ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Things You Should Know About Lyme Disease and the Worst Case Scenario

Updated on July 5, 2011
Classic Bull's Eye
Classic Bull's Eye

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in America, with 16,000 new cases reported each year. It is caused by a bite from a deer tick infected with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Not all tick bite will cause Lyme disease but if the tick stays on your body for more than 36 hours, you are likely to get Lyme disease. Lyme disease cases have been reported in nearly all states, with high number of cases in wooded areas. Early treatment is imperative to prevent long-term effects.  Treating Lyme disease can be tricky as sometimes, the disease persists and causes arthritic, neurological and cardiac complications even after symptoms are gone.

Deer Tick
Deer Tick

1. What are the symptoms?

Stage 1: The bite will develop into a lesion, much like a bull’s eye. It can be contained and localized on the bite area or it can cover the entire width of a person’s back. 10 percent of people may experience heart abnormalities such as palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting, chest pain or shortness of breath.

Stage 2: Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, body and joint aches and fatigue make their appearance. If Lyme disease is not treated soon with antibiotics, it will progress to stage 3.

Stage 3: In the final stage, symptoms can mimic other medical conditions. 60 percent of the untreated patients will develop recurring arthritis (most often in the knees) that can persist from a few days to a few months. In the worst case scenario, 10 to 20 percent of the people will suffer chronic arthritis. Neurological symptoms will also develop—stiff neck, severe headache (may indicate meningitis), temporary paralysis of muscles in the face (Bell’s palsy), numbness, pain or weakness in the limbs and poor motor co-ordination.

2. What Should You Do to Prevent Lyme Disease?

They say prevention is better than cure? For this case, it applies a hundred times over. The absolute best way to prevent Lyme disease is to stay away from wooded areas. Heavily areas include Northeast, Upper Midwest and Northern California. However, that can be an unreasonable request if you love the outdoor or enjoy exploring wooded areas. If that is the case, take precautions—your next best bet. Wear protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts and long pants, preferably light in color to help you spot ticks, if any. Apply an insect repellent with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Do a body inspection after you’ve been outdoors. If you find one, remove it with tweezers and see the doctor immediately. Taking antibiotics within 3 days’ of tick bite may prevent Lyme disease.

3. Is there a Vaccine for Lyme disease?

There used to be a vaccine for Lyme Disease but was discontinued due to low demand. Most cases can be treated with antibiotics.

4. What treatments are available?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded several studies that showed that patients can be cured within a few weeks of taking antibiotics. Oral antibiotics include doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil. Patients with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatments with drugs such as ceftriaxone or penicillin.

Proper nutrition and supplements can help to boost your immune system at this time to give your body the best chance to fight the disease. Antibiotics can strip the GI tract of good bacteria, producing side effects such as diarrhea and yeast infections. To replenish good bacteria wiped out, consider taking a probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus). The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 5 to 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) a day.

Since inflammation is involved in Lyme disease, take Beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber, available at health stores and online specialty stores.

5. What about Complementary Medicine?

Don’t want too much synthetic medication in your body? Consider using herbs to strengthen the body and treat the disease. Consult your physician before taking herbs as some herbs can trigger side effects or interfere with medications.

Green Tea: Since green tea is not fermented, it contains high levels of catechins, an antioxidant polyphenol, that helps to capture damaging free radicals. It is also anti-inflammatory, making it a great herb to take while fighting Lyme disease.

Gingko biloba: A powerful antioxidant, it also promotes heart-health and enhances memory function.

Cat’s Claw: Antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammation—three good qualities to tame Lyme disease.

Reishi Mushroom: Helps to boost immunity and is anti-inflammatory.

Olive leaf and Garlic: Antibacterial, antifungal and great immunity boosters.

These herbs can be found as dried extracts in the forms of capsules, powders or tea. They also come as glycerine extracts (glycerites) or as tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, most of these herbs can be made into teas (steep 1 tsp. of herb in 1 cup of hot water—steep for 5 to 10 minutes). Drink 2 to 4 cups a day.

Watch this video about Lyme disease. So many symptoms are listed, you can possibly blame your "misbehavior," or any unexplained medical conditions to Lyme disease. On a serious note, undiagnosed and untreated Lyme disease can present many health problems.


Submit a Comment
  • RockyMountainMom profile image


    3 years ago from Montana

    HI folks, it is Lyme disease awareness month, please take a look at for a few important facts. There is not minimum attachment time. I contracted Lyme in less than 10 hours, for example. There are 30,ooo cases reported each year in the U.S. but the CDC estimates that closer to 330,000 or more people contract Lyme each year. Fewer than half of patients saw a rash and fewer than 30% even recall a tick bite. Current laboratory testing misses as many or more cases than it catches, and misses well over half of cases according to some studies. Lyme is a clinical diagnosis, but you may have trouble getting a proper diagnosis when doctors rely to heavily on lab tests or your geography to rule it out. Always check for ticks!

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago

    CJ Sledgehammer, thanks for sharing your story. Wow, to think the doctor didn't know...well.Thanks for dropping by to comment--appreciate it much.

  • profile image

    CJ Sledgehammer 

    7 years ago

    Thank you, Anglnwu, this was a well-written and interesting Hub. Voted up and away.

    My son had 3 bull's-eye rings on his leg when he was very young. He had gone to visit his mother during the summer for a couple of weeks and I noticed these markings on his leg after he returned home to me.

    I asked the doctor what it was and he didn't know. I have often thought that perhaps my son had lyme disease because he does seem to have exhibited some of those symptoms over the years, even though these bites were 12 years ago.

    Thanks again for such an informative and useful Hub.

    Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago

    Thanks, forestbear!

  • ForestBear profile image


    7 years ago

    This is good information,thank you for sharing. Great hub!

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago

    Thanks, LymeLiterate, I've amended the question about vaccines. Appreciate your comments.

  • LymeLiterate profile image


    7 years ago from Pennsylvania

    They removed the vaccine off the market a long time ago because it was infecting people unless you are talking about another vaccine that has come out recently that I am unaware of. Check out my Lyme book, The Object of My Infection if you are looking for further reading. The vaccine was 1 thing I did tackle and all of my hubs are Lyme related! Thank you for getting more awareness out there!

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago

    Teryn, thanks for pointing that out.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I just wanted to say something for people who read this. You mentioned that you will get a bulls-eye rash when you are infected by Lyme after a tick bite. Only 80% of people actually get this rash and the other 20% don't see any signs of Lyme until later in life. I thought that people should know that the bulls-eye rash is not always present.

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago

    frogyfish, always happy to see u. Thanks for your comments. Hopefully, your friend will find relief.

  • frogyfish profile image


    8 years ago from Central United States of America

    Good information you gave here and I am glad you included the natural treatments to assist also. I have a friend who is crippled from Lyme disease and she saw many physicians before her DX - like you said.

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    Good for you, Green Guru--Lyme disease is nasty. Glad you like the natural treatments--I'm all for natural treatments.

  • The Green Guru profile image

    The Green Guru 

    9 years ago

    Luckily I have never had Lyme disease but this was an interesting hub. I like the natural treatments you have listed.

  • anglnwu profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    RTallonic, you've been kind to visit my hubs (so many at one go) and I thank you very much for your contribution.

    itakins,yes, please, the more the merrier. Thank you for droping by and I certainly appreciate your support.

  • itakins profile image


    9 years ago from Irl

    Such a worthwhile hub-Thank you.I am going to share it ,if that's ok!

  • RTalloni profile image


    9 years ago from the short journey

    It's true. Avoiding exposure is best, early treatment imperative!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)