Treating What You Dont Know
The other big question is how to treat something with a cause that cant be identified.
Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed on the theory that B. burgdorferi might still be hiding out in the body somewhere. However, although there have been anecdotal short-term successes, Marques said no studies have shown sustained benefits from antibiotics to people with chronic Lyme disease or those with post-Lyme disease syndrome.
The majority of people who contract Lyme and are treated for it with a course of antibiotics do get better with time.
But those who dont 10 to 20 percent, according to Marques review of the research fall into the post-Lyme disease syndrome category.
Those people continue to experience persistent or intermittent symptoms a year after completing the antibiotics therapy.
Children appear less likely to develop long-term symptoms as are those who dont delay antibiotics or have less severe cases of Lyme in the first place.
In cases of chronic Lyme, people who test negative for the disease despite symptoms could be infected with another tick-borne illness or have an autoimmune disorder or other problem.
How to treat these long-term symptoms is still a mystery.
For now, Marques and her team are working on identifying biomarkers and other ways to find out definitively whether Lyme disease is to blame for the symptoms.
That additional research is becoming more critical.
Researchers have predicted higher tick numbers in some parts of the country this summer.
Secondary Lyme Disease Rash
Various photos of Lyme rashes and skin conditions that are not Lyme related. How to distinguish a Lyme disease rash from look-alikes. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC twenty four seven. Saving Lives, Protecting People
Dont Miss: Prophylactic Antibiotics For Lyme Disease
Early Detection Is Key
Lyme disease is easiest to treat at the early or acute stage, within the first 30 days of exposure. This is why its so important to take precautions to prevent tick bites, both during and outside of tick season. Protect yourself when near potential tick habitats, always perform tick checks after outdoor activity , and dont delay seeking medical attention if you notice any symptoms that might be related to tick-borne illness. Its important to get tested as soon as possible for the best chances of recovery.
Don’t Miss: Does Lyme Disease Cause Constipation
Where Is Lyme Disease Found
Lyme disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica. It is found all across the United States, with a particularly high incidence in the East, Midwest, and West Coast. Rates have increased significantly over time. Some of this increase may be because of disease spread, but it is also likely that it reflects growing public awareness of the disease.
Not all ticks are infected. Within endemic areas, there is considerable variation in tick infection rates depending on the type of habitat, presence of wildlife and other factors. Tick infection rates can vary from 0% to more than 70% in the same area. This uncertainty about how many ticks are infected makes it hard to predict the risk of Lyme disease in a given region.
In the South, a Lyme-like disease called STARI transmitted by the Lone Star tick has been described. Scientists are still debating about what organism in the Lone Star tick may cause the disease as well as the treatment of patients with a rash in the South. However, Lyme disease has been reported in certain areas of the South and Southeast and patients with STARI may be quite ill. Because of this, patients in the South with a rash should be treated.
Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
Also Check: Can You Get Disability For Lyme Disease
Treatment For Neurological Lyme Disease
After defining the problem, she moves on to solutions. The next section deals with pharmaceutical approaches to Lyme disease in the brain, including an explanation of the blood-brain barrier and what drugs can effectively penetrate it. She discusses medications that reduce inflammation, as well as those to stabilize neurological function, balance mood and help people think more clearly.
Section 3 discusses natural approaches to Lyme disease in the brain: antimicrobials, such as Cats Claw and teasel root anti-inflammatories, such as curcumin and stephania root antioxidants, such as glutathione neurotransmitter support and essential oils such as peppermint and frankincense.
Section 4 deals with nutrition. Readers of her earlier book, The Lyme Diet, will find familiar themes: avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and additives such as MSG.
Ducharme explains about therapies to help the brain, including neurofeedback, Brainwave Entrainment, and hyperbaric oxygen. She covers sleep and exercise. She reviews different kinds of psychotherapy for patients with Lyme brain.
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.
Dont Miss: Chimney Sweep Old Lyme Ct
You May Like: Is There A Vaccine Available For Lyme Disease
What Is Shingles What Is Its Connection With Lyme Disease
Shingles is a viral disease characterized by a painful rash mainly on the torso and sometimes on the face. It usually occurs in patients with weakened immune system and is typically seen in elderly populations. Shingles disease affects the patient at the nerve level in that the virus called Varicella Zoster virus affects the nerves while also causing a painful rash on the body. Almost all patients who have suffered from chicken pox in their childhood have the dormant Varicella Zoster virus inside them. As a result, when they become sick or develop a weaker immunity, they tend to suffer from Shingles in adulthood.
