Lyme disease symptoms progress through three stages. These can range from a simple lyme disease rash, to serious medical complications in the later stages of the disease if left untreated.
The best defense against lyme disease is to prevent exposure in the first place. And that means if you are in a region of the country that is prone to tick seasons then you need to take preventative steps to protect yourself from this potentially devastating disorder.
Lyme Disease Definition
Lyme disease is described as an acute inflammatory disease, resulting in any of a number of symptoms, including a rash, fatigue, joint pain, fever and even heart problems in some isolated cases. Chronic lyme disease may set in if the condition is not treated in time, resulting in a number of serious potential complications.
Lyme Disease Causes
The symptoms of lyme disease are triggered by infection obtained from tick bites. Some ticks on deer and other smaller animals carry a parasite from the Borrelia genus – which attaches itself to the human body, usually in crevices. Depending on the surrounding area, it can even be brought home by pets.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
The first symptoms of lyme disease usually include a rash, headaches, chills and fever, as well as muscle and joint pains. These can occur within days after the infection, but these symptoms can also take weeks to surface.
Second stage lyme disease symptoms typically include painful numbness in limbs, severe headaches and stiff neck, an abnormal heartbeat (in rare cases), meningitis-fever, and even paralysis of the facial muscles – usually limited to one side of the face. These symptoms can take a few weeks to months before showing.
The third and final stage of the condition is marked by chronic, painful symptoms. Final stage symptoms include arthritis – brief periods of pain in one or more of the larger joints (usually the knees), accompanied by swelling. Chronic muscle pain makes it difficult to sleep, and problems with the nervous system include concentration problems and memory loss.
Home Remedies for Lyme Disease
While home treatment options like vitamin C and green tea has been suggested, it is best to visit your physician as soon as you find yourself displaying any of the symptoms. The sooner the disease is addressed, the easier it is to apply a lyme disease cure.
Usual treatments include antibiotics. However, the painful symptoms tend to persist even after the disease has been cured. These chronic symptoms are due to damage that has been done to the body by the infection, and will heal over time. During this period you can use heat and even steam baths to treat aching muscles and joints. A well balanced diet containing plenty of fruit will also help to speed up the recovery process.
Considering the potentially painful symptoms, it is more sensible to prevent lyme disease symptoms than to treat them. Prevention is as simple as searching for, and removing ticks from your body every time you have been to a forest. These ticks tend to attach themselves to creases, so be thorough. If you find any ticks, remove them with tweezers as soon as possible – the less time these creatures have available to infect you, the better.
Where possible, wear clothing that will reduce the exposed sin surface. However, keep in mind that ticks can also attach themselves to your clothing and later move on to your skin when the opportunity presents itself. Search your clothes as well. If you have the facilities available, simply put your clothes in a dryer for a while – the heat will kill the ticks.
Lastly, check your pets regularly – especially if you live in an area where lyme disease symptoms are commonplace – and remove any ticks you may find on them.