When a deer tick finds its way onto your body, it begins searching for a place on your skin to bite. Only, it doesn’t bite you. Instead, it scratches your skin and opens a space that will allow it to embed its head and feed on your blood.
While feeding, it transfers the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi from its body to your bloodstream. This bacterial infection is known as Lyme disease, which becomes worse the longer it stays in your system.
If you can recognize the early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, you have a better chance of treating it before it spreads to all other areas of your body. You can do this by recognizing the early signs.
Early Signs of Lyme Disease
Early signs of Lyme disease can appear up to 30 days after infection.
One of Lyme disease’s first signs is a bulls-eye rash that appears in the area where the tick broke your skin. It’s important not to solely rely on seeing a rash, however. Not everyone will get a rash. Also, some people that get a rash don’t see it when it appears in lesser-seen places on the body.
Other early signs of Lyme disease include headaches, chills, sweats, runny nose, feeling like you have the flu, and feeling fatigued when you know you should have energy. Stiffness in your neck and joints and swollen lymph nodes.
If you feel any of these symptoms, you must know what to do next.
What to Do If You Feel Symptoms
No one wants to get Lyme disease, but you will hopefully see the bulls-eye rash if you do get it. This tells your doctor that Lyme bacteria are present in your body and to treat you with strong antibiotics right away. When a rash appears, there is no doubt.
Those without a rash but with other symptoms should still seek medical treatment, even if you never saw any signs of a tick on your body. If you go to a family doctor for a Lyme disease test, request a Lyme disease test, even if they try to convince you your symptoms are related to something else.
The best step you can take when you feel symptoms is to seek help from a Lyme-savvy doctor who knows how to give you a correct diagnosis and knows the dangers of Lyme disease going untreated.
Correctly Diagnosing Lyme Disease
A Lyme-literate doctor is a licensed board-certified medical doctor who also has a specialty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease with the most advanced equipment and technologies.
Lyme-literate doctors know how to get the correct diagnosis early, so you are not at risk for developing late-stage Lyme disease, which can be debilitating.
Most family practitioners test for Lyme disease using the only two tests available today, the ELISA and the Western Blot. Unfortunately, these tests are only accurate if the Lyme antibodies are active at the time of your test. If they are not active, your test can offer a negative result.
The results do not mean you are negative for Lyme disease. It means you were negative for the antibodies associated with Lyme. Lyme-literate doctors know the truth that antibodies can go inactive at times and hide in the walls of your bloodstream, going undetected by insufficient tests.
There are Lyme-literate doctors available who can help you get an accurate diagnosis. Some of the best doctors are outside the U.S., like Mexico, where leaders in the industry practice.
Do whatever it takes to meet with a Lyme-literate doctor because if your Lyme disease is misdiagnosed or goes untreated, your body will suffer.
Dangers of Going Untreated
When Lyme disease is not detected and treated early, the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi can reproduce and multiply. They become stronger and start moving throughout your body. They become so strong that almost nothing can flush them out of your bloodstream.
As they multiply and move, so do your Lyme disease symptoms. You can experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Your joints can feel swollen due to inflammation that causes severe pain. You can have neurological problems like meningitis and bell’s palsy, as well as numbness or weakness in your limbs.
But that’s not all the symptoms that can appear if Lyme disease is not treated early. Others include vision problems, irregular heartbeat, liver inflammation, severe fatigue, vertigo, sleep disturbances, mental confusion, and migraines.
Don’t go untreated. Find the right doctor as soon as you have symptoms. A Lyme-literate doctor doesn’t just test for Lyme disease because they want to get to the source of your symptoms. If you don’t test positive for Lyme disease, they go the extra mile to give you an accurate diagnosis, no matter what the result may be.
They also test for co-infections. Something not known by many is that deer ticks that carry Lyme disease can also have other diseases. When they give you Lyme disease, they may also give you one or two more. Lyme-savvy doctors know to test for all possible co-infections.
So, how do you find a Lyme-literate doctor?
Finding a Lyme-literate Doctor
The first step in finding a Lyme-literate doctor is to commit to seeking help from the best, no matter where they are located. This is important because some of the leading doctors in treating Lyme infections are outside the U.S.
When choosing a doctor, check for specific characteristics among the doctors and clinic, like licensure, accreditation, and certifications. Also, learn which advanced, modern treatments, equipment, and technologies they use to heal your disease and about the processes they use, which are typically in their clinic and on an outpatient basis.
Finally, ask about their evaluation methods. The initial assessment is the most critical, and Lyme-literate doctors will spend the most time gathering information to create an individualized treatment plan to attack and eliminate Lyme disease from your body.
You deserve a life free of Lyme disease. A Lyme-literate doctor can help you achieve it.