Symptoms Of Late Stage Lyme Disease
Your suffering has moved from an occasional inflammation flare-up to chronic pain in your muscles, tendons, and joints. You may have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Your headaches have become severe. You may even experience dizziness or vertigo.
Additional symptoms include a stiff neck, sleep disorders like insomnia, and numbness in your outer extremities. You may also lack the ability to focus, and paying attention when having conversations has become difficult. Your fatigue is so bad you sometimes do not want to attempt getting out of bed.
The worse symptom may be that you have tried to get the right help, but doctors have failed to give you an accurate diagnosis. Because of this, you may feel like you are crazy, or your friends and family may not believe you are in pain.
You may be wondering how you were able to reach late stage Lyme disease without proper treatment.
Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
If stage 1 Lyme disease remains undiagnosed and untreated, it can progress to stage 2, or early disseminated, Lyme disease. This stage occurs 312 weeks after the initial tick bite.
The term disseminated indicates that the bacteria have spread throughout the body. At this stage, the infection may affect the following tissues:
- nervous system
A person who has progressed to stage 2 Lyme disease may develop new symptoms alongside those from stage 1. These new symptoms may include:
- new rashes across the body
- conjunctivitis or vision problems
- poor memory and concentration
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease may be difficult to diagnose because many of its symptoms mimic those of other disorders. In addition, the only distinctive symptom of Lyme disease, the red rash, does not happen or is not noticed by one-fifth of those who become infected. Many people cant recall having been bitten by a tick, because the tick is tiny, and its bite is usually painless.
If no rash is present, doctors will make the diagnosis on the basis of a detailed medical history, a careful physical examination, and laboratory tests to confirm their suspicion.
No test is perfect and the current testing for Lyme disease is no exception. Very early in the disease, testing will be negative as the body has not had time to develop a response that can be measured. Once the body responds, the positive test may persist for years even if Lyme is treated properly. Current research efforts are working to develop improved testing for Lyme disease.
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When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they have recently received a tick bite. It is not possible to know whether a tick is carrying Lyme disease, and the symptoms may take weeks to appear.
The earlier a person receives a diagnosis and treatment, the higher the likelihood of a quick and complete recovery.
It is not always possible for a person to tell if a tick has bitten them. As such, people should also see a doctor if they experience any Lyme disease symptoms. A doctor will ask about the persons symptoms and duration and whether the person has spent time in tick-infested areas.
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The disease can be debilitating if not diagnosed early on. The first sign of a Lyme disease infection is usually a bullseye-shaped skin rash. Early signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. The rash occurs in approximately 75% of infected people. Approximately 20 to 30% of people develop joint pains or neurological problems.
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How To Avoid Tick Bites
To reduce the chance of being bitten:
- cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
- use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
- stay on clear paths whenever possible
- wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
You should never treat Lyme disease with complementary therapies alone. Only proper antibiotic treatment can cure the disease and avoid complications.
Newsletters and Internet sites have cropped up in recent years advertising untested treatments to people with symptoms of post-Lyme disease syndrome or so-called “chronic Lyme disease” who are frustrated with standard medical treatment. Some remedies may be dangerous and ineffective. Always tell all of your doctors about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using.
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Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.
Molecular Testing For Detection Of Borrelia Species Bacterial Dna
PCR is available for Borrelia species DNA detection but is of limited value in routine testing for Lyme disease because the organism is only present in blood during the early stages of the disease and is predominantly restricted to the affected tissues.
Diagnostic molecular testing for Borrelia species DNA is available on request for relevant specimen types. Please call RIPL to discuss individual cases.
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Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The symptoms of Lyme Disease are most often the erythema migrans rash, lymphadenopathy, fatigue, chills, fever, myalgia, headache, nausea, joint pains and sore throat. The most common sign of Lyme Disease is the erythema migrans rash. This is an expanding red lesion with central clearing or a ring around it. Other symptoms include flu-like infection with nausea and vomiting. Joint pain may start days to weeks after the rash appears. Causes of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through infected ticks. The infection can be transmitted by other ticks as well, but researchers found that the deer tick and its relatives were the primary carriers of this disease. The bacteria lodge in skin tissue and causes a localized infection. If it spreads, it will cause more serious problems and symptoms such as arthritis. In many cases, the bacteria remain in skin tissue with no symptoms until the later stages of Lyme disease.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular rash around the tick bite. The rash:
- usually develops around 3 to 30 days after you’ve been bitten
- is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board
- will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised
- may get bigger over several days or weeks
- is typically around 15 cm across, but it can be much larger or smaller
Some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body.
