Chronic Lyme disease occurs when an infected person continues to experience Lyme disease symptoms even after being treated with antibiotics therapy for the disease. This condition is also called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
The symptoms of the post Lyme disease may include cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, and joint or muscle aches. The symptoms last up to six months and or longer to subside, and they can disrupt an individual daily activity, also cause emotional distress. The person may get back on track after six months to one year.
The reason some people develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome remains unanswered. However, the Columbia University Medical Center states that doctors should treat cases on an individual basis. A person’s medical history, specific symptoms and latest research should be used as a guide to treatment.
Causes of Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi with the help of a deer tick transmits Lyme disease to humans. A person becomes infected by the disease as soon as a tick carrying the bacteria bites the person. Generally, black-legged ticks and deer ticks are responsible for spreading the disease.
How it works
These ticks collect the bacteria when they bite an infected deer, dead mice or birds. Lyme disease is also known as borreliosis or Bannwarth syndrome if the symptoms are neurologic.
Most people with the disease are treated successfully with a course of antibiotics especially when the disease is detected early.
Furthermore, experts are yet to know the reasons why some people do not fully recover after treatment. Some speculated that it is because of persistent bacteria that were not eliminated by the antibiotics. Others believe that the disease destroys the immune system and tissue, which makes the damaged immune system to respond to the infection after the bacteria are killed.
What are the risk factors for Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome?
First, you are at risk for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome if an infected tick infects you.
The symptoms may continue for weeks, months or even years after the tick bite if the symptoms graduate to the chronic stage.
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You are at risk for chronic Lyme disease if not treated with the recommended antibiotics and at the early stage. However, treating the disease with the recommended medication can also be at risk of prolonged Lyme disease symptom because the cause of the post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is unknown. It is advisable to get a tick exterminator near you to avoid tick infestation, which may lead to chronic Lyme disease.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Lyme disease?
The symptoms of a chronic Lyme disease are quite similar to the earlier stages of the disease. However, people with persistent symptoms often feel prolonged episodes of:
- Speech problems
- Inability to focus or decreased short-term memory
- Joint pains or muscle aches
Furthermore, living with prolonged Lyme disease symptoms even after treatment may affect individual mobility and cognitive skills. It can also cause emotional stress and lifestyle changes.
Some persons who are experiencing these symptoms may be willing to try out unproven alternative therapies. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional before starting new medications or therapies.