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Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease Mayo Clinic

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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Adults

Lyme Disease: Mayo Clinic Radio

Lyme is a disease caused by bacteria that comes with infected ticks to the body, which means you may probably suffer from this disease after being bitten by a tick. Lyme disease can be actually treated but it may cause more serious effects to the health if the patients are late diagnosed, so it is necessary to learn about the symptoms of Lyme disease to get early treatments when needed. The reasons Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose may be that people do not always be aware of a tick formed in their body because of some insects thereby not seeking medical treatment until the symptoms develop or because the blood tests fail to diagnose Lyme disease acutely in some positive case.

Because its symptoms are hard to distinguish from other illnesses and many people cannot realize their conditions until advanced symptoms, you should pay attention to the insects around as well as conduct spot checks for ticks regularly so that call your doctor if you feel something weird with your health.

At present, VKool.com would like to show you4 common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease in adults. The symptoms of the disease are quite specific and classified into 3 main groups according to its developing stages, which should be recognized as soon as possible to avoid further serious problems. For those who dont know what Lyme disease is and how it shows outside, just spend a few minutes reading our article to have more experience!

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Duration Of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can last a month or two or as long as months or years, depending on whether or not it is promptly or effectively treated.

When treated with antibiotics, most people recover from Lyme disease within a few weeks. If it isnt treated right way because symptoms werent present or it was misdiagnosed, the infection can affect different parts of the body and last one to four months.

Late persistent Lyme disease may develop without proper treatment. This phase can cause arthritis, fatigue, and numbness. Although it is rare, heart problems such as inflammation around the heart can occur months or years after the tick bite, notes Michigan Medicine.

Early Signs Of Lyme Disease

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually appear in stages.

Early signs and symptoms

A small, red bump often appears at the site of a tick bite or tickremoval and resolves over a few days. This is normal after a tick bite and doesnot indicate Lyme disease. However, these signs and symptoms may occur within amonth after you’ve been infected:

  • Rash. From3 to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appearthat sometimes clears in the center, forming a bulls-eye pattern. The rash expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches across. It is typically not itchy or painful. Erythema migrans isone of the hallmarks of Lyme disease. Some people develop this rash at morethan one place on their bodies.
  • Flu-likesymptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany therash.

Later signs and symptoms

If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear inthe following weeks to months. These include:

  • Erythemamigrans appearing in other areas of your body.
  • Jointpain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affectyour knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurologicalproblems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might developinflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain , temporaryparalysis of one side of your face , numbness or weakness in yourlimbs, and impaired muscle movement.
  • Nausea andvomiting
  • Diffuserashes

Less common signs and symptoms

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Minnesota Department Of Health: About Lyme Disease

The Minnesota Department of Healths mission is about protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans.

Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick . The disease affects both humans and animals. The Minnesota Department of Health is monitoring the spread of the disease across the state and working with residents to limit exposure to the ticks causing the disease.

On the linked page you will find information regarding Lyme Disease Transmission, Prevention, Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Treatment following a tick bite, and History.

Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease

lyme disease description chart

The CDC reports that late stage Lyme disease may appear days to months after the initial tick bite and may include but are not limited to:

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes in new places on the body
  • Facial palsy, also known as Bells palsy paralysis of one side of the face
  • Arthritis or joint pain and swelling, especially of large joints
  • Intermittent tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, or bone pain
  • Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
  • Dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain or spinal cord
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

As mentioned above, late stage Lyme may also be characterized by the recurrence of early stage symptoms, such as fatigue.

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Hispanic Americans And Lyme Disease

Outdoor workers in areas that have a greater incidence of tick related diseases are at increased risk for getting Lyme disease. In the United States, Hispanics comprise an estimated 44 percent of grounds maintenance workers and 48 percent of workers in the farming, fishing and forest industries, potentially placing them at higher risk of Lyme disease, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Research published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2016 found that the overall incidence of Lyme disease in Hispanic Americans was lower than that found in white Americans, although the authors speculated that lower number may be related to inadequate healthcare access, language barriers, and lack of health insurance rather than fewer cases of the disease.

