Understanding the Illness & Process of Diagnosis

Lyme disease is a serious health concern in North America, with an estimated 300,000 new cases in the United States and 2,851 new cases in Canada each year (based on 2021 statistics). However, it is believed that the actual number of cases may be higher due to underdiagnosis, particularly in Canada where a political controversy surrounding the disease has led to challenges in accessing regular diagnostic channels. It can be transmitted to humans in a multitude of ways, most commonly through tick bites. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications including joint pain, heart problems, and neurological issues. To prevent infection, it is essential to take preventive measures such as using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and performing tick checks after time spent in heavily wooded and grassy areas. If you suspect you have been bitten by a tick or are experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

How does someone get Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is most commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. However, it is also possible to contract the disease through other forms of transmission, including flea and mosquito bites, blood transfusions, and mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Additionally, consumption of unpasteurized milk or sexual contact with someone with Lyme can also be a mode of transmission. It is important to be aware of the different ways Lyme disease can be contracted and take preventive measures wherever possible.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

Diagnosing Lyme disease can be quite challenging, as symptoms mimic those of other illnesses and the testing available may not always be sensitive enough to detect the infection. At Ananta Health, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing Lyme disease by considering the patient's symptoms and medical history, performing BioScan SRT testing, and recommending additional testing with IGeneX in Califonia. This multi-faceted approach helps to increase the accuracy of the diagnosis and ensure that patients receive the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect you may have Lyme disease, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional that understands and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of this complex illness.

What are the initial symptoms of Lyme disease?

After an infection occurs, a rash can develop as either a characteristic target rash around the bite, or as a different rash. Although the rash is considered a classic symptom, it is estimated that it only displays in 10% of patients. Traditionally, the rash would be followed by fever and joint pain, but unfortunately not everyone has an immediate obvious response to the infection. This can cause the infection to go undiagnosed for a very long period of time.

What are the stages of Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a multi-system illness that can progress through several stages. The four stages of Lyme disease are as follows:

  1. Early Localized Lyme Disease: In this stage, the bacteria have not yet spread throughout the body and symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.
  2. Early Disseminated Lyme Disease: In this stage, the bacteria have begun to spread throughout the body and symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and multiple erythema migrans rashes.
  3. Late Disseminated Lyme Disease: In this stage, the bacteria have spread to joints and can affect the nervous system. Symptoms may include joint pain and neurological problems such as numbness, tingling, or Bell's palsy.
  4. Late/Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease: If Lyme disease is not promptly or effectively treated, damage to the joints, nerves, and brain may develop months or years after the initial infection. This is the last and often the most serious stage of the disease.

It is important to be aware of the different stages of Lyme disease and to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you have been infected. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the progression to later stages and reduce the risk of serious complications.

What are the symptoms of Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease?

Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease, also known as Late Persistent Lyme Disease, is the last and often the most serious stage of the disease, characterized by long-term symptoms and complications that persist despite treatment. Many individuals with Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease do not remember having a tick bite. Symptoms of Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease can be diverse and can include neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, Bell's palsy, pain symptoms, sleep disorders, and mood disorders among many others. Some patients may only have a few symptoms, while others can experience a wide range of them. In some cases, the number of symptoms can be as high as 120, as seen in the case of Dr. Risk.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of Chronic Persistent Lyme Disease and to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have the disease. To review further, please see our complete Lyme symptom list

What other illnesses can be linked to Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a complex illness that can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, making it difficult to diagnose. Some illnesses that are often misdiagnosed as Lyme disease include:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson's
  • Neurological disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) / Myeloencephalitis (ME)
  • Alzheimer's
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Raynaud's disease
  • Crohn's disease or colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • ADHD
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Meniere's disease

It is important to be aware of these conditions and their symptoms, and to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have been misdiagnosed. Ananta Health can provide you with more information on how to diagnose and treat this complex illness and the misdiagnosed conditions. With the right diagnosis, you can receive the right treatment and get on the path to recovery.

What are Lyme disease co-infections?

Lyme disease is often accompanied by other infections, known as co-infections. These co-infections are also transmitted by ticks and can occur simultaneously with Lyme disease. The types of co-infections that can occur can vary depending on the geographic location and what the tick is specifically carrying. Some of these co-infections are:

  • Babesia: A parasite that can cause severe anemia, fever, and flu-like symptoms.
  • Bartonella: A bacteria that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and neurological problems.
  • Ehrlichia: A bacteria that can cause fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms.
  • HPV (Human Parvovirus B19): A virus that causes a range of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and joint pain.
  • Mycoplasma fermentans (and other species): A bacteria that can cause flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and neurological problems.
  • Powassan Virus: A virus that can cause fever, headache, and neurological symptoms
  • Q Fever: A bacterial infection that can cause flu-like symptoms, fever, and pneumonia.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: A bacterial infection that can cause fever, headache, and a rash.
  • Tick Paralysis: A condition caused by neurotoxins released by tick saliva, which can cause muscle weakness and even paralysis.
  • Tickborne Relapsing Fever: A bacterial infection that can cause fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms.
  • Tularemia and others: Other tick-borne diseases that can occur in conjunction with Lyme disease.

These infections can cause a wide range of symptoms, and it is important to identify which co-infections are present in order to properly diagnose and treat the patient. It is also important to note that not all patients will have all co-infections and complications; what is affecting each person needs to be identified as these infections will all intermingle and can create a confusing plethora of symptoms. Ananta Health can provide you with more information on how to diagnose and treat these co-infections in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

What are other complications that can come with Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a multi-system illness that can cause a wide range of complications, not just from the infection itself but also from other infections or conditions that can develop as a result of a weakened immune system or poor detox pathways. Some of the potential complications associated with Lyme disease include:

  • Biofilm: A protective barrier that the bacteria can form around itself, making it more difficult to find and to treat.
  • Parasites: A wide range of parasites can infect a person with Lyme disease.
  • Candida: A type of fungus that can cause a wide range of symptoms.
  • Neurotoxicity: Damage to the nervous system caused by the toxins released by the bacteria.
  • Heavy metal toxicity: Exposure to heavy metals can cause a wide range of symptoms.
  • Mold toxicity: Exposure to mold can cause a wide range of symptoms
  • Adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Viruses: A wide range of viruses can infect a person with Lyme disease.
  • Other bacteria: A wide range of bacteria can infect a person with Lyme disease.
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): A condition that causes the immune system to overreact to certain triggers.
  • Genetics: Every person's genetic makeup is unique and can contribute.
  • Diet: A poor diet can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections.
  • Exposure to chemicals, Wi-Fi, radon and other irritants
  • Cavitations and other dental complications