Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Most people with Lyme disease become infected during the late spring, summer, and early fall when immature ticks are out feeding. Except in warm climates, few tick bites take place during winter months.
Deer ticks are most often found in wooded areas and nearby grasslands. They are especially common where the two areas merge, including neighborhood yards where deer occasionally roam. Ticks do not survive long on sunny lawns they dry out quickly and die. Although only about 1% of all deer ticks are infected, there are areas in which over 50% of the ticks carry the bacterium. The diseased ticks are often found in the U.S. Northeast and upper Midwest areas.
The following tips can help you avoid tick bites:
A Red State But Its Not Politics
This much is clear: Reports of Lyme disease are on the increase.
The state logged 262 suspected or confirmed cases of Lyme last year, compared to 103 suspected or confirmed cases in 2009, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
In Charlevoix recently, Dr. Joshua Meyerson turned his computer to the Lyme disease risk map created by the state health department.
Less than 20 years ago, just a few counties in the Upper Peninsula and the southwest corner of the state were at risk for Lyme disease. Now, a swath of bright red at risk counties 37 in all stretches through much of the Upper Peninsula, southward along the western side of the state, then eastward in the middle between Van Buren and Wayne counties.
There are different theories for the spread, including birds bringing ticks into the state from neighboring Wisconsin, said Meyerson, medical director of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
Its an increase he has noticed in his own experience.
In June, he was biking with friends in Washtenaw County through long grass. Showering afterward, he inspected carefully for ticks, rubbing down his arms and legs. Yet relaxing a few hours later, he reached down to scratch an itch on his leg, and there it was: a tick that had attached.
People will tell you It’s like my dog never had ticks, and now I go walk into the woods and he’s covered with them, Meyerson said.
Still, anecdotes and theories arent data, Meyerson said.
Infectious Disease Clinic At Taubman Center
The Division of Infectious Diseases provides outpatient consultation and/or continuing care for patients with infectious disease conditions, such as:
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For all patients with bacterial or fungal infections, laboratory tests for evaluation of antibiotic and antifungal therapy are available, as are tests of inhibitory and bactericidal serum antimicrobial activity. Immunizations and advice for overseas travelers as well as routine immunizations also are provided through The Travel and Immunization Clinic.The HIV/AIDS Treatment Program offers both primary and specialized care to HIV-Positive individuals. We often test new drugs and treatments, and may select patients to participate in this research.
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The Timing Of Testing
But to understand the debate requires first understanding the development of crushing diseases that start with a bloodsucking ectoparasite about the size of a sesame seed.
A blacklegged tick, also called a deer tick, can pass on the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium to a human host after it bites, attaches to the skin, and begins feeding. The process can take days. The first sign of infection may appear as a telltale ring, called erythema migrans, or a bulls-eye rash. Other symptoms include fever, headache and fatigue.
If caught early, the infection usually can be cleared up with common antibiotics.
Confirmation of the disease usually starts with a two-step test thats less than reliable.
Generally,federal guidelines for a national tracking database for Lyme disease, require that a patient must test positive for Lyme in both steps. In the first step, patients blood is tested for antibodies against the tick-borne bacterium. Because false positives are not unusual, a second step, known as the Western blot test, refines the search to antibodies specific to several proteins of B. burgdorferi.
Timing is crucial. The first, ELISA test also can produce false negatives. If it is performed too early, a persons body hasnt had enough time to produce antibodies to the bacteria. If it is performed too late, and the antibodies have waned.
Ramos, who started experiencing crushing fatigue when she was 14, assumed it was normal teenagers are exhausted all the time, she said.
Lyme Disease In An African American Child With Downs Syndrome
Welcome to another Inside Lyme Podcast with your host Dr. Daniel Cameron. In this episode, Dr. Cameron discusses the case of a 3-year-old African American child with Downs syndrome, developmental delays and disseminated Lyme disease. By Dr. Daniel Cameron “A case of disseminated Lyme disease in a child with skin of color” was published by Bax and colleagues in the journal Pediatric Dermatology.¹ The child, who had trisomy 21 (Downs
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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 .
Call Ahead And Ask Questions
Even if you find a doctor who specializes in treating tick-borne diseases, you will want to ask some questions before making an appointment and committing your time and money. A few basic questions to consider asking upfront include the following:
- What is your experience in treating patients with tick-borne diseases?
