My Long Road To A Lyme Diagnosis
I could write a freakin’ book about my pre-diagnosis Lyme experience. Not to sound dramatic, but it was basically a nightmare playing out in slow motion. For your own sanity, I’ll give you the condensed version.
Personally, I don’t remember a tick bite, and like many Lyme sufferers, I never got the bull’s-eye rash or flu-like symptoms so often touted as “classic” signs of Lyme disease. Instead, my whole ordeal began with a sharp, stinging sensation in my left ankle after a day of walking in New York City, where I’d just begun my first “big girl” job. It hurt, but I didn’t think much of it, and about a week later I was told I had tendinitis that would resolve relatively quickly. But then my other ankle started to hurt, and after a few months, the pain extended to the bottoms of my feet, my knees, and even my arms. Sometimes it would feel like electric currents were running through my toes when I stood up. After a while, I began to question my tendinitis diagnosis, but after about five “second opinions” and countless tests , doctors had no real explanation for what was going on. In the words of one of my least favorite doctors, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.”
Early Signs And Symptoms :
- Erythema migrans rash A characteristic ring-shaped rash often termed Bulls eye
- Occurs in approximately 70% 80% of infected persons.
- Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days .
- Expands gradually over several days, reaching up to 12 inches or more.
- May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.
- May appear on any area of the body.
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
Natural Remedies To Tame The Fires
Eating a healthy diet, living in a clean environment, learning to live around stress, and staying active are all very important for keeping cells in your body healthy. However, the chemical substances in plants defined as herbs can take that protection to the next level. Taking herbs can give you the advantage that you need to overcome chronic inflammation and return to a normal life.
Plants must protect their cells from a wide range of stress factors: damaging free radicals, physical stress from harsh weather, toxic substances, harmful radiation, insects, invasive fungi, parasites, and, last but not least, every variety of microbe.
Plants do this with their own natural chemistry. In fact, plants are the most sophisticated chemists on the planet. The chemical substances that plants use to solve problems and protect cells are called phytochemicals.
Mushrooms, which are technically fungi, also have to deal with similar stress factors as plant. They also produce a wide range of protective substances that mirror the protective properties of phytochemicals found in plants.
When we consume plant phytochemicals, the benefits are transferred to us. The three primary things that phytochemicals do for us:
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Phase One 3 To 30 Days
Also called early localized infection
Some say less than 50%, others say up to 70-75% develop the bullseye rash, starting at the site of the tick bite. It is not itchy or painful but they are usually warm to the touch. Sometimes flu-like symptoms develop soon after, including fever, chills, swollen lymph glands, headaches, muscle pain, and joint pain.
Azlocillin Comes Out On Top
The drug, which is not on the market, was tested in mouse models of Lyme disease at seven-day, 14-day and 21-day intervals and found to eliminate the infection. For the first time, azlocillinwas also shown to be effective in killing drug-tolerant forms of B. burgdorferi in lab dishes, indicating that it may work as a therapy for lingering symptoms of Lyme disease.
Pothineni and Rajadas have patented the compound for the treatment of Lyme disease and are working with a company to develop an oral form of the drug. Researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial.
Rajadas is also a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California-San Francisco.
Other Stanford co-authors are Hari-Hara S. K. Potula, PhD, senior research scientist postdoctoral scholars Aditya Ambati, PhD, and Venkata Mallajosyula, PhD senior research scientist Mohammed Inayathullah, PhD and intern Mohamed Sohail Ahmed.
A researcher at Loyola College in India also contributed to the work.
The study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Laurel STEM Fund.
- Tracie White
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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.
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.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A circular or oval shape rash around a tick bite can be an early symptom of Lyme disease in some people.
The rash can appear up to 3 months after being bitten by an infected tick, but usually appears within 1 to 4 weeks. It can last for several weeks.
The rash can have a darker or lighter area in the centre and might gradually spread. It’s not usually hot or itchy.
The rash may be flat, or slightly raised, and look pink, red, or purple when it appears on white skin. It can be harder to see the rash on brown and black skin and it may look like a bruise.
Some people also get flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after they were bitten by an infected tick, such as:
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- tiredness and loss of energy
Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later.
This is more likely if treatment is delayed.
These more severe symptoms may include:
- pain and swelling in joints
- nerve problems such as pain or numbness
- heart problems
- trouble with memory or concentration
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Living With Lyme Disease
Most people treated in the early stages of Lyme disease make a quick and complete recovery. Some may experience symptoms for a few weeks after treatment. If you were treated for Lyme disease but you still dont feel well, call your family doctor. He or she can make sure there isnt something else wrong. They can help you find ways to ease your symptoms. Some patients have found relief with treatments typically used for chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Other things you can do to help manage Lyme disease include:
- Educate yourself.There is a lot of inaccurate information to be sorted through, especially on the internet. Ask your doctor if you have questions.
- Track your symptoms.Keep a diary of your sleep patterns, eating habits, exercise routines, and how youre feeling. You or your doctor may be able to make connections between them.
- Take care of yourself.Eat a healthy diet. Exercise as regularly as you can. Get plenty of rest.
Find support. It can be hard to not feel well and not know why. Some people may think your symptoms arent real. Talk to friends and family. If they cant offer support, talk with a counselor who can help you.
