Dr. Colin and Dr. Patti attended the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference this past weekend in lovely Banff, Alberta. It was a very educational weekend filled with expert speakers on Lyme disease and networking with top Lyme experts from Canada and the United States.
Lyme disease is such an important topic, we felt we should write up a small article to help others become more aware of the signs and symptoms to help improve early identification and diagnosis.
Lyme disease is prevalent in many parts of the United States and the world and it is increasingly becoming a problem in Canada. Lyme is a disease caused by a bacterium named Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by a tick bite.
These bacteria cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms. Some of the most common Lyme symptoms include:
– Forgetfulness, poor short-term memory
– Joint pain or swelling
– Tingling, numbness, burning, or stabbing sensations
– Disturbed sleep (too much, too little, early awakening)
These symptoms are often debilitating and because they are very general, it is not surprising that Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose clinically. The diagnosis is further complicated by many other symptoms that may also be associated with Lyme disease.
The classic sign of a Lyme infected tick bite is a “bulls-eye” rash that develops around the site of the bite. Unfortunately, less than 50% of Lyme patients recall a tick bite or a rash making diagnosis even more challenging.
Sometimes Lyme sufferers are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, even Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. However, investigation into infectious causes is definitely worthwhile.
The take home message is that if you (or someone you know) have symptoms that seem unexplained, cannot be properly addressed, diagnosed, or resolved, and may resemble those of Lyme contact us for a more thorough assessment. We will look closely at your symptoms and discuss specialized testing that is not commonly available.