Lyme disease on the other hand, is basically caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. These microorganisms are present in many animals including deer, pheasants, rodents etc. If a deer tick bites you, you are likely to develop Lyme disease based on your overall health condition and also on the time period for which the tick remains attached to your body. The main symptoms of Lyme disease are bulls eye rashes along with fever, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, fatigue, sudden memory loss, lack of appetite, inability to concentrate etc.
Lyme The Nervous System And Neuropathy
Unfortunately, once the infection begins to spread throughout the body, many people will develop Lyme neuroborreliosis . This is neurological Lyme disease, which affects and inflames the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Research suggests the neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease may be present in approximately 15% of the patient population. However, the exact incidence of LNB isnt well known. A brief stint in an online Lyme patient forum will quickly reveal that most individuals report experiencing at least some amount of neurological involvement on a routine basis.
One debilitating symptom that may be present among those with LNB is peripheral neuropathy . This is a disease process that impacts the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. Neuropathy occurs when there is damage or dysfunction of neurons in one or more nerves.
The damage results in interference among the neurons, and they begin to have difficulty communicating with each other and the brain.
To make matters worse, co-infections like Babesia and Bartonella can contribute to neuropathy as well, according to a study in the International Journal of General Medicine.
So how do you know if the symptoms youre facing are neuropathy, and what can you do to find some relief? Read on to learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and ideas on how to manage the pain and discomfort associated with neuropathy more effectively.
Recommended Reading: Primary Care For Women Old Lyme Ct
What Tests Are Available For Lyme Disease
When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the bacteria. Certain blood tests are available to measure these antibodies. However, sometimes a “false negative” test can result if there are not enough antibodies in the blood for the tests to detect accurately. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and gather information about your recent outdoor activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Rashes And Look
Circular, expanding rash with target-like appearance.
Expanding rash with central crust
Expanding lesion with central crust on chest.
Expanding erythema migrans
Photo Credit: Reprinted from Bhate C, Schwartz RA. Lyme disease: Part I. Advances and perspectivesexternal icon. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:619-36, with permission from Elsevier.
Description:Early, expanding erythema migrans with nodule.
Multiple rashes, disseminated infection
Early disseminated Lyme disease multiple lesions with dusky centers.
Red, oval plaque
Red, expanding oval-shaped plaque on trunk.
Expanding rash with central clearing
Circular, expanding rash with central clearing.
Bluish hued rash, no central clearing
Bluish hued without central clearing.
Expanding lesion, no central clearing
Expanding lesion without central clearing on back of knee.
Red-blue lesion with central clearing
Red-blue lesion with some central clearing on back of knee.
Insect bite hyper-sensitivity
Large itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to an insect bite.
Fixed drug reaction
Description:A skin condition that occurs up to two weeks after a person takes a medication. The skin condition reappears at the same location every time a person takes that particular medication.
Description:Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges.
Pityriasis rosea rash
Granuloma annulare rash
Read Also: What Medicine For Lyme Disease
A Far More Common Cause Of Vertigo
It is a fairly rare occurrence when Lyme disease is actually the underlying factor in vertigo incidence. A far more common problem that leads to vertigo is a misalignment in the C1 and C2 vertebrae. This type of misalignment can affect blood flow to the brain and ears and lead to vestibular problems either of a peripheral or central nature.
How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
While walking in green spaces, consider wearing clothing that covers your skin to make it more difficult for ticks to access a suitable place to bite.
Use insect repellent such as DEET and consider wearing light coloured clothing so that you can easily spot ticks and brush them off.
After spending time outside, check yourself, your clothing, your pets and others for ticks. Remove any attached tick as soon as you find it using a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers.
More information can be found on the NHS website.
The idea of being bitten by a tick can be daunting. It is important to know that with the right precautions and by being tick aware you can help to protect yourself and your family from tick bites.
Remember that advice and treatment is readily available through the NHS. So, if you think you have been bitten by a tick and have symptoms, contact your GP and accept the treatment that is offered to you.
You May Like: Lyme Vaccine For Dogs How Often
How Do People Get Lyme Disease
Most people get Lyme from the bite of the nymphal, or immature, form of the tick. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed. Because they are so tiny and their bite is painless, many people do not even realize they have been bitten.