- How do you diagnose diseases? Do you use any specific labs or lab tests to confirm diagnosis?
- Do you test for coinfections?
- Do you use traditional antibiotics and/or herbals?
- Do you have any patient success stories you can share?
- Do you strictly adhere to CDC test interpretation criteria or are you open to alternative criteria?
If youd like to find a LLMD and want to know more about how to vet them, read the Tick Talk blog, What Makes a Doctor Lyme Literate?
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Lyme Arthritis In Children Can Present Throughout The Year
The studys objective was to evaluate the seasonality of pediatric Lyme disease in three endemic regions in the United States, writes Sundheim. Participants had been treated at 8 different medical centers throughout the Northeast and UpperMidwest. Of the 690 children with Lyme disease, 77 had a single EM lesion, 247 had early disseminated disease, and 366 had arthritis, wrote the authors. Children with early and early-disseminated Lyme disease
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and treated early will be fine.
Even after proper treatment, some patients may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This does not signify ongoing infection and will not respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms resolve over the next 1-6 months.
Chronic Lyme Syndrome
Chronic Lyme syndrome is a term used by some that includes the symptoms of Post-Lyme syndrome outlined above. This is a controversial topic with no accepted etiology and no proven cause or association.
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Be Prepared For Your Doctor Visit
You can improve your chances of having an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment by providing your doctor with as much information as you can from the very start. The following checklist can be a good reminder of what to bring and discuss with your physician at your first visit:
- Have the tick tested and/or identified:If you were able to remove or find the tick that bit you, seal it in a glass or plastic container and consider sending it to IGeneX for testing. Additionally, photograph the tick and/or have the species identified ahead of time if possible. Knowing what kind of tick bit you and, in particular, whether it has tested positive for a tick-borne disease can be extremely helpful for your doctors diagnostic process. If the tick is still being tested when you see your doctor, you still may be able to start treatment based on the severity of your symptoms.
- Note possible exposure: Write down the places and dates that you believe you were exposed to ticksand the possible date and time of day when the engorged tick attached and fell off or was removed.
- Track your symptoms: Keep a running log of all symptoms youve noticed since the tick bite, even if youre no longer experiencing them. Be sure to include the days/times when symptoms appeared . For additional help, you can use IGeneXs Symptom Checker.
- Take pictures: Take pictures of any rashes or blisters that you may have noticed at the site of the tick bite or elsewhere on your body.
Identify Doctors Trained In The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Tick
You can access a variety of online resources and directories to locate doctors who are specifically trained in identifying and treating tick-borne illnesses. These do not have to be infectious disease specialists they can be physicians from any practice area who simply have extensive experience with tick-borne diseases.
It is particularly important to find a Lyme expert if you suspect that you may have Lyme disease, since it is the most frequently misdiagnosed of all tick-borne diseases. Finding a Lyme-literate medical doctor a physician who is familiar with the vast range of symptoms that may indicate infection at various stages of the disease, as well as potential coinfections and other complexitiescan help ensure that you get the right treatment, right away.
To find a doctor who is also a Lyme expert, you may want to explore the following resources:
Note: Some of these organizations may require you to submit a form or create a login to access their databases.
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Lyme Literate Doctor In Michigan
- #1 05-14-2009 08:07 PM by msteinardHello. I am new to this board. I was diagnosed w/ LD in September 2008, treated for 2 weeks w/ Doxycycline and told by my PCP that I was cured & would never have a problem again. I think my syptoms are returning and need to find a new doctor, one who knows about Lyme Disease. So, does anyone know of any Lyme Literate doctors in Michigan? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You – Michele
- #2 05-30-2009 02:31 PM by theskysnolimitRe: Lyme Literate Doctor in Michigan???Michelle I too am looking for an LLMD in MI or surrounding states.
- #3 05-31-2009 07:46 PM by msteinardRe: Lyme Literate Doctor in Michigan???Hello. The only one I have found & actually know of someone that uses him is in Keego Harbor. His name is Dr. Arnold Markowitz, Keego Harbor, MI I haven’t called yet for an appointment, so I can t really say much about him. The person I know that has seen him really likes him & believs that he know his stuff. Hope that helped you!
