Lyme Disease and Stem Cell Therapy
Lyme disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bites of Ixodes ticks. The tick has to be attached to the body for about thirty-six days to forty-eight hours for the bacteria to spread throughout the body and cause havoc. The symptoms of Lyme disease include redness of the skin, a rash known as erythema migrans, that appears where the person is bitten. However, up to fifty percent of people infected with this disease do not develop any rash. The rash is usually not painful, nor does it itch. Other symptoms of the disease include a headache, fever, fatigue, heart rhythm abnormalities, and so on. If the disease is not well managed, patients can also present with an inability to move one side of their face. In addition, patients might present with some conditions, a long time after treatment. They are known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Some of the presentations include pain and swelling of the joints, chronic fatigue syndrome, paresthesia in the arms and legs, and some forms of memory loss.
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease
Lyme disease affects many systems of the body and presents with a lot of symptoms. However, some people affected with the disease are symptomatic. This set of people represent about seven percent of all Lyme disease cases. The symptoms of Lyme disease can be categorized according to when they occur;
Early local Infection
In the phase, only the bite site would be affected. This site would have a big red rash, also known as erythema migrans. It appears about 32 days after the bite. Erythema migrans is usually not painful and itchy. The inmost area of the rash is always dark red and dense in texture, while the outer part of it remains plain red. It usually has the appearance of the classic “bull’s eye”. The people that present with rash averages around 75%. This makes it easier to diagnose, however, about 30% of people with Lyme disease do not present with the bull’s eyes rash. People can also present with flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, myalgia, headache, and fever. This disease can become worse, if untreated, even in people that didn’t present with the rash.
Early Disseminated Infection
The disease would only spread when the tick has attached to the skin for more than 36 hours. The bacteria begin to spread in the blood shortly after this period. Erythema migrans would start appearing in many areas of the body, and not just the bite site. In addition, some people might experience some neurological problems such as facial palsy. The patient would be unable to move a whole section of the face, due to the loss of motor control of that side of the face. Other symptoms predominant in the early disseminated infection phase are a headache, fatigue, neck stiffness, and photophobia. They can also experience memory problems and abnormal sleep patterns.
Late disseminated Infection
This occurs several months after the disease has not been treated or poorly managed. Patients would present with some severe symptoms that affect many organs of the body. Systems affected include the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and also the musculoskeletal system. The symptoms could be irreversible sometimes. This is the phase, where the Borrelia bacteria has spread to the most parts of the body. Patients present with neurological problems such as joint pains, paresthesia of the upper and lower extremities. Some people might also develop some brain complications such as impairment of cognitive abilities, sleep problems, fever and chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition in which an individual feels tired for more than 6 months. The tiredness does not resolve, even after having a rest. Other presentations associated with late disseminated infection are a migraine, postural imbalance, abnormal gait, lower back pain and so on. Lyme disease that is left untreated for a long time could result in mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders, and might not be reversible.
Cause of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are transmitted through the bites of the Ixodes tick. However, the bacteria would only spread after the ticks have stuck to the person’s skin for more than 36 hours.
How can Lyme Disease be Prevented?
- Vaccination: Lyme disease can render people incapacitated, and also cause long-term damages if left untreated for a long time. A recombinant vaccine has been made and has proven effective in the prevention of Lyme disease. According to statistics, it gives all children immunity against Borrelia Burgdorferi, while up to 80% of adults benefit from this. However, this vaccine is sometimes accompanied by some side effects.
- Hand removal: Ticks are difficult to identify, because of their small size, however, they should be promptly removed when they’re discovered on the body. This would be helpful only if they were removed before they’ve spent 36 hours on the skin. The most efficient way of destroying the ticks on the skin is to use tweezers. Tweezers should be placed close to the skin to pull them out, without destroying their body or heads. Some products have been developed specially for the elimination of ticks. This product was developed in Australia, and it works by spraying and freezing the ticks, instead of crushing them with the hand or tweezers. Freezing the ticks prevents them from injecting more toxins into the body.
How is Lyme Disease Currently Treated?
Lyme disease is treated primarily with antibiotics. However, the treatment approach entirely depends on the severity of the disease. For patients in the early localized infection stage, doxycycline is always the drug to consider. However, in severe cases and in patients with complications, intravenous ceftriaxone is usually administered.
Stem Cell Treatment for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease that is left untreated, or treated poorly will affect many organs of the body. This includes the cardiovascular, nervous, brain and the neurological systems. These presentations and conditions are difficult to manage. However, advancements have been in stem cell therapy, as regards the treatment of this disease. These stem cells, usually gotten from the patient, are injected, where they travel to the damaged tissues, and try to repair or replace them. Lyme disease stem cell therapy has no side effects and is considered safe for adults and children.
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