Lyme disease – symptoms, causes and treatment of Lyme disease

Lyme disease is the most famous tick-borne disease that is transmitted by ticks. Diagnosis is simple if migratory erythema occurs, but Lyme disease tests are often necessary. Symptoms of Lyme disease vary and depend on the severity of the disease. Treatment of Lyme disease is not complicated as long as it is diagnosed quickly. However, the chronic form can cause a lot of suffering. Check what are the symptoms of Lyme disease and what the treatment of Lyme disease looks like – according to the IDSA and ILADS standards.

Lyme disease (Latin borreliosis, morbus Lyme), or Lyme disease, tick-borne disease – because it is transmitted by ticks, is a relatively new disease – it has been diagnosed since the second half of the 1980s. Lyme disease has many different symptoms, and its treatment is possible through two different methods

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria classified as spirochetes – Borrelia burgdorferi – discovered in 1982 by W. Burgdorfer and Borrelia garinii, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia japonica.

These bacteria can occur in several forms – as spirochetes, as well as in spore forms (e.g. cysts). The spirochetes are very mobile, while the spore forms are immobile, but they are resistant to some antibiotics that destroy the spirochetes.

Borrelia can penetrate human cells (macrophages, lymphocytes, fibroblasts) and survive there. Some types of Lyme disease cause joint ailments, others neurological. There are also bacteria that cause skin changes.

Lyme disease, caused by the spirochetes of the genus Borrelia burgdorferi, afzelii and garinii, is transmitted by Ixodes ticks.

Table of Contents

  1. Lyme disease – symptoms
  2. Lyme disease tests
  3. Lyme Disease Treatment – IDSA and ILADS Controversy

Lyme disease – symptoms

Lyme disease, regardless of its type and severity, attacks connective, muscle and nervous tissue.

Lyme disease – early phase

The first symptoms of the disease (early local, limited phase) develop within 1-3 weeks of the bite.

The so-called skin symptoms may appear. migratory erythema – redness with a diameter of a few to several centimeters, it may be slightly convex, warm, painful to the touch. The typical erythema after a tick bite is lighter than the inside.

Attention! Wandering erythema occurs in approx. 30%. cases of Lyme disease (only 10% of children).

Lyme pseudo-lymphoma, a painless inflammatory infiltrate at the tick bite site, is an alternative clinical picture of the first stage of Lyme disease. It occurs mainly on the ear lobe, nipple or scrotum.

Flu-like symptoms may appear during this phase. If antibiotics are not given, Lyme disease becomes disseminated.

Lyme disease – disseminated early phase

Secondary symptoms develop within 2 weeks to several months. In this phase, the spirochetes travel to various organs, using both the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Sometimes migratory erythema reappears – usually several, but smaller than the one that occurs in phase one. It may also occur:

  • fever
  • headaches
  • weakness
  • muscle aches

Moreover, depending on where the spirochetes find their way, cardiological, ophthalmic (e.g. iritis) or neurological symptoms (mainly nerve paralysis) may occur.

Lyme disease – late phase

In this phase, Lyme disease is more difficult to diagnose and treat, because it gives quite non-specific symptoms, and tick bites are usually not associated with them after a few years. Chronic Lyme disease can be latent for many years and do not give any symptoms, and at some point unexpectedly attack, for example, the nervous system, eyes, muscles or joints. It can also cause skin symptoms.

Even after the spirochetes have been eliminated, some patients still complain of pre-treatment symptoms. This does not mean, however, that it was ineffective, but rather that the spirochetes did permanent damage to the body, damaging either the joints or other organs. The list of symptoms of chronic Lyme disease is long. He appears, inter alia, neurological symptoms:

  • fever
  • chills
  • headaches
  • sore throat
  • arthralgia
  • muscle tics
  • joint stiffness

The patient may see double, have facial muscles paralysis, dizziness, speech problems, spatial orientation.

Lyme disease of the nervous system, or neuroborreliosis, accounts for 15-40 percent of all cases of Lyme disease, and its symptoms can appear many years after a tick bite and increase over time. They are mainly:

  • fibromyalgia
  • muscle tremors
  • hypersensitivity
  • paresthesia
  • root pains
  • flaccid paresis
  • meningitis or encephalitis
  • seizures
  • cranial nerve palsy
  • problems with concentration and memory impairment
  • symptoms of encephalopathy, i.e. intellectual disturbances (dementia) and abnormalities

According to an expert
Beata Kowalska-Werbowy, a doctor treating Lyme disease according to ILADS

What to do when a tick bites you?

