How To Remove A Tick
A tick must remain attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to spread Lyme disease. The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to remove a tick as soon as possible.
The blacklegged tick that spreads disease-causing bacteria resembles a tiny spider. Young ticks are around the size of a poppy seed, while adult ticks are around the size of a sesame seed. Ticks of all ages are reddish-brown.
Below are some steps for tick removal.
- Step 1: Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Avoid squeezing the tick.
- Step 2: Using the tweezers, pull the tick carefully and steadily away from the skin. Avoid yanking or twisting the tick, as this could cause its mouthparts to remain in the skin.
- Step 3: After removing the tick, dispose of it by putting it in some alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
- Step 4: Apply antiseptic to the tick bite.
Reasons To Choose Herbs
Plants have to deal with a wide range of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, just like any other living creature. Not having an immune system, plants deal with the problem by producing a sophisticated spectrum of biochemical substances called phytochemicals. Instead of one chemical, like an antibiotic, a medicinal herb contains hundreds of phytochemicals that suppress microbes in different ways therefore resistance is almost unheard of, even with very long-term use. Some herbs provide more potent antimicrobial properties than others. While herbs would never be a good choice for treating a life-threatening illness like pneumonia, they are perfect for suppressing stealth microbes associated with chronic illness.
Different herbs offer a slightly different range of benefits, therefore multiple herbs can be used together to cover for all possible stealth microbes involved. In fact, this is the preferred way of doing herbal therapy . This provides for a wide spectrum of activity against a wide range of microbial threats. You can think of it as an orchestra of healing the sum of multiple herbs is more powerful than each herb individually.
Over the millennia, humans naturally selected certain plant substances for use as medicines. These plants, now known as medicinal herbs, have chemistry that meshes well with human biochemistry. Not surprisingly, medicinal herbs are well tolerated by most people and can be safely used for extended periods of time.
Creating The Perfect Environment For Healing
Healing is the ability of cells to regenerate and recover from being stressed. Healing can only occur if ongoing stresses are reduced enough for cellular recovery to occur.
No doubt, killing bacteria and other microbes is essential for cellular healing, but it must be done without upsetting the delicate balance of other microbes that inhabit the body. This is the problem with antibiotics. Conventional antibiotics dont penetrate into cells very well, but do disrupt the balance of normal flora in the gut and skin. Prolonged use of antibiotics typically leads to a host of issues that disrupt cellular healing and often doesnt eradicate the ongoing infection.
This is where the antimicrobial properties of herbs offer a distinct advantage. Taking an herb with antimicrobial properties isnt like taking an antibiotic. Instead of being a single chemical agent, like an antibiotic, herbs offer a wide spectrum of chemical substances with broad spectrum action against a wide variety of microbes. In essence, it acts like an intelligent defense system that targets pathogens and not normal flora. This allows herbs to be taken for extended periods of time months and even years without disrupting the balance of bacteria and other microbes in the body. Which is exactly what it takes to wear the intracellular microbes down.
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Diagnosis Of Lyme Disease
Many cases of Lyme disease are initially misdiagnosed. Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose because early symptoms of fever, severe fatigue, and achiness are also common in many other illnesses. In addition, diagnostic blood tests are not always dependable, particularly in early disease. However, the round expanding red lesion rash is a unique sign that is more specific for Lyme disease, and many times a diagnosis can be made based on the tell-tale erythema migrans rash itself. Yet, it is important to understand that the erythema migrans rash is not always present or recognizable, and symptoms can fluctuate.
Think the Lyme disease rash is always a bulls-eye? Think again.Think its a spider bite? Think again. Please refer to our poster of varied rash manifestations as a helpful Lyme disease rash identification tool.
Recognizing the Lyme disease erythema migrans rash can be crucial to early diagnosis and treatment.
Despite common belief, the stereotypical ring within a ring bullseye rash is only present in a minority of Lyme disease patients. Instead, the majority of Lyme disease rashes are uniformly red or blue-red and do not have a central clearing or bullseye. Sometimes the site of the tick bite is clearly visible in the center of this lesion. The erythema migrans rash is almost always round or oval and expands over days to a diameter greater than 2. The Lyme rash is often confused with a spider bite, despite spider bites not expanding in this way.
