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Lyme disease - Symptoms and Causes

Usually a check list like the following is, given by medical persons to understand the symptoms present in us while checking up for the Lyme disease:

  • Rash
  • Fever, chills, sweats
  • Weight change – be it loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Swollen Glands, Sore Throat
  • Testicular pain or Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained menstrual irregularity
  • Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
  • Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
  • Upset stomach ,Change in bowel function,
  • Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Twitching of the face or other muscles
  • Headache ,stiff neck, joints or back sensations of tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing
  • Blurred vision, Dizziness, poor balance
  • Confusion, difficulty in thinking, difficulty in concentrating, difficulty with sticking with task.

Thus many of the manifestations of the Lyme disease could be even psychosomatic and not just be restricted to the plane of the skin and body.

The causes for the Lyme disease:

When an infected tick bites the skin, it introduces into the skin, Borrelia burgdorferi, an organism which spreads around the spot where it landed, and, into the system of the person.


(Figure: The picture of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria causing Lyme disease, appears thus: (picture copied from web sources)

It takes several days for the first sign to catch attention. It manifests as erythematic chronic migrams, meaning, and some rashes which are not at all typical but vary from case to case.
Not all who have been infected with the organism causing Lyme disease get these rashes. The Lyme disease takes about 4 weeks after the tick bites to show its presence. Multiple rashes occur in many cases.
During this 2 to 4 weeks period the organisms causing the Lyme disease spread to various tissues and cells. The incidence of multiple rashes manifest in 50% of the cases.

Occurrence and prevalence of the Lyme disease

Frequent use of antibiotics has lessened the occurrence of this for the past two decades, according to studies and researches. There are also other manifestations of Lyme disease. For it does not always present as multiple rashes on the skin.

Flu is another manifestation. The Lyme disease may present as sore throat, severe headaches, neck aches, and severe fatigue. Fevers, sweats and visual dysfunctions are also common symptoms. At the same time, Rhinitis, sinusitis and cough do not accompany the aches and sore throat syndromes; this is the distinguishing feature of Lyme disease, which is distinct from other flu like illnesses.

At the same time, recurrent flu is also to be studied as a symptom of the Lyme disease.
Muscular pain and pain of joints like knees, elbows hips and shoulders accompany this. Only the pain of the large bone joints and not the small bone systems.
Stiff neck, pain jumping from joint to joint, pain in teeth, rib and chest pains occur frequently in such cases. Some patients experience crawling sensation and a feeling of electric shock like vibration. In such instances, it becomes a neurosensory disease rather than a motor disease.

The complications of the Lyme Disease

Headaches, facial nerve palsy and encephalitis are some of the complications resulting from the Lyme disease. These complications lead to cognitive dysfunction, short-term memory loss and psychiatric symptoms; panic, anxiety or depressions are some of the psychiatric symptoms.

TESTS to confirm the Lyme disease:

Routine lab tests are normally done to confirm the Lyme disease in persons showing one or the other of the symptoms accompanying this disease. Culture of the organism responsible for this disease, is to be prepared early from the biopsy – that is, the live tissue from the afflicted area of the patient’s body and the erythema migran rash studied in the laboratory environment. Elisa and western blot tests are to be performed
However, most labs do not have this facility.

Causes of the Lyme disease:

Certain infections cause chronic symptoms that together present the same problems as the Lyme disease does. Anyone of the cluster of symptoms could be manifestation of, or, lead to, Lyme disease; either as fever or rashes.

Treatment for Lyme disease

The organism that causes the Lyme disease is sensitive to several antibiotics. But there are complications. The organism requires long incubation periods. This has to be to be broken through. Frequently it has been reported that a short term treatment of 4 weeks or thereabouts do not bring positive and enduring effects. There are even relapses of the disease. Whereas, when the disease is treated for a lengthy 3-month period with tetracycline it has shown good results.

Many symptoms are sited as manifestations of the Lyme disease.They may be one, or many. The tick lists a lengthy one. Some of these may be manifest to the very first observation, while others may be felt with prolonged suffering. Some others require physical and laboratory examination at a very close range.

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