Winter is so close to letting go and ushering in spring. Unfortunately, with spring comes bugs, specifically ticks. These nasty little biters that live in the wooded and grassy areas we love to picnic in can carry Lyme disease. If infected, Lyme disease treatment is required to prevent nerve damage, memory loss, and heart and other health problems.
Roughly 30,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. It is treatable, especially if caught early on, but does it ever really go away? The answer to that is more complicated than a simple yes or no. It takes understanding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease before understanding recovery.
Tentative diagnosis begins when a patient who has been bitten by a tick develops flu-like symptoms and the infamous bulls-eye rash. The rash doesn’t always appear within the first two weeks. If you experience flu symptoms after a tick bite, speak to your doctor even if you don’t see a rash.
A two-step blood test is the only way to confirm a Lyme disease diagnosis. The test checks for Lyme disease antibodies in the blood. It may take a few weeks for antibodies to form, so the test might need to be performed more than once.
Treatment of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease treatment varies depending on how early the disease was caught.
- Within 72 hours of the bite: In this case, Lyme disease has not yet been confirmed. This happens when a patient has a tick for over 24 hours or was bitten in an area where the disease is prevalent. A short preemptive round of antibiotics is administered to combat potential infection. There is a short two-day window between bite and infection where this treatment is effective.
- Early stages: If the disease is caught in the fairly early stages, a 10-20 day regiment of antibiotics is prescribed. This helps a large number of infected patients feel better with no lasting effects.
- Late states: If not caught in time, the treatment for Lyme disease can last a month or more with lasting repercussions. A percentage of patients require IV antibiotics instead of oral. Memory loss, arthritis, and heart issues are all side effects of late-stage Lyme disease.
Chronic Complications and Treatment for Lyme Disease
So, to the question: “Can you completely recover from Lyme disease?” The answer relies completely on how soon the disease was diagnosed. Receiving Lyme disease treatment within the early stages usually leads to a 100% recovery.
Treatment in later stages can lead to long-lasting or chronic Lyme disease. Some patients can experience symptoms up to six months or more after the completion of treatment. Doctors believe a triggered autoimmune response causes lasting issues. Tiredness, body aches, memory issues, and difficulty sleeping can potentially last for years after infection. There is currently no way to treat chronic issues, and most patients have to let the disease run its course.
Some doctors claim that the Lyme bacteria in the body is never fully eradicated. The goal of treatment becomes to lessen the bacteria enough that the body can go back to functioning somewhat normally. If a patient is not careful, there is a risk of relapse, as the bacteria regain a foothold in the body.
BASS Is Here to Help
The best way to completely cure and recover from Lyme disease is early detection. Once it reaches a certain stage, a patient runs the risk of chronic and recurring issues. At BASS Medical Group, your care is our top priority. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment regarding a tick bite, call (925) 350-4044 today. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Bass Medical is here to take care of you and your family.