Think You Have Lyme?

Are you having unexplained symptoms? Fatigue. Pain. Brain fog. Heart palpitations. Gastric problems, etc. Have you been to doctor after doctor but they can’t find an answer? Maybe even they’re trying to give you anti-anxiety meds and telling you it must be in your mind? Have you been diagnosed with an illness but they can’t tell you what caused it (Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, POTS, MS, etc.). If this describes you, you might have Chronic Lyme Disease. So here’s what you need to know in the most basic and simplified way…

Lyme Disease is contracted usually by a tick bite (although there are other ways to contract it). Fewer than half the people with Lyme remember the tick. If you do remember the tick and/or a bullseye rash, the odds of you having Lyme just went way up. But just because you don’t remember the tick doesn’t mean you didn’t get bit.

Most doctors know very little about Lyme Disease and the tests they give are very untrustworthy. You absolutely need to get a Western Blot IgG and IgM through iGenex Labs (http://www.igenex.com/)  in CA or an equivalent lab specializing in tick-borne illnesses. You can order a test kit through iGenex labs yourself from their website or over the phone. If you can find a local doctor to help you order this test, go for it. The best option is to find a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD). To find an LLMD in your area, contact ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) and they will help you find one. An LLMD can help you test and will also look at your symptoms to determine clinically if Lyme and/or a lyme co-infection might be present. (http://ilads.org/ilads_media/physician-referral/)

Now remember, just because you get a negative Lyme test doesn’t mean you don’t have Lyme. Lyme has to be diagnosed by tests AND by symptoms. The longer you’ve been sick, the harder it is to see the Lyme on the tests because they develop biofilms to blend into your tissues. Your body stops fighting and the antibodies quiet down.

I also want to warn you that testing and treating Lyme Disease is very expensive. Most LLMDs cannot contract with insurance so it will be cash pay. Testing is also cash pay. The reason for this is that Chronic Lyme Disease is a controversy in the medical community. It shouldn’t be, but it is. It is a very complex issue but for now what you need to know is that Chronic Lyme exists, it mimics many other diseases and is hard to diagnose. It is a silent epidemic. It causes a lot of pain and sickness and sometimes poverty, but you can treat it and you can beat it.

If you’d like to learn more about Chronic Lyme Disease, visit http://www.ilads.org/. You are also welcome to visit my blog at www.waronlyme.wordpress.org. You can also email me at chelsea_mccafferty@Yahoo.com. I’d be happy to talk with you and answer any questions I could.

Bottomline, if you’re sick, get tested. It’s better to know the truth and be able to start treatment than to continue to live in sickness, poor quality of life and without answers. Get tested. Please don’t trust your regular doctor’s Lyme test. They are false way more often than accurate. If you live near me, I can get you to a doctor who can help test. Praying for all of you who are sick and suffering. Praying for answers and healing and comfort. God bless you!

List of Lyme Symptoms

Head, Face, Neck:

  • Headache
  • Facial paralysis (like Bell’s palsy)
  • Tingling of nose, cheek, or face
  • Stiff neck
  • Sore throat, swollen glands
  • Heightened allergic sensitivities
  • Twitching of facial/other muscles
  • Jaw pain/stiffness (like TMJ)
  • Change in smell, taste

Digestive/excretory System:

  • Upset stomach (nausea, vomiting)
  • Irritable bladder
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Loss of appetite, anorexia

Respiratory/Circulatory Systems:

  • Difficulty breathingNight sweats or unexplained chills
  • Heart palpitations
  • Diminished exercise tolerance
  • Heart block, murmur
  • Chest pain or rib soreness

Psychiatric Symptoms:

  • Mood swings, irritability, agitation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Malaise
  • Aggressive behavior / impulsiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts (rare cases of suicide)
  • Overemotional reactions, crying easily
  • Disturbed sleep: too much, too little, difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Suspiciousness, paranoia, hallucinations
  • Feeling as though you are losing your mind
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • Bipolar disorder/manic behavior
  • Schizophrenic-like state, including hallucinations

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • Dementia
  • Forgetfulness, memory loss (short or long term)
  • Poor school or work performance
  • Attention deficit problems, distractibility
  • Confusion, difficulty thinking
  • Difficulty with concentration, reading, spelling
  • Disorientation: getting or feeling lost

Reproduction and Sexuality

Females:

  • Unexplained menstrual pain, irregularity
  • Reproduction problems, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal
  • Death, congenital Lyme disease
  • Extreme PMS symptoms

Males:

  • Testicular or pelvic pain
Eye, Vision:

  • Double or blurry vision, vision changes
  • Wandering or lazy eye
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Oversensitivity to light
  • Eye pain or swelling around eyes
  • Floaters/spots in the line of sight
  • Red eyes

Ears/Hearing:

  • Decreased hearing
  • Ringing or buzzing in ears
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Pain in ears

Musculoskeletal System:

  • Joint pain, swelling, or stiffness
  • Shifting joint pains
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Poor muscle coordination, loss of reflexes
  • Loss of muscle tone, muscle weakness

Neurologic System:

  • Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
  • Burning/stabbing sensations in the body
  • Burning in feet
  • Weakness or paralysis of limbs
  • Tremors or unexplained shaking
  • Seizures, stroke
  • Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
  • Increased motion sickness, wooziness
  • Lightheadedness, fainting
  • Encephalopathy (cognitive impairment from brain involvement)
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Meningitis (inflammation of the protective membrane around the brain)
  • Encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Academic or vocational decline
  • Difficulty with multitasking
  • Difficulty with organization and planning
  • Auditory processing problems
  • Word finding problems
  • Slowed speed of processing

Skin Problems:

  • Benign tumor-like nodules
  • Erethyma Migrans (rash)

General Well-being:

  • Decreased interest in play (children)
  • Extreme fatigue, tiredness, exhaustion
  • Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
  • Flu-like symptoms (early in the illness)
  • Symptoms seem to change, come and go

Other Organ Problems:

  • Dysfunction of the thyroid (under or over active thyroid glands)
  • Liver inflammation
  • Bladder & Kidney problems (including bed wetting)

*** Feel free to copy and share this information with people who are sick with an unknown illness or with a diagnosed illness without a known cause.

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