Tuesday, May 24, 2022

What Happens When You Get Lyme Disease

Must read

Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented Or Avoided

What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by ticks. When you are outdoors, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid areas that are wooded, brushy, or have tall grass.
  • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Use an insect repellent with at least 20% DEET. It can be put on clothing or sparingly on the skin. Dont apply it to the face or hands of children.
  • Treat clothing, tents, or other gear with repellents containing 0.5% permethrin.
  • Wear light-colored clothing. This makes it easier to see and remove ticks from your clothes.
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots for added protection.

After you get home, check everything and everyone for ticks.

  • Bathe or shower as soon as you can to wash off any ticks that have not attached to you.
  • Check your entire body for ticks. Use a mirror for places you cant see. Check your children and your pets. Common tick locations include the back of the knees, groin area, underarms, ears, scalp, and the back of the neck.
  • Check any gear you used, including coats, backpacks, or tents.

Tumble dry clothes or blankets on high heat in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. This should kill any ticks. If clothes are dirty, wash them in hot water and dry on high heat for 60 minutes.

But Remember That Not Everyone Gets A Rash

Rashes don’t occur in every case of tick-borne disease, so it’s good to know the other common symptoms: fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pains, and sore joints.

If you know you’ve been bitten by a tick and you experience any of the symptoms listed above, see a doctor, stat. The CDC notes that catching and treating tick-borne diseases early is key to reducing potential complications.

What To Do After Removing An Attached Tick That Has Bitten You

In general, the CDC does not recomment taking antibiotics prophylactically after tick bites to prevent tickborne diseases. However, in certain circumstances, a single dose of doxycycline after a tick bite may lower your risk of Lyme disease. Consider talking to your healthcare provider if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common to discuss prophylaxic doxycycline and other options.

You May Like: Nad Iv Therapy For Lyme Disease

What Should You Do If You Find A Tick

  • Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.

  • Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.

  • Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.

  • Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.

What Causes Lyme Disease

Be careful! You could have lyme disease and not even know it.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of the tiny black-legged, or deer, tick found in the Eastern and Central U.S., and the western black-legged tick in the Pacific West. The riskiest months for Lyme disease are May through September, when young ticks are likely to be biting.

In humans, the bacteria may cause flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, it may attack many tissues — including the heart and nervous system — and trigger an immune response that can lead to Lyme arthritis.

Show Sources

Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease

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.

Your doctor could also have you try a treatment that helps people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.

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.

Lyme Disease: More Common And More Dangerous Than You Think

Lyme disease outbreaks are already being reported this spring, and experts say theres a long way to go before we grasp the scope and impact of this serious tick-borne illness.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Neil Spector began experiencing odd symptoms.

At times, his heart would beat 200 times a minute. He also suffered crippling fatigue and had brain fog so intense he once gave a lecture and had no recollection of it.

Blood tests showed his body was producing high levels of antibodies, but specialists couldnt determine what was triggering his immune systems response.

It said my body was mounting a defense against something, Spector told Healthline. They just kept chalking it up to stress.

More symptoms began appearing slow heartbeat, arthritis pain, and burning in his heels but experts dismissed Spectors theory that they could be signs of Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne infection in humans.

Spectors symptoms began right after he moved from Boston to Miami, but Lyme disease is uncommon in Florida. Spector said he doesnt remember ever having the trademark bulls-eye rash of Lyme disease.

Spector, an associate professor of oncology at the Duke University School of Medicine, had no formal training in Lyme disease, but that changed as he searched for an explanation for his symptoms.

I dont think I have Lyme disease anymore, but the damage to my heart was already done by the time I was diagnosed, he said.

You May Like: Lyme Disease And Joint Pain

Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease

Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.

Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.

Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease

What Does Lyme Disease Do?

Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.

This stage is characterized by:

  • arthritis of one or more large joints
  • brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations and sleep disturbance
  • numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

Read Also: Ticks That Carry Lyme Disease Picture

Can Your Body Fight Lyme Disease On Its Own

Does Lyme disease ever go away on its own? Some people may be able to clear the infection on their own without treatment, but it isnt recommended. This is because of the severe complications that can occur when it is left untreated. The infection can hide in the body for a while and then cause problems down the road.

What Is Late Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.

People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.

Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:

  • A person will initially develop early localized lyme disease, in which the bacteria have not yet spread through the body. At this stage, which generally has its onset days or weeks after the tick bite, a personâs symptoms will usually include a fever, fatigue, and a rash, called the Erythema Migrans rash, which has a distinctive bullsâ eye shape and affects around two thirds of people who develop Lyme disease. See this resource for more information on symptoms and treatment of early localized Lyme disease.
  • If Lyme disease is not diagnosed in either of these early stages, and is not treated effectively with antibiotics, the bacteria that cause LD can spread throughout the body from the site of the tick bite, resulting in late disseminated Lyme disease, or late lyme disease. The onset of symptoms and complications of late disseminated Lyme disease is usually around 6-36 months after the original infection.
  • Recommended Reading: Elisa Test For Lyme Disease

    Can I Catch Lyme Disease From My Dog

    Dogs are not a direct source of infection for people. Lyme disease cant be transmitted from one pet to another, nor from pets to humans, except through tick bites. However, a carrier tick could come into your house on your dogs fur and get on you.

    If your dog is diagnosed with Lyme disease, you and any other pets have probably been in the same outdoor environment and may also be at risk, so it is a good idea to consult with your physician and veterinarian to see whether you should test other pets or family members.