- #4 06-12-2009 11:44 AM by rachelle01Re: Lyme Literate Doctor in Michigan???dr. ziobron in Romeo, Michigan is great..he uses Igenex labs
- #5 06-12-2009 05:54 PM by J0J0Re: Lyme Literate Doctor in Michigan???Hi fellow lymies. If you look at the top of this board it tells you how to turn on your Private Messaging and or e-mail so you can get the names of doctors “privatley”Doctors that treat Lyme have a very hard time keeping their license. So it is asked not to post on the boards. Jodie
Telehealth And In Person Office Visits For Your Convenience
Dr. Susan Marra is a world-leading Naturopathic doctor specializing in the treatment of vector borne disease , Long Covid, anti-aging, and environmental illness.
She utilizes various diagnostic testing and evaluation to determine the root cause of your illness in order to help you move on with your life. Having trained with Dr. Richard Horowitz and Dr. Charles Ray Jones, Lyme disease experts on the east coast, Dr. Marra is well qualified to manage and heal tick-borne disease. Her approach is progressive, integrated, and holistic.
Additionally, Dr. Marra is successful in overcoming a personal battle with Lyme disease and leads a very normal life. Her road to recovery aids in personally understanding the difficulties patients experience on the healing journey and allows for heightened compassion for patients in search of a proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
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If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms, and have been unsuccessful in finding effective treatment or lasting relief, Dr. Heyman treats patients at his integrative medicine practice: the Virginia Center for Health and Wellness in Aldie, Virginia. For an appointment with Dr. Heyman, please call & phone , or contact us online today.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease may evolve through several phases or stages which can overlap causing symptoms that may involve the skin, joints, heart or nervous system.
Early Lyme disease typically causes a reddish rash or skin lesion known as erythema migrans . The rash starts as a small red spot at the site of the tick bite 1 to 4 weeks after the bite. It expands over a period of days or weeks, forming a circular, triangular, or oval-shaped rash. The rash may look like a bulls eye because it appears as a red ring that surrounds a clear center area.The rash can range in size from that of a dime to the entire width of a person’s back. As infection spreads, several rashes can appear at different sites on the body.
If the infection goes untreated, you may develop multiple areas of rash, paralysis of facial muscles , heart block or areas of numbness or abnormal sensation .
Untreated late Lyme disease, which occurs months to a year after the initial infection, is most commonly associated with recurring episodes of swollen joints typically of large joints such as the knee. Additionally some patients may develop difficulty concentrating, which is called brain fog .
Comprehensive Lyme Disease Treatment Now Available In Michigan
Grand Blanc, MI Lyme disease is the fastest growing tick-borne illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control . Approximately 300,000 people are infected with Lyme disease each year, an alarming number. The staggering statistics continue: according to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society , 50% of all ticks carry the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi 50% of people with Lyme disease do not recall getting bit by a tick in the first place, and 40% of patients infected with Lyme disease develop long-term health problems.
It is important that people suspected of having Lyme disease are appropriately diagnosed and tested initially, says Dr. Megan Strauchman, medical director of the Natural Wellness & Pain Relief Center in Grand Blanc. The Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme disease is often present with other co-infections, such as Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia she continues. According to Dr. Strauchman, Lyme and its co-infections cause a variety of seemingly unrelated health symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, inability to handle stress effectively, hormone imbalances, widespread joint pain and/or swelling, migrating skin rashes, brain fog, heart palpitations, and irritable bowel syndrome.
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Commonly Missed Diagnosis: The Three Faces Of Lyme Disease
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Its springtime and will soon be nice and warm. Were so thoroughly tired of being trapped inside that a woodland romp sounds perfectly delightful.
But please remember that ticks are lurking. They can latch onto your ankles and fall into your hair and when they bite , theyll attach themselves and empty their gastrointestinal tract into your bloodstream.
Ticks are a cesspool with legs and this story can end with Lyme disease.
The total number of Lyme disease cases, caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi, is definitely on the rise. The current guesstimate from the Centers for Disease Control is 476,000 a year, a dramatic increase from the 30,000 annually they estimated just a decade ago.
Moreover, even the CDC is uncertain if this is an overestimate or an underestimate. Thousands of cases are treated as Lyme but are not reported anywhere. Likewise, thousands of cases of Lyme disease are simply missed by both patient and physician only to surface years later in one of the two forms of chronic Lyme disease.
We see a lot of patients with chronic Lyme at WholeHealth Chicago, largely because Lyme carries a real prejudice from the past, when doctors told patients there was no such illness and patients believed their doctors. As a result, many people have been ill for decades.