Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. The germ (bacterium) that causes Lyme disease lives in certain animals. These are mainly rodents such as mice, some birds and some other small animals. The bacterium is usually harmless to the animals.
Ticks are small insect-like creatures, about the size of a pinhead. Ticks feed by biting the skin and sucking blood from animals such as mice, and sometimes humans. In this way, some ticks get infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Ticks cannot jump or fly, but climb on to passing humans from long grass or foliage. If an infected tick bites a human, then the bacteria may be passed into the human. The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is not passed from person to person. Note: most ticks in the UK are not infected by the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Therefore, most tick bites will not cause Lyme disease.
After a human has been bitten by a tick, it usually takes 24-48 hours for the bacteria in the tick to pass into the human. (Ticks are tiny and 'cling on' to you once they bite you. They then suck blood and become swollen ('engorge') with blood which they feed off. The bacteria are normally carried in their gut, and only travel up to their mouth and into your skin once they have been fed and are engorged. This normally takes about 24 hours, but can be less if the tick was already partially fed.) Therefore, if you remove a tick soon after being bitten - within 24 hours - you are much less likely to develop Lyme disease, even if it was an infected tick.
So, it is only certain ticks, that are infected, that bite, and are not noticed clinging on to the skin, that cause Lyme disease. However, ticks are very small, and often do not hurt when they bite so it is quite easy to have a tick bite without noticing. Many people who develop Lyme disease cannot remember being bitten by a tick.
Once bacteria are passed from the infected tick into your skin, they then multiply and travel in the bloodstream to other parts of the body to cause symptoms. The parts of the body that are mainly affected by this bacteria are the skin, joints, nerves and heart.
The first symptom is usually a rash, which may look like a bull's eye. As the infection spreads, you may have
Other signs and symptoms that may be associated with Lyme disease include the following:
Loss of Facial Muscle Tone
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Some people may experience the following related Lyme disease symptoms and signs:
Here are some more details:
Erythma migrans. Erythema migrans is the telltale rash which occurs in about 70% to 80% of cases and starts as a small red spot that expands over a period of days or weeks, forming a circular, triangular, or oval-shaped rash. Sometimes the rash resembles a bull's-eye because it appears as a red ring surrounding a central clear area. The rash, which can range in size from that of a dime to the entire width of a person's back, appears between three days and a few weeks of a tick bite, usually occurring at the site of a bite. As infection spreads, several rashes can appear at different sites on the body.Erythema migrans is often accompanied by symptoms such as fever, headache , stiff neck, body aches, and fatigue . These flu -like symptoms may resemble those of common viral infections and usually resolve within days or a few weeks.
Arthritis. After several weeks of being infected with Lyme disease, approximately 60% of those people not treated with antibiotics develop recurrent attacks of painful and swollen joints that last a few days to a few months. The arthritis can shift from one joint to another; the knee is most commonly affected and usually one or a few joints are affected at any given time. About 10% to 20% of untreated patients will go on to develop lasting arthritis. The knuckle joints of the hands are only very rarely affected.
Neurological symptoms. Lyme disease can also affect the nervous system, causing symptoms such as stiff neck and severe headache (meningitis), temporary paralysis of facial muscles (Bell's palsy), numbness, pain or weakness in the limbs, or poor coordination. More subtle changes such as memory loss, difficulty with concentration, and a change in mood or sleeping habits have also been associated with Lyme disease. People with these latter symptoms alone usually don't have Lyme disease as their cause.
Nervous system abnormalities usually develop several weeks, months, or even years following an untreated infection. These symptoms often last for weeks or months and may recur. These features of Lyme disease usually start to resolve even before antibiotics are started. Patients with neurologic disease usually have a total return to normal function.
Heart problems. Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme disease patients develops heart problems, such as an irregular, slow heartbeat, which can be signaled by dizziness or shortness of breath. These symptoms rarely last more than a few days or weeks. Such heart abnormalities generally appear several weeks after infection, and usually begin to resolve even before treatment.Other symptoms. Less commonly, Lyme disease can result in eye inflammation and severe fatigue , although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.
Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because you may not have noticed a tick bite. Also, many of its symptoms are like those of the flu and other diseases.
Bioresonance therapy can cure most cases of Lyme disease. The sooner treatment begins, the quicker and more complete the recovery.