Investigators found that Hispanic Americans with Lyme disease were more significantly more likely than white Americans with Lyme disease to have signs of disseminated infection and symptom onset during the fall months.

Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

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Overview

Lyme disease is an underreported, under-researched, and often debilitating disease transmitted by spirochete bacteria. The spiral-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are transmitted by blacklegged deer ticks. Lymes wide range of symptoms mimic those of many other ailments, making it difficult to diagnose .

The blacklegged ticks can also transmit other disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These are known as coinfections . These ticks that transmit Lyme are increasing their geographical spread. As of 2016, they were found in about half the counties in 43 of 50 states in the United States .

Lyme is the fifth most reported of notifiable diseases in the United States, with an estimated 329,000 new cases found annually . Some studies estimate that there are as many as 1 million cases of Lyme in the United States every year .

Most people with Lyme who are treated right away with three weeks of antibiotics have a good prognosis.

But if youre not treated for weeks, months, or even years after infection, Lyme becomes more difficult to treat. Within days of the bite, the bacteria can move to your central nervous system, muscles and joints, eyes, and heart .

Here is a list of 13 common signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

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Tryptophan For Mood Support

Tryptophan is an amino acid, and like most amino acids, its a building block for proteins. But tryptophan is also used to make the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan metabolism appears to be altered in Lyme disease, as in other infections , and it has been suggested that tryptophan supplements could be helpful in supporting serotonin production and mood in people with Lyme disease. Taking tryptophan supplements and supplements of other building blocks for neurotransmitters, such as tyrosine and choline, has been proposed for many conditions where the brain is not working optimally. It isnt easy to eat enough supplementary amino acids to affect brain neurotransmitters significantly because neurons tightly regulate the amount of neurotransmitters they make. But there is some evidence that the activated form of tryptophan, 5-HTP, may help support mood regulation . There is not yet evidence of efficacy in treating Lyme disease.

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Prognosis Of Lyme Disease

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People treated with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually make a full recovery. Without treatment there can be complications that involve the joints, heart and nervous system, but these symptoms can still go away with treatment.

Although it is rare, some people develop whats called post-Lyme disease syndrome. Those individuals still have symptoms of Lyme Disease that interfere with their life even after theyve been treated, according to MedlinePlus.

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When Should I Go See My Doctor

Anyone who has been bitten by a black-legged deer tick is at risk for Lyme disease. The highest risk groups include those living in or visiting endemic areas, especially people who spend significant time outdoors such as gardeners, hikers, or outdoor workers.

Patients should seek advice from their doctor if they have a suspicious round expanding red skin lesion, and/or show signs of summer-flu, particularly during Lyme disease season, which is highest-risk late spring through July/August. If those circumstances apply or symptoms persist it is very important to go to a physician.

For the west coast and other more temperate regions Lyme disease can be a year-round concern.

In the later disseminated stages, Lyme disease can be a much more insidious and complex illness. An individual should seek medical care if experiencing symptoms such as prolonged fevers, unexplained fatigue, painful joints, new or unusual headache, or heart or neurologic symptoms. If unexplained viral-like symptoms last for more than 1-2 weeks, please seek the advice of a physician.

Whos At Risk And Where Are Ticks Found

The risk of getting Lyme disease is higher:

  • for people who spend time in woodland or moorland areas
  • from March to October because more people take part in outdoor activities

Ticks are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America. There are a high number of ticks in the Scottish Highlands.

Its thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesnt mean youll definitely be infected. However, its important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.

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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:

All of those symptoms are also common in the flu. In most Lyme infections, one of the first symptoms youâll notice is a rash.

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.

