Contd. From last Tuesday
The rash may have an irregular shape, blisters or a scabby appearance. Some rashes have a bruise-like appearance. Lyme rashes can mimic spider bite, ringworm, or cellulitis. Unfortunately, sometimes, there is no telltale rash to warn of the tick bite. And because Lyme is difficult to detect and diagnose, it may go untreated for many years and the bacteria can spread and may go into hiding in your body.
Weeks, months or even years later, you may have problems with your brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system, and skin. Symptoms may disappear even without treatment and different symptoms may appear at different times. But the Lyme parasite lives on happily in your body.
Lyme may be misdiagnosed as other diseases such as mental illness, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and even hypochondria. Since scientists have not figured out the cause of these diseases, the underlying Lyme infection is allowed to progress unchecked.
Scientists recognise that many diseases are caused by ticks worldwide and new ones are still being discovered. One tick may carry more than one disease; so, sometimes, people get more than one co-infection from the bite of a single tick. The symptoms of these co-infections are often nonspecific – such as fever and headache – which makes diagnosis difficult.
And the treatments may be different. The other main tick-borne diseases include babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and bartonellosis.
Babesiosis symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease, but it more often starts with a high fever and chills. As the infection progresses, patients may develop fatigue, headache, drenching sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. Babesiosis is often so mild it is not noticed but can be life-threatening to people with no spleen, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Complications include very low blood pressure, liver problems, severe haemolytic anaemia (a breakdown of red blood cells), and kidney failure
There are two kinds of ehrlichiosis, both of which are caused by tick-borne rickettsial parasites called Ehrlichia that infect different kinds of white blood cells. The clinical manifestations of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are the same. Each is often characterised by sudden high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headache.
The disease can be mild or life-threatening. Severely ill patients can have low white blood cell count, low platelet count, anaemia, elevated liver enzymes, kidney failure and respiratory insufficiency. Older people or people with immune suppression are more likely to require hospitalisation. Deaths have occurred.
Bartonella bacteria are known to be carried by fleas, body lice, ticks and sand flies. Symptoms of bartonellosis are often mild but in serious cases, it can affect the whole body. Early signs are fever, fatigue, headache, poor appetite and an unusual, streaked rash.
Swollen glands are typical, especially around the head, neck and arms. Doctors should suspect bartonellosis when neurologic symptoms are out of proportion to the other systemic symptoms of chronic Lyme.
Gastritis, lower abdominal pain, sore soles and tender subcutaneous nodules along the extremities may be present. Lymph nodes may be enlarged and the throat can be sore.
Other tick-borne diseases include Colorado Tick Fever and many mycoplasma infections. Mycoplasma species have been identified in ticks. Smaller than bacteria, they invade human cells and disrupt the immune system, causing fatigue, musculoskeletal symptoms, and cognitive problems.
Powassan virus causes tick-borne encephalitis. Symptoms may include fever, convulsions, headache, disorientation, lethargy, partial coma and paralysis. Ten per cent of patients die and survivors may have permanent damage.
Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, a kind of bacteria carried by cattle, sheep, and goats. Symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease. Q fever is likely to start with a high fever. Pneumonia and abnormal liver function also suggest Q fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by bacteria called Rickettsia rickettsii that are transmitted by the bite of a tick. Patients develop high fever, rash, headache and bleeding problems. Thirty per cent of untreated patients die
Tick Paralysis: certain ticks secrete a toxin that causes a progressive paralysis, which is reversed when the tick is removed.
There is tick-borne relapsing fever and tularemia or rabbit fever. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Symptoms may include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, pneumonia, diarrhoea and vomiting.
It is certain conventional medical lab texts have not yet identified all the diseases that ticks carry and transmit. Co-infections complicate diagnosis and treatment and make recovery even more difficult. Doctors may suspect co-infections in patients who do not respond satisfactorily to treatments prescribed for Lyme disease.
There are other possible explanations for treatment failures. People with chronic tick-borne infections often have a weakened immune response. This allows other opportunistic infections to flourish, such as HHV-6, CMV, and EBV. These diseases are not necessarily carried by ticks but are widespread in the environment.
Some people may also have exposure to toxic metals. At MART Life Detox Clinic, with our state-of-the-art bioenergetics diagnostic tools, we are able to detect and diagnose the presence of these diseases, viruses, bacteria, mycoplasmas, fungus infections and heavy metals and thus effectively treat the patient with the appropriate treatment protocols.
Case history of some of the interesting diseases caused by Lyme will be discussed in subsequent articles.