    Thoroughly Check Your Skin

    Lyme Disease

    The best way to spot a tick bite is to actually see a tick on your skin. If you’ve been outside in a grassy, brushy, or wooded area especially if you live in one of the country’s tick hotspots always check your skin once you’re inside.

    The CDC says you should check your entire body, but pay special attention to more hidden areas, like your underarms, your ears, inside your belly button, the backs of your knees, between your legs, your waist, and especially your scalp and hair. Break out a mirror to check the parts of yourself that are difficult to see, and use a fine-tooth comb to carefully look through hair.

    If you do see a tick embedded in your skin, don’t panic. Here’s a step-by-step guide for what to do.

    You May Like: What’s The Cure For Lyme Disease

    What Happens If You Get Bitten By A Tick That Is Not A Disease Carrier

    If a non-infected tick latches onto your skin, the most damage it can cause is irritation or infection of the bite site. This often happens if you attempt to get the tick out, but the head or mouth parts remain in your skin. What can you do to remove a tick head or its mouth parts? According to one source, you can attempt removal the same way you would if you had a splinter.

  • Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the bite area.
  • Use a sterile needle to gently lift the skin above the lodged tick parts.
  • Gently remove the tick parts from your skin.
  • If you cannot get the tick parts out of your skin, they might work themselves out over the next few days. Keep an eye on your tick bite. If you notice pain, redness, or swelling, it could be infected. At that time, seek medical attention to treat the infection and have the tick parts removed.

    It is very important to remember the proper methods of tick removal when removing any tick. Often, petroleum jelly or a match is recommended by the masses. Do not use either of those methods for removing a tick. Spend two minutes watching this video to see how to properly remove a tick.

    Untreated Lyme Disease Frequency

    Its difficult to get exact numbers when it comes to Lyme disease, in part because theres only limited accounting of the conditions frequency overall, and its often misdiagnosed or mistaken for other conditions.

    Currently, its estimated that 476,000 people develop it in the United States every year, with 81% of the cases clustered in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and mid-Atlantic regions.

    A significantbut shrinkingproportion of those with the disease end up progressing without treatment. Current estimates are hard to come by. In 2012, researchers estimated that about 16% of Lyme disease cases present without rashincreasing the chance that the case is missed, overall. From 1.6% to 7% of all infections have no symptoms.

    Knowledge and awareness of this disease have grown over the past couple of decades, greatly improving outcomes. This improving prognosis is associated with better care and detection, leading to timelier intervention.

    If you live in a hot spot area for black-legged ticks, never hesitate to reach out to your healthcare professional if youre feeling sick or have a rash.

    You May Like: Tick Bite Lyme Disease Rash

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease can affect different body systems, such as the nervous system, joints, skin, and heart. The symptoms of Lyme disease are often described as happening in three stages. Not everyone with Lyme has all of these, though:

  • A circular rash at the site of the tick bite, typically within 12 weeks of infection, often is the first sign of infection. It’s considered typical of Lyme disease, but many people never get one.

    The rash sometimes has a “bull’s-eye” appearance, with a central red spot surrounded by clear skin that is ringed by an expanding red rash. It also can appear as an growing ring of solid redness. It’s usually flat and painless, but sometimes can be warm to the touch, itchy, scaly, burning, or prickling. The rash may look and feel very different from one person to the next. It can be harder to see on people with darker skin tones, where it can look like a bruise. It gets bigger for a few days to weeks, then goes away on its own. A person also may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, tiredness, headache, and muscle aches.

  • The last stage of Lyme disease happens if the early stages weren’t found or treated. Symptoms can begin anytime from weeks to years after an infectious tick bite. In kids and teens, this is almost always in the form of arthritis, with swelling and tenderness, particularly in the knees or other large joints.
  • Chronic Lyme Dos And Don’ts

    Treatments for Lyme disease

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Blood Test Cost

    Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease

    Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks to months after the tick bite.

    Youll have a general feeling of being unwell, and a rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.

    This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.

    Symptoms can include:

    • disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
    • neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis

    The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

    Beset With Lawsuits Gsk Pulled The Vaccine Off The Market

    Even some people who received LYMErix criticized the shot.

    “Some people who had been suffering from Lyme for a long time, when the vaccine was out, took it and thought that the vaccine had reactivated the bacteria in their body and created arthritic conditions in them,” Rebecca Onion, who wrote about the downfall of LYMErix, told “The Politics of Everything.”

    “This caused them to turn against the vaccine,” she added. “They were an important part of the groups of people who were lobbying for the vaccine to be taken off the market.”

    Scientists, however, couldn’t find any evidence that the vaccine caused adverse health problems.

    The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System a national monitoring system run by the CDC and FDA received around 900 reports of adverse LYMErix events between 1998 and 2000. Though US health officials classified 66 reports as serious, CDC and FDA researchers said they didn’t find any unusual side-effect patterns.

    But those findings didn’t stop a handful of class-action lawsuits, later consolidated into a single suit, alleging that people had experienced significant adverse reactions to LYMErix. The suit additionally alleged that GSK had concealed evidence about the vaccine’s risk.

    As bad press about the vaccines poured in, demand fell from 1.5 million doses in 1999 to a projected 10,000 in 2002, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. LYMErix’s anticipated sales also plummeted.

    Don’t Miss: Early Signs Of Lyme Disease In Humans

    How You Get Lyme Disease

    If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.

    Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.

    They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.

    Ticks don’t jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.

    Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.

    More articles

    Popular Articles