Believe it or not, Lyme disease has become one of the most common diseases in America. In fact, it is considered as the most common parasite-induced disease in all of the United States. As common as it is, not many people know how to deal with this condition properly.
One of the reasons why is because not everyone knows about its symptoms and how they can deal with it. In this post we’ll talk about this disease in detail, most specifically on Lyme disease symptoms. A knowledge of symptoms leads to quicker diagnosis, which will then lead to prompt and more efficient treatment.
Lyme disease has been completely under diagnosed or even misdiagnosed since the qualification of this disease in 1982 by a scientist named: Willy Burgdorfer. Lyme disease symptoms tend to match closely with other conditions and are quite similar in the ailments caused as well as the part of the body that are affected. These conditions are well known as: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Asthma, Tuberculosis, Anemia, Fibromyalgia, Cystic Fibrosis, Crohn’s Disease, Insomnia, Gout, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Anaphylaxis, and Rubella, just to name a few of the many.
What is Lyme disease?
While Lyme disease is considered a common form of infection, it is surprising to know that it was only identified in 1975, which is 40 years ago. At that time, researchers investigated how children in Lyme, Connecticut were being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
On observation, these researchers discovered a common pattern: these children live in areas that harbor ticks. Also, they noticed that symptoms mainly emerge during the summer months, which coincidentally matches that of the breeding season of the ticks. It is through these observations where Lyme disease was first identified.
As mentioned earlier, the carrier (also known as the vector) of this disease is the tick (though it could be any infected insect or host). To be more specific, one type of tick is the deer tick, also known by its scientific name Ixodes sp. However, it would be wrong to say that they are the causative agents of this disease as the tick itself does not cause Lyme disease. Rather, it is mainly caused by a bacteria with the scientific name Borrelia burgdoferi. A type of spirochete, these bacteria mainly reside in the gut of the tick. The spirochete can then be transmitted to deer (or humans) when the tick feeds on their chosen host’s blood.
Lyme disease is considered one of the most common diseases caused by bacterial infection in America. Cases are reported in every state and across the globe. Most reported cases are concentrated in the Northeastern states, Minnesota, and California. Though it’s important to note that not every case is reported and one interesting fact is that the number of cases of Lyme disease is still increasing.
There are a number of hypothesized reasons, but the most common one being as more and more doctors educate themselves on the Lyme, testing has improved and more accurate diagnosis has been found. While humans continue to increase proximity of the habitats of deer (and the Ixodes ticks), it’s also expected to impact the number of Lyme disease cases reported. With closer proximity, the likelihood of cross-infections is increased dramatically, as seen in the increasing number of Lyme disease cases.
Lyme Disease Symptoms Explained
Given the importance of identifying symptoms early for prompt treatment, we’ll will put special emphasis in talking about the different symptoms of Lyme disease. Some of them are early signs of an infection, while others are considered as signs of advanced disease. One of the interesting things about this kind of infection is that it does not affect any specific part of the human body. As a systemic disease, it can equally affect just about every part of the human body on different degrees.
Here are 6 of the most common symptoms associated with a Borrelia infection:
- Erythema migrans – This is one of the most common identifying characteristics of Lyme disease. Also known as a “bull’s eye” rash, this form of rash has a red ring with a characteristic clear central area, which causes it to resemble a bull’s eye on inspection. Often starting as a small red spot, it can expand in size within weeks. In fact, there are cases wherein the rash becomes large enough that it occupies the width of the patient’s back. While this is not considered as a symptom specific to the disease, it doesn’t occur in all cases. Therefore, if you see erythema migrans on the patient, you should immediately consider Lyme disease as one of the possible diagnostic outcomes.
- Flu-like symptoms – This is commonly observed in most acute forms of bacterial infection. Flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills are part of the body’s defense mechanism against infectious agents, in this case the Borrelia bacterium. The severity of the fever and chills varies depending on the severity of the infection. In most cases, these symptoms resolve within days or a few weeks. However, you should watch out for recurring fevers or if body temperature goes beyond 39 degrees C. This is because severe fevers can cause permanent damage if left unchecked.
- Lymphadenopathies – An increase in the size of lymph nodes is expected during an infection such as Lyme disease. The node/s that end up getting swollen is more often than not the place where the tick bite took place. If only a single node or a group of adjacent nodes are swollen, you can realistically expect that this is where the tick bite took place (and where the infection is most concentrated). However, one should watch out if multiple lymph nodes are involved, especially if the nodes are distant from each other. This could be a sign of a systemic infection that may cause some of the more serious Lyme disease symptoms.
- Arthritis – This is one of the most common complications associated with Lyme disease. Compared to common arthritis cases wherein most of the people affected are the elderly, even young children can become arthritic due to this infection. Multiple joints can be affected at any given time, and the pain can shift from one joint to another without any prior notice. The most commonly affected joint is the knee, which can be painful because it bears much of our body weight. If Lyme disease is left untreated, chronic arthritis may develop.
- Neurologic symptoms – This group of Lyme disease symptoms is considered to be an immediate medical emergency because of its potential to cause different kinds of disability. It can cause meningitis, the inflammation of the meninges, which is manifested by symptoms such as headache and stiff neck. It can also affect the nerves, causing different degrees of motor and sensory deficits. Bell’s palsy (paralysis of the facial muscles), numbness, limb weakness and pain and poor coordination are just some of the neurologic symptoms of Lyme disease. The good news is that with prompt and proper treatment, the patient can return to his normal functions after time.
