Coping with Lyme Disease

Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Did You Know? Erythema Migrans rash occurs in 70-80% of infected persons

Approximately 300,000 People in the United States are Diagnosed with Lyme Disease Each Year

In the U.S., 96% of Reported Cases of Lyme Disease are from the North-Eastern States 

Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease and was first identified by a researcher at Yale University in the mid-1970s among residents of Lyme, Connecticut.

The following resource has been created to help educate patients on the disease, its most common signs and symptoms, and complications related to Lyme Disease.

01 | What Lyme Disease Is

Lyme Disease is transmitted to humans by the blacklegged tick (deer tick) and western blacklegged tick, which carries the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi. Once bitten, the bacteria can travel into the bloodstream and can affect organs, muscles, joints and the nervous system; however, in most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 hours or more before the bacterium can be transmitted. 

02 | Common Symptoms

Symptoms can vary, but most patients will exhibit a small elevated bump at the site of the bite, which may develop into a bull’s eye rash. Additional symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness and severe headaches
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Facial palsy
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness or tingling of the hands or feet

03 | Complications

Lyme Disease can be difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for other conditions because of the similarity to other diseases, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis and Arthritis. Therefore, early detection is key to the best outcome. 

If left untreated, severe complications such as Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) or Post-Treatment Lyme Disease (PTLD) can develop and become debilitating. Long-term effects include:

  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Depression
  • Neuropathy
  • Heart-related problems
  • Sleep impairment
  • Cognitive impairment

If you experience any early symptoms of Lyme Disease or show signs that you have been bitten by a tick, you should contact your healthcare provider right away. For additional resources on Lyme Disease and support please visit: https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/lyme-disease/about-lyme/

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References

https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lyme-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20019701

 

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