It is a myth that it takes some time for an infection to pass from the moment of being bitten. I have patients who have removed a tick at the stage of its stabbing into the skin.

They were lucky because there was an erythema – a clear indicator of Lyme disease. Luck in the sense that, following the standard descriptions, if not for the erythema, the risk of Lyme disease would be eliminated by standard doctors looking at this disease.

The tick does not have to stick into the body, it is enough for it to deposit its feces on the skin and this can cause infection. The habitat of the bacteria is the content of the tick’s digestive tract.

If it bites us, take it out, for example, with a special syringe generating vacuum (from the pharmacy).

If someone removes it by hand, put on disposable gloves so that it does not get infected.

The tick can be sent for a PCR test for Lyme disease (or a full panel: Lyme disease plus co-infections) to CB DNA in Poznań.

Then we can wait for the tick test result or start antibiotic therapy until a negative result is obtained, which is not a mistake, because all of Poland is considered an endemic area for Lyme disease.

If the result is negative, we stop the treatment; if it is positive, we continue: according to the standard – up to 3 weeks in total, and according to doctors treating according to ILADS – with a much higher dose for at least 6 weeks.

Two days after the bite, blood can also be sent for PCR testing for Lyme disease. If erythema occurs, the duration of this treatment is extended to 6-8 weeks.

You can read about what other symptoms of Lyme disease can be in the articles:

  • Lyme arthritis – symptoms and treatment
  • Lymphatic borreliosis – causes, symptoms, treatment
  • Complications after Lyme disease – neurological, articular and cardiac
  • Lyme disease in children – symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Lyme disease tests

Unfortunately, none of the available tests can 100 percent. exclude or confirm Lyme disease. Blood serological tests are based on the detection of IgM and IgG antibodies to Borrelia.

Unfortunately, antibodies do not appear in the serum until several weeks after infection, when the disease has long progressed. In addition, bacteria can spread (from the blood into the synovial fluid or central nervous system) and the levels of antibodies in the blood drop. So it happens that in patients who have live spirochetes in the body, the test result is negative.

In Poland, the most popular ELISA test – often false-negative – is 30 percent reliable. cases.

The more sensitive test (70% reliability) is the Western Blot test, but it can be done at least 3 weeks after the bite.

The most accurate diagnosis is provided by PCR, which is a test that looks for the DNA of bacteria (in blood or urine, joint or cerebrospinal fluid). They can be done in several places in Poland a few days after the bite, because it is not related to antibodies.

Most often, the diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical symptoms, after excluding other diseases.

Often, Lyme disease, especially chronic, is confused with diseases such as:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • neurosis
  • rheumatism
  • fibromyalgia
  • lupus erythematosus

Lyme Disease Treatment – IDSA and ILADS Controversy

Reliable diagnostics would make Lyme disease treatable immediately. The sooner therapy is started, the shorter it is and the greater the chance of a full recovery.

A quickly cured disease leaves no damage to the body. For now, we cannot count on a vaccine against this disease.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. In some patients, treatment of Lyme disease takes one and a half years, and in others only a few weeks. Where does this difference come from?

The reason is not the form of Lyme disease, but the fact that the disease lasts before a correct diagnosis is made. According to our procedure (according to IDSA – American Society of Infectious Diseases), it is believed that after a short antibiotic treatment, Lyme disease is defeated once and for all.

If the patient still feels unwell, he or she is simply suffering from the so-called post-reliever syndrome. There are no indications then for antibiotic treatment. Symptomatic treatment is provided when he is stubborn.

Doctors associated in another association – ILADS are of the opposite opinion. They believe that Lyme disease should be treated with long and complex antibiotic therapy, and the duration of treatment is determined individually. A short series of antibiotics only immunizes the bacteria.

Lyme disease is a relatively young disease, it has not been fully understood yet.

Often a patient who has been struggling with Lyme disease for years (healed or not at all diagnosed) is sent to a psychiatrist (sometimes it happens that this specialist detects the real cause of suffering – Lyme disease).

At best, the patient hears that he is a hypochondriac, delusional. Such patients are saved by doctors specializing in Lyme disease, because … they have experienced this disease themselves and tried the therapy on themselves. Which, of course, does not mean that sometimes many years of antibiotic therapy makes sense.

Worse: after suffering from Lyme disease, you do not develop immunity. It only remains to protect yourself from ticks by all available methods (clothing, repellants).

Tick-borne diseases: Lyme disease, babesiosis, bartonellosis, TBE and others
Herbs for Lyme disease – Buhner’s herbal therapy (Protocol)
Lyme diet.

Manuka honey and its unique properties

Manuka honey is a real hit among natural health-promoting products, with excellent opinions. The product, called “liquid gold”, should constitute an indispensable element of every home first aid kit.

Origin of Manuka Honey

The name of Manuka honey comes from the Maori language. It literally means “tea tree honey”. The Maori are the ethnic group that first used it for treatment. The Manuka shrub from which the honey is made comes from New Zealand, but its excellent properties are appreciated all over the world.
Properties of manuka honey

Manuka honey has unique properties. Unlike other similar products, it is distinguished by a very high content of MGO (methylglyoxal), which determines how much healing properties it has. Traditional honeys contain up to 10 mg of MGO per kilogram, while in manuka honey the concentration of MGO is 10 to even 50 times higher.

The use of manuka honey

Manuka honey is available in jars (usually 500 g) and has a wide range of uses. First of all, it has a positive effect on the digestive system by regulating the intestinal bacterial flora. Thanks to it, it is possible to effectively eliminate gases generated when fermenting, undigested food remains remain. In addition, manuka honey is used to treat a number of ailments such as stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or irritable bowel syndrome. The antibacterial activity of this product is also well known. It supports the body in the fight against bacteria that contribute to infections of the digestive system, inflammation of the throat, sinuses and nasal mucosa. In addition, Manuka honey is used in anti-acne treatments and to support the healing of skin lesions.

How To Consume Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey works best when consumed 2-3 teaspoons a day on an empty stomach, in the morning or in the evening, just before falling asleep. It can also be incorporated into foods or dissolved in a glass of water with lemon juice. When used for anti-acne treatments and to improve the healing of skin lesions, Manuka honey should be applied to the treated areas 2-3 times a day, possibly covering them with a dressing. In the initial phase of such treatment, skin complaints are sometimes severe and pain may appear, but after 2-3 days a marked improvement is usually visible.

What to remember before consuming manuka honey?

When deciding to include manuka honey in your diet, you need to remember that it is characterized by high calories, therefore, if consumed excessively, it may indirectly contribute to overweight. It is equally important that there are specific contraindications for consuming Manuka honey. First of all, it should not be used by people who are allergic to bee products or have diabetes. In addition, it should not be given to children under the age of one. When deciding to buy Manuka honey, you need to watch out for fakes, which dishonest sellers want to earn money illegally. If you want to make sure you are dealing with an original product coming directly from New Zealand, ask the seller for the certificate and compare the serial numbers on the certificate with the information on the honey jar. He is required to present it.

Runner’s diet – the most important rules. Sample menu for runners

Proper nutrition is important not only in the prevention or treatment of diet-related diseases, but also in the situation of undertaking a specific type of physical exercise, e.g. long-distance running. What should a runner’s diet look like? What should not be missing? Find out what its rules are and see a sample menu for runners.

Adequate supply of macronutrients and properly composed meals before and after training will certainly contribute to achieving better and better sports results. What should runners’ nutrition look like? What should be especially taken care of in order to provide the body with everything necessary during endurance exercise?
Runner’s diet – rules and energy requirements

Marathon, half-marathon, long-distance running – once practiced mainly in a professional nature, today also as a hobby. There is a growing interest in this type of physical activity, as well as in the possibility of providing the body with adequate amounts of energy and other necessary substrates. Many hours of effort are associated with a significantly increased energy demand, but also with an individual approach to the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the diet. It is also a component of the well-being, the body’s needs and possible problems while exercising units, e.g. the famous runner’s diarrhea.

In order to determine the proper diet of a long-distance runner, it would certainly be best to seek the advice of an experienced sports nutritionist. Based on a carefully collected interview concerning, among others, the type of activity, the number of units, their duration, as well as health, well-being and diet, the specialist will select the appropriate recommendations for the required amount of energy and the share of individual macronutrients.

Among these guidelines, however, there is a certain standard which, although often modified within one specific player (for example, different rules will apply to training and other competition), is the basis of proper nutrition. These include: the regularity of eating meals, their variety and reaching for specially composed snacks or entire pre- and post-training meals, and in the case of long units or competitions – also those consumed during them.

Running on an empty stomach

Runners, as well as recreational people practicing other forms of sport, very often, due to their lifestyle and work, decide to train immediately after waking up, without having to eat any meal beforehand. Some of them also just feel better being active on an empty stomach. However, it should be remembered that in selected individuals this may prove dangerous due to the risk of hypoglycaemia. This condition can even lead to loss of consciousness. In addition, some specialists believe that running on an empty stomach causes a decrease in immunity, loss of muscle mass, and a greater risk of contracting an injury.
So if you don’t feel like having a full breakfast in the morning, why not take care of a small, quick snack that will give you energy without causing a feeling of heaviness?

