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What Does Lyme Do To The Body

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What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

Lyme disease can cause a host ofdifferent symptoms and ailments, but if caught early, it can be diagnosed andtreated with antibiotics specifically doxycycline. If left untreated, however, Lyme disease canprogress into a very serious condition that can affect a person for the rest oftheir life.

Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is categorized as a condition lasting over a period of months or evenyears that affects people who have been treated for Lyme disease withantibiotics. The disorder comes with awide array of different issues, including trouble with sleeping, chronicfatigue, and neurological problems such as confusion and even cognitivechanges.

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What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease

If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience whats called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally dont prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but its not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.

Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.

How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted

Ticks usually live in woods or tall grasslands in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ticks can become infected with Borrelia burgdorferi by feeding on infected wild animals, and then can spread the bacteria when they feed on blood from the host. Ticks cannot fly – they hang onto small bushes or tall grasses and are usually found close to the ground. They wait for an animal or person to pass near them and when the animal or person makes contact, the ticks attach themselves to the skin to feed.

In North America, Lyme disease is transmitted mainly by two species of ticks:

  • Blacklegged tick , Ixodes scapularis.
  • Western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus.

The Public Health Agency of Canada states that there no evidence that Lyme disease can spread from person-to-person. Pets, especially dogs, can get Lyme disease, but there is no evidence that pets can spread the infection directly to humans. They may, however, carry infected ticks into the home or yard which may increase the chance of transmission.

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Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions

If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.

The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.

If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.

References:

Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.Am J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.

There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.

Lyme Disease Rashes And Look

Does Lyme Disease Cause Bells Palsy?

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.

Ringworm

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

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What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.

After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers dont know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.

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: How Do You Know If A Tick Has Lyme Disease

When Should I Call The Doctor

If a tick bites you, call your doctor. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s always a good idea to discuss them with your doctor. That way you can get checked and treated, if needed. Call right away if you get a red-ringed rash, lasting flu-like symptoms, joint pain or a swollen joint, or facial paralysis.

Strategies For Managing Nerve Pain

Understanding the Persistent Symptoms in Lyme Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine

1. Reduce Your Microbial Burden

When youre dealing with Lyme disease and co-infections, its not always easy to pinpoint which stealth pathogen is affecting your nervous system. In fact, its most reasonable to recognize that all sneaky microbes are capable of disrupting immune function and causing it to go awry.

When your bodys microbial burden becomes too great, your microbiome becomes imbalanced, driving inflammation and aggravating neuropathy. Thus, at the top of the priority list is decreasing the infectious load to normalize and calm the immune system.

When youre looking for natural solutions to lessen the impact of stealth pathogens, herbal therapy can play a critical role. Not only do herbs have antimicrobial properties, but they are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants as well.

Moreover, herbs dont disrupt the delicate balance of the microbiome like synthetics medications do. Some of my favorite herbs with antimicrobial and immunomodulating properties to keep in mind include:

2. Use Medications Cautiously

When it comes to neuropathy, the reality is that sometimes you need some extra support to get your pain levels to a tolerable level. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that may be useful from time to time.

However, the value of medications is limited to short term management of symptoms because of cumulative side effects. The list of medications commonly recommended by healthcare providers includes:

Also Check: How Many Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

To prevent Lyme disease, you should lower your risk of getting a tick bite:

  • Avoid areas where ticks live, such as grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. If you are hiking, walk in the center of the trail to avoid brush and grass.
  • Use an insect repellent with DEET
  • Treat your clothing and gear with a repellant containing 0.5% permethrin
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing, so you can easily see any ticks that get on you
  • Wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants. Also tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks.
  • Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks. Carefully remove any ticks you find.
  • Take a shower and wash and dry your clothes at high temperatures after being outdoors

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diagnosis Testing And Treatment

You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65% of the time or less. This is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon how long youve been infected. During the first few weeks of infection, such as when a patient has an erythema migrans rash, the test is expected to be negative.

Several weeks after infection, FDA cleared tests have very good sensitivity.

It is possible for someone who was infected with Lyme disease to test negative because:

  • Some people who receive antibiotics early in disease may not have a fully developed antibody response or may only develop an antibody response at levels too low to be detected by the test.
  • Antibodies against Lyme disease bacteria usually take a few weeks to develop, so tests performed before this time may be negative even if the person is infected. In this case, if the person is retested a few weeks later, they should have a positive test if they have Lyme disease. It is not until 4 to 6 weeks have passed that the test is likely to be positive. This does not mean that the test is bad, only that it needs to be used correctly.
  • If you are pregnant and suspect you have contracted Lyme disease, contact your physician immediately.

