Tuesday, September 26, 2023

What Are Some Signs Of Lyme Disease

Must read

What Is A Tick

Lyme Disease Signs and Symptoms (2 of 5) | Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • A tick is a parasite that is 3 to 5 mm in size. They are so small that it can be hard to spot them immediately.
  • They are the most common trouble for pets, especially the ones that roam outside more often.
  • They feed on animals blood. Often time they go unnoticed because of their small size and painless bites.
  • There are also different types of ticks. A deer tick is a common kind in the United States.

Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

Timing: Weeks to months after a tick bite

In early disseminated Lyme disease, the infection has started to move beyond the site of your tick bite to other parts of your body such as your heart, brain, or spinal cord. Lyme disease that has moved to the brain is sometimes referred to as Lyme neuroborreliosis, or neurological Lyme disease.

Common symptoms of early disseminated Lyme disease include:

  • More than one EM rash

  • Pain that may come and go and move around the body, in joints, tendons, muscles, and bones

  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord , which can cause severe headache, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to light and sound

  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms and legs

  • Weakness or drooping on one or both sides of the face difficulty closing an eyelid

  • Inflammation of the heart that can cause heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting. If you are experiencing any of these heart symptoms, seek immediate medical care.

You may also experience a worsening of earlier Lyme disease symptoms.

Lyme disease can cause joint pain , a stiff neck , or weakness or drooping on one or both sides of the face, known as facial palsy .

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.

Also Check: How Do You Get Checked For Lyme Disease

What Is Lyme Arthritis

Lyme arthritis occurs when Lyme disease bacteria enter joint tissue and cause inflammation. If left untreated, permanent damage to the joint can occur. Lyme arthritis accounts for approximately one out of every four Lyme disease cases reported to CDC. Because of reporting practices, this statistic may overstate the frequency of arthritis among patients seen in routine clinical practice.

Dont Miss: Doctors Who Specialize In Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease: A Pet Owners Guide

Treatment for Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an illness that affects both animals and humans what is known as a zoonotic disease and is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Transmitted through tick bites, the disease can be difficult to detect and can cause serious and recurring health problems. Therefore, it is best to prevent infection by taking appropriate measures to prevent tick bites and, for dogs, possibly vaccinating against the disease.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease a worm-like, spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi is carried and transmitted primarily by the tiny black-legged tick known as the deer tick. Deer ticks are found in forests or grassy, wooded, marshy areas near rivers, lakes or oceans. People or animals may be bitten by deer ticks during outdoor activities such as hiking or camping, or even while spending time in their back yards.

Named after numerous cases were identified in Lyme, Conn., in 1975, the disease has since been reported in humans and animals across the United States and around the world. Within the U.S., it appears primarily in specific areas including the southern New England states eastern Mid-Atlantic states the upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Minnesota and on the West Coast, particularly northern California. The CDC maintains a map detailing confirmed cases of Lyme disease throughout the years.

Also Check: Oil Change East Lyme Ct

Chronic Lyme: What Happens When Lyme Goes Untreated

The Lyme community typically uses the term chronic Lyme disease to describe a range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that crop up after getting Lyme disease and persist for months to years after infection.

The risk of chronic Lyme increases the longer a Lyme infection goes untreated or undertreated. In other words, patients are more likely to recover fully if their Lyme infection is detected and treated as early as possible after the discovery of a tick bite. This stage is usually marked by symptoms such as fevers, chills, muscle aches, and sometimes rashes.

When left untreated or undertreated, however, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body and affect:

  • The central nervous system
  • Muscles and joints

As Lymedisease.org points out, these symptoms can evolve, disappear, and reappear at different times.

Controversy: Split Over Treatment For Persistent Symptoms

Medical groups continue to disagree about the optimal approach if a patients symptoms persist after the initial antibiotic treatment. A recent Lyme disease overview summarizes the differing guidelines .

  • When patients have persistent or recurrent symptoms following recommended antibiotic treatment but no evidence of reinfection, further treatment is not recommended .
  • While other potential causes for persistent symptoms should be investigated first, additional antibiotics are recommended if a chronic Lyme infection is believed to be a possible cause for ongoing symptoms and the patient has an impaired quality of life .

Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In People

Signs And Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease

Seek medical attention if you observe any of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.

Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.

The appearance of the erythema migrans rash can vary widely.

  • Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
  • Erythema migrans rash :
  • Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
  • Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days
  • Expands gradually over several days reaching up to 12 inches or more across
  • May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
  • Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or bulls-eye appearance
  • May appear on any area of the body
  • Does not always appear as a classic erythema migrans rash

Swollen Knee

  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness
  • Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord

Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.

What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease

Understanding the Persistent Symptoms in Lyme Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Most of the people who get Lyme disease and receive treatment early will be fine. Treatment can cure Lyme disease but you might still have some long-term effects. Untreated Lyme disease may contribute to other serious problems but its rarely fatal.

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome

Even after proper treatment, some people may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS. The symptoms dont mean that you still have an infection. PTLDS probably wont respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms that resolve at some point over the next six months.

Chronic Lyme disease

Chronic Lyme disease is a term used by some for a condition in a person who had Lyme disease and the symptoms of PTLDS. Some people consider chronic Lyme disease to be the same as PTLDS. However, some people receive a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis without a Lyme disease diagnosis. Sometimes, extended treatment with antibiotics helps.

This term may be why some people think a Lyme disease infection can occur without being bitten by a tick. There isn’t enough proof that mosquitoes can transmit Lyme disease. Many researchers dislike using the term chronic Lyme disease.

Recommended Reading: What Happens If A Dog Has Lyme Disease

Treatment Of Erythema Migrans Rash

People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent late Lyme disease. Treatment regimens listed in the following table are for the erythema migrans rash, the most common manifestation of early Lyme disease. These regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a persons age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions. For treating other manifestations, see www.cdc.gov/Lyme/treatment.

Lyme Disease treatment regimens

30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses 500 mg per dose 14

*When different durations of antibiotics are shown to be effective for the treatment of Lyme disease, the shorter duration is preferred to minimize adverse effects, including infectious diarrhea and antimicrobial resistance.

NOTE: For people intolerant of amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime, the macrolide azithromycin may be used, although it is less effective. People treated with azithromycin should be closely monitored to ensure that symptoms resolve.

Transmission And Incubation Period

In Québec, only a bite from an infected blacklegged tick can transmit Lyme disease. The risk is low if the tick is attached to the skin for less than 24 hours. If the tick is attached for longer than that, the risk increases.

Ticks do not jump or fly. Generally, they wait in leaf litter on the ground, in tall grasses or in bushes until an animal or human goes by. Before a tick feeds, it can vary in size between 1 and 3 millimetres. It can triple in size when filled with blood. It needs to feed on animal or human blood at each stage of development, from larva to nymph to adult.

The disease does not spread from an infected animal to humans or by contact between people. If a blacklegged tick is found on an animal, that can indicate that there are other ticks in the immediate environment or in an area where the animal was found recently. Pet and other animal owners would therefore be at risk of coming into contact with ticks that transmit the disease.

You May Like: What Kind Of Ticks Have Lyme Disease

Stages Of Lyme Disease And Their Common Symptoms

If you have already been diagnosed with Lyme disease, learning about Lyme stages can help you know what symptoms you might experience. Youll also be able to watch for signs that could mean that your Lyme disease has progressed. Lyme disease symptoms are more likely to progress if you have not been appropriately treated.

If you dont have a Lyme disease diagnosis, its helpful to know that Lyme disease can cause a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms throughout your body. If you develop symptoms listed below, especially after youve gotten a tick bite or spent time in an area where Lyme disease is common, you can ask your doctor whether you might have Lyme disease and if you should be tested for it. .

There are three stages of Lyme disease. Early localized, or Stage 1, Lyme disease occurs soon after being infected, when Lyme bacteria are still close to the site of the tick bite. Common symptoms of early localized Lyme disease include a rash or mild, flulike symptoms. Over time the Lyme bacteria can spread, or disseminate, to other parts of the body, causing more serious symptoms associated with early disseminated or late disseminated Lyme disease. This is more likely if you are not diagnosed and treated early.

