Can Lyme Cause Fibromyalgia?
Lyme disease is the epidemic that spreads worldwide and simulates common diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis), autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, as well as psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In addition to an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, which can cause fibromyalgia, doctors find that patients often have multifactorial causes for their disease. Also, these diseases share symptoms in common; these include chronic fatigue, muscle, and joint pain, memory and concentration problems, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, and inability to sleep.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, usually transmitted by the bite of an infected tick, which can manifest with flu-like symptoms. Without a proper treatment, it can cause a persistent chronic disease that affects multiple body systems. Often, other infections originated from the ticks can be contracted at the same time.
Scientists believe that the sting of other ticks and others insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, and lice can carry Lyme disease as well. Babies can be born infected if the mother is contagion or possibly can get them through breast milk. A blood transfusion with blood contaminated with Lyme disease can transmit it to the recipient.
How Do I Know If I Have Lyme Disease?
This can be a problem because the symptoms of Lyme disease are very similar to many common diseases, and mimic some of the symptoms of other diseases. A symptom that is almost unmistakable is the development of a red and circular eruption along the bite.
If you have this rash, you have Lyme disease. This rash may vary in different people, but it typically makes a circle about the sting and can be less than an inch up to many inches wide. It can be pink or a darker red, like purple. It may appear several days or several weeks after the bite. It can spread to other areas of the body or other rashes appear away from the first. The classic rash has concentric areas of lighter and darker colors that expand with time, but the rash is not always in a red rash. It is not usually painful, but it may be lukewarm when touched and may be itchy. It is typically flat, but some people have had raised areas or pimples in the rash.
Unfortunately, a rash does not appear on all people, and many people fail to detect them if they are in a place that cannot be seen, like the scalp. Less than half of people with Lyme disease remember the rash or bite of the tick.
Other symptoms may appear at the same time. They are often similar to the flu, with fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, tingling or numbness of the body, and/or considerable fatigue. Early Lyme can produce a wide variety of symptoms, or no symptoms at all, and it is different in each person. The varied symptoms can change quickly, sometimes in hours. The symptoms may disappear within a few days or a week (even without treatment), or they may be so small that the infected person does not recognize them. Because of the fact that the flu season is in the winter months, and most cases of Lyme disease occur during other seasons, any instance of “flu” in hot weather should be considered suspect. Even if the initial symptoms go away, the bacteria can stay in your body and affect you later. In other cases, the most severe symptoms may develop, and immediate medical attention is recommended.
In persistent Lyme disease, the symptoms which are severe fatigue, pain that does not seem to have obvious causes, and neurological and/or psychiatric problems. The disease can involve multiple systems of the body and organs. Symptoms can be complicated by other infections originating from the same tick bite or another bite. According to many experts at this time there is no safe test for Lyme disease. Your doctor should base the diagnosis on your symptoms, your medical history, and the encounter with the ticks.
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