Lyme disease starts as an infection transmitted from the bite of an infected deer tick. The tick transmits a bacterium called Borrelia Burgdorferi, which can rapidly disseminate throughout the body. While adult ticks primarily feed on deer, the nymphal (immature) ticks feed on squirrels, mice, lizards rabbits and certain birds.
Tick bites across multiple species of animals can potentiate the spread and number of infections that are transmitted, including other strains of Borrelia and associated tick borne infections.
The symptoms post bite could be; developing mild flu like symptoms with low-grade fever, fatigue, muscle and joint pain. A rash may appear either at the bite site or somewhere else on the body. Characteristically, this is a red rash resembling a "bull’s eye”.
If bitten by a tick, click here for proper handling and treatment.
It can take 4-6 weeks for the body to develop antibodies, however waiting to treat will allow the infection to spread making it more difficult to eradicate. Chronic Lyme disease can develop over a period of time after the bite possibly weeks, months, or years after the initial exposure. Symptoms may develop in the heart and circulation, gastrointestinal tract, the brain and spinal cord or the musculoskeletal system, depending on where the bacteria have invaded.
Treatment for Lyme disease may or may not involve antibiotics. The regimen is designed with the patient's symptoms in mind, as well as, the types of co infections present. However, for some patients antibiotics are not enough. These individuals may relapse within weeks to years of discontinuing therapy. At IMA your doctor will develop a comprehensive treatment program designed to address the factors that can interfere with an individual's recovery. This could include a number of approaches to supplement antibiotics.
If you think you may have Lyme, have been recently bitten and would like more information on Lyme, please see the attached link to The Bay Area Lyme Foundation.