Finding Relief For Your Headaches
If your headaches are being caused by Lyme disease, most medications and traditional treatments for migraines will not provide much pain alleviation. At most, you may be able to temporarily mask your symptoms or make them less severe. However, true relief will not come until you are able to address the core of your issue.
Treatment for Lyme disease depends on how long youve had the infection. If caught early, a course of antibiotics can be successful in improving your symptoms and getting rid of the disease. However, antibiotics are not always effective when the infection is not detected or treated right away. Additionally, there are times when people still feel ill and experience symptoms even after antibiotic therapy.
If symptoms, like headaches, last for more than six months, this is referred to as chronic Lyme disease. Often, not only are antibiotics ineffective at treating the condition at this stage but they can also be harmful and make it even more difficult for healing to happen.
What Is Neurologic Lyme Disease
Neurologic symptoms of Lyme disease occur when the Lyme disease bacteria affect the peripheral or central nervous systems.
- Cranial nerve involvement: When the cranial nerves are affected, facial palsy can occur on one or both sides of the face.
- Peripheral nerve involvement: When the peripheral nerves are affected, patients can develop radiculoneuropathy which can cause numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or weakness in the arms or legs.
- Central nervous system involvement: When the central nervous system is affected, Lyme meningitis can cause fever, headache, sensitivity to light, and stiff neck.
Out of every 100 patients whose cases are reported to CDC, 9 have facial palsy, 4 have radiculopathy, and 3 have meningitis or encephalitis. Because of reporting practices, this statistic may overestimate how often these manifestations are seen by clinicians.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
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Strategies For Managing Nerve Pain
1. Reduce Your Microbial Burden
When youre dealing with Lyme disease and co-infections, its not always easy to pinpoint which stealth pathogen is affecting your nervous system. In fact, its most reasonable to recognize that all sneaky microbes are capable of disrupting immune function and causing it to go awry.
When your bodys microbial burden becomes too great, your microbiome becomes imbalanced, driving inflammation and aggravating neuropathy. Thus, at the top of the priority list is decreasing the infectious load to normalize and calm the immune system.
When youre looking for natural solutions to lessen the impact of stealth pathogens, herbal therapy can play a critical role. Not only do herbs have antimicrobial properties, but they are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants as well.
Moreover, herbs dont disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome like synthetics medications do. Some of my favorite herbs with antimicrobial and immunomodulating properties to keep in mind include:
2. Use Medications Cautiously
When it comes to neuropathy, the reality is that sometimes you need some extra support to get your pain levels to a tolerable level. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that may be useful from time to time.
However, the value of medications is limited to short term management of symptoms because of cumulative side effects. The list of medications commonly recommended by healthcare providers includes:
Vertigo And Severe Balance Instability As Symptoms Of Lyme Diseaseliterature Review And Case Report
- 1Balance Disorders Unit, Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Lodz, The Norbert Barlicki Memorial Teaching Hospital, Lodz, Poland
- 2Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Balance Disorders Unit, Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Lodz, Poland
- 3Department of Infectious Diseases and Hepatology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
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Neurological Symptoms Of Early Lyme Disease
The onset of neurological symptoms can occur between one week and two months following a tick bite. In this early stage of neurological involvement, common symptoms have emerged. Meningitis from the Borrelia bacteria will present with nausea/vomiting, mild to severe headaches and a stiff neck. Light sensitivity and fever may also occur. However, meningitis caused by Lyme disease may be less severe than other bacterial infections so may be misdiagnosed as viral meningitis.
Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, can cause confusion, sleepiness, mood swings, personality changes or hallucinations. When the cranial nerves are affected in early Lyme disease, facial nerve palsy can cause muscle weakness or paralysis on one or both sides of the face leading to facial drooping. Additional cranial nerve symptoms include difficulty with eye closure, moving lips and smiling, and wrinkling of the forehead. Vision and smell can also be affected by cranial nerve inflammation.
When Lyme Is Part Of The Picture
In a perfect world, the lymphatic system could diligently perform its duties without interruption. But there are several factors that can throw a wrench into its sophisticated operations, including Lyme disease.
When Lyme or other chronic illness is mixed with our toxic and fast-paced world, our bodies have to contend with more cellular debris than they can handle. This leads to congestion in the elaborate lymphatic drainage system and produces symptoms like:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- A feeling of puffiness or bloating
Its important to make mention of a more extreme case of an impaired lymphatic system: Lymphedema. This condition occurs when a blockage in your lymph system causes the protein-rich lymph fluid to accumulate in tissues of the body, resulting in severe swelling. Lymphedema most often occurs in one part of the body such as an arm or a leg but there could be instances where it develops bilaterally.
The most well-known causes of lymphedema are cancer related, such as when a cancerous tumor impedes lymph flow, or when lymph nodes are removed as part of cancer treatment or other surgical procedure. However, lymph nodes can become blocked by other means as well, such as an infection by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and by congenital abnormalities.
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Acute Vs Chronic Lymedisease
There are some importantdifferences between acute and chronic Lyme disease. When infection occurs andthe bacteria enter the body, the immune system recognizes the microbes asharmful and begins fighting them. If the immune system is strong and robust,the initial symptoms may be very mild, and sometimes there wont be anysymptoms at all. This is why people often dont even realize theyve beeninfected.
