What Should You Do If You Find A Tick
Dont touch the tick with your bare hand.
Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Dont squeeze the tick, and dont use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.
Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.
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Stage : Quickly Expanding Rash
After being bitten by a black-legged tick, a quickly growing rash can appear. This is the earliest stage of Lyme disease, known as stage 1.
Most people who develop a rash, get it within days or weeks of being bitten by a tick.
Where you see the rash: If you develop a rash, it appears near the tick bit you. For most people, that means the back, groin, armpit, or a lower leg. However, a tick can bite you anywhere.
What the rash can look like: You may see a spot or bump on the skin, which is the bite mark. Around or near the bite mark, a rash develops. Some people see the bulls-eye rash . You can also have one of the other rashes shown here.
Early rash caused by Lyme disease
Notice the bite mark in the center of this early rash, which will expand quickly.
Bulls-eye rash on womans upper arm
This is another early sign of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease rash with lighter color on the outside
This rash has expanded, but you can still see the bite mark in the center.
Rash from Lyme disease has begun to clear
As the rash begins to clear, the redness fades.
If you develop a rash during this stage, you may notice that it:
Feels smooth and warm to the touch
Causes a burning sensation
Itches or feels painful
Has an outer edge that feels scaly or crusty
When the rash and symptoms begin: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the rash begins 3 to 30 days after the tick bites you.
About 50% of people who have Lyme disease develop flu-like symptoms , which include:
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can affect different body systems, such as the nervous system, joints, skin, and heart. The symptoms of Lyme disease are often described as happening in three stages. Not everyone with Lyme has all of these, though:
The rash sometimes has a “bull’s-eye” appearance, with a central red spot surrounded by clear skin that is ringed by an expanding red rash. It also can appear as an growing ring of solid redness. It’s usually flat and painless, but sometimes can be warm to the touch, itchy, scaly, burning, or prickling. The rash may look and feel very different from one person to the next. It can be harder to see on people with darker skin tones, where it can look like a bruise. It gets bigger for a few days to weeks, then goes away on its own. A person also may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, tiredness, headache, and muscle aches.
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Lyme The Nervous System And Neuropathy
Unfortunately, once the infection begins to spread throughout the body, many people will develop Lyme neuroborreliosis . This is neurological Lyme disease, which affects and inflames the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Research suggests the neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease may be present in approximately 15% of the patient population. However, the exact incidence of LNB isnt well known. A brief stint in an online Lyme patient forum will quickly reveal that most individuals report experiencing at least some amount of neurological involvement on a routine basis.
One debilitating symptom that may be present among those with LNB is peripheral neuropathy . This is a disease process that impacts the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. Neuropathy occurs when there is damage or dysfunction of neurons in one or more nerves.
The damage results in interference among the neurons, and they begin to have difficulty communicating with each other and the brain.
To make matters worse, co-infections like Babesia and Bartonella can contribute to neuropathy as well, according to a study in the International Journal of General Medicine.
So how do you know if the symptoms youre facing are neuropathy, and what can you do to find some relief? Read on to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and ideas on how to manage the pain and discomfort associated with neuropathy more effectively.
What Is The Endocrine System
Essentially, the endocrine system is anetwork of glands in the body that create hormones. These hormones help cellscommunicate with each other and are broadly responsible for every function inthe body. Hormones control our emotional states, metabolism, growthdevelopment, organ functions, and reproduction. The endocrine system chooseswhen to release these hormones into the bloodstream and controls how they arereleased. Most of the major glands in the system are located in the brain, includingthe hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the pineal gland. The thyroid andparathyroid are also key these are located in the neck. The thymus is foundbetween the lungs, and the pancreas, the largest gland in the system, sitstowards the back, behind the stomach. The testicles and ovaries are two morecrucial glands for men and women respectively.
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Lyme And Neuropathy: How To Ease Nerve Pain Tingling And Weakness
Lyme disease can affect several systems of the body the brain, nervous system, joints, heart, and more.
The list of symptoms infected individuals can experience is expansive and varies from person to person.
Its one of the reasons a Lyme disease diagnosis may be controversial.
