What You Need to Know About Chronic Lyme Disease

A tick biting a person's skin.

Often misdiagnosed, frequently mistreated and always confusing, chronic Lyme disease (CLD) has been getting a lot of press lately. Here’s what you need to know about CLD to keep yourself and your family safe.

Explaining Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick that’s infected with bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. These spiral-shaped bacteria can affect many different organs and produce a variety of unpleasant symptoms. More than half of all Lyme disease victims are unable to recall a tick bite or the bull’s eye rash that’s the hallmark of this condition. Because of this, many Lyme disease patients have no idea what’s wrong with them.

If the individual with Lyme disease doesn’t receive care for their illness (which many do not, as they’re unaware of any problem), Lyme disease can continue. Lyme disease is a multi-stage illness and the late stage is chronic Lyme disease. At this point in the infection, the bacteria are still present in the body and the illness moves into a chronic stage. At this point, many other health conditions may occur; some examples are chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac issues and more.

How You Can Protect Yourself

The best way to prevent chronic Lyme disease is to avoid contracting Lyme disease. Because Lyme disease has been reported in nearly every state in the country, it’s important for everyone to take precautions while outside to prevent tick bites.

A tick on a leaf.

If you spend more than a few minutes outside each day, it’s important to perform a daily tick check. Look all over your body, paying special attention to underneath the arms, inside the ears, on the back of the knees, inside of the belly button and all around the head. If you have dogs, you should also check them or ticks, as they can get Lyme disease from ticks as well.

The Symptoms of Lyme Disease

In order to avoid CLD, it’s important for one to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of Lyme disease. Awareness of Lyme disease signs leads to earlier treatment, thereby reducing the risk of CLD. Any of the following symptoms may occur up to a month after infection:

  • Rash- Particularly one in a bull’s eye pattern is a hallmark of Lyme disease.
  • Flulike symptoms- Chills, fatigue, body aches and fever frequently accompany Lyme disease.
  • Joint pain- Pain and swelling in the joints frequently goes along with the disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, your chiropractic team may be able to help. Alternative healthcare treatments have been found to be very helpful for patients who suffer from CLD. To learn more about this frustrating and painful condition, talk to your doctor of chiropractic. He or she will be able to inform you of your treatment options and work with you on a plan for battling and treating CLD.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Photo credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Mislav MarohnićUsed under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.