10 Things You Need to Know About Lyme Disease
Tick borne diseases have been found in every state, every country, and every continent – except Antarctica. Ticks travel so it makes perfect sense that Lyme is not only in one place. Ticks also hitch rides on birds, small animals, etc. and can move geographically this way, as well.
Children are at the highest risk
Children suffer the most from Lyme and co-infections because they are typically more active outdoors and the symptoms can be mistaken for other illnesses. Children go years suffering the devastating consequences as the disease gets worse over time, so they miss out on their childhood before getting an accurate diagnosis. The hardest hit age group is age 5-14.
It’s commonly misdiagnosed
Many tick borne disease researchers and doctors are finding that their patients that have MS, ALS, early on-set Alzheimer’s, Lupus and many other auto immune and incurable diseases are positive for Lyme. Some recent research done with post-mortem ALS and Alzheimer’s sufferers revealed the borrelia (Lyme) bacteria was in their brains and other areas of the body. People around the world are discovering that what they thought was MS and ALS was actually Lyme and their symptoms are alleviated with long term antibiotics.
It feels like you’re dying
One person can have up to 50 painful symptoms that cycle on a weekly basis because of the systemic and cyclical nature of the bacterial disease. The bacteria is spiral shaped and screws in the joints and muscles causing joint pain, migraines, nerve damage, paralysis, eye problems, insomnia and many other symptoms that cause debilitating problems. When the bacteria reproduce and are “active” in the body, it causes flare ups of symptoms that can cause new symptoms or ones that come and go at different times causing a terribly long and frustrating journey to get an accurate diagnosis. Doctors often dismiss Lyme patients as hypochondriacs because of the many “dramatic” complaints of rotating symptoms that “come and go.”
You might not get that “bulls eye” rash
More than 40% of tick borne disease sufferers never had a rash and by the time they were diagnosed it was too late to treat their disease easily. Doctors usually won’t give antibiotics unless you have the rash, but you could still be infected if you were bitten by an infected tick.
Current testing is terribly flawed
This makes diagnosis almost impossible. The current tests most primary care doctors will give for Lyme disease only tests for one particular strain of Lyme and there are over a hundred strains, not to mention the many other tick borne diseases in which testing is not available. The current Lyme blood test only tests for antibodies, not the Lyme bacteria and Lyme supresses the immune system, causing the body to not create antibodies for Lyme. This is very problematic, because if you have Lyme you could test false negative even if you are positive.
Lyme and co-infections can be chronic
Those who seek treatment quickly for tick borne disease have a good chance of recovery but left untreated, it can be a life-long, grueling and costly chronic disease.
If caught late, tick borne diseases can be debilitating and even fatal
Many tick borne diseases can cause great damage to the brain, nervous system, neurological functions and the heart. Lyme carditis can cause heart arrhythmia, palpitations and heart attack.
Tick borne diseases can be sexually transmitted
Entire families suffer from Lyme disease and co-infections that have possibly been passed from husband to wife, (sexually transmitted) and from mother to child, (in utero). The bacteria is very similar in shape and type to the bacteria that causes syphilis, so this could be a reason that it is possible.
Awareness and education is the key to prevention
Do tick checks often – even if you have only been in your back yard. Ticks are everywhere – not just out in the woods. Use DEET and other insect repellent, but also dress for the activity. If you are camping, wear long socks tucked into pants so that ticks can’t crawl under your clothing. Check your pets after walking them so that they aren’t bringing ticks into the house. Talk about it. Let others know how dangerous ticks can be! Spread awareness!