There is an unacknowledged epidemic occurring around the world. Lyme disease is the fasted growing infectious disease and most common vector-borne illness in Canada and United States. It is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Lyme disease was named after a town in Connecticut in the 1970’s where numerous cases of illness were first observed.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected black-legged (Ixodes scapularis) tick, commonly known as the “deer tick”.
Clinically only 20% of those bitten by a tick present the classic bulls eye rash. Even without the rash Lyme is in its early localized first stage can present itself with fatigue, fever, chills, muscle pain and headache. Second stage, the spreading of the disease even within weeks can present itself with multiple rashes, migratory joint and muscle pain, neurological conditions like Bells Palsy, Encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain causing brain fog, balance issues in the legs, migraines etc) and cardiac problems like atroventricular block. Late stage symptoms occurring months to years after infection are abdominal pain, arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, neuropsychiatric conditions and encephalomyelitis which is the inflammation of both the brain and the spinal cord.
All of these symptoms can be misdiagnosed by how they present themselves which is why one is often misdiagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, autoimmune disorders like lupus, fibromyalgia, IBS . A Lyme literate (ILADS) trained professional can assist you in an initial diagnosis by reviewing your symptoms past and present, performing a physical exam, conducting lab tests and then presenting a treatment plan that works for the individual.
Children and adolescents are at a higher risk for getting Lyme disease because they spend more time in areas where they might encounter a tick bite. When Lyme disease is misdiagnosed and goes untreated in children, it has a profound, devastating impact on a child’s well being. Pediatric presentations are acute personality changes or regression (literally over a weekend), anxiety, OCD, rage or excessive emotional reactions.
There are far more symptoms that could be listed as one may have co-infections. If you or someone you know believes they have been misdiagnosed please contact me, I can direct you to an ILADS trained practitioner that will not only address Chronic Lyme disease but its co-infections; reactivation of dormant infections, such as viruses, fungal and parasitic infections; and or an immune compromised state which can be further complicated by heavy metal toxicity, chemical toxicities and essential nutritional deficiencies.
To find a Lyme disease support group in your area visit www.lymeontario.com