Lyme disease is due to the bite of black-legged ticks (commonly called as deer ticks) infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is found in every continent except Antarctica. Lyme is also called as the ‘Great Imitator’ as many of its symptoms are indicative of other diseases and physicians often misdiagnose it with other illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and depression. Such a misdiagnosis not only delays treatment but also increases the progression of the infection.
Lyme disease is mostly the consequence of a nymphal tick bite (immature ticks). They are so tiny that most individuals remain ignorant of their bite as it is painless. But the aftermath is dangerous as the tick starts feeding for days together undisturbed. Longer it stays on the body greater is the chances of passing over Lyme into the bloodstream.
Lyme disease can affect anyone, but it is predominantly seen in kids, older adults and other people such as firefighters and park rangers who spend most of their time outdoors. Symptoms include:
Chronic Lyme Disease
When the symptoms are not identified at an early stage and treatment is not started there are ample chances for the disease to become chronic or late-stage. The disease might go into hiding in different body parts and affects multiple body systems such as the reproductive system, heart, nervous system, brain and circulatory system.
Researchers have found that quality of life of people impacted with chronic Lyme disease was affected badly and was almost equivalent to that of patients with congestive heart failure; pain was on similar levels as that found in post-surgical patients and fatigue was also on similar lines as exhibited by multiple sclerosis patients. If you are interested in knowing more about multiple sclerosis please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Until today there have been no vaccinations for Lyme available. All that you can do to prevent the disease is to stay safe and take precautionary measures. A tick is very small and most people don’t feel any sensation or pain when it attaches itself to the skin of humans. Pets are another great source of entry for ticks and hence it is necessary to ensure the following:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.