Lyme Disease Signs And Symptoms
Most symptoms of Lyme disease in humans usually appear between three and 30 days after a bite from an infected blacklegged tick.
You should contact your local public health unit or speak to a health care professional right away if you have been somewhere that ticks might live and experience any of the following symptoms:
- a bulls-eye rash (a red patch on the skin that is usually round or oval and more than 5 cm that spreads outwards and is getting bigger
- a bruise-like rash
- another type of unusual rash
- muscle aches and joint pains
- swollen lymph nodes
- spasms, numbness or tingling
- facial paralysis
If not treated, Lyme disease can make you feel tired and weak and, if it gets really bad, it can even harm your heart, nerves, liver and joints. Symptoms from untreated Lyme disease can last years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, numbness, paralysis and, in very rare cases, death.
The Infection That Launched A Thousand Protests
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and transmitted by Ixodes species ticks. The infection is non-fatal, non-communicable from person-to-person, is responsive to antibiotics, and is limited in range both geographically and seasonally. The most common clinical manifestation is a characteristic skin lesion that occurs at the site of the tick bite. Within weeks, some untreated patients might develop nervous system abnormalities or cardiac symptoms within months, arthritis can develop, most commonly affecting the knee. In addition to these objective clinical manifestations, some patients have several subjective complaints that are usually most prominent early in the infection. These symptoms include fatigue, arthralgia, myalgia, headache, stiff neck, and impaired concentration symptoms that are common in many infectious and non-infectious disorders.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
It can be hard for doctors to diagnose Lyme disease because:
- The tick bites and rash might not be noticed.
- Many early symptoms seem like the flu or other illnesses.
- Blood tests can only help diagnose Lyme disease later in the illness, several weeks after it started.
Doctors can diagnose early Lyme disease if they see a tick bite or the telltale rash, especially if the person lives in an area where Lyme disease is common.
To diagnose late Lyme disease, doctors:
- Ask about symptoms.
- Do blood tests that look for signs of Lyme disease.
Depending on the symptoms, doctors might order other tests, such as a spinal tap, which looks at the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
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Our Daughter Got Her Life Back
Our pre-teen daughter had always been active in sports and engaged at school. Suddenly she was complaining of aches and pains and was exhausted all the time. She became lethargic at school and no longer wanted to play soccer. Her pediatrician repeatedly dismissed her symptoms as growing pains and moodiness. Months later, our daughters symptoms had worsened to include headaches, swollen joints, shortness of breath, and more. For more than a year, we visited a variety of experts, all of whom told us it wasnt Lyme disease and prescribed a long list of medicines, ranging from anti-inflammatories to antidepressants, meant to ease her symptoms. Nothing helped. When another parent told me how much the chronic disease experts at Bock Integrative had helped his child, we knew I had to give Dr. Bock and Jennifer Petkos a try. The comprehensive approach they took in evaluating our daughters condition allowed them to diagnose her with two lesser-known tick-borne illnesses and they were able to design a treatment program that restored balance to her immune system. Shes now an active high school athlete and straight-A student. Thank you for giving our daughter her life back!~ Victoria, Hesler, Somerset, New Jersey
What Blacklegged Ticks Look Like
Blacklegged ticks are small and hard to see. They attach themselves to humans and animals and feed on their blood. They can range in size depending on how long they have been feeding.
You can find out if its a blacklegged tick by:
- calling your local public health unit or checking their website
- submitting a photo of the tick to etick.ca
Adult female blacklegged tick at various stages of feeding. Photo: Government of Canada
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How To Recover From Lyme And Its Co
When helping people with Lyme co-infections, especially those who have become chronic, we also have to look at what we call dysbiotic infections AKA dysbiosis.
If a co-infection is dysbiotic, it only grows or proliferates when given the opportunity. These are also known as opportunistic organisms. If the infection isnt activated, it wont produce symptoms and your immune system can keep it at bay.
Did you ever think that
- a car accident or concussion could activate a bacterial infection?
- What about mold toxicity?
- What about emotional trauma?
Each of these instances, and more, can cause infections to activate.
These instances all create the opportunity for these organisms to proliferate. So its important to understand that just because you identify the specific co-infections youre dealing with, it doesnt mean that you will get better, that is, until you address underlying immune issues.
Immune dysfunction gives these infections the opportunity to express themselves in your body and cause symptoms.
