EARLY LYME DISEASE HAS SIMILAR SYMPTOMS TO SWINE FLU
Posted Jun 26 2009 7:11pm
It is interesting that the "Swine Flu" is entering the scene after the normal flu season has come and gone. However, the tick/Lyme disease and coinfection season has just begun. The symptoms of early Lyme disease are fever, headache and other flu - like symptoms. The flu symptoms can disappear after a few days to a week but that does not mean the disease itself has disappeared. As the list below shows.....the disease can then go underground, disseminate through the body and begin to manifest itself in many different ways......as time goes on. My concern is that this Swine Flu Scare is coinciding with Lyme disease season. It used to be that when people would get the flu in spring and summer, Lyme disease would be suspected. Yet even then we would have problems getting diagnosed and treated. What is going to happen now? Are we going to be told all flu-like symptoms are Swine Flu.....or at the very least are doctors going to be distracted from checking for Lyme and it's other tickborne co-infections? Who tests the population for Swine Flu? Do all the blood samples go to the CDC to be tested? If so...that seems pretty convenient and controlled to me. Remember....many many people that acquire Lyme disease do not present with a rash. If you have flu-like symptoms this time of the year, one should always be tested for Lyme and coinfections...such as Babesia, Bartonella, mycoplasma, Erlichiosis....etc. It is strange that the media is not mentioning the possibility of Lyme causing any of the flu-like symptoms we're supposedly seeing. If Lyme disease is not treated early, it can cause very serious problems down the road. Is this what is desired? Why is the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease so political? Why can't people get appropriate treatment? Why are doctor's licenses being taken away for treating chronic lyme disease? Why aren't doctors being taught the many different manifestations of Lyme disease? We need these questions answered NOW. Our attention is being diverted....Big Time
LD symptoms can imitate other diseases and can be misdiagnosed.
EARLY LOCALIZED DISEASE Signs and symptoms of Early Local Lyme Disease often starts with flu-like feelings of headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. About 60% of light-skinned patients notice a unique enlarging rash, referred to as erythema migrans (EM), days to weeks after the bite. On dark-skinned people, this rash resembles a bruise.
The rash may appear within a day of the bite or as late as a month later. This rash may start as a small, reddish bump about one-half inch in diameter. It may be slightly raised or flat. It soon expands outward, often leaving a clearing (normal flesh color) in the center. It can enlarge to the size of a thumb-print or cover a persons back.
To be considered local disease the rash must be at the tick bite site with no other major organ system involvement. A rash occurring at other than the bite site in an indication of Disseminated Lyme Disease. Don't confuse a local reaction to a tick bite, with signs of infection. A small inflamed skin bump or discoloration that develops within hours of a bite and over the next day or two is not likely to be due to infection - but rather a local reaction to the disruption of the skin.
DISSEMINATED LYME DISEASE Some people do not notice these early indicators of infection. Early manifestations usually disappear, and disseminated (other organ system involvement) infection may occur. General symptoms alone do not indicate Lyme disease.
GENERAL ..Profound fatigue, severe headache, fever(s), severe muscle aches/pain.
BRAINNerve conduction defects (weakness/paralysis of limbs, loss of reflexes, tingling sensations of the extremities - peripheral neuropathy), severe headaches, stiff neck, meningitis, cranial nerve involvement (e.g. change in smell/taste; difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking; hoarseness or vocal cord problems; facial paralysis - Bell's palsy; dizziness/fainting; drooping shoulders; inability to turn head; light or sound sensitivity; change in hearing; deviation of eyeball [wandering or lazy eye], drooping eyelid), stroke, abnormal brain waves or seizures, sleep disorders, cognitive changes (memory problems, difficulty in word finding, confusion, decreased concentration, problems with numbers) and, behavioral changes (depression, personality changes).
Other psychiatric manifestations that have been reported in the scientific literature include: panic attacks; disorientation; hallucinations; extreme agitation; impulsive violence, manic, or obsessive behavior; paranoia; schiziphrenic-like states, dementia, and eating disorders. Several patients have committed suicide.
EYES....Vision changes, including blindness, retinal damage, optic atrophy, red eye, conjunctivitis, "spots" before eyes, inflammation of various parts of the eye, pain, double vision.
SKIN...Rash not at the bite site (EM) - This skin discoloration varies in size and shape; usually has rings of varying shades, but can be uniformly discolored; may be hot to the touch or itch; ranges in color from reddish to purple to bruised-looking; and can be necrotic (crusty/oozy). The rash may develop a bull's-eye rash or target look. The shape my be circular, oval, triangular, or a long-thin ragged line.
Other disseminated skin problems include: lymphocytoma, which is a benign nodule or tumor, and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA) which is discoloration/degeneration usually of the hands or feet. HEART and BLOOD VESSELS ....Irregular beats, heart block, myocarditis, chest pain, vasculitis.
JOINTS....Pain - intermittent or chronic, usually not symmetrical; sometimes swelling; TMJ-like pain in jaw.
LIVER.....Mild liver function abnormalities.
LUNGS....Difficulty breathing, pneumonia.
MUSCLE.....Pain, inflammation, cramps, loss of tone.
STOMACH and INTESTINES.....Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anorexia.
SPLEEN....Tenderness, enlargement. PREGNANCY....Miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, and neonatal deaths (rare). Congenital LD has been described in medical literature. It is possible for the bacterium to pass from mother to fetus across the placenta, resulting in congenitally acquired LD. A link between LD and adverse outcomes in pregnancy is under investigation. However, most studies show that mothers who are promptly diagnosed and treated appear to have perfectly normal babies.
Nursing women with LD often call to ask us whether they should continue nursing. There has been no proved cases of transmission through human milk. There is research that demonstrates that Bb can be found in the colostrum of infected cows and mice. Animals studies have demonstrated that ingestion of Bb can result in infection. Some physicians recommend nursing mothers discard breast milk during active infection. Breast feeding can resume after treatment is completed and the woman becomes symptom-free. The decision to do so should be discussed with your physician.