- Heart problems – While only 1 out of 10 patients with Lyme disease experience such symptoms, heart problems are major causes of concern because they can be potentially fatal. Irregular heartbeat is the most common cardiac manifestation of Lyme disease. This is most commonly linked to an infection of the heart or its conduction system. Associated symptoms such as dizziness and shortness of breath may also be observed in the patient. While these problems generally go away once the infection is treated, it is crucial to watch out for the severity of symptoms. For example, severe arrhythmia can cause heart failure and sudden death.
The symptoms that may emerge in the patient may vary from case to case. Some may only manifest the minor symptoms and generally recover after a few days. However, some patients manifest severe symptoms that their case immediately becomes a medical emergency. The presence and persistence of severe signs and symptoms is a signal to seek medical help ASAP. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are effective in preventing lasting complications related to Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Now that we are familiar with the common Lyme disease symptoms, it is now time to learn more about the process of diagnosing this condition. Lyme disease is considered to be among the more difficult conditions to diagnose properly due to the potential of symptomatic overlap. Here are just some of the most common ways doctors are able to diagnose cases of Lyme disease.
- Clinical Examination – One of the best ways for doctors to identify a case of Lyme disease is through a clinical checkup. Oftentimes, they can make a correct diagnosis through the patient’s medical history and a physical examination. One of the most important hints for medical history to watch out for is a history of tick bites or a history of visiting places where deer (and the ticks they harbor) inhabit nearby. As far as physical signs are concerned, the presence of erythema migrans is considered as a major diagnostic clue. While such a rash is present in other diseases caused by tick bites, it’s one of the best ways to quickly rule in a Borrelia infection.
- Antibody Testing – An antibody test is considered as the golden standard for confirming the presence of an infection caused by Borrelia burgdoferi. Examples of these antibody tests include the ELISA and the Western Blot. In both tests, blood samples are taken from the patient and are tested for the presence of antibodies that act against Borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. This procedure is recommended because of the difficulty of isolating the bacteria in cultures. Because performing such procedures can be expensive, these tests are often only used as a means to confirm Lyme disease. Note: We’ve personally seen these tests fail time and time again. In short, these tests look for antibodies in your system, not Lyme. Therefore your body could theoretically not have a strong enough immune system to product antibodies. Or you may be on antibiotics for your symptoms before testing for Lyme, which will also inhibit your own antibodies from being present during a Lyme test.
- Spinal Tap – This diagnostic procedure is only done if neurologic Lyme disease symptoms are present in the patient. It is also useful in diagnosing and differentiating other potential causes of meningitis and other neurologic diseases. In this procedure, a portion of the cerebrospinal fluid (also known by its acronym CSF) is obtained from the patient. The fluid is then tested for the presence of possible pathogenic markers. In this case, we are mainly looking for Borrelia bacteria in the fluid. Antibodies may also be identified using the CSF obtained.
Lyme Disease Treatment
If Lyme disease symptoms already exist and all the pertinent diagnostic techniques returned positive, it is necessary for us to take therapeutic action as soon as possible. Lyme disease may have systemic effects that can turn deadly if not checked, but just about all of them can be resolved with proper treatment. This is especially so if treatment is given at the disease’s early stages. Here are just some of the most effective treatments used for treating this infection.
The use of antibiotics is the most common form of therapy prescribed for the treatment of Lyme disease. Administering these drugs will help in alleviating the symptoms by reducing the number of bacteria present in the blood and tissues. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for treating Borrelia burgdoferi are amoxicillin and doxycycline, with treatment usually lasting from 2-4 weeks or until all symptoms are resolved. The downside in using such treatments is that side effects and adverse reactions to drugs can be very difficult to deal with. Most doctors will not prescribe antibiotics for the length of time required to alleviate all symptoms either.
Given the risks associated with using antibiotics and the ever-present potential for relapse, we recommend a different kind of treatment for symptoms of Lyme disease. This is VitaLyme. A natural health supplement system that helps in our body’s natural process of fighting infection. It can help you treat Lyme symptoms and build your immune system. By taking our Lyme supplements, we hope to deal with the symptoms of Lyme disease.
How this system heals our body can be explained in a 3-step process.
- Immune System Boost – When we are fighting an infection, our immune system is slowly but surely having its function reduced. Our immune system needs a shot in the arm in order to repel infections. VitaLyme Combat provides that much-needed immune system enhancement to ward off Lyme disease once and for all.
- Liver Strengthening – Our liver needs to be strengthened because during healing, it can be subjected to high levels of toxins. Liver toxicity slows healing and can even cause other diseases and symptoms. By taking VitaLyme Cleanse, it is possible to enhance our liver function and flush out all those toxins.
- Body Healing Enhancement – After recovering from disease, our body needs to regenerate. This is the way to get lasting recovery from any kind of disease. To facilitate healing, we’ll need to replenish its resources. This is where taking VitaLyme Replenish can help.
By taking the 3-step program of VitaLyme, it is possible for us to get rid of Lyme disease symptoms and avoid its complications for life! We can personally guarantee you the effectiveness of these supplements. Aside from helping us recover from Lyme disease, it will also boost our body’s overall wellness.