The path to recovery should also involve looking at what has caused your bodys immune system to experience dysfunction and become imbalanced.
This is good news!
If youve been dealing with co-infection symptoms and your current protocols arent helping, its likely you are missing something that is causing your immune system to fall out of balance.
Instead of focusing solely on the type of infection, addressing immune challenges can make a world of difference.
Where Blacklegged Ticks Live
We continue to track where infected and uninfected blacklegged ticks are being found.
Public Health Ontarios Lyme disease page has a map that shows areas in Ontario where they estimate you are more likely to find blacklegged ticks.
Blacklegged ticks are spreading to new areas of the province because of climate change. They can also spread by traveling on birds and deer. While the probability is low, it is possible to find an infected tick almost anywhere in Ontario.
Ticks are most active in spring and summer, but can be found at any time of the year when the temperature is above freezing.
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Proven Or Alleged Unethical Activities Of Some Llmds
Some LLMDs, advocacy organisations for patients, and certain diagnostic laboratories have interconnections, presenting potential conflicts of interest for these LLMDs in their multiple roles as advisors, personal physicians, and recipients of grants from activist organisations. Many of these physicians are represented by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , located in Maryland, USA. Two of the most vocal patient-activist organisations are the Lyme Disease Association in New Jersey, and the California Lyme Disease Association , USA.
Getting Rid Of Standing Water
There are a number of ways to avoid standing water around your home and business including:
- Don’t let water collect in the bottom of garbage or recycling bins, turn them over or drill holes in the bottom
- Get rid of unwanted containers on your property
- Clean roof gutters, downspouts and eaves troughs regularly
- Cover rain barrels with fine mesh netting
- Drain water from birdbaths, flower pots, window boxes, planters and swimming pool covers weekly
- Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows and canoes when you’re not using them
- Remove standing water from tires not being used and store them indoors or in a closed shed
- Make sure swimming pools and hot tubs are circulating water
- Add bubbles to decorative garden ponds using an oxygenator
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property and keep your yard clear of organic debris
Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites using the following tips:
- Use precautions during the early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active
- Wear light coloured clothing
- Wear long pants, long sleeved shirts and shoes and socks in areas with a lot of mosquitoes
- Use insect repellent when there are a lot of mosquitoes around and follow the instruction on the bottle
from York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or 1-866-252-9933 .
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Reported Cases Of Lyme Disease United States 2019
1 dot placed randomly within county of residence for each confirmed case
Each dot represents one case of Lyme disease and is placed randomly in the patients county of residence. The presence of a dot in a state does not necessarily mean that Lyme disease was acquired in that state. People travel between states, and the place of residence is sometimes different from the place where the patient became infected. Many high incidence states have modified surveillance practices. Contact your state health department for more information.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
A Comprehensive Approach To Lyme Disease Treatment
Lyme Disease is the perfect example of a condition that requires not only antimicrobial therapy, but also comprehensive physiologic balance . As one of the few practices nationwide that focuses on integrative pediatric Lyme disease, we provide our patients with an alternative to the conventional one-size-fits-all treatment approach. We go beyond just treating the symptoms to determine the real cause of illness and provide our patients with a clear explanation of their medical problems. When evaluating a patient for possible tick-borne illness, we consider symptoms, physical findings, and laboratory results. Our tick-borne illness experts design and implement an individualized comprehensive pediatric Lyme disease treatment protocol for each patient. This inclusive diagnostic approach is in line with the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society . Our comprehensive model of individualized care is designed to maximize the chances for a positive clinical response that can restore your childs health.
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How Can I Book An Appointment Online With A Doctor For Lyme Disease
Zocdoc is a free online service that helps patients find doctors for Lyme Disease and book appointments instantly. You can search for doctors for Lyme Disease or any other visit reason. Then, enter your desired appointment location and choose your insurance plan. Based on that information, youll see a list of providers who meet your search criteria, along with their available appointment slots.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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Strategies For Finding A Good Lyme Doctor
The first thing I did after my Lyme diagnosis was spend as much time and mental energy as I could researching Lyme disease. I needed to understand a little more what treatment options were available and how they compared.
I had a general idea that I wanted to find a good integrative LLMD to help guide me through the treatment process. I wanted a doctor who would take the best that modern medicine has to offer while also understanding what other alternative treatment modalities could bring to the table.
