Chronic Lyme Disease
What is chronic Lyme disease?
Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria transitioned from a tick bite. If recognized and appropriately treated early, it is considered an acute form of the infection. The infection becomes chronic often when the acute infection is not treated appropriately or if the infection goes undiagnosed for a long time and is considered late-stage. Chronic Lyme disease is often referred to as “late-stage” or “late disseminated” Lyme disease by different institutions.
What are the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease?
Chronic Lyme disease symptoms vary from individual to individual and often depend on how long the patient has had the infection, if they have other tick-borne illnesses, and if they have suffered any physical trauma in certain areas of their body. Symptoms also overlap with other diseases like fibromylagia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s and ALS. Some of the more common symptoms are as follows:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches
- Swollen and/or painful joints
- Unexplained rashes or allergic reactions
- Bell’s Palsey
- Cognitive impairment
- Sleeping problems
- Mood issues
- Extreme and chronic fatigue
- Nerve pain
- Sore throat
- Persistent swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle twitching
- “Hangover” symptoms- light/sound sensitivity
- Vision impairment
Are there chronic Lyme disease treatment options available?
Currently, chronic Lyme disease is under hot debate in the medical community. Some specialists believe the use of long-term antibiotics is the best way to approach this infection. Some believe pulsing them as opposed to taking them every day is the best, due to the fact that the bacteria are slow growing. In cases of neurological Lyme, IV antibioitics may be recommended.
There are other holistic and alternative ways to treat chronic Lyme disease that may be incorporated with antibiotic therapy or used by themselves, including, but not limited to: Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy (HBOT); the BX protocol; herbal antibiotics; diet and exercise; diligent use of immune boosting supplements and much more. The International Lyme and Associate Diseases Society (ILADS) guidelines are located here.
Depending on the specifics of the condition, your chronic Lyme disease treatment regime should be individualized with the help of your LLMD.
Where can I find more information on chronic Lyme disease?