Yet, one thing everyone seems to agree on about the tick-borne disease is that it can significantly impact the nervous system, especially without prompt treatment in the early stages of the infection.
Unfortunately, Lyme often goes missed early on. The telltale sign of a Lyme infection an erythema migrans rash, or the classic bulls-eye rash doesnt occur in every case. .
And the initial symptoms of infection may be nothing more than fever, chills, headache, fatigue, or muscle aches, making them easy to miss or brush off as a case of the flu.
But as the disease advances, the bacteria associated with Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, spreads via the bloodstream to other parts of the body, a process known as dissemination. This occurs in the days and weeks following infection, referred to as early disseminated Lyme disease.
If an infection goes untreated for months to years, however, theres a good chance the infection will proceed to late stage or late disseminated Lyme disease, sometimes called chronic Lyme disease. Thats when the nervous system can become involved, and symptoms ratchet up to a whole new level.
Ways Lyme Disease Can Affect The Respiratory System
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in North America.Its transmitted via the bites of ticks infected with the bacterium Borreliaburgdorferi. Approximately 300,000 people are diagnosed with the diseaseevery year in the United States. Most infections take place around theNortheast and upper Midwest.
Deer ticks are the only type of tick transmitting the disease in the United States. They live in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic , in the North central states , and on the West Coast .
Lyme disease can be identified by the characteristic erythemamigrans rash, which usually has a circular, bulls-eye shape. A small rashnormally appears at the location of the tick bite within the first few days ofweeks after infection, and it then slowly expands. But it can appear elsewhereon the body, and in 20-30% of cases its not observed at all.
In the absence of the rash, Lyme disease can be diagnosed based on anyother signs and symptoms, in addition to the individuals history of tick bitesor visits to any high-risk areas. Common symptomsinclude fatigue, headache, dizziness, fever, joint pain and stiffness,sensitivity to light, and changes in vision. If the infection is not treatedearly on, sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction and other neurologicalsymptoms may also occur as the illness progresses to the chronic stage.
Lyme disease is transmitted exclusively by ticks.
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How Do You Remove Ticks From Your Dog
If you see a tick, dont try to pull it off with your fingers doing so could crush the tick, causing it to spit and release the Lyme bacteria. Use tweezers or a specialized tick removal tool to dislodge the tick from your dog safely. If you spot a tick in a difficult to reach area, such as deep inside the ear, go to a vet to have the tick removed.
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Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control each year. The risk of Lyme disease is greatest in the spring and summer when the disease is commonly transmitted through tick bites.
Preventing tick bites is key to fending off an infection, but if you do get bit, look out for these early symptoms of Lyme disease:
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What Are The Long
Lyme disease can cause a host ofdifferent symptoms and ailments, but if caught early, it can be diagnosed andtreated with antibiotics specifically doxycycline. If left untreated, however, Lyme disease canprogress into a very serious condition that can affect a person for the rest oftheir life.
Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is categorized as a condition lasting over a period of months or evenyears that affects people who have been treated for Lyme disease withantibiotics. The disorder comes with awide array of different issues, including trouble with sleeping, chronicfatigue, and neurological problems such as confusion and even cognitivechanges.
What Are The Complications 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:
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.
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Has Lyme Disease Killed Anyone
Untreated, the infection may disseminate to cause various manifestations, including secondary skin lesions, cranial neuropathy, lymphocytic meningitis, radiculoneuritis, atrioventricular block, and oligoarthritis . However, Lyme disease rarely has been reported as a cause of death in the United States .
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
There’s no sure way to avoid getting Lyme disease. But you can minimize your risk. Be aware of ticks when you’re in high-risk areas. If you work outdoors or spend time gardening, fishing, hunting, or camping, take precautions:
- Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
- Use an insect repellent containing 10% to 30% DEET .
- Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
- Keep long hair pulled back or wear a hat for protection.
- Don’t sit on the ground outside.
- Check yourself for ticks regularly both indoors and outdoors. Wash your clothes and hair after leaving tick-infested areas.
If you use an insect repellent containing DEET, follow the directions on the product’s label and don’t overapply it. Place DEET on shirt collars and sleeves and pant cuffs, and only use it directly on exposed areas of skin. Be sure to wash it off when you go back indoors.
