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Lyme Disease

Posted Nov 24 2009 10:01pm 2 Comments
Now that I have a better handle on my feelings, I can explain better about the Lyme Disease situation. I wrote an emotional post the other day, about deciding to get re-tested for Lyme disease. Now I want to explain that I'm sharing this with you all because I want everyone to be informed of their options, and all the possible causes of their pain.

A few statements just to catch everyone up to speed:
  • I was diagnosed with Systemic JRA 10-ish years ago.
  • My symptoms include a whole-body rash, spiking fevers at night, joint inflammation and pain, decreased joint mobility, aches, pains, muscle soreness and fatigue. Which is actually closer in description to something called Still's disease, a form of arthritis thought to be caused by an infection.
  • I was tested for Lyme disease when I was going through the diagnosis process; it was negative.
  • In the past 3 months I have found out that there is a huge problem in my area with people being misdiagnosed as having various autoimmune conditions when in fact they have Lyme disease.
  • The universe has been giving me really strong signs to get re-tested for Lyme.
  • I decided to get re-tested and I have an appointment on Dec. 4th.
Below is a quote from the Arthritis Foundation website on Lyme Disease:

"Lyme disease always starts with a bite of a deer tick that carries the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks are tiny (juveniles are about the size of a poppy seed and adults, the size of a sesame seed) and their bites are painless, so you most likely will not know that you’ve been bitten. ... Studies show that the tick needs to have been attached and feeding for 36 to 48 hours before it passes the bacteria to the host. Once infected, Lyme disease travels through three phases, as outlined below. These phases are not absolute; you may have features of different phases at the same time and you may skip an early phase altogether.

Early localized disease symptoms occur days to weeks after the infection and include:

  • Erythema migrans: This is a rash that 50 to 80 percent of people with Lyme disease get.
  • It usually forms at the site of the tick bite.
  • It starts as a small red dot and expands as a solid red rash; or it can have a central red spot, surrounded by a clear ring, surrounded by a red ring (the classic bulls-eye rash).
  • It usually appears one or two weeks after the tick bite, but always within a month.
  • It usually is five or six inches across, but can be as small as two inches or as big as a foot or more.
  • It persists for three to five weeks.
  • It usually is not painful or itchy, but it may be warm.
  • Flu-like symptoms: People with early disease may feel like they’ve got a virus.
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches
  • Swollen glands

Early disseminated disease symptoms occur weeks to months after the tick bite and include:

  • Erythema migrans rashes in spots other than the bite site.
  • Heart problems, which occur in about eight percent of people who did not receive treatment during the first phase of the disease.
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • A disruption of the electrical system of the heart known as heart block. Depending on the severity it may produce an irregular heartbeat due to skipped beats, or may only be noticeable on EKG as a prolonged time for conduction of a beat. It can also produce a very slow heartbeat due to complete disruption of the normal conduction system.
  • Neurologic damage, which occurs in about 10 percent of people with untreated disease.
  • Meningitis (severe headache, stiff neck)
  • Temporary paralysis of facial muscles
  • Numbness or weakness in the limbs
  • Poor muscle coordination

Late disease symptoms occur months to years after onset of infection and is not necessarily preceded by other features of Lyme disease. Symptoms include:

  • Arthritis
  • About half of people with Lyme disease will develop arthritis several months after being infected.
  • The knee is the most commonly affected joint, but other large joints may be involved.
  • Arthritis often is migratory (first one joint will hurt and get better, then another joint will hurt).
  • About 10 percent of people with untreated infections will develop chronic arthritis (typically lasting five to eight years) that can cause erosion of cartilage and bone.
  • Neurologic damage
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Mood disturbances
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Burning, prickling or painful sensations of the limbs
  • Other symptoms
  • Eye inflammation
  • Hepatitis (liver disease)
  • Bursitis and tendonitis
  • Extreme fatigue"
Now, I'm not a doctor, but all of those symptoms are very similar to autoimmune arthritis disease symptoms. And what is amazing is that my onset followed the exact same stages: rash, then a fever, then arthritis pain and swelling. What is particularly concerning are the fever and eye inflammation symptoms of Lyme, which are hallmark to Juvenile RA...

I am putting this information out there because I want you all to be informed. It is possible to have arthritis symptoms caused by an infection, not an "immune system gone wrong" and is you want to live pain free, you might want to consider this and get tested, work to build the health of your body, so that it does not play host to infection, and research, research, research!

It may be a good idea to get re-tested by a Naturopathic Doctor who has experience with this growing problem. Once I find out the names of a few good labs that do the full spectrum Lyme test, I will let you all know.

The AF page on Lyme Disease

Getting ready for turkey and cranberry!!!!
Comments (2)
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I have a red spot on my right knee,right smack in the middle...It is round,now with a white spot in the middle of the area...Does not hurt,no soreness.I was sick one morning,then the next day I had a spot appear on my knee.5 days now...I have had kneck pain,but now it is bothering me today....It is only one spot in one area of my body?????Could this be lyme disease????SHould I see a doctor or watch it for awhile?

Hi,

I am not able to really tell you what to do, but I think if it were me I would get tested just in case. Neck pain and feeling sick are indicative of Lyme, but it could be something entirely different. If you get tested, go to a Lyme Literate MD (LLMD). You can find one local to you here: http://www.chroniclymedisease.com/llmd-referrals

Good luck and stay in touch!

robin

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