What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a bacteria that infects humans from the bite of ticks which are infected with the bacteria. Lyme disease is called “The Great Imitator” because it can imitate many other diseases such as MS, Parkinson's Disease, Motor Neurone Disease (ALS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Alzheimer’s Disease etc. Lyme Disease can affect any organ in the body including muscles & joints, the heart, gastro-intestinal system & neurological system (including the brain).
As well as giving people Lyme Disease, the ticks often also transmit other diseases (co-infections) such as Babesiosis, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rikettsia & Mycoplasma (to name a few).
(This definition and list of symptoms comes from the Lyme Disease Association of Australia)
What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is generally categorized into:
early Lyme Disease &
late (or Chronic) Lyme Disease
Early Localised Lyme Disease Symptoms:
flu like symptoms such as headache, fever, muscle soreness & unexplained fatigue.
Fewer than 50% of people with Lyme Disease develop the “bulls-eye” (or erthema migrans) rash a few days or even a few weeks after their tick bite (if they remember the bite - only 30% of people with Lyme Disease remember being bitten by a tick)
Late (Chronic) Lyme Disease Symptoms (no one will have every symptom)
Head, Face, Neck
Unexplained hair loss
Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
Pressure in head, white matter lesions in brain (MRI)
Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy, Homer’s syndrome)
Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
Stiff or painful neck
Twitching of facial or other muscles
Jaw pain or stiffness
Dental problems (unexplained)
Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose
Difficulty swallowing or feeling of food stuck in throat
Changes to skin - bumpy rash on neck, chest and back
For More information go to www.lymedisease.org.au
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