Four minute video about Lyme disease- click here.
Dr. Horowitz Lyme Video (90 minutes)- click here.
Additional Tick Borne Diseases- click here.
Lyme disease is an infectious spirochetal disease caused by one or more strains of Borrelia bacteria that is most often transmitted to animals and humans by the bite of an infected tick.
In January 2014, a study by a team of international scientists reported it was possible to sexually transmit Lyme disease. Congenital Lyme (mother to baby) has also been documented.
Testing for Lyme disease, which has always been unreliable, has been proven to miss 74.9% of people who are infected. Additionally, blood tests are only capable of detecting the body's response to one (1) strain of Borrelia (burgdorferi). Over 300 strains have been reported to date.
Important- Treat the patient not the test!
The sooner treatment is initiated the better!
The Lyme disease bacterium (spirochete- Borrelia burgdorferi) can spread from the point of infection within hours to many parts of the body producing one or more mild to severe symptoms. Some patients may experience no symptoms at first while others have an array of symptoms.
A Lyme disease rash (EM), which occurs in less than 10 percent of children and less than 20% of adults may gradually expand around the tick bite site over a period of several days. The center of the rash may clear as spirochetes disperse, or it may remain solid red to purplish in color until it fades on its own, treated or not.
The rash may be warm to touch and slightly itchy (typically more so in the sun), but is not usually painful. Some patients develop multiple rashes on various parts of their body.
Do not delay treatment waiting for a rash to appear. However, if it does appear it indicates you have Lyme disease- not maybe or let's see, it is definitive proof that you are infected and no test is necessary.
Patients with early Lyme disease may experience fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, popping and cracking noises in joints (especially neck) and swollen lymph nodes. They may have no obvious symptoms as the disease disseminates or while the spirochetes bury and hide in protected niches in the body (bladder, brain, joints, tendons, eyes, etc.). Symptoms may peak every 4 weeks.
Symptoms of Lyme disease may not be noticeable or pronounced or may come and go. However, the infection can linger and produce symptoms years after a person was originally infected, especially during times of stress, after child birth, after an auto accident, after the death of a loved one or when experiencing other illnesses.
Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as some other disease or condition (see articles below).
There can be a slow response to treatment and you may feel worse before you feel better. This is called a Jarisch Herxheimer reaction (or a "herx" for short). When Lyme tests are negative and symptoms vary, inexperienced doctors sometimes falsely believes the patient has no illness at all. They may assume the patient developed an "all in the head" syndrome, or is faking an illness and label them as such.
When this occurs the disease is left to progress unchecked and can result in severe chronic illness, disability and even death.
For more information on symptoms and treatment options, please read:
Last Updated- April 2019