Lyme Disease - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Lyme is a systemic, tickborne disease with protean manifestations, including dermatologic, rheumatologic, neurologic, and cardiac abnormalities. Lyme disease is an inflammatory disease characterized by a skin rash, joint inflammation, and flu-like symptoms. The best clinical marker for the disease is the initial skin lesion that occurs in 60%-80% of patients.
Lyme often begins in the summer with the classic skin lesion called erythema chronicum migrans. Weeks or months later, cardiac or neurologic abnormalities sometimes develop, possibly followed by arthritis. Lyme disease is also known as Borreliosis.
Lyme disease may be caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. The Lyme disease bacteria is transmitted by the deer tick and the Western black-legged tick though some reports indicate that the infection may be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy. Lyme disease may sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may mimic other diseases. A characteristic red rash usually occurs at the site of the bite. However, the bite may go unnoticed. A few months to years after the bite, joint inflammation, neurological symptoms, and sometimes heart symptoms may occur.
Lyme disease occurs when a tick injects spirochete-laden saliva into the bloodstream or deposits fecal matter on the skin. The spirochetes' life cycle isn't completely clear; they may survive for years in the joints or they may trigger all inflammatory response in the host and then die. There are more than 16,000 cases of Lyme disease per year in the United States.
The way symptoms develop following a tick bite varies widely among individuals. Some people have no symptoms at all.
The symptoms of the lyme disease may be included:
Antibiotics are prescribed based on disease stages and manifestations. Doxycycline, tetracycline, cefuroxime, and penicillin are some of the choices.
Oral penicillin is usually prescribed for children. When given during the late stages, high-dose ceftriaxone I.V. may be a successful treatment.
Some herbs are thought to be effective in treating bacterial diseases like Lyme disease. A popular choice for this purpose is the western herb spilanthes.
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