Bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi can cause an increasingly common serious disease called Lyme disease. This can be occurred by the bites of infected blacklegged ticks. Headaches, fatigue, fevers, erythema migraines, and a skin rash specific to the disease are the symptoms of Lyme. If you don’t treat Lyme disease, it will become chronic and spread to your joints, nervous system and heart.
In most cases, Lyme can be misdiagnosed and left untreated which has happened to Kris Kristofferson, a songwriter, and actor.
He was 79 years old and suffered from a series of symptoms that doctors assumed stemmed from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It was proven that he never had dementia or Alzheimer’s when he gets tested for Lyme. He has only suffered from Lyme disease. As he found it he started treatments and can be mend.
What is Lyme Disease?
This was caused by infected black-legged or deer ticks. A bull’s eye rash appearing within the first 30 days of the tick bite is one of the most visible symptoms. It makes many people confused about their symptoms as they don’t get such rash and the symptoms can become debilitating.
Symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches
- Neck stiffness
- Additional rashes on other parts of the body
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, often in the knees
- Bell’s palsy
- Muscle and joint pain that comes and goes
- Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis)
- Shortness of breath
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
- Issues with short-term memory
Some cognitive issues may occur after several months or years when Lyme becomes chronic, such as:
- Slowed thinking
- Brain fog
- Problems remembering names or words
- Difficulty following conversations
As the symptoms are similar to dementia, doctors misdiagnosed that Kristofferson has dementia. Some patients may think that they are being paid little attention to persisting symptoms and just give the most convenient answer as the doctors are busy.
Lyme Disease is a Serious Concern
We need to pay more attention Lyme disease as it’s a serious health concern. There are about 300,000 people get diagnosed every year and it’s really hard to know how many get misdiagnosed and undiagnosed with these symptoms.
There has been strong disagreement in the medical community around Lyme disease, testing methods and how long the illness should last.
The term chronic Lyme disease (CLD) has been used to describe people with different illnesses according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. It has also said that who claim to have CLD or the symptoms of it have no evidence of current or past Lyme infection.
Diagnosis of Lyme Disease
By using a blood test that checks your levels of antibodies to the disease-causing bacteria and also an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test are done to diagnose Lyme disease. You need to do an MRI, EKG and spinal if Lyme is found.
There’s also chronic Lyme, which is less understood and hard to diagnose. Many non-specialists are not equipped to understand, diagnose and treat CLD and some don’t even believe in it. So, if you believe you have Lyme disease, especially chronic Lyme, you should go for a Lyme specialist.
How is Lyme Treated?
A course of antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin are used to treat Lyme disease and IV therapy is necessary in more serious cases.
It is really difficult to treat chronic Lyme disease. Instead of traditional methods people with CLD often turn to Lyme specialists and alternative health practitioner and use natural and alternative methods of healing.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease?
The first thing you need to do is avoid being bitten by ticks. Always use bug repellent on both exposed skin and clothes if you go to wooded areas, forests, high grass areas, places with leaf litter or in nature general and check yourself, loved ones, and pets for ticks as soon as you are done with your nature-activity. If you are camping or hiking for a day or several days, or if you live close to a wooded area, check yourself carefully regularly every day several times a day. Remove it carefully if you do find a tick.
If you’ve been infected, pay attention to your symptoms and consult your doctor. You can be cure soon if you catch it early and visit a doctor. And always be aware of your surroundings.
You can protect your pets by preventative methods prescribed by vet. Lavender or geranium oil may help in natural bug repellent.
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By Kat Gal