What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Some people infected with the bacteria get a rash that develops three to 30 days after the tick bite. The rash gradually expands out from the site of the bite. As the rash gets larger, it may take on the telltale bullseye pattern, but not always, and many people never get a rash.
Half of all patients report flu-like symptoms within the first week after the tick bite, including fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and aching muscles and joints, and these symptoms may persist for years.
When the disease goes untreated, the bacteria infects other parts of your body causing:
- Severe headaches
- Extreme fatigue despite enough rest
- Arthritis with severe joint pain
- Pain in muscles, joints, bones
- Loss of muscle tone on the face, or Bells Palsy
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Problems with memory and cognition
- Bladder and gut symptoms
Not Just On East Coast
The bacterium causes Lyme-like symptoms, but more research is necessary to determine how it affects humans.
“This should be on our radars, both in terms of public health and diagnoses by physicians. … This is like a wake-up call,” said Dan Salkeld, study author and research associate at the Stanford Woods Research Institute for the Environment.
The study, which was conducted by dragging white flannel blankets through 12 Bay Area recreational areas, found ticks with the new pathogen, but also ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, the entity known for decades to cause Lyme disease.
The information adds to a growing body of research that proves Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses in general are not just an East Coast problem.
Ticks carrying the Lyme-causing agent have been found in every county in California. But in many areas of Northern California and the Bay Area, the pathogens are found in fewer than 3 percent of ticks, compared with up to 35 percent in the Northeastern states.
“I still see patients who come and tell me their doctor told them there’s no Lyme disease in California,” said Dr. Raphael Stricker, a San Francisco physician and president-elect of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 300,000 Americans are infected each year with Lyme disease, a figure that’s about 10 times higher than reporting suggests.
Lyme is the most common tick-borne illness.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria that are transmitted by ticks to people. In California, the disease is endemic and is carried by ticks in all regions of our state and throughout the world. A Lyme tick can be the size of a poppy seed and can bite and fall off, so many people do not even know that they have been bitten.
Lise E Nigrovic Md Mph
Dr. Lise E. Nigrovic is the Director of Education, Clinical Research Center and Senior Associate Physician in Medicine at Boston Childrens Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her current work is focused on a pediatric multicenter Lyme disease research network with biosample collection.
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Integrative Wellness Clinic Located In Pleasanton Ca
If you have ongoing fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches or twitching, flu-like symptoms that come and go, or pain for no apparent reason — you may have Lyme disease or another related infection. Many people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite and have never had a rash. Even if youve been treated for Lyme disease, these symptoms can persist. Dr. Lynne R. Mielke and Sandi Kreizenbeck, DNP, at Optimal Health Spectrums in Pleasanton, California, offer diverse integrative therapies to effectively and safely treat Lyme disease. Please contact them to schedule an appointment and learn how herbals, IV therapies, and other treatments can heal Lyme disease.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
It is estimated that 35% of lyme disease cases are missed with standard ELISA testing. Also, less than 1/3 of people will have the classic Bulls-Eye rash or Erythema Chronicum Migrans after a tick bite. Diagnosis can be elusive. Many sick patients do not test positive on lab tests. Therefore the diagnosis must be made by a Lyme literate physician who can read the clinical signs and symptoms. Misdiagnosis delay the correct diagnosis and treatment as the underlying infection progresses unchecked. Testing is constantly evolving and there are many good tests available to test the most common infections. However, a negative test, may be a false negative and if symptoms are present, treat anyway. I use a combination of of lab tests including IGENEX and DNA CONNEXIONS, clinical history and current signs and symptoms. I believe that a large majority of people have been exposed to these infections but dont come down with the illness. It can take an acute stressor that precedes the onset of TBD. These stressors may include mold exposure, pregnancy, periods of high stress which set the stage for the bacteria to multiply. The microbial load then becomes overwhelming to the immune system
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Lyme Disease Identified In Bay Area Ticks And It Isn’t Alone
Finding evidence of Lyme disease in the San Francisco Bay Area didn’t surprise a team of researchers, although it may be news to many doctors in the region. But identifying another tick-borne pathogen that causes relapsing fever was unexpected and may deserve a closer look.
“There’s conflict about whether the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi even exists in these spots,” said Nathan Nieto, assistant professor of microbiology at Northern Arizona University. As a result, he said, the diseaseusually accompanied by fever, rash and fatigueoften doesn’t make the list when doctors are trying to make a diagnosis.
