Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Post
Patients typically use the term chronic Lyme disease to describe the cluster of symptoms that started after getting Lyme disease and that persist despite having received a course of antibiotic treatment which has been deemed curative by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Patients say, Im not cured. I have symptoms now that I never had before Lyme disease. Im fatigued 90% of the day. My muscles ache. My brain is in a fog. I cant think clearly any more. Im super sensitive to light and sound. What is going on? Chronic Lyme disease does exist Im a living example of it!
Whatever one calls it, the experience is the same. Most often these patients experience profound fatigue, pain, and/or cognitive impairment. Mild to moderate levels of depression and anxiety may also accompany these symptoms, as the functional limitations can lead to social isolation, inability to work, and loss of sense of ones identity as a provider, caretaker, or friend. Sometimes patients find themselves identifying with Job the just and good man in the Bible whose life was wrecked by illness, death of loved ones, and economic disaster he felt tormented by God.
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Lyme Disease: When To Test When To Treat
Guest: Bobbi S. Pritt, M.D.
Host: Darryl S. Chutka, M.D.
How do you detect Lymes disease without the rash? What are the implications for our patients if we miss it? If you practice in an endemic area what are the guidelines for treatment when your patient has been bitten by a tick? Dr. Bobbi Pritt discusses Lyme disease detection, prophylaxis, and some of the long-term consequences of Lyme disease. Listen now to learn the ABCs of tick bite prevention.
Connect with the Mayo Clinics School of Continuous Professional Development online at or on Twitter @MayoMedEd.
Preparing For An Appointment
You’re likely to see your primary care provider or an emergency room doctor, depending your symptoms. You may also see a doctor trained in infectious diseases.
If you kept a removed tick, bring it to the appointment. If you’ve done recent outdoor activities and may have had a tick bite or may have a tick-borne illness, be ready to answer these questions:
- If a tick bit you, when did it happen?
- When do you think you were exposed to ticks?
- Where have you been while doing outdoor activities?
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Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Most people with Lyme disease get the infection during the late spring, summer and early fall when immature ticks are out feeding. In warm climates, few tick bites take place during winter months.
Deer ticks are most often found in wooded areas and nearby grasslands. Theyre especially common where the two areas merge, including neighborhood yards where deer occasionally roam. Ticks dont survive long on sunny lawns. They dry out quickly and die.
Although only about 1% of all deer ticks carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria, 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. Ticks also live in coastal areas.
Black-legged ticks can get the infection from animals other than deer. Mice, voles and some squirrels can carry the bacteria.
How can I prevent tick bites?
The following tips can help you avoid tick bites:
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Lyme Disease Vs Ringworm
A Lyme disease rash can often be mistaken for other kinds of rash, like the rash that often presents with ringworm. While they may look similar, there are ways to tell them apart. Both are circular, but the Lyme disease rash is usually clear in the middle, while a ringworm rash is entirely red, scaly, and/or cracked.
The rash from Lyme disease may also be accompanied by the other general symptoms of Lyme disease infection, including:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Physical fatigue
Symptoms typically occur within the first 30 days of getting bitten. Left untreated, similar rashes may continue to appear on different parts of the body. There may also be swelling and/or pain in the joints, similar to arthritis. In more severe cases, neurological symptoms may develop months or even years after the initial infection. These symptoms may include:
- Impaired muscle movement and motor control
- General weakness or numbness in the limbs
Less commonly, some people experience heart problems or inflammation in the liver or eyes .
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Hunting For Alternative Drug
Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for Lyme disease patients with lingering symptoms, Rajadas and his team began hunting for a better alternative in 2011. In 2016, they published a study in Drug Design, Development and Therapy that listed 20 chemical compounds, from about 4,000, that were most effective at killing the infection in mice. All 20 had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for various uses. One, for instance, is used to treat alcohol abuse disorder.
In this most recent study, azlocillin, one of the top-20 contenders, was shown to eclipse a total of 7,450 compounds because it is more effective in killing B. burgdorferi and causes fewer side effects. Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can affect various organs, including the brain, skin, heart, joints and nervous system, and cause heart problems and arthritis if untreated. Symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle and joint pain.
Traditional antibiotics, such as doxycycline, are effective as an early course of treatment for the infection in the majority of patients, but it remains unclear why these drugs fail to treat 10% to 20% of patients, Rajadas said.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
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Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In early disseminated Lyme disease, which occurs weeks to months after the tick bite, other symptoms may develop, including:
- Additional erythema migrans lesions
- Facial or Bells palsy, a paralysis or weakness in the muscles on one side of the face.
- Lyme carditis, in which Lyme disease bacteria enter the tissues of the heart and interfere with the normal process that coordinates the beating of the heart symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
Late disseminated Lyme disease, which develops months to years after the infection begins, may cause:
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, especially in large joints such as the knees
- Pain in the tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Abnormal muscle movement
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet
- Cognitive problems, including issues with speech and short-term memory
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness from meningitis
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What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience whats called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally dont prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but its not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.
Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.