In its early stages, Lymedisease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics. But if the infectionremains undiagnosed, the bacteria can go on living inside the cells withoutcausing any trouble for a long time. As they travel to other tissues andorgans, including the brain, they eventually disperse throughout the body. Theonly time symptoms might present is when the immune system weakens due toillness, extreme stress, or some other reason. This is when the bacteria startto flourish, causing a chronic infection.
Chronic Lyme disease occurswhen the entire microbiome is disrupted. After this has happened, the immune system continues todysfunction, which can lead to many different types of symptoms. This chronicphase can even last a lifetime.
Lyme Disease Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lyme disease can sometimes be confused for other conditions, and its not uncommon for patients presenting with Lyme disease-related joint pain to be misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis . Both Lyme and RA cause joint pain and can be debilitating when left untreated, but there are differences.
- Lyme arthritis tends to manifest in larger joints , on one side of the body. Lyme joint pain tends to come and go.
- Rheumatoid arthritis occurs more often in the hands, feet, fingers, and toes, and shows up on both sides of the body. RA joint pain and stiffness occurs every day, and is usually chronic.
- Lyme disease usually goes away when treated, and most patients make a full recovery.
- Rheumatoid arthritis treatment can manage symptoms and show the progression of the disease, but there is no cure.
Lyme pain can often migrate throughout the body, and patients may have pain in their knee one week, and in their wrists the following week, says Chicago-based integrative medicine specialist Casey Kelley, MD. With rheumatoid arthritis, the pain often stays where it begins and does not migrate.
Getting Lyme puts you at greater risk for later developing RA and other types of inflammatory arthritis. One study found that nearly one-third of participants who had Lyme-arthritis later developed an inflammatory arthritis.
Lyme disease symptoms typically begin 3-30 days after youve been bitten by a tick. Early symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Bulls eye rash
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Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
Treatment Of Acute Neuroborreliosis
In acute Lyme neuroborreliosis, treatment needs to be directed at the bacterial infection. Administering the antibiotic ceftriaxone intravenously for 14 days has proven to be effective at treating the bacteria in the central nervous system. Blood levels of oral antibiotics or herbal formulas may not reach high enough concentrations to treat central nervous system infections effectively.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms can start anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite. They may look different depending on the stage of your infection. In some cases, you wonât notice any symptoms until months after the bite.
Early symptoms include:
Without treatment, symptoms can get worse. They might include:
- Severe headache or neck stiffness
- Rashes on other areas of your body
- Arthritis with joint pain and swelling, particularly in your knees
- âDroopingâ on one or both sides of your face
- Inflammation in your brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
What does the rash look like?
Some Lyme rashes look like a bull’s-eye with circles around the middle. But most are round, red, and at least 2 inches across.
The rash slowly gets bigger over several days. It can grow to about 12 inches across. It may feel warm to the touch, but itâs usually not itchy or painful. It can show up on any part of your body.
How small are ticks?
Ticks come in three sizes, depending on their life stage. They can be the size of a grain of sand, a poppy seed, or an apple seed.
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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Strengthening Your Immune System
The key to fighting late-stage Lyme disease is to strengthen your immune system and enable it to properly target your infection and heal your body. This requires looking beyond medications or seemingly quick solutions at stopping your symptoms. Rather, a variety of treatments and lifestyle changes are necessary to fight inflammation, boost your immune system, and achieve overall wellness.
When you visit Premier Health and Holistic Medicine, Dr. Robin Ridinger will take time to investigate your symptoms and confirm if Lyme disease could be causing your discomfort. Headaches or migraines are common symptoms of several conditions and are sometimes easily missed, so Dr. Ridinger will look at the big picture when making a diagnosis. This can include asking questions like:
· Are headaches your only symptom, or are you exhibiting any other discomfort or pain?
· Have you recently visited any heavily wooded areas or been bit by a tick?
· Have you ever been diagnosed with another chronic condition, like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, and treatment is not working?
· Have you noticed any strange rashes on your body?
· Have you received a positive Lyme disease test in the past?
Its certainly not a quick and easy solution and not the typical response to chronic headaches, but if Lyme disease is the cause of your discomfort, you need the right holistic doctor by your side to get well.
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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The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease
Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.
Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and whether youâve been exposed to a tick. They might also run a blood test. In the first few weeks of infection, the test may be negative because antibodies take a few weeks to show up.
Hopefully soon, there will be tests that can diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks after youâre exposed. The earlier you get treated, the less likely itâll get worse.
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Unexplained Pain And Other Sensations
Some people with Lyme may have sharp rib and chest pains that send them to the emergency room, suspecting a heart problem 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
When no problem is found, after the usual testing, the ER diagnosis is noted as an unidentified musculoskeletal cause.
You can also have strange sensations like skin tingling or crawling, or numbness or itchiness 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
Other symptoms have to do with cranial nerves.
- Ear-ringing . Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as youre trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (
- Hearing loss. One study reported that 15 percent of Lyme patients experienced loss of hearing .
- Jaw pain or toothaches that are not related to actual tooth decay or infection.
Headache Triggers: Your Migraines And Lyme Disease
If your headaches are accompanied by other symptoms, like fevers, dizziness, muscle pain, mood swings, and fatigue, its time to look under the surface and get to the root of what is making you feel unwell. Lyme disease is more common than many people realize. The most recent CDC estimates that about 476,000 people get diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year.
However, many people who get this tick-borne disease dont receive prompt treatment or realize they ever got infected in the first place. This is because Lyme disease is a complicated condition that can be difficult to diagnose, and many doctors are untrained in how to detect and treat the disease in its later stages.
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