Doctors Recognize Lyme Disease In A Patient With Kidney Disease
Kidney disease induced by Borrelia burgdorferi has been commonly reported in dogs but in the literature there are only a few cases of Lyme disease-associated renal damage in humans. In the February 2017 issue of BMC Nephrology, Florens and colleagues discuss the unique case of minimal change disease associated with chronic Lyme borreliosis that resolved completely after treatment with ceftriaxone and corticosteroids.
The article, Chronic Lyme borreliosis associated with minimal change glomerular disease: a case report, cites four published papers describing kidney damage in Lyme disease patients. The papers consisted of 4 cases of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis , a case of crescentic and IgA-deposit nephropathy, and a case of membranous nephropathy.
In another case, the authors describe a 65-year-old Caucasian woman admitted for an acute edematous syndrome related to a nephrotic syndrome. She had a history of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and elevated blood pressure of 163/89 mmHg. Laboratory data showed hypoalbuminemia , severe proteinuria and a recent decrease of renal function . Renal biopsy showed minimal change glomerular disease .
This patient is the first case of minimal change glomerular disease associated with chronic Lyme borreliosis, according to Florens from Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyon, France. The patients nephrotic syndrome and MCD resolved with a combination of intravenous ceftriaxone and the steroid prednisolone.
What Is Chronic Liver Disease
Chronic liver disease includes a wide range of medical conditions of different severity. CLD includes conditions such as:
- Liver transplant recipients
Some conditions, especially nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, often occur in combination with obesity and/or diabetesconditions that alone increase the risk of severe disease with COVID-19.
Now that COVID-19 has been around for some time, researchers are learning more about the risks, as well as complications that might be expected with people with chronic liver disease who acquire the virus.
What Is Lyme Carditis
Lyme carditis occurs when Lyme disease bacteria enter the tissues of the heart. This can interfere with the normal movement of electrical signals from the hearts upper to lower chambers, a process that coordinates the beating of the heart. The result is something physicians call heart block, which can vary in degree and change rapidly. Lyme carditis occurs in approximately one out of every hundred Lyme disease cases reported to CDC.
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Is Jaundice A Symptom Of Lyme Disease
Although it is incredibly rare, jaundice can be a symptom of Lyme disease if the borrelia bacteria affects how the liver functions. One particular review published in 2019 examined the appearance of jaundice in Lyme disease patients and concluded that there were only two case reports of jaundice in the literature surrounding Lyme disease. One was dated back to 1990, while the other dated back to 2001.
A third case report published in 2020 examined a patient with jaundice and other symptoms of Lyme disease. The positive Lyme disease test was only explored following an extensive workup for other diseases that could cause liver issues. Because of this, it is thought that people with jaundice should be tested for Lyme disease. This is especially true if the person has been in an endemic area. The rarity of case reports surrounding jaundice and Lyme disease does not mean that it doesnt happen more often it just means that testing for Lyme disease in patients with jaundice may have been overlooked in the past.
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Some damages caused by the borrelia bacteria can be irreversible, so taking stock of the possible symptoms and testing accordingly will help to eliminate a persons chances of being misdiagnosed with another condition when they need to be treated for Lyme disease.
Featured image by Erik Karits on Unsplash
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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What Are The Symptoms Of Renal Problems Caused By Lyme Disease
When Lyme disease causes glomerular disease in patients, the symptoms can be serious and debilitating. They include:
- Edema in the face, hands, feet, and other parts of the body
- Muscle and tissue loss caused by low amounts of protein in the blood
- Kidney disease leading to tiredness, insomnia, weight loss, itchy skin
- Blood in the urine
These signs and symptoms need to be addressed immediately as they can lead to permanent damage to kidney function, which can cause seizures, coma, or in the worst cases, death.
Other symptoms to look out for if you suspect the development of chronic kidney disease include:
- Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss
- Chest pain or shortness of breath from the build-up of fluids
- Skin irritations such as pigmentation changes and unexplainable scratch marks
- Muscle issues such as twitching and cramping
- Cognitive decline
- Chronic fatigue and widespread weakness
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected deer, birds, or mice.
A tick has to be present on the skin for at least 36 hours to transmit the infection. Many people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite.
Lyme disease was first recognized in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. Its the most common tickborne illness in Europe and the United States.
People who live or spend time in wooded areas known for transmission of the disease are more likely to get this illness. People with domesticated animals that visit wooded areas also have a higher risk of getting Lyme disease.
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Antioxidant Diet For Lyme Disease
The Lyme Diet strengthens the immune system rather than weakens it. Two substances to exclude from the diet are sugar and gluten. They are known to cause inflammation, something you are trying to eliminate.
Every persons Lyme diet will be different, however, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people may be able to tolerate foods others cannot. It may take some trial and error to figure out which foods make you feel better or worse. Tips for creating a Lyme diet protocol include a focus on hydration. Drinking a lot of water can reduce inflammation and flush toxins.
Although it is called a Lyme diet, try not to think of it as a diet, but more as a lifestyle. Everything you consume should provide some form of nourishment to the body. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrients. Also, think about using nutritional supplements as part of your diet.
Can Lyme Disease Affect The Liver
Lyme disease can affect many organs, and the liver is one of them. However, it is uncommon for Lyme disease to cause liver issues. Because different people will have varied immune responses to the borrelia bacteria infiltrating the body, there are many different health outcomes possible if someone has the infection. Research has found that as many as 40% of people with Lyme disease may have abnormal liver enzymes i.e. a potentially elevated level of enzymes to indicate inflammation or liver cell damage.
