Lyme disease is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi, which enters the human body through the bite of blacklegged tick. The ticks get infected with these harmful bacteria by feeding on infected animals like rodents, birds, and deer.
When ticks become infected, they go on to spread the bacteria to humans and other animals, especially dogs. In most cases, their bites are painless, which means that you won’t know that you have been bitten. Currently, there is not a scientific evidence which suggests that people can spread the infection to each other, or that pets can spread the Lyme disease to humans.
The Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually differ from person to person. Sometimes, the symptoms can show up a few weeks, or even many years after a bite, so it is not unusual that a person would never think of linking the symptoms with a bite that wasn’t even painful.
It may also occur that you won’t experience any symptoms, while others may suffer from severe symptoms.
If left untreated, the symptoms of Lyme disease can last from months to years. In rare cases, Lyme disease can even lead to death.
- Here is a List of Lyme Disease Symptoms:
Early signs and symptoms (first few weeks after a bite):
- flu-like symptoms
- skin rash around the bite site
- sore throat
Later signs and symptoms (weeks or months after a tick bite):
- chronic fatigue
- night sweats
- severe headaches
- muscle spasms
- shooting pain in the limbs
- swollen lymph nodes
- blurry vision, eye pain or swelling
In more severe cases, these symptoms may be crippling:
- brain fog
- abnormal heartbeat
- intermittent pain in muscles, bones, tendons, and joints
- difficulty breathing, eating, talking and sleeping
- partial body paralysis
- nervous system disorders (even seizures)
You may also suffer from symptoms that could last for months to years after your treatment. This condition is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Some of its symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain, and inability to think clearly.
Few More Words About Ticks
Ticks are small arachnids – from the spider family. A full grown tick has a size of a pea. They are mostly found in forests and overgrown areas between woods and open spaces and can easily attach on to human legs/clothing or animals.
These blood-sucking bugs are active from spring to fall. Their bites are usually harmless and don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. But, as we mentioned above, bites from an infected tick can be very dangerous or even deadly.
Ticks like to attach on warm and moist areas of the body. Once they get on your body, they are looking for a desirable place for feeding on your blood. The main difference between tick bites and insect bites is that ticks remain attached to the skin after biting, and grow larger in size from the blood they are getting.
When Lyme-infected tick draws blood, it plants a borrelia bacteria deep into the skin and into the blood, causing an infection.
How to Protect Yourself from Tick Bites
Prevention is better than Cure!
Here are some simple ways in which you can protect yourself whenever you go to areas where Lyme-infected ticks are mostly found.
- Don’t walk through wooded and bushy areas with tall grass.
- Always wear light-colored clothes in order to spot ticks more easily.
- Wear closed-toe shoes and pull socks over pant legs.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts.
- Use an insect repellent.
- Go under the shower immediately after coming from outdoors to wash off and find ticks that may be crawling on you.
- Check your children and pets thoroughly for ticks that may hide in their hair, in and around their ears, and under the arms.
- Examine clothing and/or put them into a dryer on high heat to kill ticks, if any.
What to do if you’ve Been Bitten?
When a tick is attached to your skin, you may be able to prevent infection if you remove it within 12 hours. Do not panic and rub off or crush the tick as this will probably break off the mouthparts and leave the sting in the skin. Also, when you crush the tick with your fingers, the bacteria may remain on your fingers. Just like with all insects that bite/sting, the poison (or bacteria) is in the sting.
Fortunately, there is a way to carefully remove the tick and minimize the impact of the bite.
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible using a fine-pointed tweezer (and with a steady hand).
- Slowly pull the tick straight out without twisting or jerking to prevent the mouth-parts from breaking and remaining in the skin.
- In case the mouth-parts are broken, try to remove them as much as you can.
- Clean the bite thoroughly with disinfectant or alcohol. Keep in mind that undiluted apple cider vinegar is a great natural disinfectant.
- And last but not least, put the dead tick in a sandwich bag, write the date when you were bitten, and take it to the doctor if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
What The Tick Expert Says
A biologist who spent many years in studying insects and ticks/mites in many places around has also publicly presented his viewpoint about this topic.
According to him, a tick detaches if we irritate it, try to rub it off or to smother it. But, it’s quite difficult to smother a tick because they need very little oxygen. You will need days (not minutes) to do that. In order to force the tick to detach by itself, it has to dissolve the “cement” that holds their mouthparts in the skin.
The first thing a tick does when it attaches to the skin is secreting the “cement”. This is why certain force is necessary in order to pull the tick out; their mouthparts are glued to the bite wound. So, to get away, the ticks have to dissolve the “cement”. They do this by regurgitating stomach contents into the bite wound.
Since the pathogens remain in tick’s stomach for a few hours after the tick has attached, you don’t want the tick to inject the Lyme within your system. You can prevent the pathogens from entering your body by pulling them off quickly and properly. If you manage to do that, you won’t get sick.
If you try to make the tick detach itself by applying coconut oil, shea butter, or Vaseline, there is a big possibility of getting sick for a long time (or even for life). The best approach is to do a thorough tick check at least every 12 hours, and pull it off using a safe method.
So, the best advice we can give you is – Don’t ever make the tick detach itself!
What To Do If You Are Suffering From Lyme Disease?
Did you know that cannabis can be used to reduce the painful and debilitating symptoms of Lyme disease? It is something that is definitely worth exploring.
Many studies conducted in recent year have shown that cannabis can kill infections. It can help reduce the symptoms of Lyme disease. In fact, there a book about this, in which the author, Shelley White, discusses her own experiences in the fight against Lyme diseases and explains how she managed to reduce the symptoms by using cannabis.
Cannabis is highly effective in dealing with peripheral neuropathy, a condition which is common in people who are suffering from Lyme disease.
This amazing plant is a safer alternative for the treatment Lyme disease when compared to opiates that can be addictive and sometimes even ineffective in relieving pain.
It is also good to know that Lyme disease can affect people differently – some may be easier to treat than others. Regardless of how serious the disease is, cannabis can help reduce the pain, eliminate seizures, and make it easier to sleep. All these properties make cannabis a valuable tool in the fight against Lyme disease.