Around 1 in 3 people with Lyme disease won’t develop a rash.
Some people with Lyme disease also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:
Remember to tell them you’ve been bitten by a tick.
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Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts
Chronic Lyme disease is an ongoing Borrelia burgdorferi infection that can involve any body system or tissue. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms and signs, which can be debilitating for some patients. Common symptoms include severe fatigue, migratory musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and impaired memory. Unfortunately, chronic Lyme disease is complex and often misunderstood, which means that many patients will struggle to obtain the care they need to regain their health. Every patient concerned about Lyme disease and tick-borne illness should know the following.
Can Lyme Disease Be Detected By A Blood Test
In a word: yes!
A blood test does not only detect Lyme disease it is the most accurate and preferred test for diagnosing the disease. If a patient with Lyme disease shows signs that the central nervous system has been affected by the disease, western blot testing on the cerebrospinal fluid can be performed. If ordering from Walk-In Lab, a doctors note is not needed. Just pick your Lyme disease test and place your order online.
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Alternative And Holistic Treatments
Alternative Lyme disease treatments are popular with many Lyme patients, especially those with late-stage or chronic Lyme. These alternative regimens are often given in conjunction with antibiotics occasionally they are used as primary treatment. Lymedisease.org has reported on the most popular alternative treatments with useful data about their effectiveness and side effects. Below are some of the highlights.
Are There Alternative Treatments For Lyme Disease
There are a variety of alternative treatments aimed at patients who believe they may have Lyme disease. But the effectiveness of these treatments is not supported by scientific evidence, and in many cases they are potentially harmful.
Bismacine, also known as chromacine, is an alternative-medicine drug that some people use to treat their Lyme disease.
The Food and Drug Administration warns that people should not use this injectable product, which has reportedly caused hospitalization and at least one death. 70563-1.pdf rel=nofollow> 6)
In addition, the FDA notes that bismacine contains high levels of bismuth, which can cause heart and kidney failure.
Other alternative treatments include oxygen therapy, light therapy, and a variety of nutritional or herbal supplements. But there is no evidence that these treatments are clinically effective in the treatment of Lyme disease.
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Lyme Disease Laboratory Tests Available At Ripl
The primary service provided by RIPL is serological testing using well-characterised and validated screening and confirmatory tests in accordance with the NICE Lyme disease guideline.
RIPL participates in regular external quality assurance exercises as an independent measure of its performance.
Details of prices and turnaround times for Lyme testing are provided in Appendix 1 of the RIPL user manual.
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False Negatives And Positives
Since early treatment is crucial to prevent complications, accurate diagnosis is essential. Those who have a history of tick bites and a bullseye rash do not need to be tested and should be treated as if they have Lyme disease. However, when the picture is less clear but Lyme disease is suspected, laboratory testing is recommended. False negative results are common in early Lyme disease because the standard test detects antibodies to the Borrelia bacteria and these take several weeks to develop. In addition, some people who receive antibiotics within the first few weeks of a tick bite may not develop antibodies or may only develop them at levels too low to be detected by the test.
In line with this, the NHS Highland National Lyme Borreliosis Testing Laboratory advises that patients with a clinical history consistent with early Lyme disease who have a negative test should be retested six to eight weeks after symptom onset. It is also possible for the antibody test to give a false positive result, so positive tests are confirmed using a second test, called a Western Blot.
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Treatment For Chronic Lyme Disease
Sometimes, people go through treatment for Lyme disease but their symptoms donât go away. If this lasts over 6 months, itâs known as chronic Lyme disease or âpost-treatment Lyme disease syndromeâ .
Doctors still arenât sure why some people get PTLDS. Some believe that getting Lyme disease may cause damage to your tissues or immune system. Others believe itâs because the bacteria that causes Lyme hasnât completely gone away.
There is little evidence that taking more antibiotics at this stage will help. They may actually be harmful. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating the symptoms youâre still having. This will be different for everyone. Some people could benefit from a medicine that relieves fatigue, while others may need a drug that can help with headaches or very sensitive skin.
More research is needed to figure out how best to treat PTLDS. Itâs something that can be frustrating. Just remember: Many people who have this condition do start feeling like their old selves after a few months.