Lyme, after all, is named after a town in Connecticut and public awareness associates it with ticks in the northeastern United States, even though the disease has also gained a foothold in the upper Midwest.
Still, Nieto said the research team, which included collaborators from California, is “surprised at the traction” the story is getting, considering that Lyme disease has been investigated there for 35 years. The real surprise, Nieto said, is that his lab also identified Borrelia miyamotoi, only recently recognized as a fever-causing pathogen that affects people.
The findings appear online in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Disease. Nieto sees the attention as just one more step in raising awareness about tick-borne pathogens.
For now, Nieto said, the current research project will continue to focus on specific areas of California.
News: San Ramon Conference To Shed Light On Lyme Disease
The Contra Costa Times talks to Dr. Dave Martz, who will keynote this weekend’s Lyme disease conference in the San Francisco Bay area. After being told he had terminal ALS, Martz pursued Lyme disease treatmentwhich turned his health around.
SAN RAMON Dr. David Martz thought he was going to die.
In fall 2003, the energetic 62-year-old suddenly found himself becoming exhausted after only about 30 minutes of activity. Arthritis had set in. His muscles weakened.
“The doctors were perplexed,” said Martz, a physician living in Colorado Springs, Colo. “It didnt make any sense.”
His condition worsened. After a battery of tests, Martz was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig disease, a nerve cell-degeneration disease that causes loss of muscle movement and eventually death.
After starting an antibiotic regimen, the symptoms slowed and within months, his condition improved. After a year of the antibiotics, the ALS symptoms had gone away, he said. Though hes not 100 percent, his symptoms are far from as severe as they were seven years ago.
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Far Reaching Effects Of Lyme/tbd
Lyme and TBD can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart. Patients with TBD are frequently misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, seizures, PANS, and autoimmunity. Psychiatric illnesses are also common such as panic disorder, OCD, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, psychosis, PTSD, autism, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Chronic lyme is a neuropsychiatric illness. Cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms are common in Lyme disease/TBD. Symptoms negatively impact academic, professional, interpersonal and family functioning.
Removing And Storing Your Tick
If you find a tick attached to you or your pet, dont panic. Carefully remove and save the tick for identification and testing. Follow these instructions:
Tick Removal: Grasp the tick with tweezers or tissue as close to your skin as possible. Gently pull the tick straight upward from the skin- no twisting or unscrewing. Do not attempt removal by using nail polish remover, kerosene, or Vaseline.
Another option for tick removal is to loop some sewing thread around the tick and as close to the skin as possible . Basically you will be looping the thread around the ticks mouthpart, which is embedded in the skin. Once you have it tightly wound around the tick gently pull upward. You will have lassoed the tick around its mouth, which will force to come out. This method is a good way of insuring you dont pop the tick, which is not good since it is infected and you dont want to have contact with infected fluids.
Tick Storage: The tick must be kept moist. Place the tick in a small container with 1 or 2 drops of water or saline solution. A small piece of damp cotton or tissue inside the container also works. Do not use other liquids such as alcohol or formaldehyde solutions, since the tick may absorb it and explode, making it impossible to test.
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Us To Lift Travel Ban On 8 Southern African Countries Next Week
For women who have Lyme disease, the struggle can be especially difficult, given the complicated nature of the disease.
“The problem with Lyme disease is that there are so many different strains,” said Dr. Andrea Gaito, a New Jersey-based rheumatologist who specializes in treating Lyme disease. “One person can have it and have headaches, someone else can have joint pain, someone else can have palpitations. And none of these are specific to Lyme. There’s no Lyme test that’s 100% accurate. Unless you have a tick in a baggie, literally, and a bulls-eye rash, there’s sometimes a delay in diagnosis.”
A Long Journey of Pain and MisdiagnosisTait estimates that she had Lyme for about 15 years before she was diagnosed. She thinks she was bitten by a tick as a teen in Californias Bay Area, where she grew up. In high school, she was a dancer. Suddenly she was getting injured more than usual joints coming out of their sockets and ligaments tearing after doing normal routines. During class, she was exhausted and having trouble concentrating. Her grades started to slip.
Looking back, its now clear I was neurologically starting to not be myself, she said. But when youre a teenager, a lot of it is just attributed to, Youre a teenager!
Tait, who was thin with a bubbly personality, recalled one doctor telling her she was too pretty to be sick.
Eventually she was diagnosed with depression and prescribed an antidepressant.
