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.
How Lyme Disease Is Diagnosed
One thing that makes Lyme disease so frustrating is that its diagnosis is not simple. You may be asked if you saw a tick, and if not, your concerns may be dismissed. On the other hand, if you saw a tick and removed it right away, your concerns may also be dismissed because many experts believe the tick has to remain attached for at least thirty-six hours to transmit the bacteria. But if a tick has already partially fed elsewhere, it may be able to infect you in less than thirty-six hours . Be aware that there are other tick-borne diseases, and some can be transmitted in as little as fifteen minutes, as discussed in the conventional treatments section of this article.
When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Read Also: Can You Live With Lyme Disease
Unexplained Pain And Other Sensations
Some people with Lyme may have sharp rib and chest pains that send them to the emergency room, suspecting a heart problem 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
When no problem is found, after the usual testing, the ER diagnosis is noted as an unidentified musculoskeletal cause.
You can also have strange sensations like skin tingling or crawling, or numbness or itchiness 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
Other symptoms have to do with cranial nerves.
- Ear-ringing . Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as youre trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (
- Hearing loss. One study reported that 15 percent of Lyme patients experienced loss of hearing .
- Jaw pain or toothaches that are not related to actual tooth decay or infection.
Who’s 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.
It’s thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be infected. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk and speak to a GP if you start to feel unwell.
Also Check: Can Stage 3 Lyme Disease Be Cured
Comprehensive Evaluation Of Postinfection Chronic Fatigue
After an infection, some people end up with chronic and even disabling fatigue with an inability to recover after exercise. This is called postinfection myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome . Avindra Nath, MD, is leading this study of PI-ME/CFS at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in which people will be comprehensively evaluated over a few days at the NIH in Bethesda Maryland by a neuropsychologist, a nutritionist, an occupational therapist, and other medical professionals. Theyll look at your immune system, inflammation, response to exercise, your microbiome, cognition, and may ask you to return for even more extensive evaluation. This research is aimed at trying to understand what is going on in PI-ME/CFS and is not limited to PTLDS, since this condition occurs after other infections as well.
Lyme Websites Books And Organizations
Private and governmental organizations provide help for people with Lyme disease and PTLDS, their caregivers, and medical professionals, including referrals to support groups and doctors, summaries of the latest research, and practical tips for Lyme prevention.
The American Lyme Disease Foundation is a private foundation providing science-based educational resources for patients and physicians.
The Bay Area Lyme Foundation funds research on Lyme disease and offers information about symptoms, prevention tips, and how to remove a tick properly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a government agency responsible for health security in the US. It carries out research focusing on disease prevention and tick control, and it also provides recent and historical data on Lyme occurrence.
Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide, a book by Jennifer Sotsky, MD, and Brian Fallon, MD, MPH, the director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, is an invaluable resource for Lyme patients and practitioners.
The Global Lyme Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting tick-borne diseases by supporting education, research, and awareness. It provides referrals to Lyme-literate health care providers, to support groups, and to peer mentors.
Familydoctor.org provides general advice from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Don’t Miss: Signs Of Lyme Disease In People
Effective Natural Supplements For Treating Lyme Disease
Is there a cure for lyme disease? Many think not, that you are stuck with it the rest of your days. But Im here to say I have beat the bug out of my system entirely and Im back to a real life, working out and getting things done. My tick bite also gave me Q-fever which is 10 times harder to get rid of and 10 quite possibly times more deadly. I can say that I have cured myself! Is what Ive done going to do the same for others? I can only say, what do you have to loose, its all good healthy foods that anyone should be doing to simply stay healthy.
Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease
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.
Symptoms Check Out? Get Tested. Get Answers.
You May Like: How To Test For Late Stage Lyme Disease
Is Lyme Disease Genetic
Lyme disease is a state that is produced by a precise bacterium that is referred to as “Borrelia Burgdorferi.” Humans can acquire this disease if they receive a nip from a tick that is considered to be black legged. This particular illness was discovered in the year of 1975. For nearly four decades, medical professionals and scientists alike have studied Lyme disease in order to find out solid information that could be relayed to the general public.
This medical state can be treated in a successful manner if treated in a timely fashion, but left untreated it can cause many health problems. It has been discovered that the infection established by this specific disease can extend to the organs of the body, the joints of the body, and even the nervous system. In this general guide, you will learn the basics surrounding Lyme disease.
