Many people do not realize how Lyme disease is serious. It develops as a consequence of tick bite and transmission of the bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Once the person develops Lyme disease the bacteria may cause serious damage to many organs and organ systems. But what all people must know is that there is no interhuman transmission of the disease. The only way to develop infection is to be bitten by an infected tick.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease typically goes through three stages. It is essential to recognize the initial stage of the disease and treat patients. Only this way potential serious and irreversible complications associated with the infection can be prevented. The problem is that some people may by asymptomatic in the initial stage and this makes setting of the diagnosis very hard.
Stage 1 Lyme Disease
The first sign of Lyme disease is erythema migrans. This is a distinct circular rash that forms around the site of the bite. Erythema migrans develops 1-4 weeks after the bite. The rash may increase in size and affects approximately 70-80% of all patients. Many patients develop flu-like symptoms hence the link between Lyme disease and flu-like symptoms. They include fever, chills, headache, muscle and/ or joint pain, stiffness in the neck, low energy and exhaustion and swollen regional lymph nodes.
Stage 2 Lyme Disease
In case the infection is not recognized and treated properly it enters the second stage. The second stage of Lyme disease features with damage to certain organs such as the heart and the nervous system. The symptoms and signs of the infection become more prominent and they include multiple skin rashes, pain and/or numbness of arms and legs, moderate to sever headache, fainting, eye infections, muscle spasms, arthritic pain, heart palpitations, severe fatigue and exhaustion.
Stage 3 Lyme Disease
Stage three may occur months and years after the bite. The condition generally becomes chronic and damage to certain organs and organ systems is generally permanent. In most cases patients develop problems with joints and neurological disorders.
The most common symptoms of the third stage of Lyme disease are severe fatigue and exhaustion, chronic Lyme arthritis and swelling of the joints (particularly the knee joints), partial facial nerve paralysis, memory loss, lack of concentration and focus, certain extent of mood changes, sleep disorders, problems in speaking and moderate to severe chronic heart problems and nervous system disorders.
It is essential to recognize the symptoms on time and start with proper treatment in initial stage of the disease. If the disease is left untreated it will most definitely progress and eventually cause serious and irreversible damage to multiple organs and cause serious disability. Unlike the initial stage that is completely curable, the second and especially the third stage of the disease include symptomatic treatment and the damage caused by bacteria in many cases cannot be repaired.