Lyme Disease: Symptoms, Prevention, And Complications

Date January 11, 2018

It’s common knowledge that ticks can transmit a number of dangerous diseases. One of them is Lyme disease. Learn how to identify it and how to prevent it!

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that people get after being bitten by an infected tick. Two main tick species whose bites cause the disease are western black-legged tick and deer tick. To transmit the infection, the tick needs to remain attached to the body for 36 to 48 hours. Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from human to human. It is treated with antibiotics. The disease can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

To prevent Lyme disease, you should take proper measures to protect yourself from ticks when you are in grassy or wooded areas.

The symptoms of Lyme disease develop in stages.

Early stage symptoms are the following:

  • rash around the tick’s bite that looks like a bull’s eye (known as erythema migrans). It appears from 3 to 30 days after the bite and can grow and reach 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter. It usually doesn’t itch or hurt;
  • symptoms that resemble the flu, including headache, fever, chills, and fatigue.

Some people show no symptoms during the early stage.

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Without treatment, new symptoms will appear in the ensuing weeks and months. They are more severe and include:

  • new rashes around your body;
  • pain in joints;
  • problems with nervous system, such as meningitis, Bell’s palsy, weakness in your arms and legs.

Other symptoms include:

  • nausea and vomiting;
  • diffuse rashes.

In some cases, the following symptoms also appear:

  • heart problems, e.g. arrhythmia;
  • eye inflammation;
  • liver inflammation;
  • extreme fatigue.

If you experience Lyme disease symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible. It’s important to start treatment early to avoid complications. If you were bitten by a tick and had some of the symptoms but they passed, visit your doctor anyway.

If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to a number of serious complications. They include:

  • chronic joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis);
  • neurological problems, e.g. paralysis of facial muscles and neuropathy;
  • cognitive troubles, such as problems with memory and confusion;
  • heart problems, such as irregular heartbeat.

To prevent Lyme disease, take measures to avoid tick bites:

  • when you go to grassy or wooded places, put on clothes that cover as much of your body as possible;
  • apply DEET repellent to your skin. Study the instructions carefully before using the repellent;
  • inspect yourself, your children and pets for ticks after coming back from grassy or wooded areas. Ticks are tiny, so search thoroughly. It’s also recommended to take a shower when you come home;
  • remember that having Lyme disease once doesn’t give you immunity;
  • if you notice a tick attached to your skin, remove it with tweezers, but only if you know how to do it right. If you don’t, ask someone for help or go to the doctor’s.

Source: Mayo Clinic

This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to provide medical advice. Fabiosa doesn’t take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this post. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader should consult with their physician or other health care provider.