Runner’s diet – what to eat before training?

It is recommended that the pre-workout meal contain an adequate amount of carbohydrates for energy and a protein supplement. The volume of the meal and the time of its consumption before starting activity are also important.

If we eat them about 2-3 hours before the run, they may be larger dishes consisting of complex carbohydrates, which will digest more slowly, and thus maintain a high level of energy and a sense of satiety for a longer time, e.g. porridge made of mountain oats, nuts and fruit, whole grain risotto with vegetables and fish, wholemeal pasta with turkey and tomato sauce or buckwheat with roasted chicken breast and salad.

In the case of a meal taken about 1 hour before the run, you should take care of the presence of rather simple carbohydrates, which will provide the necessary energy faster and will not overload the digestive tract with excess fiber. Such meals include: dried apricots, raisins, a cocktail, an energy bar, natural yoghurt with fruit, dates or rice cakes. A meal just before running training can also be a small sandwich made of pale bread with lean cheese or a small portion of warm soup with light noodles or rice.
The long-distance run also means the necessity to eat selected snacks during its duration. Consult your sports nutritionist for the best results. You can choose from many, specially composed for runners, e.g. energy gels.

Runner’s diet – what to eat after training?

After finishing the run, the meal should mainly consist of carbohydrates that will quickly replenish the deficiencies of muscle glycogen and protein that will regenerate damaged muscle fibers faster. Some experts believe that the optimal amount of protein in a post-workout meal is at least 25 g of animal protein or 35 g of vegetable protein.

It is recommended to eat a meal after the race within 2 consecutive hours. For example, a fruit cocktail based on yoghurt or milk, a tortilla with a high-protein addition (e.g. tuna, chicken), a vegetable stew based on legumes or wholemeal pancakes with cottage cheese will be perfect.
Runner’s diet – what to eat on non-training days?

Depending on the plan developed with a sports nutritionist, the proportion of energy supplied may be lower on non-training days. Still, you should take care of eating meals regularly and properly composing them, not forgetting about providing proteins, fats, carbohydrates, as well as antioxidant vitamins and other antioxidants that will allow the body to regenerate. Such products include mainly vegetables and fruits of various colors, as well as nuts and vegetable oils. You must not forget about adequate hydration – about 30 ml for every kilogram of body weight. The minimum consumption is 1.5–2 liters, including soups and juicy fruit.

Sample menu for runners

Breakfast: banana fritters.

Mash the ripe banana with a fork. In a bowl, mix together the milk, egg, oatmeal, cottage cheese, xylitol and previously crushed bananas. You can sprinkle your favorite dried fruit into the dough. Fry small pancakes in hot oil and serve with peanut butter and strawberries.

2nd breakfast: salad with baked sweet potato, pomegranate and chickpeas.

Peel and dice sweet potatoes, season and pour olive oil. Put in the oven on a baking sheet lined with baking paper for 100 minutes and bake at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. Toss the rocket, baked sweet potatoes, canned chickpeas, chopped cherry tomatoes, roasted sunflower seeds and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Pour olive oil over it and season.

3rd breakfast: cocktail on kefir with fruit.

Pour the kefir into the blender bowl, add the nuts, strawberries and oatmeal. Blend everything.

Lunch: spaghetti with beef, red beans and olives.

Season the minced beef meat and fry it in a pan together with the diced onion. Then add chopped tomatoes or tomato passata. Cook the noodles. Add the beans and olives to the sauce. Eat the prepared sauce with the pasta.

Snack: Rice Wafers with Peanut Butter and Banana.

Brush the rice cakes with peanut butter and place the sliced ​​banana.

Dinner: scrambled eggs with chives, cherry tomatoes and graham bread.

Fry the eggs in a pan together with the onion, add the diced tomatoes and sprinkle with chives. Eat with bread.
Rules for runners

Chicken with lentils and vegetables

Rinse the lentils, cover with water and cook. Cut vegetables into strips: carrots, parsley, celery and leek in a pan. Then add the diced chicken, season and fry until tender. Add the cooked red lentils to the whole, gently sprinkle it with water and stew for a while. Sprinkle everything with parsley.

Oat bars with apples and cinnamon

Put the sliced ​​and cooked apples, oatmeal, egg white, xylitol, cranberries, a little milk and cinnamon into a bowl and mix everything together. Pour the mass into a baking pan and bake at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. After it has cooled down, cut the resulting cake into rectangles.

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