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A little rash, bite, or could it be Lyme Disease?

Submitted by: Kimmie

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, days are getting longer and the weather warmer. The sound of kids playing outdoors. Spring has sprung! Unfortunately, Spring brings with it more ticks, and more ticks could also mean Lyme Disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease yearly in the United States. Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is spread by the bite of an infected tick.

Lyme Disease has also been referred to as, “The Great Imitator.” Taken from Lymedisease.org, this term is used because the symptoms of this disease mimic so many other diseases. It can affect any part or organ of your body. So many people are misdiagnosed, which, thereby, delays treatment.

Initially, Lyme may present as the flu. You can have joint and/or muscle pain. It can also cause neurological problems and mood changes. Lyme can also be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, ALS and many more. A bulls eye rash is indicative of Lyme, but, some people may present with a different rash that is more spread out, or, worse, no rash at all. While doctors are trying to come up with a diagnosis, the Lyme disease goes untreated.

If you have a fever and flu like symptoms and any kind of rash, it’s best to see a health care professional as soon as you can. There is a blood test, but early Lyme can give false negatives. Symptoms should be taken into consideration and treatment should be started even if Lyme has not been confirmed. If Lyme is not treated early, the bacteria could spread and go into different parts of the body. There is no sacred place. It can spread anywhere. Yes, even your brain. There is a chance symptoms could disappear without treatment, but other symptoms could appear at different times. Patients have developed problems months and years later.

This is taken directly from the CDC website:

Early Signs and Symptoms (3 to 30 days after tick bite)
Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
Erythema Migrans (EM) rash: Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days)
Expands gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more (30 cm) across
May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or “bull’s-eye” appearance
May appear on any area of the body

Later Signs and Symptoms (days to months after tick bite)

Severe headaches and neck stiffness
Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints.
Facial or Bell’s palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis)
Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
Nerve pain
Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
Problems with short-term memory

As you can see, early aggressive treatment with antibiotics is your best chance at ridding your body of the bacteria that causes Lyme. The longer the treatment is postponed, it’s more difficult to remove all the bacteria from the body and relapses could occur.

The best treatment is prevention. Know where ticks are prevalent. Always protect yourself and your children with repellant or Bug guard. You can find some great Bug Guard in my Avon shop.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I’m just passing along information I have gathered to show the importance of quickly diagnosing Lyme Disease.

 


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