A tick bite can change your life. Find out how you can stop Lyme in its earliest stage in Kingston, New York
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness caused by a bacteria called a spirochete (spy-ro-keet) and it is transmitted by the bite of a tick. Persons with early stage Lyme have a characteristic rash accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, achy-muscles or joints, fever, chills, swollen glands and a headache. Untreated, the bacteria can lie dormant and appear months or even years later.
In 2010, the Center for Disease Control reported 30,000 cases of Lyme. In parts of New York, such as Dutchess and Ulster counties where Lyme is common, over half the ticks are infected. Lyme is most common in the northeast United States. If you live in the Hudson Valley, you live in a high risk area for Lyme.
Why Lyme is serious business for you
Lyme affects different areas of the body as it progresses. Weeks to months after the initial redness of the skin the bacteria spreads throughout the body. When untreated, Lyme will eventually lead to debilitating physical and mental problems.
After one to four months, Lyme can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart and central nervous system. The late disease features of Lyme (onset of Lyme for more than four months) include motor and sensory nerve arthritis. The arthritis of Lyme can look like inflammatory arthritis and can become chronic.
The middle and late stages of Lyme can cause dementia, anxiety, and psychiatric problems. Anxiety and depression occur at an increased rate in people with Lyme. Even after Lyme is cured with intravenous antibiotics, Lyme can have long-term, debilitating effects.
What you can do to stop Lyme
Lyme can be treated successfully with oral antibiotics when diagnosed in the early stage. If you have been bitten by a tick, find a doctor who has experience treating Lyme disease and get blood tests done to check for Lyme.
There are only three specific Lyme tests. The initial test is called the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ("ELISA"). Antibodies are produced by the body to attack the bacteria and they can be evidence of exposure to the bacteria. These antibodies can be detected with the ELISA blood test.
A more sensitive test for confirming Lyme is the Western Blot assay antibody test. The Western Blot test is considered the most reliable for confirming Lyme. If you suspect that you might have Lyme, ask your doctor to order the Western Blot test.
Even before you have a positive test result for Lyme, you should begin taking antibiotics "empirically" for Lyme--this means, just as a precaution in case the test results are positive for Lyme. Better safe than sorry. If detected in the early stage and treated with oral antibiotics, Lyme is highly curable. But a failure to treat Lyme can have devastating consequences.
Make sure you find the physician in your area with the most experience treating Lyme and then make sure you: (1) start oral antibiotics just in case you have Lyme; and (2) get the Western Blot test to confirm the Lyme diagnosis.
What you can do if you have more questions
If you have questions or want more information, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882. You can always request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.
Joint inflammation can persist even after the eradication of the Lyme bacteria.