    * Silver HM. Lyme disease during pregnancy. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar 11:93-7.

    The most common co-infections that occur with Lyme disease are anaplasmosis and babesiosis. In general:

    References:

    Also Check: Will Lymes Disease Ever Go Away

    Are Some Locations More At Risk Than Others

    Yes and no. There are areas in which the bacteria is endemic meaning the disease is established and present more or less continually in that community.

    In Canada, blacklegged tick populations have been confirmed or are growing in the following areas:

    • Southern British Columbia.
    • Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island.
    • South shore and northern mainland Nova Scotia.

    However, it is important to note that ticks can be spread by birds, in particular songbirds that feed off the forest floor. Because these birds are migratory, there is the potential for new populations of the bacteria to spread across the country. This fact means that you do not have to be in an endemic or high-risk area to be at risk of contacting ticks and the disease.

    Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease Contagious

    More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control each year. The risk of Lyme disease is greatest in the spring and summer when the disease is commonly transmitted through tick bites.

    Preventing tick bites is key to fending off an infection, but if you do get bit, look out for these early symptoms of Lyme disease:

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    Also Check: What Does Lyme Disease Do To You

    Regression And Other Symptoms In Children

    Children are the largest population of Lyme patients.

    The CDC study of reported Lyme cases from 19922006 found that the incidence of new cases was highest among 5- to 14-year-olds . About one quarter of reported Lyme cases in the United States involve children under 14 years old .

    Children can have all the signs and symptoms of Lyme that adults have, but they may have trouble telling you exactly what they feel or where it hurts.

    You may notice a decline in school performance, or your childs mood swings may become problematic.

    Your childs social and speech skills or motor coordination may regress. Or your child may lose their appetite.

    Children are more likely than adults to have arthritis as an initial symptom 01267-2/fulltext#sec0040″ rel=”nofollow”> 25).

    In a 2012 Nova Scotian study of children with Lyme, 65 percent developed Lyme arthritis . The knee was the most commonly affected joint.

    Summary:

    How Is The Body Affected By Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is caused by the transfer of bacteria in the human by the vector. Ticks are the vectors and the reservoir for these bacteria is mice and deer. The bacteria enter in the ticks when they feed on the reservoir. When these vector ticks feed on the humans, the bacteria multiply and enter in to the human. Various immunological reactions occur in the body against the bacteria which results in fever and inflammation and also neurology and cardiac effects. The bacteria may also evade the immune system b changing the surface antigen so that immune cells are unable to recognize the bacteria.

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    Support Toxin Removal By The Liver Intestines And Kidneys

    Lyme Disease Signs and Symptoms (2 of 5) | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    From the blood, toxins are cleaned out of the body by the liver. The liver transforms toxins from fat-based forms to water-based forms by tagging them with water-based chemical groups. In the intestines the tagged toxins are then moved out of our bodies through the stools. However, if a person does not have regular bowel movements, bacteria in the intestines can remove the water-based tag. If this happens, the now fat-based toxins move into the blood. Fiber in the diet and water intake promote regular bowel movements. In addition, fiber can bind the fat-based toxins so that they do not get reabsorbed.

    Some use coffee enemas for detox. The tannins in coffee irritate the intestine lining causing bowel movments. There is a very small effect of coffee promoting more toxin release by the liver – but this is quite small. Because they have similar effects promoting bowel movements, I find using fiber and water in the diet is easier than coffee enemas.

    Fiber & Water Support Detox

    Water. It is important to drink 1/2 of your ideal body weight in ounces daily . This helps to flush the kidneys and promotes regular bowel movements.

    Fiber. To bind toxins in the intestines and to promote regular bowel movements have 3 or more servings a day of fiber. Foods rich in fiber are beans, legumes, and whole grains. Apples are also a good source. To determine how much to have in a serving, I advise that a clenched fist is roughly equal to two serving sizes.

    Support Liver Detoxification

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    Lyme Disease Can Affect Nearly Every Component Of The Human Body Resulting In Drastic Chemistry Change

    Unfortunately, since Lyme Disease is a biological hijacking , the chemistry of the body changes. The body develops new requirements, intolerances, and reactions to environments and substances that normally didn’t bother or disrupt the physiology of the body before obtaining the Lyme bacteria. These newfound intolerances and triggers can actually make a person with Lyme feel just as bad as they do during a herxheimer reaction, if not worse. And experiencing one of these triggers or intolerances at the same time as a herxheimer reaction can be the difference between having a bad day, and a really bad day.

    The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease

    Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

    But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.

    Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.

    Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.

    Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.

    Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.

    Read Also: Signs Of Lyme Disease From A Tick Bite

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