Lyme disease is caused by ticks where the bacteria enter the body through its bite. It takes about three to four days for the tick to settle in the body. The initial symptom of the bite is a rash. As the bacteria moves deeper into the system, the symptoms that can be experienced are muscle pain, joint pains, headache, and fatigue. Diagnosing the disease is difficult as the tests carried out reveal the antibodies present in the body even if the infection is not active. Thus, having a clear diagnosis is tough. After a diagnosis, most patients are treated with antibiotics but the process is time-consuming.
Lyme disease is one of the most poorly understood diseases of our time. Its complexity extends even to the medical community. Most cases are reported during the warmer seasons of spring and summer when the nymph ticks are most active. For many people, the real worry lies in whether or not patients can lead a normal life with Lyme disease. However, it still depends on a number of things.
Of course, the important considerations are what level of the disease the patient is at and what an individual considers leading a normal life is. People afflicted with Lyme disease can live a normal life that is plagued by some nettles but rarely serious problems.
Here are some aspects of life that people with Lyme disease worry about:
The most difficult aspect of having a chronic illness is to manage relationships with other people. Any type of illness, especially a prolonged one, not just affects the people who have the condition, but also their relationship to their family, friends, and partners.
Relationships are complex even for normal people, and having a chronic Lyme disease can impact such bonds. People with the disease cannot walk away from their physical disabilities, but loved ones can choose to. Although Lyme disease is common and should be accepted as a legitimate illness, those who suffer for years without a diagnosis are prone to be labeled as “idlers.”
At all stages of the disease, the patient should be able to relate and live normally with friends and family. People who are the closest get affected by the mood changes and physical disabilities. Lyme disease is not contagious and cannot spread in any way from one person to another. In many cases, people living in the same place may feel like they have contracted the disease from one person, but it is totally false. People sharing an environment can develop the disease at the same time since the ticks inhabiting the area could all be infected with the bacteria. The place could also just be infested with ticks.
Lyme disease is only transmitted by ticks. The real cause of Lyme disease is the spirochetal Borrelia bacteria, which originally inhabits other animals and birds. Ticks transfer these bacteria from the animals to human beings.
Some people also believe that Lyme disease can be transmitted through sex. This belief totally untrue. As a Lyme disease patient, you can still engage in sex with no risk of transmitting the disease to your partner. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease stays in the deeper layers of the skin, which makes it impossible to be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Unlike the syphilis bacteria, which is very similar in appearance to the Lyme disease bacteria, spirochetes do not live on the surface of the skin, in the genitals, and anal areas of the body. Syphilis bacteria are also found in the mouth. For these reasons, a person with Lyme disease can still enjoy sexual relationships with no risk of transmitting the disease.
Syphilis bacteria are also found in the mouth. For these reasons, a person with Lyme disease can still enjoy sexual relationships with no risk of transmitting the disease.
Performance of One's Task
As the immune system is in a compromised condition due to Lyme disease, it is common to develop other infections. Fatigue due to a tick-borne disease is not just a general body weakness that can be fixed with a nap or a cup of coffee but is more of a flu that causes exhaustion. The muscles literally cannot function well, leaving the entire body feeling shackled. Lifting your head from a pillow seems like a herculean feat.
Years of medication and alternative therapies can help you get out of the rut. Taking an adequate rest is also important. One needs to cut on extracurricular activities to preserve one's energy.
As a Lyme disease patient, you will still be able to perform your usual tasks. However, this is only true in the initial stages of the disease. If you let the disease advance to the chronic stage, the bacteria will spread to the different parts of your body and can trigger other serious symptoms.
At this point, the disease will affect your brain, heart and blood circulation, muscles, and joints. In some cases, the patients end up having a difficulty in walking and making body movements. In fact, a person with chronic Lyme disease will almost become incapable of leading a normal life. Since the disease is hard to resolve at this stage, patients should invest their time and money in treating the disease during its initial stages.
A Few Rules to Live By
Living with Lyme disease is not easy but it can be done. Whether one receives treatment at the early stages or is living with a chronic infection, here are a few therapies that can help you fight the infection:
- Get lots of rest.
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that can affect the quality of your sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Quit smoking.
- Do not over-exercise.
- Modify your diet. Include proteins and high fibrous food in your meals. Your diet should be low-fat and less in carbohydrates.
To live a normal life after getting Lyme disease, you will have to see a doctor as soon as possible to have a proper diagnosis and treatment. Avoid trying to cut costs by self-treating or consulting an inexperienced doctor. While these may seem to be cheaper options, they will end up costing you in a poorer quality of life. If a patient has a solid diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the likelihood of a good outcome is high and the disease can be treated completely.