You have probably heard about Lyme disease at some point in your life. However, most people do not know how it’s caused or the symptoms to look for. Did you know that this is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States? Each year, 30,000 cases of the disease are reported to the CDC by state health departments, which means there are likely far more cases than just those. Since this disease can potentially be harmful, it’s essential to become more knowledgeable about it. Here are 5 things to know about Lyme disease:
1. How It’s Spread
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. These ticks are found most commonly in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central regions of the United States. In most cases, a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the bacteria is transmitted. If you are able to remove the tick from your skin within 24 hours, your risk of disease is greatly reduced. In the areas of the country where this disease is most prevalent, the nymphs are actively trying to find a host from April through July, so that is the time of year to be most aware.
2. Symptoms of Disease
There are no set symptoms to look for when it comes to Lyme disease as the signs may vary among infected individuals. Some of the things to look for include fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint aches. The most noticeable symptom is the development of what is called an erythema migrans rash. This particular symptom occurs in roughly 70 to 80 percent of infected persons. The rash normally starts out fairly small but can grow to be up to 12 inches or more across the body. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints and even to your heart and central nervous system.
3. How It’s Treated
The good news is that most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully in just a couple of weeks using antibiotics. With early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment, you can contain the infection and keep it from spreading. If left untreated, the disease can transform into other manifestations of Lyme disease, including neurologic, Lyme carditis, and Lyme arthritis. Some patients report persistent symptoms of pain and fatigue after treatment is completed, so it’s important to follow up with your doctor in regard to treatment.
4. Steps to Avoid Infection
Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to limit the chances of contracting Lyme disease. These things include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly upon discovery, applying pesticides, and reducing exposure to tick habitats. Ticks typically live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. Therefore, if you are going to be spending time outside in these areas, it’s important to be aware and check for ticks upon returning. Be sure to check your clothing, pets, and body after being outdoors in areas where ticks are prevalent.
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We offer a few products that are beneficial when it comes to ticks and preventing Lyme disease. Phytocidal is formulated with the goal of reducing the immune burden in those with high spirochete load. The spirochetes are often spread by tick bites and accompanied by associated microbes that can make recovery especially challenging. Cryptolepis is a plant found traditionally in Ghana and has shown microbial balancing activity for inhibiting unwanted bacterial organisms and it has a potent activity against spirochetes as well!
Are you interested in learning more about our health supplements? Take a look at our custom medications and our services to see how we can help you live a healthier life! If you or someone you know has been infected with Lyme disease, contact us to see how we can assist in recovery!