Early Stages Of Lyme Disease
If presenting with classic features in an endemic area, is diagnosed straightforwardly. Diagnosis is more challenging however if symptoms are not typical, and laboratory testing is indicated. Most patients symptomatic with B. burgdorferi infection are sero-positive , demonstrating an initial IgM response best shown by antibody capture EIA. If a patient is suspected of having early Lyme disease is initially sero-negative, repeat follow-up testing is very useful. The evolution of the host immune response to B. burgdorferi infection is typically very quick. In as short a time as a week or two, an initially seronegative patient can develop robust seropositivity. The IgA response on antibody capture EIA is noted in early infection as well. Unlike the IgM and IgG response , IgA levels usually fall rapidly with effective treatment and infection resolution, often becoming undetectable within the first few months. In that early window of an infection, when a patient is sometimes acutely symptomatic but prior to developing a detectable serologic response, it is possible with PCR technology to detect the DNA of B. burgdorferi in a whole blood specimen. It has been our observation that this window of B. burgdorferi bacteremia is brief, and by the time the patient has developed the characteristic serologic response, whole blood PCR testing for Lyme will have become negative.
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Molecular Testing For Detection Of Borrelia Species Bacterial Dna
PCR is available for Borrelia species DNA detection but is of limited value in routine testing for Lyme disease because the organism is only present in blood during the early stages of the disease and is predominantly restricted to the affected tissues.
Diagnostic molecular testing for Borrelia species DNA is available on request for relevant specimen types. Please call RIPL to discuss individual cases.
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Is There A Blood Test For Lyme Disease
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.
- Alzheimerâs disease
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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 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 very important to read the kits detailed information before getting started.
What Is The Death Rate Of Lyme Disease
Although Lyme disease is a serious infection, the death rate is relatively low. In the United States, there are an estimated 300,000 cases of Lyme disease each year, and the death rate is estimated to be 0.2%. This means that for every 100,000 people infected with Lyme disease, only 2 will die from the infection.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Acute And Late Stage Lyme
One reason chronic Lyme disease is harder to detect and treat than Lyme at earlier stages is that chronic Lyme disease symptoms are more wide-ranging and varied. Chronic Lyme disease can cause symptoms of early Lyme disease such as fatigue and muscle aches to recur, but it can also cause new symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
Does Lyme Disease Qualify For Disability
There is no specific listing for Lyme disease in the Social Security Administrations impairment listing manual, which means that you cannot automatically qualify for benefits based on a diagnosis of Lyme disease alone. However, if your Lyme disease is accompanied by other serious impairments, or if your Lyme disease symptoms make it impossible for you to work, you may be able to qualify for benefits through a medical-vocational allowance.
In order to qualify for benefits through a medical-vocational allowance, you must first establish that you have a severe impairment as defined by the SSA. An impairment is considered severe if it significantly limits your ability to perform basic work activities. Once it has been established that you have a severe impairment, the SSA will consider your age, education level, past work experience, and any remaining abilities you have to perform other types of work before making a determination as to whether or not you are disabled.
If you are unable to establish that you have a severe impairment, or if the SSA determines that there are other types of work you can still perform despite your limitations, your claim for benefits will be denied.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Lyme Disease
The best treatment for Lyme disease is antibiotics. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, and antibiotics are the only proven treatment for this infection. Lyme disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, rash, joint pain, and fatigue. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to more serious problems, such as neurological problems and arthritis.
The Importance Of Diagnostic Tests For Borrelia
Called the great imitator,Lyme disease can present a variety of symptoms that mimic a wide range of illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS, Alzheimers disease, depression, insomnia, and autoimmune disorders such as RA and Multiple Sclerosis . In addition, many tick-borne infections go misdiagnosed for months because these nonspecific symptoms mirror other illnesses. Thus, laboratory testing is frequently required to confirm a diagnosis.
