Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
Molecular Mimicry/autoimmune Mediated Mechanisms
Paraneoplastic limbic encephalopathies and pediatric autoimmune diseases associated with strep are good models to understand the effects of autoantibodies directed against intracellular neuronal antigens and the associated psychiatric symptoms. In paraneoplastic and nonparaneoplastic limbic encephalitis, voltage-gated potassium channel limbic encephalitis, Hashimotos encephalopathy, anti-NMDA and other glutamate receptor encephalitis, encephalitis associated with gamma-aminobutyric acid signaling and systemic lupus erythematosus neurons are excited to death by autoantibodies resulting in neurotoxicity . PANDAS is an interaction of a Streptococcal infection in a genetically susceptible individual at a young age which can result in obsessive compulsive disorder, tics and sometimes attention span difficulties. PANDAS is often comorbid with LYD/TBD and the broader categorization has been referred to as pediatric infection-triggered autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders. Symptom flares follow a strep infection and correlate with increased antibody production .
Follow A Doctors Advice On Vaccines
Doctors generally recommend that most people stay up to date with their vaccines.
However, they may advise a person with a weak or compromised immune system to delay or not receive certain shots.
If a short-term illness or a medication is responsible for the weak immune system, the person may be able to have the vaccine once the illness has resolved or they have stopped the treatment.
Examples of vaccines that doctors may recommend delaying or avoiding include:
- MMR vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella
CDC recommend a vaccination schedule that most people should try to follow. However, people with a weak immune system should check with a doctor which vaccines are safe for them to have and then follow the doctors recommendations. Vaccines can prevent a person from getting seriously ill.
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Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions
If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.
The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.
If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.
Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.external iconAm J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.
There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.
Research Story Tip: Lyme Disease Bacteria Alter Immune System And May Cause It To Attack Healthy Cells
With the incidence of Lyme disease rising to over 300,000 new U.S. cases annually, more people are suffering with the debilitating and persistent symptoms associated with what clinicians call post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Now, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center have found that the bacterium behind the disease, , causes significant changes in how the human body responds to its presence.
In a recent study, the researchers showed that Borrelia burgdorferi alters dendritic cells, which normally present antigens proteins from pathogens such as bacteria and viruses to immune system T-cells, signaling an immune response against the foreign invaders. However, Borrelia burgdorferi stops this communication, which may then lead to the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells.
We believe these observations are relevant not only to how Borrelia burgdorferi disrupts the immune system but other infections as well, says senior author , co-director for basic research at the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center, and professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Antibodies that react with a persons own tissues or organs have been reported in patients with infections, including COVID-19.
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There Is Hope If You Have Lyme Disease
People with a healthy immune system have fewer symptoms and rarely progress into a state of chronic Lyme disease. Once the immune system fires up to its full capacity, it starts producing antibodies that suppress and completely destroy the microbes. Our goal at Premier Health and Holistic Medicine is to help you achieve optimal wellness by stimulating your bodys natural ability to heal itself.
Why Do People Get Chronic Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease has eluded doctors for many years. Those who are bitten by the infectious deer tick usually do not realize they have been bitten and do not show the telltale sign of the bullseye rash anywhere on there skin. In fact, only 1 in 5 Lyme sufferers ever exhibit such a symptom, yet it is often the only clear-cut sign that doctors can solely identify as being representative of Lyme. If and when a person is diagnosed with Lyme, mainstream medical practitioners will usually treat him or her with a two-to-three week course of antibiotics. Considering Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, the antibiotic treatment seems practical and in some cases, will rid the person of Lyme completely.
However, if the disease has gone untreated, the likelihood that one short course of antibiotics will kill the bacteria entirely is unlikely. Although symptoms may disappear for a short while, the remaining bacteria will eventually flourish once more and many who have been treated will relapse back into full-blown, chronic Lyme.
