Lyme disease was first reported in the United States in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1977 when children who lived around or played in wooded areas came down with pains, aches, fever, and a pervasive feeling of illness. The same disease occurs in many parts of Europe and Asia. Lyme disease is a condition that is spread by deer ticks and possibly mosquitos, and anyone who is bitten by a deer tick has the potential of developing Lyme disease.
Lyme disease has three recognized stages:
- Stage 1 is called early localized Lyme disease. The infection has not yet spread throughout the body.
- Stage 2 is called early disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have begun to spread throughout the body.
- Stage 3 is called late disseminated Lyme disease. The bacteria have spread throughout the body.
How to Recognize the Stages of Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease Stage 1- Early localized infection
In most cases, the first sign of early Lyme disease is the appearance of a bull’s-eye skin rash. It can be large and expanding in size. This rash is called erythema migrans (EM). Without treatment, it can last 4 weeks or longer. It usually develops within two weeks after the bite, although it may appear as soon as 3 days, and as late as 1 month. This rash is found in about 80% of patients, but for the 20% without the EM and the non-target lesions their Lyme disease may never be detected.
Symptoms of this Lyme disease stage may include flu-like symptoms including:
- General ill feeling
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Stiff neck
The Lyme disease stage of localized infection is where the Lyme disease has not yet spread throughout the body. The only area affected is where the infection has first come into contact with the skin.
Lyme Disease Stage 2 – Early disseminated infection
Untreated, the infection spreads through the bloodstream and lymph nodes within days to weeks, involving the joints, nervous system, and possibly the heart. Multiple rashes may erupt in other places. If the infection affects the nervous system in the second stage of Lyme disease, various acute neurological problems may appear. These include facial palsy, which is the loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face, as well as meningitis, which involves severe headaches, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to light. In addition, some case reports have described altered mental status, shooting pains that may interfere with sleep, as well as abnormal skin sensations.
Within days to weeks after the onset of local infection, the bacteria may begin to spread through the bloodstream and a rash may develop at sites across the body that bear no relation to the original tick bite.
Lyme Disease Stage 3 – Late disseminated infection
If the disease remains untreated, a persistent infection can occur after a few weeks or months, leading to prolonged bouts of arthritis and neurologic problems, such as concentration problems or personality changes. Fatigue is a prominent feature of both early and late stages.
If Lyme disease is left untreated in stage 3, patients may go on to develop severe and chronic symptoms that affect many parts of the body, including the brain, nerves, eyes, joints, and heart. Many disabling symptoms can occur, including permanent shooting pains, numbness, and tingling in the hands or feet may develop. Lyme disease is known as the “great imitator” because the symptoms which display if the disease is not treated, mimic many well-known conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Fibromyalgia. For this reason it is very important to find a practitioner who can perform tests and make an accurate diagnosis.
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Where to find Treatment for Lyme Disease
LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering treatment for all stages of Lyme Disease for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. The Patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering Lyme Disease treatments and natural medicine for Lyme Disease where they live.
We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient or for more information feel free to call the New Patient Scheduler at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web inquiry with your request.