The Cortisol Connection: Are You Addicted To Your Pain
Cortisol, the stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, connects the limbic system to the rest of the body via the HPA axis. Chronic stress in the form of Lyme co-infections keeps the HPA axis functioning over time leading to cortisol addiction .
An autopilot cortisol addiction forces the body to remain in an eternal state of survival mode with unceasing PTLDS inflammation and chronic pain.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Post
Patients typically use the term chronic Lyme disease to describe the cluster of symptoms that started after getting Lyme disease and that persist despite having received a course of antibiotic treatment which has been deemed curative by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Patients say, Im not cured. I have symptoms now that I never had before Lyme disease. Im fatigued 90% of the day. My muscles ache. My brain is in a fog. I cant think clearly any more. Im super sensitive to light and sound. What is going on? Chronic Lyme disease does exist Im a living example of it!
Whatever one calls it, the experience is the same. Most often these patients experience profound fatigue, pain, and/or cognitive impairment. Mild to moderate levels of depression and anxiety may also accompany these symptoms, as the functional limitations can lead to social isolation, inability to work, and loss of sense of ones identity as a provider, caretaker, or friend. Sometimes patients find themselves identifying with Job the just and good man in the Bible whose life was wrecked by illness, death of loved ones, and economic disaster he felt tormented by God.
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Supporting Patients With Long
There has been controversy about Lyme disease , first about whether people really can have persistent problems after Lyme disease, and then about whether more antibiotic treatment is beneficial if they do still have symptoms. This overview compiles into one summary information about what the studies have found about the cause of the symptoms and the possible treatments, so that GPs are better able to advise patients who have the long-term problems.
Some patients have persistent symptoms after LD, despite having had the recommended antibiotic treatment. A small proportion of LD patients have a relevant delay in treatment, which may increase their risk for the development of problems that can last a long time, perhaps a few years. These delays can sometimes result from the difficulty of diagnosis, particularly as many LD cases do not have the erythema migrans rash.1 Catching LD while holidaying abroad may make a delay more likely because it may be some time before the patient returns home and sees a doctor. The Royal College of General Practitioners has prepared an LD toolkit2 and mentions post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome as one term used to describe these long-term problems. PTLDS can significantly impact quality of life3 and recovery may be extremely slow, with no apparent improvement from one month to the next, although very subtle improvement may be seen from one year to the next.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease depend on how long youve been infected. If youre pregnant and have been bitten by a tick or live in or travelled to an area with Lyme disease, talk to your health care provider.
Early signs and symptoms include:
- A rash called erythema migrans . This rash looks like a bulls eye around where the tick bit you. It may feel warm and may or may not be itchy.
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are glands throughout the body that help fight infection. You usually cant feel them unless theyre swollen.
Later signs or symptoms include:
- Being short of breath
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How You Get Lyme Disease
If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.
Ticks dont jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something theyre on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.
Generally, youre more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.
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A Reasonable Approach To Post
If you are being treated for PTLD, there is no magic bullet to treat this problem, but here are some important steps to consider:
- Choose a doctor you trust and who can work closely with you.
- If your doctor agrees to start antibiotics for several months, make sure you talk about the risks and cost, as this can be dangerous and expensive.
- Make sure not to rely solely on antibiotics. The evidence for a benefit from antibiotics is weak, and we rely mostly on physicians clinical experience and interest in the disease to design a personalized therapeutic plan. For some, a more holistic approach may be the way to go.
- If you try supplements, ask about their source and purity, as they are not FDA-regulated.
- Consider looking for services in medical school hospitals or clinics where they may have programs with ongoing research on how to diagnose and treat Lyme.
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Study Shows Evidence Of Severe And Lingering Symptoms In Some After Treatment For Lyme Disease
In a study of 61 people treated for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Johns Hopkins researchers conclude that fatigue…
In a study of 61 people treated for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Johns Hopkins researchers conclude that fatigue, pain, insomnia and depression do indeed persist over long periods of time for some people, despite largely normal physical exams and clinical laboratory testing.
Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is a real disorder that causes severe symptoms in the absence of clinically detectable infection, says John N. Aucott, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
The findings, published in the December issue of Frontiers in Medicine, could spur further investigation into the cause of persistent symptoms, a source of medical controversy. As Lyme disease rates have steadily climbed in the United States since it was first recognized in the mid-1970s, so have reports of a collection of symptoms that patients commonly refer to as chronic Lyme disease. Experts in the field have questioned the validity of this term because of the lack of direct evidence in this group of patients of ongoing infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Other Johns Hopkins researchers who participated in this study include Alison W. Rebman, Ting Yang, Erica A. Mihm, Mark J. Soloski and Cheryl Novak.
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Scientists Think Theyve Unlocked The Secret Of Long
Scientists may have discovered a new way of tackling the lingering, debilitating effects of Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that can lead to flu-like symptoms and a rash called erythema migrans.
The latest research suggests that dead fragments of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, continue to hang around in the body and can cause unhealthy inflammation in the central and peripheral nervous systems even after treatment.
This might explain why some people who get Lyme disease dont make a full recovery after a few weeks of taking antibiotics instead, they experience ongoing pain, fatigue, and trouble with their cognitive thinking, a condition known as Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome .
About 10-35 percent of patients treated for erythema migrans or early Lyme disease have persistent or intermittent musculoskeletal, cognitive, or fatigue complaints of mild to moderate intensity at 6 to 12 months of follow up, write the researchers in their .
Other notable symptoms include joint pain, headache, lower back pain, irritability, paresthesia, sleep issues, and depression.
Patients with PTLDS usually get better eventually, but it can take a long time for people to feel fully well again. Theres currently no proven treatment for the condition, as there is for Lyme disease itself.
