Lyme Disease and Outdoor Exposure: Know What to Expect

woman with colds

Fall and summer are the perfect times to enjoy the outdoors doing activities like walking or gardening or just enjoying the warm weather. Unluckily, your exposure to the outside environment can also increase your chances of finding a blacklegged tick which carries Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria which cause Lyme disease.

The blacklegged tick is very small and tough to see. In general, an infected tick must be attached to your body for one to three days leaving the bacteria to spread to your blood. Lyme disease has three stages and the symptoms are likely to come and go. Leaving this condition untreated allows it to spread to the heart, joints and brain.

Symptoms of Stage 1 Lyme Disease

The earliest stage of Lyme disease can have some symptoms including:

  • Chills
  • Body itching
  • Fever
  • General Ill-feeling
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Light-headedness or fainting
  • A bull’s eye rash

Symptoms of Stage 2

Lyme disease can be felt in the weeks and months after the tick bit. Symptoms can include:

  • Muscle pain and swelling or pain in bigger joints like the knees
  • Weakness or paralysis in the facial muscle
  • Heart issues like skipped heartbeats or palpitations

Symptoms of Stage 3

Months or years following the infection, people who are in the third stage of Lyme disease can experience symptoms like:

  • Abnormal muscle movement
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Speech issues
  • Muscle weakness

Diagnosis of Lyme Disease

The infection is diagnosed through ELISA, a type of blood test that checks for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease. When the test is positive, a Western blot test will be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The accuracy of tests for Lyme disease varies depending upon the stage at which an infected person is tested. The best time to test for this disease is many weeks after infection takes place.

Treatment for Lyme Disease

Treating Lyme disease includes the use of antibiotics for 2-4 weeks. The kind of antibiotics used varies depending upon the disease’s stage and symptoms. If you are a looking for a pharmacy in Seattle to purchase antibiotics from, Eastern’s Pharmacy has it all.

But the treatment plans for those who have post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome are the same as those used for patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. These are likely to include taking medications for fatigue and pain, stress reduction techniques like yoga and deep breathing as well as talk therapy.

Did your family have an experience with tick bites? How did you cope with the infection? We would be happy to know your story. Share it in the comments below.

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