In an even more unfortunate circumstance, some Lyme sufferers are diagnosed far too late into their infection. With such vague and overlapping symptoms, Lyme is often misdiagnosed or mistreated, leaving the patient with chronic pain that only seem to worsen with time. Although the disease is fairly common, doctors frequently dismiss Lyme in lieu of other medical problems including depression, chronic fatigue, andin the most extreme caseshypochondria.
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How Lyme Bacteria Can Outsmart The Human Immune System
Press release from University of Maryland:
A University of Maryland researcher has uncovered a mechanism by which the bacteria that causes Lyme disease persists in the body and fights your early, innate immune responses.
Dr. Utpal Pal, Professor in Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria throughout his twelve years with UMD, and his work has already produced the protein marker used to identify this bacterial infection in the body.
Now, Dr. Pal has isolated a protein produced by the bacteria that disables one of the bodys first immune responses, giving insight into mechanisms that are largely not understood. He has also observed a never-before-seen phenomena demonstrating that even without this protein and with the immune system responding perfectly, the bacteria can spring back in the body weeks later.
Understanding this bacteria, which is among only a few pathogens that can actually persist in the body for long periods of time, has major implications for the treatment of tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, which is an increasingly chronic and consistently prevalent public health issue.
Most people dont realize that they actually are walking around with more bacterial cells in their bodies than their own cells, so we are really bags of bacteria, explains Pal. Most are good, but the second your body detects something that is a pathogen and can cause disease, your immune system starts to work.
So What Is A Coronavirus
According to the World Health Organization, a Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illness in both animals and humans. In humans, several Coronaviruses cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS and COVID-19. The video below does an excellent job of explaining the impact of COVID-19 in detail.
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If I Already Have Lyme Disease What Added Risks Does Covid
COVID-19 should pose no additional risks for you if your Lyme disease was detected early, you have been treated with antibiotics, and your symptoms have resolved. You may, however, be at a greater risk of complications from COVID-19 if your immune system is decreased from the more severe forms of Lyme disease, such as post-Lyme disease syndrome or chronic Lyme disease.
Encephalitis Myelitis Or Encephalomyelitis
This refers to infection or inflammation of the brain , spinal cord , or both and can relate to a variety of viruses or bacteria, including herpes simplex virus, West Nile Virus, enterovirus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, cytomegalovirus, Listeria monocytogenes, mycoplasma, influenza virus, or varicella zoster virus , to name a few. In addition to infectious causes, autoimmunity is an important cause of encephalomyelitis whose approach differs from infectious encephalomyelitis. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is an example of this.
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Cns Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome
This is most commonly a complication of starting antiretroviral therapy in the setting of HIV whereby prior infections of the nervous system are rekindled or discovered once the immune system regains enough strength to attack the infecting organism. This can lead to destruction of normal nervous system tissue if severe. Most organisms implicated are those seen in opportunistic infections, such as Cryptococcus, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, and tuberculosis, but many agents have been reported.
Diagnosis Testing And Treatment
You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.
Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.
It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:
If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.
- Report being bitten by a tick, or
- Live in, or have recently visited, a tick-infested area.
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How Coronavirus Puts Lyme Disease Patients At Risk According To An Expert
New reports estimate that every state in the U.S. has seen cases of Lyme disease. What exactly is the tick-riddled disease and how can you be sure you have it?
Get the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. .
Though anyone can develop a COVID-19 infection if they are exposed to the health officials have continued to stress that some groups of people namely those who are older or have underlying health issues are particularly at risk for severe infection should they fall ill.
Included in that group are Lyme disease patients, Dr. Raphael Kellman, founder of Kellman Wellness Center, told Fox News.
Patients who have Lyme disease have a severely impacted immune system. A big component of Lyme disease is a hyperactive immune system that is always in a state of inflammation, he explained, noting this factor, in particular, could make these patients more at risk for severe illness.
With some 300,000 Americans diagnosed with this tick-borne disease every year, and with summer right around the corner, read on for a look at how Lyme disease patients could be adversely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S.