How Do You Treat Lyme Disease Naturally
You can treat Lyme disease naturally with custom-made Homeopathy medicines from Welling Homeopathy Clinics. You can also treat late-stage Lyme disease and Post-Lyme disease syndrome.
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Early Detection Is Key
Amid the conflicting opinions and research on Lyme disease treatment, one thing is clear: The surest way to avoid needing complex treatment programs is to get diagnosed as soon as possible after being exposed and to include testing for all relevant tick-borne pathogens. The longer Lyme disease and these other infections go unchecked, the more difficult they are to treat.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
The key to Lyme disease is prevention and this requires an interprofessional team approach. All healthcare workers including the nurse practitioner, pharmacist, and primary care provider should provide patient education on measures to prevent tick bites while hiking or working outdoors. In areas where ticks are common, cleaning up of the environment by removing the underbrush and spraying an insecticide may reduce the tick burden in the area. The outdoors person should be told to wear appropriate garments and be familiar with the skin features of the tick bite. The nurse should educate the patient on how to remove the tick from the skin and when to seek medical assistance. The pharmacist should educate the patient on medication compliance for those who have been confirmed to have acquired Lyme disease.
Nurses should educate parents how to inspect their children for ticks at the end of an outdoor event, in an endemic area. While there are many repellants on the market, it is best to avoid them as the risk of harm is greater than any benefit. If one is going to use a repellant, DEET is the one product that is safe, however, it is not 100% effective. finally, the pharmacist should educate the patient about the harms of taking prophylactic doxycycline a better strategy is to remove the tick as soon as it is visualized.
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How Long Do Lyme Disease Flare Ups Last
These symptoms can include fatigue, joint or muscle aches, and cognitive dysfunction. They may last up to six months or longer. These symptoms can interfere with a persons normal activities and may cause emotional distress as a result. However, most peoples symptoms improve after six months to a year.
Pearls And Other Issues
Based on the geographic distribution of the shared vector Ixodes scapularis, co-infections with Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis and/or babesiosis can occur. Co-infected patients may be more severely ill at presentation, have a persistent fever longer than 48 hours after initiating antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease, or present with anemia, leukopenia, and/or thrombocytopenia. When co-infection is suspected or confirmed, treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial regimen for each infection is necessary for resolution of illness.
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Biorepositories And Research Cohorts
Well-characterized samples are an essential tool to help researchers develop and validate new diagnostic tests and to better understand the complexities of LD. Well-characterized sample sets can benefit medical providers, test developers, and the public at risk for LD . It is critical that sample users understand the criteria used to enroll participants, how samples were collected and stored, and what additional clinical and testing data may be available. Additional benefits can be realized when multiple sample users are using the same well-characterized sample sets. Current sample sets available for researchers include the CDC Lyme Serum Repository , the Lyme Disease Biobank , and samples from the Studies of Lyme Immunology and Clinical Events at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Additionally, some investigators also have their own sample collections with, in some cases, blood samples, skin biopsy specimens and synovial fluid which form the basis for collaborative studies .
Lyme Disease Biobank
Lyme Disease Research Center
Long Island Outdoor Worker Cohort
What Foods Should Be Avoided With Lyme Disease
There are a lot of foods that should be avoided if you have Lyme disease. Any food that cant be cooked or eaten raw should be avoided because it could make the symptoms worse and might not be properly cooked. One example is sushi.
Ingredients like raw seafood, unpasteurized dairy and raw eggs increase the risk for getting sick with Lyme disease, so those foods should also be avoided.
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Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is left untreated, it may progress to early disseminated Lyme disease, which spreads from the bite location to other parts of the body. It may begin to affect the skin, nervous system, and heart. This stage can occur days to months following the initial infection.Neurologic symptoms occur in approximately 10% of untreated people.
Inflammation of the nervous system can cause:
- Facial paralysis
- Numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or weakness in the arms or legs
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe headache or neck stiffness
Lyme carditis, which affects approximately 5% of people in this stage, occurs when the infection reaches the heart tissue and slows down the heart rate too much. Some people may not have any symptoms, while others may experience severe effects requiring hospitalization.
- Shortness of breath
During this stage, you may develop multiple erythema migrans rashes on areas distant from the original bite. You may also experience headaches, muscle or joint pain, or extreme fatigue.
Early disseminated Lyme disease can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics for two or more weeks, depending on the severity of the symptoms.