What You Can Do
If you know you’ve been bitten by a tick or have spent time in an area known to harbor ticks, be sure to tell your doctor. Make a list of:
- Your symptoms, and when they began
- All medications, vitamins and other supplements you take, including doses
- Questions to ask your doctor.
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you receive.
For Lyme disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- What alternatives are there to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don’t hesitate to ask other questions.
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Help In The Fight Against Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick. Preventing tick bites is the best defense against the disease. And now there is good news for those looking for an alternative insect repellant to fight off ticks, says Dr. Omar Abu Saleh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases physician.Nootkatone, an ingredient found in grapefruits, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an insect repellant.”Nootkatone is a naturally occurring compound. If you think of the special taste and flavor of the grapefruit, it’s basically nootkatone. It has been used widely in the fragrance industry and food industry,” says Dr. Abu Saleh. “It’s rather effective as an insect repellant. It works against ticks. It works against mosquitos, and you can compound it with salves, with lotions, with creams. It can be a more appealing option as an anti-repellant, compared to more conventional options like DEET, for example.”
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Omar Abu Saleh are in the downloads. Please courtesy, “Omar Abu Saleh, M.B.B.S./Infectious Diseases/Mayo Clinic.”
Symptoms of Lyme diseaseThe signs and symptoms of untreated Lyme disease may vary depending on the stage of the disease. They can include a rash, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, neck stiffness and swollen lymph nodes.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
If you find a tick on your body, follow these steps to remove it:
- Gloves. If you have them, wear medical gloves or similar gloves to protect your hands.
- Tweezers. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grab the tick firmly near its mouth and as close to your skin as possible.
- Removal. Steadily and slowly pull the tick’s body away from your skin without jerking or twisting it. If parts of the mouth remain, remove them with clean tweezers.
- Disposal. Kill the tick by putting it in alcohol. To avoid exposure to possible bacteria, don’t crush the tick. The dead tick can be flushed down a drain or toilet. Or it can be lightly wrapped in tape and thrown in the trash, or placed in a sealed bag and stored in a freezer.
- Storage. A tick can be evaluated later if you think you have a tick-borne disease. Put the tick in a container, label it with the date and place it in the freezer.
- Cleanup. After removing the tick, first use soap and water to wash your hands and the site of the tick bite. Then clean the site and your hands with rubbing alcohol.
Don’t put petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, rubbing alcohol or a hot match on to the tick.
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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:
- 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.
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What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers dont know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most common tick-borne disease in Arkansas. RMSF is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. This bacterium is carried mostly by the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, but also by the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Not all ticks are infected. It takes an infected tick four to six hours to spread disease after attaching to the host. Adult ticks look for large hosts such as dogs, but they also feed on humans. Ticks are often found in overgrown lots and along weedy roadsides, paths and hiking trails. Most RMSF cases occur between June and August when tick populations and outdoor activities are highest. Half of all people with RMSF do not remember being bitten by a tick.
- RMSF Symptoms and Treatment
- Symptoms of RMSF generally appear suddenly, about one week after an infected tick bite. However, there may be symptoms any time between 2 and 14 days after a bite.
- Symptoms can include:
- Non-itchy, pink rash usually starting on the wrists, forearms and ankles
It is important to get medical care as soon as possible if you think you have RMSF. Blood tests are required to diagnose RMSF, but treatment should begin as soon as symptoms and/or recent tick exposure suggest RMSF.
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Phase Iii: Whole Body Immune Support
In Phase III, we will continue to focus on getting rid of any parasites. We are continuing this process because it takes about two months to get rid of parasites.
We will continue to support your mitochondria. It takes about three to six months to get the mitochondria back in balance, so we will be focusing on this throughout this program. Since biotoxin illness often experiences additional viral infections, we are bringing in Bioactive Carbon Foundation to help your body get rid of viral infected cells and regain your health.
Additionally, Phase III also puts a major emphasis and lymphatic system support. Your lymphatic system is a major circulatory system and analogous to the drains in your home. A congested lymphatic system can lead to all kinds of issues including skin problems, fatigue, headaches, and weakened immunity.
To support your immune system, I recommend regular light exercise , breathwork, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, taking lymph-supporting herbs, including Reishi, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Cordyceps, and Panax Ginseng, or supplementation with Lymphatic Support, infrared sauna, dry brushing, proper hydration, massage, and chiropractic care. To learn more about your lymphatic system and lymphatic support, I recommend this article.
Phase III Whole Body Immune Support Supplements
TUDCA: This is a fantastic supplement for drainage and liver support. Take 1 capsule twice daily in the morning and at night.
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Researchers Believe Bacteria Is Confined To Upper Midwest
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Researchers have discovered a new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease, according to ABC News.
The bacteria is the second species known to transmit the potentially debilitating illness in North America.
ABC News reported that the newly identified bacteria is called Borrelia mayonii, in honor of the Mayo Clinic researchers who assisted with the discovery, along with local health departments and scientists at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The bacteria species was discovered after six people with suspected cases of Lyme disease ended up with unusual results.
Researchers did extensive genetic testing and determined that the patients were infected with a newly discovered bacteria.