What Are The Most Common Risk Factors For Lyme Disease
The most common risk factors for Lyme disease include: Spending time in wooded or grassy areas. In the United States, deer ticks are found mostly in the heavily wooded areas of the Northeast and Midwest. Having exposed skin. Ticks attach easily to bare flesh. Not removing ticks promptly or properly.
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Tetracycline Plus Rifamycin Plus Disulfiram
- minocycline 100 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- rifampin 300 mg 2 pills 1 time a day
- disulfiram 4 to 5 mg/ kg body weight. Work up to this dose slowly over 2 months then remain on the disulfiram at the peak dose for 4 months before tapering off.
- This minocycine and rifampin in this combination are as useful for treating a Bartonella co-infection. Co-infections are other germs passed on during a tick bite. If someone has a co-infection, when possible I choose antibiotic combinations that simultaneously treat Lyme germs and the co-infection germs.
- The disulfiram is added here to treat persister Lyme. Note disulfiram does not appear to treat Bartonella.
How Long Does Lyme Disease Last
Lyme disease symptoms can begin anywhere from three to 30 days after transmission of the infection from a tick. If treated early on with antibiotics, most people feel better within a few weeks, said Dr. Zemel.
According to the CDC, it’s not uncommon for people to experience lingering symptoms like fatigue and joint or muscle pain for a few weeks or months after treatment. Additional antibiotics won’t help these symptoms, however, and most people improve on their own over time.
In a small percentage of cases, people continue to experience symptoms for more than six months after their recommended course of antibiotics is completed. This is sometimes referred to as chronic Lyme disease, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases but that name is misleading, said Dr. Kuritzkes, because there is no evidence that the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is still present in the body. Instead, the CDC refers to this condition as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
“As with many other kinds of infectious diseases, some people are left with some debilitating symptoms that don’t go away,” said Dr. Kuritzkes. “I like to compare it to polio: Some people who had polio are left paralyzed, but that doesn’t mean they have chronic polio they have permanent damage from the infection, even after it’s gone away.”
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How Do I Remove A Tick From My Dog
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The deer tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but is a little more obvious in the adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dogs skin and firmly pull it straight out. There are also tools available called Tick Twister® or Tick Key® which can be useful. However, take care to use them cautiously as twisting or jerking the tick may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. See your veterinarian if you are unsure or unable to remove the tick from your dog.
Make sure you protect your fingers from exposure by using a tissue or a disposable glove.You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease does not appear to be transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the ticks contents, including blood, on your skin.
Note: The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.
Phase 2 Stay Clean And Populate With Good Guys:
If youve been dealing with chronic illness for a long time, for phase two, I recommend reading and following Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections.
If youre not very poor health, I recommend spending the following 5-6 months taking the following every day as directed:
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Natural Remedies For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is spread through the bite of infected ticks.
Ticks are very small, and their biteswhich can occur anywhere on the bodyare usually painless, so you may not immediately be aware that you have been bitten. In most cases, the tick must be attached to the body for 24 hours before Lyme disease is transmitted.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually start within three to 30 days after youve been bitten by an infected tick. Many people experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten, while more serious symptoms show up weeks after the bite. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, symptoms can worsen to include Bells palsy , severe headaches, muscle, joint, and tendon pain, cardiac problems, and neurological disorders.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be managed and treated with two to three weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long after the bite you were diagnosed, you may need a longer course of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Many people turn to natural remedies to help treat Lyme disease.
What Is Post Treatment Lyme Disease
Post Treatment Lyme Disease represents a research subset of patients who remain significantly ill 6 months or more following standard antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease. PTLD is characterized by a constellation of symptoms that includes severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive problems such as difficulty with short-term memory, speed of thinking, or multi-tasking. In the absence of a direct diagnostic biomarker blood test, PTLD has been difficult to define by physicians, and its existence has been controversial. However, our clinical research shows that meticulous patient evaluation when used alongside appropriate diagnostic testing can reliably identify patients with a history of previously treated Lyme disease who display the typical symptom patterns of PTLD.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms can start anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite. They may look different depending on the stage of your infection. In some cases, you wonât notice any symptoms until months after the bite.
Early symptoms include:
All of those symptoms are also common in the flu. In most Lyme infections, one of the first symptoms youâll notice is a rash.
Without treatment, symptoms can get worse. They might include:
- Severe headache or neck stiffness
- Rashes on other areas of your body
- Arthritis with joint pain and swelling, particularly in your knees
- âDroopingâ on one or both sides of your face
- Inflammation in your brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
What does the rash look like?
Some Lyme rashes look like a bull’s-eye with circles around the middle. But most are round, red, and at least 2 inches across.
The rash slowly gets bigger over several days. It can grow to about 12 inches across. It may feel warm to the touch, but itâs usually not itchy or painful. It can show up on any part of your body.
How small are ticks?
Ticks come in three sizes, depending on their life stage. They can be the size of a grain of sand, a poppy seed, or an apple seed.
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. This makes it important to schedule an appointment at Kotsanis Institute in Grapevine, TX when you suspect you have a tick bite.
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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:
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: