What exactly is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease, which is also called Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by spirochete. This is a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia Burgdorferi that is spread by ticks.
It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that about 476,000 people yearly are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the United States. Many experts believe the true number of cases is much higher. That is because many people who do have Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with other conditions since diagnosing Lyme is not easy.
Furthermore, ticks that transmit Lyme disease can on occasion transmit other tickborne diseases too. That is why you should visit a physician if you have had a tick bite, or if you have been in a tick-infested area, and experience any of the below symptoms.
Lyme disease signs and symptoms
Lyme Disease can affect any body organ, including the nervous system, the heart and the brain. It can also affect the nervous system, muscles and joints. Because the symptoms of Lyme disease mimic various other diseases Lyme disease is often referred to as The Great Imitator.
Typical symptoms include fevers, chills, sweating, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and nausea. Some people develop Bell’s palsy, which is facial drooping. Characteristic of Lyme disease is a skin rash called erythema migrans which is an expanding bullseye shaped red rash that appears at the tick bite site about a week or so after the bite occurred. many people develop a different type of Lyme rash while some develop none at all.
What exactly are ticks?
Ticks are small, crawling, blood-sucking bugs. They can range in size from as small as a pin’s head to as large as a pencil eraser. Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids. Unlike insects, arachnids have eight legs and do not have an antenna.
Ticks do not start out being infected with Lyme disease. They get Lyme disease by sucking blood infected animals. Ticks then pass Lyme disease along to the next animal — or person — that they bite.
There are literally hundreds of various types of ticks in the world. On the West Coast, the bacteria are carried by Ixodes pacificus (western black-legged tick.) In the eastern and midwestern United States, Ixodes scapularis (deer tick) is the main carrier of Lyme disease. In the South Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick) can transmit Lyme disease.
Treating Lyme disease
In most cases Lyme disease can be successfully treated by using antibiotics for a few weeks. However, antibiotics can interact negatively with other drugs, foods or supplements. Additionally, antibiotics can also wipe out beneficial intestinal flora (gut bacteria), which can lead to a variety of other health problems. It is very important to use probiotics while on antibiotics in order to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora.
Low-level laser treatment
This modality is rapidly growing in popularity for the treatment of Lyme Disease. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a form of alternative medicine that uses laser light at low levels or near-infrared light. LLLT is used for many conditions.
The cold laser emits photons of energy that result in the photo-stimulation of chromophores, which are light reactive biological receptors. LLLT can be used on the skin surface to help decrease inflammation or pain; reduce injury damage, promote the healing of wounds, regenerate tissues and nerves; or to prevent tissue damage.
LLLT is used as a successful treatment option for many conditions worldwide. In fact, LLLT has been used for more than half a decade in various countries therapeutically to cause favorable biological effects in animals and people. It not only treats symptoms like drugs do but additionally enhances and promotes healing, including of course, in patients with Lyme Disease.
Chronic Lyme disease
If Lyme disease does not receive early treatment, the spirochetes can spread. They can also go into hiding in different areas of your body. Weeks, months and years later, people can develop chronic Lyme disease. Chronic Lyme disease can cause some people to develop severe symptoms that are difficult to resolve.
Chronic Lyme disease can cause problems with the brain and nervous system, the reproductive system, the heart and circulation, digestion, muscles and joints and skin. Sometimes, symptoms disappear even without treatment and different symptoms may appear at different times.
Preventing Lyme disease
Some of the different ways to prevent Lyme disease include applying pesticides to reduce tick habitat, removing ticks promptly and using insect repellent. The best defense against ticks, of course, is to avoid contact with ticks in the first place. The next best defense is to quickly find and then remove any ticks that have latched on to you, then make an appointment with your family doctor.