Today my friends, I would like to talk about Lyme Disease and what it is, how you contact it, what are the symptoms, and how to treat this disease. Every day more and more people seem to be contacting this debilitating disease.
Some Important Facts:
- Lyme disease is the fastest growing infections disease in the U.S. with as many as 400,000 new cases yearly. Many tests for diagnosing Lyme disease are inadequate because Lyme disease suppresses the body’s antibody production, resulting in false negative test, while antigen tests miss blood samples containing proteins from the borrelia burgdorferi, which is one of the most principal organisms to diagnose Lyme. The western blot test is much more accurate.
- Lyme disease, is a bacterial illness, transmitted to humans by the bite of deer ticks (Ixodes ticks) about the size of a pin head that is carrying a bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria have a complex life cycle, spending part of their life in the deer tick and part in some mammals such as mice and deer. Humans are not a part of the bacterium’s life cycle but can become infected when bitten by the tick.
- The disease has been reported in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, North Central, and Pacific coastal regions of the United States (see map) and in Europe, where it was first described almost 100 years ago. It is most prevalent in the northeastern states of the United States, with about half of all cases clustered in New York and Connecticut.
What to expect and Symptoms to look for:
A small, red bump that may be warm and tender to the touch, may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite and often resembles a bull’s-eye with a red ring surrounding a clear white center.
The most common area of the body is groin or belt area or behind your knee and it may never be noticed. Over the next few days, the redness expands, forming a rash that may be as small as your fingertip or as large as 12 inches (30 centimeters) across, but usually disappears within a week.
The rash, called erythema migrans, is one of the major signs of Lyme disease, affecting about 70 to 80 percent of infected people. If you’re allergic to tick saliva, redness may develop at the site of a tick bite.
2. Flu-like symptoms:
Fever, chills, fatigue, joint and muscle pains and aching, headaches, stiff neck, and swollen lymph nodes accompany the rash.
3. Migratory joint pain:
If left untreated, you may develop bouts of severe joint pain and swelling several weeks to months after you’re infected. Your knees are especially likely to be affected, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
4. Neurological problems:
You can experience Bell’s Palsy symptoms or temporary paralysis of one side of your face, Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain) or brain swelling (encephalitis) causes leaning difficulties, confusion, dementia, nerve inflammations that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement may occur weeks, months or even years after an untreated infection.
5. Less common signs and symptoms:
Irregular heartbeat or other heart problems usually several weeks after being infected. This rarely lasts more than a few days or weeks.
6. Other Symptoms:
Eye inflammation, hepatitis and severe fatigue are possible as well and it can mimic other conditions such as fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and in the most severe cases Parkinson’s, or Multiple Sclerosis .
Numerous case studies prove that chronic Lyme exists and can often be treated effectively naturally. Doctors, scientists, and Lyme advocates have presented these case studies to the (IDSA) Infectious Disease Society of America and U.S.Congress, yet the studies are dismissed. This has prevented the doctors and the public from learning about chronic Lyme disease and from policy and funding for research and treatments from being developed.
According to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) that recognizes chronic Lyme disease and establishes effective guidelines for its treatment, estimates that most chronic Lyme diseases sufferers experience a level of disability equivalent to that of a person who has suffered from a recent heart attack.
The best treatment is early detection of the disease. But Lyme is a very tricky disease. Some people with classic early Lyme symptoms never get treated because they either don’t go to their doctor or their doctor doesn’t suspect Lyme. Some doctors do diagnose Lyme but don’t treat it long enough or are unsure of the proper treatment. And some people infected with Lyme never even have symptoms for months after being effected.
If you believe you or any member of your family has Lyme Disease to get the proper treatment and diagnose is extremely important. Most doctors in conventional medicine do not know how to recognize or adequately treat the disease. A good support group can be found at www.LymeNet.org. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a “Lyme Literate” doctor, who’s diagnoses the disease based on symptoms and response to treatments, along with unconventional methods of testing. Go to www.ilads.org
Even individuals that are treated with the normal protocol of antibiotics still have symptoms for months and at times years later. We need to learn as much as we can about Lyme Disease and don’t depend on a physician to always know the right treatment. I recommend that you listen to what your body is telling you and if your gut instinct tells you it is not right then keep on searching for the right diagnosis and treatment. We need to take control of what happens to us and our children and keep pushing until we can find the right answer!
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Quote of the Day: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference! – Robert Frost