Lyme disease is not something to mess around with. It’s a serious disease that will result in a lifelong battle just to feel normal again. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium that infects ticks. When the infected tick bites a person, they transmit the bacterial illness to the person. There are several stages of Lyme disease with each one bring new symptoms. Knowing the stages and symptoms is your first step in fighting back against this horrible disease.
The Early Stage
During the early stage of Lyme disease, the sufferer will usually find a small, red bump at the tick removal or tick bite sight. Keep in mind that this symptom is actually common with tick bites and doesn’t necessarily mean you have Lyme disease. If the following symptoms, however, occur within a month of a tick bite, you may have contracted Lyme disease:
• Erythema migrans (Rash): Between 3 and 30 days after experiencing a bite from an infected tick, the red area will expand creating a bull’s eye-like pattern. This rash may expand over the days and spread to up to 12-inches across. However, the rash isn’t usually painful or itchy.
• Flu-Like Symptoms: Those infected with Lyme disease will experience flu-like symptoms – such as body aches, fever, fatigue, chills and headache in the early stages of this disease.
The Later Signs
If left untreated, sufferers of Lyme infection may experience several new symptoms in the following weeks or months. These symptoms include:
• Erythema migrans (Rash) appearing on various other areas of the body.
• Swelling and severe joint pain typically affecting the knees, but can affect other joints as well.
• Months and even years after the initial bite from an infected tick, sufferers of Lyme disease can experience neurological problems such as meningitis (the membranes surround the brain become inflamed), Bell’s palsy (temporary paralysis on one side of the face), impaired muscle movement and weakness or numbness of the limbs.
Less Common Symptoms
Albeit less common, some sufferers of Lyme disease have experienced the following symptoms several weeks after becoming infected:
• Liver inflammation known as hepatitis
• Heart problems, like irregular heartbeat
• Eye inflammation
• Severe fatigue
If you have been bitten by a tick and have experienced one or more of the Lyme disease symptoms, contact a doctor immediately. He or she will be able to determine if you have been infected. They may use one of the many ifa kits available to figure out if you have the disease.