9 Lyme Disease Facts

Now that summer's officially here — hi, Memorial Day 2015 — it's time for a Lyme disease refresher course. The Delaware Valley remains a hotbed of Lyme activity, and it's important that parents know all about Lyme prevention and the telltale signs as our kids spend the bulk of their time outside over the next few months. MomSpeaker Toni Langdon has been through a bout of Lyme disease and shares info here. Brush up on the basics, then click through to our recent Lyme primer to learn more.

Please note that I am NOT a doctor and am only sharing my experience and information that I have gathered. A few years ago I was feeling really sick, dizzy and having a lot of anxiety. I started making appointments with every doctor to try to figure out what was wrong and finally found out that it was Lyme disease.  

Lyme disease is a very serious condition, but the good news is that it is preventable. Make sure you pay attention to your body. In the summer, if you're outside a lot, inspect your body and your children and make sure you pay attention to any signs or symptoms. Here are nine facts for you from the Lymelight Foundation

  1. Lyme disease is a worldwide infectious disease and has been reported in all 50 states. 25% of the reported cases are in children. Lyme disease had been found on every continent but Antarctica.
  2. Typically Lyme disease is transmitted through a bite from an infected deer tick. These ticks, often the size of a poppy seed, can leave an undetectable bite.
  3. Fewer than 50% of people infected get the bull’s-eye rash. Some develop flu-like symptoms a week or so after becoming infected. However, many people are asymptomatic but can develop Lyme symptoms months, years or decades later.
  4. Common symptoms include: fatigue, neck stiffness or pain, jaw discomfort, muscle pain, joint aches like arthritis (typically in the knees), swollen glands, memory loss, cognitive confusion, vision problems, digestive issues, headaches and fainting.
  5. The Lyme spirochete bacteria is hard to detect and hard to kill. Lyme disease is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States.
  6. It is called the great imitator; looking like many other health problems (fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Bell's palsy, ADD, MS and lupus).
  7. The medical community is divided over diagnosis and treatment guidelines. Health insurance often doesn’t cover the treatment for chronic Lyme disease.
  8. The standard and most commonly prescribed test for diagnosing Lyme is the ELISA test. This test, often not sensitive enough to detect Lyme, can produce a false negative. The more sensitive tests are the IgG and IgM Western Blots test. The preferred testing lab is IGeneX Lab in Palo Alto, CA.
  9. If you suspect you have Lyme, contact a LLMD (Lyme-literate medical Doctor).

Informative websites on the disease include Ilads.orgLymedisease.orgLymediseaseassociation.orgIgenex.com and Underourskin.com.

 

Toni Langdon is a single mom of two daughters living in Chester County, PA. Toni is a nonstop mom juggling work, parenting and life. She brings a unique perspective while having a black belt in martial arts, a love for fashion and a passion for giving back. This post is adapted from her blog Tickles and Time Outs

Categories: MomSpeak