Tick Identification & Testing
Tick identification and testing: Bring the tick to the San Mateo County Public Health Laboratory , located at 225 West 37th Avenue , San Mateo. To contact the laboratory, please call 573-2500. There is a $25 processing fee.
Tick identification only: San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District , located at 1351 Rollins Rd, Burlingame also performs tick identification butdoes not perform testing related to bites. To contact SMCMCD, call 344-8592. There is no fee for tick identification. Please contact the Public Health Lab for all tick testing requests.
When dropping off a tick specimen, please provide us with contact information, location of tick bite, and duration of tick contact. Your tick must first be identified to determine if it is the Western Black-legged Tick, the species that transmits Lyme Disease. If so, the next step will be to test for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the micro-organism that causes Lyme Disease, in the ticks stomach. The tick must be intact in order for this test to be performed.
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How Do People Get Tick Borne Illness
Most people get Lyme from the bite of the nymph, or immature, form of the tick. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Because they are so tiny and their bite is painless, many people do not even realize they have been bitten. Other co-infections can come through biting flys, mosquitos, fleas and lice. If pregnant women are infected, they sometimes pass Lyme disease to their unborn children. Some doctors believe other types of human-to-human transmission are possible but little is known for certain. The lyme bacteria has been found in all body fluids.
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Also Check: Long Term Antibiotic Use For Lyme Disease
Stanford Study Says Ticks May Cause Double Trouble
A Stanford study has found that ticks infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and a newly identified human pathogen are widespread in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Researchers found ticks infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and a newly identified human pathogen in nearly every Bay Area park they examined.
As winter turns to spring and many Northern Californians plan outdoor adventures, a mysterious, potentially debilitating threat looms.
A newly recognized human pathogen with unknown health consequences has been found to occur over a large part of the San Francisco Bay Area. A study to be published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Disease details how researchers, including Dan Salkeld, a research associate at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, found the bacterium Borreliamiyamotoi, as well as B. burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, in ticks they sampled throughout the area.
The researchers were surprised to find ticks infected with one or both bacteria in nearly every park they examined. The findings raise the question of whether B. miyamotoi has gone undetected in California residents. The research results are “an important step toward dispelling the perception that you cannot acquire Lyme disease in California,” said Ana Thompson, the executive director of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
“People who have difficulty getting diagnoses maybe this is involved,” Salkeld said.
In General Tick Borne Disease Or Lyme Disease Should Be Treated With Antibiotics Usually These Antibiotics Should Be Pharmaceuticals Although Augmentation With Botanical Antibiotics Can Be Even More Effective Than Pharmaceutical Therapies Alone
Unfortunately in late Lyme, antibiotics alone are often not sufficient. Some patients are genetically or epigenetically predisposed to chronic Lyme disease. Often the underlying conditions must be addressed along with the infection.
Borrelia burgdorferi has been called the second great pretender, after syphilis. Like syphilis it is a spirochete , and the spirochete goes to the brain and spinal cord as fast as it can get there. In addition like syphilis it grows very slowly. Unlike syphilis it is relatively smart in the bacterial world, having the largest genome of any other bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi is able to crawl inside of cells, thus avoiding immune detection, hide in the brain and spinal cord, where our immune system is careful not to cause too much inflammation. More recent data suggests it may, like many of its co infecting microbes be able to fool the immune system and manipulate the immune response so that the immune system thinks that there is not an infection. In 3 animal models dog, mouse and monkey, chronic persistent infectious borrelia infection has been proven after short course antibiotic. This provides evidence that the cure of chronic Lyme disease in many patients will take more than 1-3 months of antibiotics.
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The Earlier In The Course Of Tick Borne Disease That The Treatment Is Started The Better For The Patient And The Worse For The Microbes
Early detection, however, can be difficult. Lyme IS the most prevalent tick borne disease in the states and it is increasing in incidence year to year. Yet the Center for Disease Control estimates only 10% of the cases of Lyme disease are reported annually. This is because only 50% to 68% of patients have a clear bulls-eye rash. Only 26% ever see the tick that gives them Lyme disease. Most people do not know that a flu in the late spring, summer or early fall can be a sign of Lyme disease. Most doctors do not know that Lyme exists anywhere but the northeast part of the United States. So early treatment is a challenge. I try during tick season in Northern California to have short appointments to check out a tick bite or erythema migrans rash, in order to effect early treatment.