What is Lyme?
What is Lyme disease?
Simply put, Lyme disease is a vector-borne illness (aka infectious disease) most commonly carried by deer ticks infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.
How do you get it & who is at risk?
Lyme disease is spread when bitten by an infected tick. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have the tell-tale “bulls-eye-rash” to have been infected; many of the ticks that carry the disease are the size of a poppy seed and thus go undetected.
Anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors in wooded or grassy areas is at high risk. With adequate measures taken to check for ticks after hiking & other recreational outdoor activities, as well as wearing proper clothing while in high risk areas, you can greatly reduce your chance of being bitten by a tick.
What are the symptoms?
Lyme disease affects each individual differently and can vary greatly in its presentation. It has often be called “The Great Imitator,” as it has been known to mimic various other conditions and autoimmune disorders which might share overlapping symptoms.
Some of the common are as follows:
It can easily spread to any and every organ system of the body, which is why early detection and increased screening is of such great importance.
What are the complications?
As in most cases, when one has tested positive for Lyme disease, they more often than not will test positive for at least one or more co-infections as well. Most commonly, a tick carrying the Borrelia bacteria will also carry along many co-infections such as (but not limited to):
Erlichea, Bartonella, Babesia, Mycoplasma, etc.
A person may also have a heavy viral load such as EBV and HHV-6.
Each of these carry along their own symptoms and heavy taxes on the body as well, which makes Lyme so difficult and anything but straightforward to treat.
How is it treated?
There is no simple answer to this question. If caught between the initial stages of the infection, it can be quickly eradicated by antibiotics in a matter of weeks. If left undetected and untreated, it develops into a chronic condition of which treatment is much more complex.
The Bottom Line
Lyme is no respecter of person’s or even of its own typical patterns. It can take on any shape or magnitude in the body, which is why it has such a high potential to wreak incredible damage if left untreated. With more public awareness, however, we can prevent countless others from suffering the same complicated and frustrating path to reach diagnosis.