Lyme 101

tick smallspiro smallLyme is a borreliosis caused by borrelia bacteria, which commonly infects woodland animals like mice or deer. Ticks pick up the bacteria by biting infected animals, and then pass it on to their human hosts. The are many strains or genospecies of borrelia that cause Lyme disease (borreliosis) in humans just as there are many strains of the flu virus that cause flu symptoms in humans, with some strains more virulent than others.

Stage 1: Early infection (first few days after infection)
Stage 2: Infection spreads (days to weeks following infection)
Stage 3: Chronic Lyme (days to weeks after infection if left untreated, or not properly treated, for months/years after infection)

Lyme disease is most treatable during Stage 1. As time passes, both treatment and diagnosis become more difficult. Symptoms worsen during each stage of infection, ranging from flu-like symptoms to neurological illnesses, including paralysis. With chronic Lyme disease there is not one system of the body that can be unaffected… this includes various hormone production as well.

Lyme disease is on the rise in Canada. Decrease your risk of infection by taking preventative action and learning more about Lyme.

Symptoms

Early treatment of Lyme disease is critical, however Lyme is very difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary from person to person. There are over 100 known symptoms of Lyme disease.

Common symptoms include:

According to Patricia Kane, Ph.D., the following represent the range of Lyme disease symptoms.

  • Intense fatigue
  • Diminished or absent reflexes
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Memory loss (short & long term)
  • Joint pain/swelling/stiffness
  • Poor coordination/ataxia
  • Difficulty reading
  • Slow or slurred speech
  • Unexplained chills & fevers
  • Rash
  • Sudden abrupt mood swings
  • Continual infections
  • Poor concentration
  • Decreased ability to spell correctly
  • Unusual depression
  • Tremors
  • Disorientation
  • Burning/stabbing pain
  • Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)
  • GI distress/abdominal pain
  • Poor word retrieval/Aphasia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of temperature control
  • Heart palpitations/chest pain
  • Weight changes (loss or gain)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Cough
  • Vasculitis
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Changes in taste or smell
  • Twitching of muscles (face or other)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Changes in cerebral blood flow
  • Peripheral neuropathy/tingling/numbness
  • Number reversal
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Change in hearing/buzzing/tinnitus
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (TMJ)
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Visual disturbance

While some Lyme victims experience immediate symptoms after infection, others may have none for many months.

List of Illnesses Possibly Confused With Lyme

Due to the myriad of symptoms in various organ systems, this disease can mirror many other health problems. Dr. Jo Anne Whitaker has compiled a list of illnesses that can be confused with Lyme.

  • Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Syphilis
  • Acute Transitory Atrioventricular Block
  • Allergies
  • Arrhythmia
  • Arthralgias
  • Arthritis
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic Encephalitis and Encephalomyelitis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Cranial Polyneuritis
  • Demyelinating Disorders
  • Depression
  • Encephalopathy
  • Erythema Chronicum Migrans
  • Meningitis
  • Meningoencephalomyelitis
  • Myopericarditis
  • Progressive Visual Deterioration
  • Reversible Dementia
  • Sensory or Motor Radiculoneuropathies
  • Sleeping Disorders

The disease is heading North into our region

fig2_lyme-eng

 

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