Once a tick has attached, if undisturbed it may feed for several days. The longer it stays attached, the more likely it will transmit the Lyme and other pathogens into your bloodstream. Refer to tick section.
If pregnant women are infected, they sometimes pass Lyme disease to their unborn children and, while not common, stillbirth has occurred. Some doctors believe other types of human-to-human transmission are possible but little is known for certain.
Testing For Lyme Disease In Dogs
Lyme disease spread by ticks can be diagnosed with a simple blood tests in your veterinarians clinic. The C6 test is very sensitive and specific at diagnosing cases of Lyme disease and depending on clinical signs and concurrent results, treatment may be started immediately. If treatment has been successful, reductions in the QC6 at six months should be lower than the starting point.
You May Like: Do Antibiotics Get Rid Of Lyme Disease
Don’t Miss: How Bad Is Lyme Disease
Phase : Early Localized Disease
A characteristic flat, red ring or bulls-eye rash develops in 75% of those who have been bitten by a tick infected with Lyme disease. The rash appears days to weeks after the bite and spreads outward. The bulls-eye rash is called erythema migrans. Some people dont notice or remember being bitten by a tick either because the tick was too small or a rash never appeared. Someone with newly acquired Lyme disease may suffer from fatigue, headache, joint and muscle stiffness, and swollen glands. Later stages of the disease affect the heart, joints, and nervous system.
How Do You Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick, most often a baby tick called a nymph . That sounds scary like the moment a tick lands on your or your kid, youre potentially going to get Lyme. However, thats not the case. Mordue explains that it takes 36-48 hours in order for the pathogen to be transmitted. In other words, the tick has to stay on your body for at least a day and half to actually infect you. That is one reason it is so important to check yourself for ticks after potential exposure to an environment likely to have ticks, she explains.
So what environments have ticks? Ticks tend to be near the ground, in leaf litter, grasses, bushes and fallen logs. High risk activities include playing in leaves, gathering firewood and leaning against tree trunks, explains Dorothy Leland, board president of LymeDisease.org. Yet even if youre not doing any of that, youre not completely in the clear. Ticks can be in a local park or your yard too, or even take a ride into your house on your dog. Watching out for ticks throughout the summer, no matter what youre doing, is important.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease And Leg Cramps
Treatment For Lyme Disease Symptoms
Doctors say the sooner you notice symptoms, the better your outcome. People treated in the early stages of Lyme generally make a full, rapid recovery, the CDC notes.
Antibiotics are recommended for most people with Lyme disease, but what that regimen looks like varies widely from person to person. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says a short course of an oral antibiotic, such as doxycycline or amoxicillin, can clear up Lyme infection in most cases. However, the particular drug, dosage, and duration your doctor recommends may depend on factors such as:
- Your age
Recommended Reading: Is Lyme Disease Curable In Humans
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Child
Don’t panic. First Lyme disease is spread by the black-legged tick, not by the larger and more-common dog tick. The risk of developing Lyme disease after a black-legged tick bite is low, especially if the tick has been attached for a short time.
If you find a tick on your child, remove it using a fine-tipped pair of tweezers. Grasp the body of the tick and pull in an upward motion until the tick comes out. Do not squeeze or twist the ticks body. Take note of the ticks size and color, and how long you think it has been attached to your child.
If your child has been bitten by a black-legged tick that has been attached for more than 24 hours and you are in a Lyme disease endemic area, consult with your pediatrician. In some cases, your child may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease from developing.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease And The Brain
Treatment Of Lyme Disease
Although all stages of Lyme disease respond to antibiotics, early treatment is more likely to prevent complications.
Antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime, taken by mouth for 2 to 3 weeks, are effective during the early stages of the disease. If early disease is localized, people may need treatment for only 10 days. If people cannot take any of these drugs, azithromycin is sometimes used but is less effective. Usually, doxycycline is not given to children under 8 years old or to pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Antibiotics can also help relieve many of the symptoms of Lyme disease.
For arthritis due to Lyme disease, antibiotics such as amoxicillin, cefuroxime, or doxycycline are given by mouth for 28 days, or ceftriaxone is given intravenously for 28 days.
Antibiotics eradicate the bacteria and, in most people, relieve arthritis. However, arthritis sometimes lasts even after all the bacteria are gone because inflammation continues. Even after successful antibiotic treatment, some people still have other symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and mental problems.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin or ibuprofen, may relieve the pain of swollen joints. Fluid that collects in affected joints may be drained. Using crutches may help.