What’s The Best Way To Prevent A Tick Bite

Lyme Disease

Ticks can’t fly or jump. But they live in shrubs and bushes and can grab onto you when you pass by. To avoid getting bitten:

  • Wear pants and socks in areas with lots of trees and when you touch fallen leaves.
  • Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
  • For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
  • Shower within 2 hours after coming inside. Look for ticks on your skin, and wash ticks out of your hair.
  • Put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might be on them.

How do you know if you’ve been bitten?

Since ticks are so small, you’ve got to have pretty good eyes to see them.

If you have a small, red bump on your skin that looks like a mosquito bite, it could be a tick bite. If it goes away in a few days, itâs not a problem. Remember, a tick bite doesnât necessarily mean you have Lyme disease.

If you notice a rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye, you might have a tick bite. Talk to your doctor about treatment.

If you have an allergic reaction to ticks, you’ll notice a bite right away.

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Is Lyme Disease Contagious

People cant catch Lyme disease from other people. Theres no evidence that kissing, touching, or having sex with someone who has Lyme disease puts you at risk of acquiring the illness, and there are no reports of transmission through breast milk or donated blood. However, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease can live in blood, so people currently being treated for the disease should not donate blood.

People cannot acquire Lyme disease from their dogs, either, although cuddling with your furry friend could expose you to ticks that landed on your pet.

Lyme disease is carried by infected ticks, specifically two species of blacklegged ticks. If you live in or visit an area of the country where these infected ticks are prevalent, its important to take measures to reduce your risk of getting bitten, especially in the spring and summer months.

New Cause For Lyme Disease Complicates Already Murky Diagnosis

Scientists claim a novel bacterium causes some different symptoms, adding to the body of research showing the complexity of the disease

Tick-borne Lyme disease in the U.S. has long been thought to be caused by a single microbe, a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Last week this notion was challenged when a team led by scientists at the Mayo Clinic discovered that Lyme could be caused, albeit rarely, by a different bacterial species that may incite more serious symptoms ranging from vomiting to neurological issues. Scientists working in the contentious field of Lyme disagree, however, as to what this information means for public health and if these findings are truly the first of their kind. For years, they say, research has pointed to the notion that the spirochete that causes Lyme disease in the U.S. is more heterogeneous than many have acknowledged.

Clark, for one, is troubled that the new paper did not mention any of these previous findings. I find it unprofessional, and unethical, to not give proper scientific credit to these other researchers, he says.

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The Numbers On Chronic Lyme

Because Lyme disease is commonly missed or misdiagnosed, statistics vary on how many Lyme patients go on to experience chronic symptoms. The following research nonetheless paints a basic picture of the problem.

  • An estimated 5-20% of patients may have chronic symptoms after getting Lyme disease, according to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
  • The treatment failure rate for chronic Lyme disease patients was estimated at 26-50% in 2004, compared to 16-39% for early Lyme patients, according to Lymedisease.org.
  • Up to 15-40% of late-stage Lyme patients develop neurological disorders, which are responsible for many common symptoms of chronic Lyme disease.

Experts dont know for sure why some people experience persistent symptoms, even with treatment. However, some believe the Lyme infection may trigger an auto-immune response that manifests in the chronic symptoms detailed below.

Later Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

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In early disseminated Lyme disease, which occurs weeks to months after the tick bite, other symptoms may develop, including:

  • Additional erythema migrans lesions
  • Nerve pain.
  • Facial or Bell’s 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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When To See Your Doctor

If youve been bitten by a tick and have symptoms

Only a minority of tick bites leads to Lyme disease. The longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of getting the disease. Lyme infection is unlikely if the tick is attached for less than 36 to 48 hours.

If you think youve been bitten and have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease particularly if you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent contact your doctor. Treatment for Lyme disease is more effective if begun early.

See your doctor even if symptoms disappear

Consult your doctor even if signs and symptoms disappear the absence of symptoms doesnt mean the disease is gone. Untreated, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of your body for several months to years after infection, causing arthritis and nervous system problems. Ticks can also transmit other illnesses, such as babesiosis and Colorado tick fever.

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