Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by ticks. This condition can infect various organ systems. Lyme disease is called the great imitator and the invisible illness because it mimics a number of disorders such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s, and others.
People who are infected looks completely healthy. Their blood also works and looks normal. In fact, they are experiencing severe symptoms. If left untreated, the symptoms will develop rapidly and prolonged.
Lyme Disease Causes
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria Borrelia sp. There are four species of bacteria that can attack humans. They are Borrelia Burgdorfer, Borrelia Mayonii, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia Garinii. Borrelia’s bacteria are transmitted through flea intermediates and often through the genus Ixodes sp.
The ticks type of Ixodes has an ability to suck blood as food, both human blood, and animal blood. The bacteria can also be spread by other blood-sucking or biting insects. Some things that can cause a person more susceptible to this disease often has activity in the grassy area, not clean the body from ticks, and wearing expose dress.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme disease has various symptoms that appear gradually. The following is the symptoms of Lyme disease based on stage or stage of development:
Stage 1 is characterized by the appearance of a rash. The shape is like a picture of archery targets. This rash is a sign that bacteria multiply in the blood vessels. This type of rash is also known as erythema migrans that usually appear about 1-2 weeks after the patient is bitten by a tick. It slowly becomes bigger over several days, and may even reach a diameter of 12 inches.
Symptoms stage 2 happen a few weeks after being bitten by ticks. In stage 2, Borrelia bacteria have spread throughout the body that is characterized by flu-like symptoms. Stage 2 can cause complications such as meningitis, neurological disorders, or heart disease. And the symptoms of this stage are fever, shivering, headache, muscle ache, fatigue, sore throat, and impaired vision.
Stage 3 usually occurs if the patient is not treated at stage 1 or 2. Stage 3 symptoms can occur several weeks, months, or even years after a tick bite. The common symptoms are:
- Arthritis in one or more of joint especially the large joints such as knees
- Numbness in the legs and arms
- Short-term memory disorders
- Mental disorders
- Difficult to communicate
- A severe headache
- Difficult to concentrate
Lyme Disease Treatment
The main treatment for Lyme disease is with antibiotics. The duration of antibiotic use will take about two weeks to a month. The difference in each patient depends on the severity of the infection. Patients with early-stage are usually given antibiotics in tablet form. While patients with advanced Lyme disease can be given antibiotics in the form of injections.
The following are some types of antibiotics that can be given to people with Lyme disease.
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- Tetracycline. It is the first group of antibiotics to treat Lyme disease especially doxycycline. Keep in mind that doxycycline should not be given to pregnant women, breastfeeding, or children under the age of 8 years.
- Penicillin. Antibiotics of this group can be given as a substitute for the tetracycline group especially people who are allergic to doxycycline, pregnant women, and children under 8 years old. Examples of penicillin antibiotics are penicillin VK, penicillin G, and amoxicillin.
- Macrolide. This antibiotic can be given to patients who cannot be given tetracycline or penicillin. Examples of macrolide antibiotics are erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin.
- Cephalosporins. This group of antibiotics is usually used as an alternative for patients who cannot be given doxycycline, for example, cefuroxime. Cephalosporin injections are also given for patients with severe symptoms. Examples of cephalosporin are ceftriaxone and cefotaxime.
Natural Strategies to Help Fight Lyme Infection
A noteworthy treatment which can be used for chronic Lyme disease treatment is natural antimicrobials. The best feature of this natural treatment is using various herbal antimicrobials. To help the body fight the infection, you should consume a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants and other supplements.
Some supplements that are recommended such as astaxanthin, probiotics, grapefruit seed extract, krill oil, cilantro, resveratrol, quercetin, whey protein concentrate, Andrographis and artemisinin, curcumin, and GABA and melatonin.