Lyme’s Disease Basics
This is some Lyme’s disease basics, but there still appears to be a lot unknown about Lyme’s disease. Lyme’s is caused by a bacterium borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by certain infected ticks. Basically, a creepy bug that burrows into your skin. Some say that the only ticks that carry the infection are ones that like the black tailed deer or the CDC says the black legged . I would just assume that any tick could carry disease and take precautions.
Lyme’s Not Just In Eastern US
The states on the eastern part of the US are primarily the ones with the most Lyme’s according to CDC, but Lyme’s disease has been diagnosed all over the country. I contracted Lyme’s after visiting Northern California. The ticks are active all year round depending on where you live in the country. It is wise just to take precautions all year round.
Routine Checks A Must
If you have been an area of ticks or maybe you have them around your home, you should get in the habit of doing a full body check routinely and especially when you have been out in the tall grass, doing yard work or hanging out under a tree. You can use a mirror to help check yourself. Be sure to check your children and pets as well as clothing or other items that may have been where ticks could hitch a ride. They like to hide out in warmer places on the body, so hair, armpits, belly button, between the legs, in the ear, places where they may have had easy access to, like just under sleeves or pants.
Get The Bug Out Safely
If you find a tick, then you can remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers. You will want to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Be careful not to twist or pull too quickly, which may cause the tick to break, leaving some parts in your skin. Just pull the out with steady, upward pressure in a straight line in the opposite direction in which it went in. If parts do break off, try to remove them with the tweezers. If that doesn’t work, you may be able to soak the skin in warm water or hydrogen peroxide. Then remove them with tweezers. Wash area with soap and water or you can wipe the area down with rubbing alcohol to clean the area. http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/removal/index.html
Protect Yourself From Lyme’s Disease
If you live in a high tick area, you may want to landscape your yard to help discourage their presence. They basically like tall grass, weeds or leaves on the ground. CDC has landscape recommendations to decrease the tick population in the yard to help keep your children and pets safe. http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/prev/in_the_yard.html
Symptoms Of Possible Lyme’s Disease
Things to watch for if you do go out and about where ticks travel are the characteristic bull’s eye rash. Note also, that symptoms of Lyme’s can occur up to a month after exposure with average time being about a week. Other symptoms are like the flu with fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain. If you think there may be any possibility of Lyme’s, see your physician right away. If Lyme’s is possible, you will want to start on an antibiotic immediately. You may need to be on them for several weeks to effectively rid yourself of Lyme’s.
Treated, But Still Have Symptoms
If you have been treated for Lyme’s with antibiotics, but symptoms continue to persist, talk to your doctor.
Unfortunately, this is the tricky part as many doctors as well as the general public are not well versed in Lyme’s and there is different information out there, which makes getting appropriate treatment sometimes frustrating. What I do know is that Lyme’s is misunderstood and people sometimes are diagnosed with other diseases that manifest similar symptoms, when actually they have Lyme’s.
I highly recommend if you feel that there is even a small possibility that you could have had contact with a tick, to seek a physician who has knowledge of Lyme’s disease. Same is true if your symptoms are lingering or you are developing new symptoms. Without treatment, it can be quite debilitating. Do further research and then see your physician. Be sure you are keeping your stress level in check, getting plenty of water, adequate rest, nutrition, sleep and appropriate activity. These things may help you to feel better as you are recovering from Lyme’s disease.