No vaccine for Lyme disease is currently on the market in the United States.
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What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover quickly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. Patients with certain neurologic or cardiac forms of illness may require additional treatment. It is important to speak with your health care provider if you think you might have Lyme disease. The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention and awareness.
Lyme Disease And The Digestive System
The gut provides us with the foundation of good health. Withouta healthy gut, the rest of our body simply cannot function correctly. Theprocess by which our bodies take in and process the benefits of the food we eatis extremely complex. Essentially, the bacteria in the gut absorbs nutrientsfrom foods and processes them to provide us with energy. We require manydifferent materials to achieve this. Chronic Lyme robs our digestive systems ofthese precious resources by upsetting the balance of microbiome in the gut, andas such, our bodies cant produce the energy that we require to functionproperly. This is why chronic fatigue is such a pervasive and debilitatingsymptom of the disorder, and one of the many ways it robs patients of theirpreferred lifestyle.
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Lyme Disease And The Endocrine System
Can Lyme disease affect the endocrinesystem? If so, how exactly? Thereis strong evidence that Lyme can causethyroid problems, most notably hyperthyroidism. This is because of a processcalled molecular mimicry, a situation where a pathogen shares an amino acid sequence with self-antigens . The end result is that the immune system attacks boththe pathogen and the healthy tissue simultaneously, unable to discern betweenthe two. This means that the thyroid is impaired and does not producesufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone a condition otherwise known ashyperthyroidism. This can negatively affect many of the processes that thethyroid regulates, such as metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, andcholesterol. In addition, some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism can mirrorthe symptoms of Lyme, making the specifics of the patients disorder hard todiscern.
How Lyme Disease Can Affect The Entire Body
Holtorf Medical Group
Lyme disease can affect any organ or system within the body, including the immune system, brain, nervous system, heart, and gut. Most cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. are caused by a corkscrew-shaped spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. This organism has a unique way of evading the human immune system starting as early as when the tick bite occurs and has learned to survive in the human body even when aggressive treatment attacks are mounted against it.
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The Dangers Of Chronic Lyme
Chronic Lyme disease is much more complicated than acute Lyme.Antibiotics can largely cure acute Lyme if they are administered in time.However, they will not be enough to alleviate chronic symptoms. This is becausechronic Lyme is a disease that triggers both infection and inflammationsymptoms . Many of the most predominantsymptoms are inflicted by the bodys own immune system. At the point thedisease turns chronic, the bacterium has been in the system for a long time.Faced with this, the immune response overcompensates, resulting in widespreadinflammation, especially around the joints. This can cause constant pain,crippling fatigue, and impaired movement. Meanwhile, the infection can spreadto other areas of the body, causing all sorts of problems in the brain, spinalfluid, and digestive system.
Lyme Disease And The Cdc
In order for the Centers for Disease Control to recognize a Lyme case for surveillance purposes, there must be objective findings, such as positive blood tests, Bells palsy or joint swelling . The chart below reflects the CDC-reviewed surveillance case manifestations from 2001 to 2010.
This situation contributes to what many experts view as severe undercounting of Lyme disease by the CDC.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will consider:
- How likely it is that you were exposed to infected blacklegged ticks
- The possibility that other illnesses may cause similar symptoms
- Results of any lab tests
Most Lyme disease tests check for antibodies made by the body in response to infection. These antibodies can take several weeks to develop. If you are tested right away, it may not show that you have Lyme disease, even if you have it. So you may need to have another test later.
Are Some Locations More At Risk Than Others
Yes and no. There are areas in which the bacteria is endemic meaning the disease is established and present more or less continually in that community.
In Canada, blacklegged tick populations have been confirmed or are growing in the following areas:
- Southern British Columbia.
- Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island.
- South shore and northern mainland Nova Scotia.
However, it is important to note that ticks can be spread by birds, in particular songbirds that feed off the forest floor. Because these birds are migratory, there is the potential for new populations of the bacteria to spread across the country. This fact means that you do not have to be in an endemic or high-risk area to be at risk of contacting ticks and the disease.
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