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Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. The first symptom is usually a red rash, which may look like a bull's eye. But not all people with Lyme disease have a rash. As the infection spreads to other parts of the body, you may have

  • A fever
  • A headache
  • Body aches
  • A stiff neck
  • Fatigue

Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms are like those of the flu and other diseases. And you may not have noticed a tick bite. Your health care provider will look at your symptoms and medical history to figure out whether you have Lyme disease. Lab tests may not always give a clear answer until you have been infected for at least a few weeks.

Antibiotics can cure most cases of Lyme disease. The sooner treatment begins, the quicker and more complete the recovery.

After treatment, some patients may still have muscle or joint aches and nervous system symptoms. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help with PTLDS. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS, and most patients do get better with time.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The following features are indicative of Lyme Disease:
  • rash
  • flu like symptoms
  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • body ache
  • headache
  • heart problems
  • eye inflammation
  • liver inflammation
It is possible that Lyme Disease shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Lyme Disease

The following are the most common causes of Lyme Disease:
  • Borrelia mayonii bacteria
  • Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria

Risk Factors for Lyme Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Lyme Disease:
  • having exposed skin
  • spending time in wooded or grassy areas
  • not removing ticks promptly or properly

Prevention of Lyme Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Lyme Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • limiting exposure to ticks
  • using insect repellents
  • avoid walking through low bushes and long grass
  • do your best to tick-proof your yard
  • get vaccinated against lyme disease

Occurrence of Lyme Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Lyme Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Widely occurring between 500K - 1 Million cases

Common Age Group

Lyme Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Lyme Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Lyme Disease:
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test: To diagnose the Lyme disease and detect the antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria
  • Western blot test: To determine the antibodies to several proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria

Doctor for Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Lyme Disease:
  • General practitioner
  • Rheumatologist

Complications of Lyme Disease if untreated

Yes, Lyme Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Lyme Disease is left untreated:
  • erythema migrans
  • chronic joint inflammation
  • joint pain
  • neurological problems
  • heart rhythm irregularities
  • cognitive defects

Self-care for Lyme Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Lyme Disease:
  • Install a tall fence: Prevents deer (a carrier of ticks) out of the yard
  • Cleaning forest borders and trimming lawns: Lowers the number of ticks on a lawn
  • Treating residential property with tick-killing products: Decreases the local tick population

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Lyme Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Lyme Disease:
  • Nutritional and herbal therapy: Helps in treating patients with Lyme disease

Patient Support for Treatment of Lyme Disease

The following actions may help Lyme Disease patients:
  • Communications tool kit: Provides information and helps in preventing lyme disease

Time for Treatment of Lyme Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Lyme Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Lyme Disease.

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