Numerous individuals that suffer from Lyme disease will find that they develop a fever. The fever may be mild but it may be severe depending on the severity of the infection in the body. The fever may or may not be accompanied by body chills and/or hot flashes. Lots of people often complain of pain throughout the body in the area of the joints as well as the muscles.
Headaches of varying degrees of acuteness are frequently experienced by patients that contract Lyme disease. As the infection progresses, it is not uncommon for sufferers to detect that numerous lymph nodes are swollen in the body.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Lyme disease can be treated and cured with one of several oral antibiotics for 34 weeks. The skin rash will go away within a few days of beginning treatment, but other symptoms may persist for up to a few weeks. In severe cases of Lyme disease where the nervous system is involved, the antibiotic may need to be given intravenously. In late stage Lyme disease, symptoms may not go away completely, but should improve.
You May Like: Can Lyme Disease Cause Hair Loss In Dogs
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.
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.
Also Check: Pics Of Tick Bites With Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Acute And Late Stage Lyme
One reason chronic Lyme disease is harder to detect and treat than Lyme at earlier stages is that chronic Lyme disease symptoms are more wide-ranging and varied. Chronic Lyme disease can cause symptoms of early Lyme disease such as fatigue and muscle aches to recur, but it can also cause new symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
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.
You May Like: Can Lyme Disease Cause Spinal Stenosis
How Can Lyme Disease Be Treated
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we believe that the best treatment for Lyme disease is ozone therapy.
Ozone is a substance that is found at high atmospheric levels youve heard of the ozone layer. For medical purposes, ozone is created by sending oxygen through an electrical coil, causing it to have three atoms instead of two its no longer O2 its now O3. This third atom makes for oxygen that is supercharged, giving it superior medical properties.
Ozone works by increasing the amount of oxygen in your body. This helps it to heal by:
- Detoxifying your liver
- De-clogging your blood cells
Multidrug Approach For Ptlds
Richard Horowitz, MD, and Phyllis Freeman, PhD, have reported the presence of multiple microorganisms including babesia, bartonella, mycoplasma, chlamydia, and brucella in patients at their specialized Lyme disease practice in Hyde Park, New York. They treated patients who had been clinically diagnosed with Lyme but had relapsed after treatment with what they call a persister regimen intended to disrupt entrenched or hidden forms of bacteria such as biofilms. The regimen consisted of six months of dapsone plus multiple antibiotics. Patients also took at least three different probiotics .
Symptoms were judged as being less severe overall after the treatment. Horowitz and Freeman concluded that the treatment was helpful for fatigue, forgetfulness, aches and pains, and other symptoms. This was not a controlled study: It consisted of online surveys before and after treatment, which are prone to positively inflated results . While it is expected that practitioners will want to try new approaches and will report success with them, controlled trials are necessary to demonstrate safety and efficacy of this multidrug approach. DDS has serious side effects, and its dosing must be closely monitored.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Prevention In Humans
Traditional Medicine Herbalists And Holisitic Healers To Support The Immune System
Holistic approaches often require dedication, guidance, and working closely with an experienced practitioner. Functional, holistic-minded practitioners may use herbs, nutrition, mindfulness training and meditation, and exercise to support the entire body and its ability to heal itself.
Traditional Chinese medicine degrees include LAc , OMD , or DipCH . Traditional Ayurvedic medicine from India is accredited in the United States by the American Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. There are several certifications that designate an herbalist. The American Herbalists Guild provides a listing of registered herbalists, whose certification is designated RH .
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Adults
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!
You May Like: What Is Chronic Lyme Disease In Humans
Conventional Treatment Options For Lyme Disease
If you were bitten by a tick and you have either a rash or flulike symptoms, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics, which are usually effective in treating the infection. On the other hand, there is not yet a clear understanding of or treatment for PTLDS. It is not generally accepted that antibiotics are helpful in PTLDS.
Lyme Disease Symptoms Also Occur In Other Diseases
Many Lyme symptoms, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint pain, poor sleep, mood problems, muscle pain, and neurological presentations also occur in other diseases. Hence, the symptoms of Lyme disease significantly overlap those of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons disease, ALS, depression and Alzheimers disease. Many Lyme patients report being misdiagnosed with a different condition before being properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Don’t Miss: What Type Of Doctors Treat Lyme Disease
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the “head” of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on the skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.