Monday 27 June 2016

Lyme Disease on the Rise | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla Ahlgrimm
Lyme disease is caused by four different types of bacteria, two of which are well established in the United States. It is a tick-borne illness transmitted via the bite of a diseased deer tick, commonly referred to as a black-legged tick. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, women are especially prone to the disease’s debilitating effects as it sometimes mirrors other conditions and may interfere with daily activities.

Symptoms of early-stage Lyme disease include a rash (erythema migrans) and flulike symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm describes the rash as forming a bull’s-eye pattern and expanding slowly over the course of several days. Though not typically painful or itchy, the rash may be up to 12 inches in diameter and is the trademark sign of Lyme disease. Unfortunately, making a diagnosis is difficult, as the rash may not always be present and the infection may present with fever, fatigue, body aches, and chills and be wrongly diagnosed as influenza. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon, asserts Marla Ahlgrimm.

Untreated, Lyme disease can manifest as severe joint pain and swelling. Marla Ahlgrimm notes this pain is often most apparent in the knees with pain shifting from joint to joint. Neurological problems may develop several years after the initial bite and can lead to meningitis, partial paralysis, impaired muscle movement, and weakness. Rarely, liver and eye inflammation, severe fatigue, and heart problems may arise several weeks into infection.

There is good news, however, as Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses are relatively uncommon and even less so when the tick has been discovered and removed within 36 to 48 hours after contact, says Marla Ahlgrimm. People who live or spend a great deal of time in wooded, grassy areas with exposed skin are at a greater risk of coming into contact with an infected tick.

Lyme disease is treated with either an oral or intravenous round of antibiotics. Women who take an oral contraceptive should exercise caution during sexual intercourse as antibiotics can significantly reduce the effectiveness of birth control.


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