Good luck on your doctor search!
Do You Have Lyme Disease Symptoms And Answers
Early symptoms of the disease often manifest as a flu-like illness, with accompanying fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint pain. While the characteristic bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans is often present, many people develop a different type of rash or none at all. Moreover, a host of Lyme symptoms occur in other diseases, and as a result, many patients suffering from Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with conditions like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other psychiatric illnesses before being correctly treated.
If Lyme is not diagnosed or treated in its early stages, it transitions to a chronic, highly problematic late-stage disease, and symptoms increase in their severity. Untreated Lyme disease will eventually infect joints, the heart, and the nervous systemcausing nerve paralysis and meningitis, and difficulty with memory and concentration.
While one of the defining features of chronic Lyme disease is fatigue, Dr. Heyman discusses his own cases in which there were a myriad of presentations without any one defining symptom. Many of his patients had suffered severe cognitive decline, loss of executive function, memory problems, mood disturbances, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary problems and more. The debilitating effects of the disease then led to more devastating results: these patients often are unable to work, function in personal relationships, or complete simple daily activities without experiencing profound exhaustion.
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How Can I Make A Same
On average, patients who use Zocdoc can search for a doctor for Lyme Disease, book an appointment, and see the doctor within 24 hours. Same-day appointments are often available, you can search for real-time availability of doctors for Lyme Disease in your area who accept your insurance and make an appointment online.
What Kind Of Doctor Tests For Lyme Disease
In fact, any kind of doctor can test you for Lyme disease. However, that doesnt mean its a good idea to have your dermatologist or podiatrist order the diagnostic tests. Many people simply see their family physician or primary care doctor to get diagnosed and treated for Lyme.
There are also doctors who specialize in Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, called Lyme-literate doctors, who you may want to consult instead more on that a little later in this article.
Finally, there are other types of specialists you may or may not need to consult with depending on the duration and severity of your symptoms.
For example, many patients wonder if they need to see an infectious disease specialist.
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Ilads Mourns The Passing Of Charles Ray Jones Md
ILADS is saddened to report the passing of pediatric Lyme specialist and long-time ILADS member, Dr. Charles Ray Jones. Dr. Jones was a legend in the Lyme community for his dedication to treating children with Lyme and tick-borne diseases. He endured harassment from the medical establishment and cared for chronically ill children at a time when many physicians were not willing to acknowledge the true cause of their pain and suffering. His willingness to listen to patients and support families through the healing process made him a legend and a hero to the Lyme community.
In 2014, Dr. Jones was honored with the ILADEF Pioneer in Lyme award for recognition of his work with pediatric Lyme patients. He shared his knowledge at countless ILADS conferences and trained scores of physicians through the ILADEF Physician Training Program. We are grateful for all he did for his patients and the ILADS community.
If you are interested in supporting ILADS and the ILADEF Physician Training Program, please consider a donation to the ILADEF Charles Ray Jones, MD memorial fund.
Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A few people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms, like tiredness, aches and loss of energy, that can last for years.
It’s not clear why this happens to some people and not others. This means there’s also no agreed treatment.
Speak to a doctor if your symptoms come back, or do not improve, after treatment with antibiotics.
The doctor may be able to offer you further support if needed, such as:
- referral for a care needs assessment
- telling your employer, school or higher education institution that you require a gradual return to activities
- communicating with children and families’ social care
Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024
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Whats So Hard About Finding A Lyme Doctor Anyhow
If youve landed on this post, you probably already know the answer. But for those who are at the beginning stages of investigating Lyme disease, let me fill you in.
You see, most doctors simply dont understand Lyme disease and some are certainly not humble enough to admit they dont really understand this disease. Many doctors dont even believe chronic Lyme exists.
To make matters worse,testing is unreliable and notoriously inaccurate, particularly the standard tests most doctors will run. If you happen to test positive for Lyme on one of those standard tests, the doctors will most likely throw a couple weeks of antibiotics at you and call it good.
Yeahthats not so good. And likely it wont help much at all.
When it comes right down to it, theres been precious little research done on this complex disease. Doctors at large have not been educated about what the good research out there actually says about Lyme. All they know is the outdated and ineffective guidelines passed down from the CDC.
The doctors that are really making an impact are those that have gone out of their way to dig into the research. Theyve spent time educating themselves and working intimately with their patients .