The following has been edited for length and clarity.
Fox News: Why are Lyme disease patients considered to be at higher risk?
Kellman: Patients who have Lyme disease have a severely impacted immune system. A big component of Lyme disease is a hyperactive immune system that is always in a state of inflammation.
Factors That Weaken Immunity
Everyone talks about masks. I like them and wear them but that is external protection only. While important and useful, lets use common sense:The way we respond from a pathogen has more to do with our internal protection, as in our immune system!So ask yourself if its up to par. Because if its not, then you need to start fertilizing your garden of microflora and also avoid or at least minimize anything that weakens your immune system. In no special order, here are the most common factors that suppress your immune system:
Alcohol. People think of this as good for the heart, but studies repeatedly show that free radical harm takes place in your liver, and can lead to compromised liver enzymes as well as hepatotoxicity. If you cant filter out and neutralize poisons and pathogens, your immune system is weaker.Smoking. I can say everything here that I just said for alcohol. Additionally, smoking is known drug mugger of vitamin C which everyone knows helps reduce misery from the common cold and flu. If you smoke, you have lower levels of C and again, this weakens your ability to fight. Furthermore, smoking hurts your lungs and that is one target organ of COVID-19.
In closing, keep in mind that a mask doesnt guarantee prevention, nor does it prevent complications of any infection. The reality is, it is how strong your body fights that matters the most. That explains in part why the youth are spared of complications because their immune system is very strong.
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How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Body
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. Corkscrew-shaped microbes, which are both stealthy and opportunistic, burrow deep inside the bodys tissue where they can hide out undetected by testing and remain virtually unaffected by antibiotics.
Antibiotic therapy may be helpful for clearing microbes in the first two weeks following a tick bite, giving the immune system the upper hand. However, it likely will not eradicate all the microbes. Once these tiny insurgents reach the muscles and organs, powerful antibiotics can become counterproductive.
This is because prolonged use of antibiotics can cause microbes to develop hard, cyst-like shells that serve as non-penetrable bunkers, shielding them from extinction. Additionally, harsh antibiotics can disrupt healthy gut flora, which further hinders the bodys natural immune response.
Risk Factors For Post
Youre at a greater risk for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome if youre infected by the bite of a diseased tick. If the infection progresses to the chronic stage, your symptoms might continue for weeks, months, or even years after the initial tick bite.
You may also be at a higher risk for these long-term symptoms if youre not treated with the recommended antibiotics. However, even people who receive antibiotic therapy are at risk. Because the cause of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is unknown, theres no way to determine whether it will progress to the chronic stage.
Typically, the symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome resemble those that occur in earlier stages. People with persistent symptoms often experience lingering episodes of:
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What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria. In the United States, this is usually a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It spreads to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The ticks that spread it are blacklegged ticks . They are usually found in the:
- Upper Midwest
- Pacific coast, especially northern California
These ticks can attach to any part your body. But they are often found in hard-to-see areas such as your groin, armpits, and scalp. Usually the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours or more to spread the bacterium to you.
Why Is Lyme Disease So Serious
Unlike other infections, Lyme disease does not seek to dominate by sheer force, overwhelming the host with its great numbers of invaders. Instead, it creates a tug of war with the immune system. It doesnt take a large number of microbes to wreak havoc on your health.
Generally speaking, this disease progresses not because the microbe is winning as its army increases, but because the chronic tug-of-war with the immune system accelerates the breakdown of tissues, making you more susceptible to other diseases. They can even lie dormant deep tissue until a disruption in immunity creates the right conditions for them flourish and cause symptoms to flare.
When Lyme disease reaches a chronic stage, its challenging to overcome because of the accumulated damage that must be reversed. While Lyme disease is seldom fatal, it can have an enormous effect on your quality of life, causing symptoms such as severe fatigue, arthritic pain, nerve damage, impaired memory, cognitive difficulties and even cardiovascular irregularities.
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