Why is this pesky disease such a big deal? For one, you may never even know you’ve been exposed to it. Many victims of Lyme disease don’t even notice there is an issue for 1 to 2 weeks after being infected. Even then, the symptoms can mirror that of other minor illnesses and be overlooked or ignored.
Lyme disease has three stages and the really scary aspect of this infection is that by the time it hits Stage 3, without treatment, it can cause arthritis of the joints, numbness in the limbs, and brain disorders. Understanding Lyme disease – what it is, if you could have it, and how to prevent it – means you are armed with the knowledge you need to stay safe or seek treatment quickly in a worst-case scenario.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is most commonly spread through ticks. If you live in a wooded area, or enjoy spending time in nature or the mountains, ticks are everywhere. As the weather gets warmer, ticks thrive making summertime when the US sees a spike in those who contract Lyme disease. In fact, in the past two decades, cases of Lyme disease in our country have more than doubled – now up to 30,000+ a year.
How Do You Know if You Have Lyme Disease?
To transmit this infection, a tick must be attached on the skin for at least thirty-six hours. So, if you find and remove a tick quickly, you are probably safe. However, you can always call your healthcare provider if you find a tick and are concerned. Better safe than sorry! Unfortunately, not everyone finds the tick right away and many who suffer from Lyme disease never recall being bitten at all.
Identifying the disease can be tricky as symptoms vary from person to person. If you believe you may be infected, it’s imperative that you contact your healthcare provider right away!
Here are some things to be on the lookout for:
- Circular rash that looks like a bullseye
- Muscle aches and/or joint pain
- Swelling of any joints
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Trouble with focus, concentration, or sleeping
Prevention Tips & Advice?
The best treatment for any disease is prevention and the same can be true for Lyme disease. If you are going to spend time outdoors, wear clothing that covers the majority of your body; including, long pants and long-sleeve shirts. Bring, and use, insect repellent often. When you get home, have someone check you for ticks in those hard to reach, hard to see areas, just to be safe.
If, despite your best efforts, you still manage to bring back a tick – then use peppermint essential oil and tweezers to get the insect to detach safely. The oil will cause the tick to release, ensuring that you grab all of the bug the first time and not leave the head behind.
However, if after your best efforts you find that you’ve potentially been exposed to this illness, the best plan is to seek out treatment quickly from your doctor or healthcare provider. Let them know that you’ve been bitten by a tick and would like to be tested for Lyme disease.
If you are struggling with this disease right now, it can be a long and painful process. If you find that your body has become desensitized to the supplements you are taking to combat the disease, or if your current treatment plan is ineffective, give us a call at Healing Potential to discuss possible options to get you feeling better and back on the road to good health.