What is Lyme Disease?

It has been said that, “A Lyme Disease Patient can be in as much pain as a post-surgery patient and as sick as a cancer patient.”  Sadly, this is all too true and thousands around the world are suffering from this often mis-diagnosed and un-diagnosed disease.

Lyme Disease is considered the “Great Imitator”.  According to Dr. Martha Grout, MD, Lyme Disease is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Bell’s Palsy, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Fibromyalgia, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Lupus, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Syphilis, Allergies, Arrhythmia, ADD, ADHD, Autoimmune Disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, Depression, Migraines, Meningitis, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Sleeping Disorders and countless others!!

Lyme Disease is contracted after being bit by a flea, mosquito or most commonly a tick that has been infected and then infecting a human after biting them.  40% or fewer who have been bitten by an infected insect will develop what is called the “bulls-eye rash” pictured below.  (If  you are ever bitten by a tick DO NOT TAKE CHANCES even if you do not develop the rash.  See a LLMD, Lyme Literate Medical Doctor and go on the correct medication immediately!)

bulls-eye-rash1

Lyme Disease is considered an infectious disease and the technical name for Lyme Bacteria is Borrelia Burgdorferi. Because of it’s spiral shape (See picture below), it is able to “drill” into organs, tissue, muscle, heart valves, the nervous system etc.  It can easily enter the blood stream of infected “hosts” and travel from there.   This is the reason for such a wide array of symptoms Lyme Patients can suffer from ranging from fatigue and muscle aches to heart attacks and paralysis.

  Lyme Disease Spirocheteuos-Spirochete_01

After the initial infection of Lyme Disease it is very common to come down with flu-like symptoms (Fevers, chills, Body Aches) for 1-2 weeks.  After that it will either lie dormant in your body until some great stress causes it to manifest or it will proceed directly into spreading and attacking with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Early Stage Lyme Disease Symptoms Include but are not limited too:

Fevers

Body Aches

Joint Pain

Headaches

Fatigue

“Flu-Like” Symptoms

Painful feet

Late State (Or Chronic Lyme Disease) Symptoms Include but are not limited too:

Heart Palpitations

Heart Racing

Blood Pressure Problems

Chronic Arthritis

Facial Numbness or Body Numbness

Extreme Fatigue

Autoimmune Disorders

Food Allergies

IBS/Ulcerative Colitis

The Feeling of your “Skin Crawling”

Sleeping Disorders

Adrenal Fatigue/Insufficiency

Mal-absorption Syndrome

Poor Memory

Inability to Concentrate

Panic Attacks

Hormonal Problems

Cold Extremities

Reynaud’s Syndrome

Poor Circulation

Dizziness

Seizures

Poor Vision/Blindness

Paralysis in one or more extremities

Heart Blocks and Heart Attacks

Inability to handle temperature change

POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

Breathing Problems

When caught in the early stages, Lyme Disease is fairly easy to treat. Doxycycline is the most commonly prescribed drug and quickly and easily will clear up the infection.  Once Chronic Lyme Disease has developed, treatment is much more complicated as the Lyme Disease Spirochete’s have had the time to multiply and spread.  Treatment, whether medication or alternative, causes “die-off” reactions or “herxheimer” reactions that can be quite severe and even worse than the disease itself.  Thus treatment must be done gently and cautiously and can take up to several years.

Please remember that all of this is my personal opinion and I AM NOT A DOCTOR!!  I have many friends with Lyme Disease as well as several relatives and from researching and walking thru this disease with my friends/family and myself this is what I have learned.  Because it is NOT a very well researched or understood disease, many Doctor’s have conflicting views of definition and treatment for Lyme Disease.  I welcome you to research it yourself!!  Thanks for reading!!  ~Monica