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Clinical Characteristics Of Probable Late Lyme Disease
Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients meeting criteria for probable late Lyme were then determined. Illness duration was defined from initial patient-reported date of onset of subjective symptoms coinciding with the present illness. Charts were also reviewed for symptoms reported symptoms were considered present as part of the current illness if mentioned in the medical record after date of illness onset. While group criteria excluded those with a history of physician-documented EM, patients with self-observed rashes either not observed by a physician, or thought not to be EM, were included. Antibiotics considered non-recommended or of insufficient duration for treatment of Lyme disease included all members of the quinolone class of antibiotics, first generation cephalosporins, and five-day courses of azithromycin .
Tests for group differences were performed using chi-square or Kruskal-Wallis tests, as appropriate. Results with a two-sided p< 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
This chart review was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
What I Want You To Know About Living With Late Stage Lyme Disease
Most of us have heard of Lyme Disease, but arent aware that living with Late Stage Lyme Disease can go far beyond treatment of a bulls-eye rash.
*Please be aware that the following post is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and it is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before taking any actions based upon such information, I expressly recommend that you seek advice from a medical professional.*
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Lyme Disease Tests: Science Vs Misconceptions
Lyme diagnosis and testing can be very confusing. This confusion has contributed to false positive diagnoses and unnecessary treatment.
As in other infections like HIV, testing for Lyme disease involves looking for antibodies produced by the bodys immune system in response to infection. This is called serologic testing because the antibodies are found in blood serum.
Testing positive for antibodies is called seropositive and testing negative for antibodies is called seronegative.
Future Perspectives On Lyme Disease Diagnosis
MTTT’s high performance has been demonstrated in various studies in the United States, Canada and Europe following FDA approval.22,23 In the United States, clinical testing labs have implemented the MTTT, and more manufacturers are offering solutions that are aligned with the MTTT. Some labs, on the other hand, continue to utilize STTT or both because some clinicians want to know what bands are positive in the immunoblots to gain more information about the disease, such as those antigens that are relevant to the detection of Lyme arthritis.12 Therefore, both CDC testing algorithms are projected to be used in the coming years.
If laboratories intend to perform alternative testing in addition to, or instead of, the testing established by the CDC, they must validate the new test with the relevant assay as a lab-developed test according to state and local guidelines. An example of alternate testing would be the use of immunoblots, as a second-tier test, containing extra and/or different antigens than those required by the CDC. A good example is the VlsE antigen, which stands for variable major protein-like sequence expressed. According to studies, adding the VlsE antigen, in an immunoblot to detect IgG, improves the sensitivity of Lyme disease testing in the early and late stages while retaining a high level of specificity.16,24-26
Table 1: Clinical symptoms and testing in early and convalescent phases of Lyme disease.
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What Can Be Mistaken For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of many other conditions. Lyme disease may be mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, depression, or rheumatoid arthritis. If you think you may have Lyme disease, it is important to see a healthcare provider who can order the appropriate tests and make a diagnosis.
Can You Have Lyme Disease For Years And Not Know It
Yes, you can have Lyme disease for years and not know it. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The initial symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic bulls-eye rash. However, many people with Lyme disease do not have these initial symptoms, or they may be so mild that they are not noticed. This can make it difficult to diagnose Lyme disease in its early stages. If left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause more serious problems, such as arthritis and problems with the nervous system.
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What Do Testing Kits Typically Include
Depending on the method of collection, testing kits may include:
- a device to collect the blood, urine, or saliva sample
- a container to ship the sample back to the lab
- a shipping label
Some kits come with a bandage, wipes, and a biohazard bag. Kits may contain extras such as Styrofoam holders, labels, or tubes with varying solutions inside.
Chronic Lyme: What Happens When Lyme Goes Untreated
The Lyme community typically uses the term chronic Lyme disease to describe a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that crop up after getting Lyme disease and persist for months to years after infection.
The risk of chronic Lyme increases the longer a Lyme infection goes untreated or undertreated. In other words, patients are more likely to recover fully if their Lyme infection is detected and treated as early as possible after the discovery of a tick bite. This stage is usually marked by symptoms such as fevers, chills, muscle aches, and sometimes rashes.
When left untreated or undertreated, however, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body and affect:
- The central nervous system
As Lymedisease.org points out, these symptoms can evolve, disappear, and reappear at different times.
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