Symptoms and Affects of Lyme Disease
by Dobie Peter
Lyme disease infection is transmitted by tick and is caused by three or more types of Borrelia bacteria like Borrelia burgdorferi, B. Garinii, B. Afzelii etc. A patient suffering from Lyme disease ha symptoms such as joints aches, headaches, fever, rashes and tiredness. It is not easy to diagnose this disease and sometimes an expensive Western Blot test is conducted to determine the presence of the disease. A number of people suffer from Lyme disease in Australia, though its patients are found around the globe.
The Lyme bacteria are similar to the one that is responsible for syphilis. These move inside the body through bloodstream and body tissue. Dodges the immune system of a body and develops a protective shell (a fibrin) after changing its shape from spiral to ball. Medically this disease has three phases which are:
- Early disease with skin inflammation,
- Early disease involving nervous system and heart,
- Later disease results in brain inflammation, arthritis and nerve damage.
Within days of the tick bite or in early phases, the skin develops a rash in shape of a ‘bull’s-eye’ around the affected area. The outer ring and centre spot are bright red in colour. Following are the details about Lyme disease symptoms and affects:
- Arthritis: Within a few weeks after getting infected, swollen and painful joints are reported by patients who are not given any antibiotics. They have severe recurrent attacks which can last from days to months. More than one joint is affected and knee is the most common joint that is highly affected. Arthritis usually switches from joint to joint causing much pain for the patient. A medical research reported that about 20% of people, who are not treated for Lyme disease, ultimately develop arthritis. If left untreated, after a period of time arthritis can damage joints severely, also affects body parts like skin or eyes.
- Erythema migrans: It is a rash that develops on the bitten area within a month. From a small red spot, it expands in size forming various types of shapes especially circular. Rashes appear after three days of a tick bite and as the infection spreads, these increase in number appearing on various body parts. These rashes are neither itchy nor painful, but are warm to the touch. People suffering from Erythema migrans have also reported symptoms like fatigue, stiff neck, headache, body aches and fever. Even if left untreated, the rashes disappear after 3 to 4 weeks.
- Neurological symptoms: Nervous system is highly affected by Lyme disease, resulting in severe headache, stiff neck, Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis of facial muscles), weakness or pain in limbs, numbness etc. Change in sleeping habits and mood, lack of concentration, temporary memory loss are other symptoms are also linked to Lyme disease. Problems related to nervous system mostly develop after few weeks or month. These problems can be cured with help of proper dosage of antibiotics.
- Heart problems: This is another area affected by Lyme disease, though the numbers of patients are quite less. It slows down the heartbeat that causes shortness of breath or dizziness. You can search for doctors who can cure Lyme disease in Australia. Severity of this disease is usually different from person to person.