Signs Of Untreated Lyme Disease

Treating Lyme Disease with Essential Oils

by Lyme Mexico | May 20, 2022 | Symptoms |

Lyme disease can go unnoticed or undiagnosed at the early stages. Here are some signs of untreated Lyme disease to help you identify it faster. Read more below

Lyme disease affects hundreds of thousands of people annually. It is the most common tick-related infection and has been diagnosed in every state. It is not a disease associated with the Northeast any longer.

When an infected tick bites someone, the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria is transmitted into your bloodstream. One of the first signs of Lyme disease is a red, bullseye rash. Unfortunately, not everyone will get a rash. Also, the rash may occur in places on the body that are not seen as often, allowing it to go undetected.

Finding a rash or erythema migrans is the best-case scenario because it is the one sign specific only to Lyme disease. There are no doubts you have been infected, and doctors can quickly diagnose you and start you on a round of antibiotics. When caught this early, most people respond well to antibiotics and have no further Lyme disease symptoms.

You May Like: Type Of Doctor For Lyme Disease

What Causes Lyme Disease

You can get Lyme disease if youre bitten by a tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.

Ticks are insect-sized 8-legged animals that can cling onto the skin. They can pierce the skin and inject their saliva, which may contain the bacteria, into the wound to draw blood for food. A tick has to be attached for at least 36 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.

How Do I Keep My Cat Safe From Lyme Disease

If you live in a tick-infested area, your cat is more vulnerable, and you should take extra precautions to avoid or reduce tick exposure. Tick repellents for cats are the most effective way to avoid and prevent Lyme disease. If your cat is outdoors a lot of the time, make sure you check it regularly for ticks and remove them as soon as you can.

No vaccine is available to protect cats against Lyme disease because it is uncommon. The best prevention is to keep your cat tick-free, especially during the tick season.

Recommended Reading: Blot Test For Lyme Disease

Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Early symptoms will typically develop 1 to 4 weeks after being bitten, however, they can appear anytime between 3 to 30 days after exposure.

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular red rash usually, but not always, at the site of the tick bite.

The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dart board and is known as erythema migrans. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.

The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, its around 15cm across but it can be much larger or smaller than this.

Some people may develop several rashes on different parts of their body. However, around one in every 3 people with Lyme disease do not report seeing a rash.

As well as a rash, people with early Lyme disease may experience any of the following:

  • flu-like symptoms such as fever and sweats, chills, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, joint or muscle pains
  • paralysis of the facial muscles, typically only on one side of the face
  • nerve pains, which may be shooting, sharp or prickly and which follow the course of the nerve

Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

Overlooked Lyme disease symptoms

If you move into the second stage of Lyme disease without receiving antibiotics or treatment of any kind, you may experience the following symptoms in the two to three months after infection:

  • Any of the signs from the first stage but advanced
  • Facial paralysis or weakness, or Bells palsy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Additional rashes
  • Worsening mental health symptoms

Your doctor should refer you to a specialist at this point if they have not been able to help you feel better. If they do not refer you to a Lyme-literate specialist, take it upon yourself to make an appointment. Continue to see the specialists your doctors suggest, too. They may make the connection between your symptoms and Lyme disease.

It is also good to continue seeing other specialists rule out possible causes. For some, discovering a diagnosis of Lyme disease is a process of elimination of other conditions. Do whatever you can to ensure you receive proper health care. If you continue to go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, you may experience additional symptoms.

Read Also: Late Stage Lyme Disease Symptoms

Can Lyme Disease Be Treated

In most cases, yes. Antibiotics can effectively treat Lyme disease, especially when treatment begins early. Cases that reach the later stages of the disease, however, can be difficult to treat and some symptoms can persist.

PHAC reports that removing the tick within 24-36 hours usually prevents infection.

What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:

  • Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease

Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.

Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

You May Like: My Dog’s Place East Lyme

More articles

Popular Articles