properly, most essential oils are safe and free of adverse side effects. However, it is important to use them carefully. They can irritate the skin if not properly diluted, and some should not be taken internally.
Purchase high-quality essential oils that go through testing to ensure the product is safe to use. Follow the usage and dilution instructions on the label carefully. Talk with your healthcare professional before using essential oils to avoid drug interactions with any medications you are taking.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Risk factors for Post Treatment Lyme Disease include:
- Delay in diagnosis
- Increased severity of initial illness
- Presence of neurologic symptoms
Increased severity of initial illness, the presence of neurologic symptoms, and initial misdiagnosis increase the risk of Post Treatment Lyme Disease. PTLD is especially common in people that have had neurologic involvement. The rates of Post Treatment Lyme Disease after neurologic involvement may be as high as 20% or even higher. Other risk factors being investigated are genetic predispositions and immunologic variables.
In addition to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there are several other tick-borne co-infections that may also contribute to more prolonged and complicated illness.
How To Take Cbd
You can use CBD in various ways.
Topicals are meant to be applied directly onto the skin, usually to target a specific area, like joint pain in the fingers.
You can also ingest CBD in the form of oil, gummies, or capsules. Or try adding edible oil to food or drink.
Make sure to read product labels before taking CBD. Some oils arent meant to be taken by mouth.
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A Lyme Vaccine: Past And Future
Once upon a time, there was a Lyme vaccine. But 20 years ago, after just a few years on the market, it was discontinued. While the vaccine worked well reducing Lyme infections by nearly 80% some people said it caused concerning side effects like arthritis. That was never proven, but market pressure led the manufacturer to stop making the vaccine.
This month, a new Lyme vaccine entered the final stages of clinical testing. Its made by Pfizer and another pharmaceutical company, Valneva. It uses a similar approach to the previous vaccine, but its been adjusted to leave out the protein region that caused the controversy before.
If all goes well, the companies could seek authorization for this new vaccine in 2025. But Massachusetts residents and others in Lyme-endemic areas can already sign up to be part of the trial.
Use Flea And Tick Preventives
Did you know that most flea and tick medications donât prevent ticks from jumping onto or even biting your dog? They kill ticks once they bite. In most cases, ticks must be attached for 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease, so preventative medications help thwart the diseaseâs spread. Consult with your veterinarian about the most appropriate product for your dog.
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Early Lyme Disease Treatment
ILADS doctors are likely to recommend more aggressive and longer antibiotic treatment for patients. They may, for instance, treat high risk tick bites where the tick came from an endemic area, was attached a long time, and was removed improperly. They may treat a Lyme rash for a longer period of time than the IDSA recommends, to ensure that the disease does not progress. They are unlikely to withhold treatment pending laboratory test results.
What Causes Chronic Lyme Disease
The CDC says 10% to 20% of people treated for Lyme disease develop ongoing symptoms. These can include fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and thinking problems. The symptoms can last more than 6 months.
No one knows what causes chronic Lyme disease. One theory is the infection damages tissues or alters the immune system.
Some pain experts think the immune systemÃ¢s reaction to the Lyme infection causes changes that increase pain sensations and contribute to fatigue and poor sleep.
More research is underway.
No matter the cause, the symptoms are real. But most patients get better over time.
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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
Two Standards Of Care For Lyme Disease Treatment
There is significant controversy in science, medicine, and public policy regarding Lyme disease. Two medical societies hold widely divergent views on the best approach to diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. The conflict makes it difficult for patients to be properly diagnosed and receive treatment.
One medical society, the Infectious Diseases Society of America , regards Lyme disease as hard to catch and easy to cure with a short course of antibiotics. IDSA claims that spirochetal infection cannot persist in the body after a short course of antibiotics. The group also denies the existence of chronic Lyme disease.
In contrast, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , regards Lyme disease as often difficult to diagnose and treat, resulting in persistent infection in many patients. ILADS recommends individualized treatment based on the severity of symptoms, the presence of tick-borne coinfections and patient response to treatment.
LDo believes that patients and their doctors should make Lyme disease treatment decisions together. This requires that patients be given sufficient information about the risks and benefits of different treatment options. Then, patient and health care provider can collaborate to reach an informed decision, based on the patients circumstances, beliefs and preferences.
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Natural Treatment For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease in dogs is the leading tick-borne disease in the United States.
And while Lyme disease may not be common and many dogs never develop any symptoms, it is something that you need to treat if your dog starts showing signs
But if your dog does get this infection, dont run to the vet for drugs without trying these natural alternatives first.
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Genomic Insights From Borreliaceae Lineages
Between 1982 and 2010, the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, steadily expanded from 1 to 18 species as isolates from tick vectors, their hosts, and patient samples were characterized . A subset of these species are associated with human disease. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the USA, as well as B. afzelii and B. garinii in Eurasia are the most common agents of LD in the Northern hemisphere. Cases of LD in Europe are also caused by Bb and B. bavariensis , but are less common. B. spielmanii , B. bisettiae , and B. lusitaniae have been identified in human specimens but their clinical importance is less clear. B. valaisiana has been identified in human specimens , but others have recently provided compelling reasons why existing evidence does not support it being considered a human pathogen . Additional species have been identified in tick vectors or their hosts, but not in patient samples.
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What If A Tick Bites My Dog
The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.
Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.
About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.
What if my dog brings ticks into my home?
Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.
Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.
Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.
John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â
American College of Rheumatology.
How Is The Lyme Multiplex Assay Different From The Assay My Veterinarian Can Perform
Your veterinarian can perform a quick assay in-house that checks for antibodies against only one B. burgdorferi surface protein. The in-house assay cannot detect early infection, cannot determine vaccination status, and does not quantify the amount of antibodies your animal is producing. Quantifying antibodies is an important measure for successful treatment and to confirm cure from Lyme disease.
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My Long Road To A Lyme Diagnosis
I could write a freakin book about my pre-diagnosis Lyme experience. Not to sound dramatic, but it was basically a nightmare playing out in slow motion. For your own sanity, Ill give you the condensed version.
Personally, I dont remember a tick bite, and like many Lyme sufferers, I never got the bulls-eye rash or flu-like symptoms so often touted as classic signs of Lyme disease. Instead, my whole ordeal began with a sharp, stinging sensation in my left ankle after a day of walking in New York City, where Id just begun my first big girl job. It hurt, but I didnt think much of it, and about a week later I was told I had tendinitis that would resolve relatively quickly. But then my other ankle started to hurt, and after a few months, the pain extended to the bottoms of my feet, my knees, and even my arms. Sometimes it would feel like electric currents were running through my toes when I stood up. After a while, I began to question my tendinitis diagnosis, but after about five second opinions and countless tests , doctors had no real explanation for what was going on. In the words of one of my least favorite doctors, Theres nothing else I can do for you.