The research has been published in Scientific Reports.
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How Long Can Lyme Disease Be Dormant
Lyme disease can remain dormant for weeks, months or even years. When symptoms do eventually develop, they can be severe and patients often need aggressive treatment. Intravenous treatment is often required to treat late-stage infection. Late-stage treatment can last many months as seen in other infections as well.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. In humans, this infection can only be spread via parasitic tick bitesânot air, water, or other animals.
With 34,945 diagnosed cases in 2019, Lyme disease is not exactly rare. Thatâs why itâs important to know which conditions allow the infected tick to pass this disease to humans, such as:
- Location â Where is Lyme disease common? In the US, the black-legged tick and the western black-legged tick can transfer Lyme disease. These species are found in grassy and wooded environments across the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest, and upper Pacific coast.
- Season â Like most insects, ticks thrive during the warmer months. Lyme disease transmission and diagnoses go up during spring, summer, and early fall.
- Timing â To spread the bacteria, infected ticks must latch onto the body for at least 36 hours. Thatâs why most humans are infected by nymphs, or small immature ticks, which can go incognito on the body. If you remove a tick before 36 hours, you may reduce the risk of infection.
Once transmitted, Lyme disease can manifest in a few different symptoms. Letâs explore the signs to look for, so you can catch the condition early.
Defining Patient Subgroups: Post
Patients with persistent symptoms related to Lyme disease likely represent a heterogeneous population, which includes previously untreated patients, as well as those treated patients who remain symptomatic. As a result, some will manifest primarily patient-reported symptoms while others will present with symptoms in conjunction with objective, physical findings. This heterogeneity is further complicated by variation in terminology and the definitions used by different groups in the field.
Figure 3. A schematic of clinical- and research-defined patient subgroups among those with persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease . The size of each patient subgroup is not meant to represent actual population frequency, as prevalence data is extremely limited. IDSA, Infectious Diseases Society of America ILADS, International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society CLD-PT, Chronic Lyme Disease-Previously Treated CLD-U, Chronic Lyme Disease-Untreated IgG, Immunoglobulin G CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome FM, Fibromyalgia.
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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 Is It Treated
Facial palsy is treated with oral antibiotics and Lyme meningitis/radiculoneuritis can either be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, depending on severity . Most people with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotics and fully recover. Varying degrees of permanent nervous system damage may develop in people who do not receive treatment in the early stages of illness and who develop late-stage Lyme disease.
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What Are The Worst Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Its important to acknowledge flu-like symptoms if you live in an area where ticks are present or you have recently been in a wooded region, because when Lyme disease is left untreated, it can lead to severe health consequences. Very often, the worst symptoms of Lyme disease are ones that you may not have even known could happen after a tick bite.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most severe symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Severe headaches
While not all flu-like symptoms you feel will be caused by Lyme disease, it is important to pay attention to both your body and your recent surroundings if you have been in an area frequented by ticks. One trick to telling the difference between Lyme disease and a typical flu is the consistency of the symptoms. Lyme flu-like symptoms tend to come and go, whereas typical flu symptoms will be persistent until your body has recovered, after which they will subside.
Lyme disease can cause permanent damage. Knowing you have Lyme as early as possible is key to overcoming the symptoms and avoiding any possible long-term effects.
Polymerase Chain Reaction Test
The polymerase chain reaction test detects the DNA of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It is sometimes used for select individuals who have neurological symptoms or Lyme arthritis. The PCR test is performed on spinal fluid collected from a lumbar puncture or synovial fluid . This test is generally available only in research settings and for most people, standard 2-step tests are preferred.
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Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease
The CDC reports that late stage Lyme disease may appear days to months after the initial tick bite and may include but are not limited to:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes in new places on the body
- Facial palsy, also known as Bells palsy paralysis of one side of the face
- Arthritis or joint pain and swelling, especially of large joints
- Intermittent tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, or bone pain
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
As mentioned above, late stage Lyme may also be characterized by the recurrence of early stage symptoms, such as fatigue.
Key Points For Healthcare Providers
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Lyme Disease Antibiotic Treatment Research
For early Lyme disease, a short course of oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, cures the majority of cases. In more complicated cases, Lyme disease can usually be successfully treated with three to four weeks of antibiotic therapy.
After being treated for Lyme disease, a minority of patients may still report non-specific symptoms, including persistent pain, joint and muscle aches, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. These patients often show no evidence of active infection and may be diagnosed with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
Multiple clinical trials, funded by NIH and others, have shown no benefit to additional IV antibiotic treatment in patients with Lyme disease, although the interpretation of those results have been challenged by some.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Show Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs can appear anywhere from two to five months after being bitten by an infected tick. Their long incubation period contributes to the confusion that often surrounds diagnosis, as pet parents dont always recall when their dog may have been exposed to areas with ticks. This is another reason to consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Once they show symptoms, what happens to a dog with Lyme disease? And how does this disease progress? Left untreated, Lyme disease can be fatal. Advanced Lyme disease in dogs spreads throughout the body. Once it reaches the kidneys, your dog may experience vomiting, weight loss, lethargyand, frequently, death.
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Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
Lyme Disease Signs And Symptoms
So, how is Lyme disease diagnosed and what are the symptoms to look out for? When detecting Lyme disease, itâs important to remember one rule â move fast.
It is also important to understand Lyme disease vs. Rocky Mountain spotted fever since the two may share common symptoms. As a bacterial condition, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body. Given time, this infection can reach the nervous system, heart, and skeletal-muscular system. The longer Lyme disease goes untreated, the worse its symptoms and bodily damage. So, what are the stages of Lyme disease?
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