One study found that the specific enzymes that were found to be abnormal in tests with people with Lyme disease were gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and alanine aminotransferase. Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase is a transport molecule, which means it is tasked with moving other molecules around the body. It helps the liver metabolize toxins and medications. Alanine aminotransferase helps the liver convert proteins into energy for liver cells. When the levels of these enzymes are affected because of the borrelia bacteria, the liver does not function as it should.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
You should never treat Lyme disease with complementary therapies alone. Only proper antibiotic treatment can cure the disease and avoid complications.
Newsletters and Internet sites have cropped up in recent years advertising untested treatments to people with symptoms of post-Lyme disease syndrome or so-called “chronic Lyme disease” who are frustrated with standard medical treatment. Some remedies may be dangerous and ineffective. Always tell all of your doctors about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using.
Liver Disease And Covid
When looking at potential risks related to COVID-19 with liver disease, you want to consider your risk of exposure to the virus, susceptibility , and the risk of developing serious illness if infected with COVID-19.
It’s not known exactly whether people living with liver disease are more likely to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to the COVID-19 illness, than the general population. It likely depends on the particular liver disease, the amount of time in public needed for visits, scans, and picking up prescriptions, and whether hospitalization may be required.
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Lyme And Alcohol: Why I Dont Drink With Lyme Disease
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Being diagnosed with Lyme disease often requires massive lifestyle changes. So the big question right now is should you drink with Lyme disease?
Being diagnosed with Lyme disease is no walk in the park. Its much more complicated than taking a course of antibiotics for 10 days, and often requires entire lifestyle changes for those affected. I know, because I have been fighting Lyme for the past two years. I have given up many unhealthy foods such as gluten, sugar, and legumes excessive exercise, and even alcohol so that my body can heal from this pathogen. Thats right I dont drink with Lyme disease.
Now, I havent always been avoiding alcohol. If were being honest, I used to be quite fond of my glass of wine several nights a week. Its how I would unwind from the crazy day of being the walking monkey bars for my 2 boys under 3.
But as I started noticing that my healing wasnt happening very quickly, and even some new symptoms were showing up, I decided that I really needed to get serious. So I no longer drink with Lyme disease, and here are some reasons it might be worth considering.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
This bacterial infection hits fewer than 3,000 people a year — and if itâs not found early, it can cause serious illness and long-term health problems. Symptoms usually show up 2 days to 2 weeks after a tick bite. It causes fever, headaches, vomiting, stomach pain, red eyes, and sore muscles. Most people also get a red splotchy rash that starts on their ankles or wrists. It usually shows up several days after other symptoms.
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Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks 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 it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions 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:
Can Lyme Disease Affect Kidney Function
Kidney disease can be a prevalent problem in patients who suffer from Lyme disease. In cases of chronic Lyme disease-induced kidney disease, the bacteria causes lesions on the kidneys, and can also cause glomerular disease.
Glomerular disease is a condition that causes red blood cells and proteins to leak out of the bloodstream and body and into the urinary tract. The condition can also cause the build-up of certain wastes because it damages the kidneys ability to rid the body properly of that waste.
Image by on The urinary system is designed to rid the body of waste, but what happens when its not doing its job?
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For Depression And Anxiety
Both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy have proven benefits for improving mood. Psychotherapy has many different types such as supportive, dynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior therapy, transference focused psychotherapy each of which offers benefit. Pharmacotherapy also has many different types. For depression the first-line options usually are SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclics or other agents with more unique modes of action.
A few noteworthy tips on anti-depressant agents:
- Most anti-depressant agents also help in reducing anxiety. However the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Specific anti-anxiety agents such as clonazepam or diazepam may not necessarily help fight depression.
- Most anti-depressants take three to eight weeks before an effect is seen. Therefore, it is unwise to stop an anti-depressant after only three or four weeks, as staying on it another two to three weeks may lead to a good response.
- Dosage makes a difference. Some anti-depressants work fine at low doses some medications however are effective only at higher doses. Some medications are more effective as the dose is i increased. Other antidepressants may have a therapeutic range one has to achieve at least a certain dosage .
Is There Treatment For Renal Damage Caused By Lyme Disease
As mentioned above, the only treatment available for Lyme disease is antibiotics. Following this, lingering symptoms need to be treated separately and specifically for their severity. If kidney disease does develop because of Lyme disease infection, it will need to be treated separately but in conjunction with other symptoms and chronic ailments.
To control the symptoms and slow further damage to the kidneys, doctors may prescribe medications for:
- High blood pressure
- Bone health
- A low-protein diet
These medications all play a critical role in the restoration of the renal system, but each one will be specific to a patients needs and their level of kidney damage. In the worst cases, kidney disease can progress to a dangerous level. This is called end-stage kidney disease. In this case, treatment will come in the form of dialysis or a kidney transplant. These more serious treatments are done only in the worst cases to avoid complete kidney failure.
Image by on Pixabay: Can Lyme disease cause urinary retention? Yes, and it could lead to serious kidney disease if left untreated.
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Blacklegged Tick Risk Areas
Although it is possible to be bitten by blacklegged tick anywhere in New Brunswick, the risk is highest in areas where blacklegged tick populations are established or could become established. Blacklegged Tick Risk Areas are based on provincial tick surveillance data and are identified on a county level because it is difficult to exactly define the geographic limits of tick populations. Although blacklegged ticks are more likely to be found within risk areas than in other parts of the province, the distribution of ticks within Blacklegged Tick Risk Areas is not uniform because suitable habitat is not found everywhere.
Lyme Disease Risk areas
What Is Late Lyme Disease
Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.
People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.
Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:
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