Unfortunately, modern science has yet to find effective ways to prevent the bacteria that cause Lyme disease from infecting humans. These bacteria include the Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii, which are the common causes of Lyme disease in North America, as well as Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii bacteria, which are more common in Asia and Europe.
But we don’t have to think of Lyme diseases as a death sentence for the infected individual. The trick is in being aware of its signs and symptoms, especially when you live in an area with a high incidence of the disease, and in seeking immediate medical intervention. Here’s information that may well save your life from Lyme disease.
Be Aware of the Signs and Symptoms
The first step in successful Lyme disease treatment is the recognition of its signs and symptoms so that appropriate action can be done ASAP. The symptoms are usually different depending on the stage of the disease.
During the early stage, the first sign is a small, red bump on the skin, a visible tick bite or tick removal site. The bump can resolve itself in the next few days but don’t be too complacent either. While a small, red bump is normal after being bitten by a tick, it shouldn’t be dismissed too easily especially when the following symptoms appear within a month after the bite.
- Rash with a clear center that appears like a bull’s-eye pattern. Known as erythema migrans, it can expand gradually within a few days so much so that it can be 12 inches across. It isn’t usually painful or itchy but by now, you have the right to be concerned. It can also develop in several places on your skin.
- Flu-like symptoms are also the hallmarks of Lyme disease. These include chills, fever, headache, and body aches.
In the weeks that follow, untreated Lyme disease can manifest itself in several ways that should raise the alarm. The symptoms in later stages include the rash appearing in several parts of your body, neurological issues (e.g., impaired muscle movement), and joint pain. The complications include heart problems, liver inflammation, and severe fatigue.
Seek Medical Treatment ASAP
Again, don’t wait for your symptoms to worsen! You have to seek medical intervention ASAP, especially when you have been to an area known for its Lyme disease incidence or you live in such area. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic therapy to stop the diseases in its tracks.
The antibiotics can include:
- Oral antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or cefuroxime, for at least 14 days; and
- Intravenous antibiotics in case Lyme disease involves your central nervous system for 14-28 days.
In the end, you have to help yourself if and when you want to beat Lyme disease – and it starts by seeking medical intervention ASAP!