Q+A about Lyme Disease!
If you have question you'd like answered, just post it in the comments!
May is Lyme Disease awareness month, so make sure you wear some green!! :-)
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a bacteria infection that you can get when you are bitten by a tick.
What are the symptoms?
Some common symptoms include fatigue, bowel issues, cognitive issues, and sore joints and muscles, and tingling in your hands and feet. However, the list is endless! It's different with every person.
Is there a treatment?
Yes, you can be treated for Lyme Disease. BUT, the problem is that not a lot of doctors believe in chronic Lyme (Lyme Disease that you have for a really long time, or continues to reoccur) so many people can go untreated and/or undiagnosed for years! It's important to find an LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) who believes in Lyme and knows how to treat it.
How long does the treatment take?
It depends on how long you have had Lyme. Some people get bitten by a tick and don't realize it. If you get treatment right away, you might be on antibiotics for a month or two, however people who get very sick from Lyme take many years to recover, and sometimes the damage from the Lyme is still there even after the antibiotics do their job.
How do I prevent Lyme Disease?
1) Avoid being in or brushing up against tall grass or heavily wooded areas.
2) If you know that you are going on a hike or that you're going going to be exposed to tall grass or bushes, make sure you wear long sleeves, pants, and socks, and make sure you tuck your pants into your socks.
3) Keep your lawn cut short
4) If you live on a farm, you might consider getting guinea fowl. They don't scratch in the dirt to find their food like chickens do, so they have to eat whatever is in or on the grass. They LOVE ticks. :-)
5) After you come in from being outside, no matter how short of a time, check your whole body (including hair) and clothes all over for ticks. Some ticks are so tiny, they look like a speck of dirt, so be very thorough. You can also put your clothes in the dryer after you come inside, and the heat will kill the ticks.
6) Make sure to check your pets for ticks when they come inside.
What if I get bitten by a tick?
If you are bitten by a tick, use a pair of tweezers to pull it out as close to its head you can get. Do NOT squeeze or pinch the tick! If you do, you will just be squeezing more infection into your body. And do not throw the tick away. Take it to the doctor with you for testing. You can also keep the tick in the freezer until you go to the doctor, but make sure you go as soon as possible! Also, make sure you make an appointment with a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) You can find them at www.ILADS.org and make sure that you get a Lyme test ordered through IGeneX (www.igenex.com)
Don't wait for a bulls-eye rash to go to the doctor, because most people don't get the bulls-eye rash when they are bitten.
How did Lyme Disease get its name?
When scientists were first starting to discover Lyme disease, several of the patients they were studying were from the Connecticut towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.
I hope you've learned a little bit about Lyme Disease and how to prevent it!