Does Chronic Lyme Disease Exist?
Chronic Lyme disease does exist. It is defined as an infection that has been ongoing without treatment for over three months. When this occurs patients may face a long hard fight to wellness. When someone suffers from chronic Lyme they can have multiple debilitating symptoms, including but not limited to; severe fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and joint pain. Without proper treatment, people who suffer from chronic Lyme disease have a decline in quality of life.
Lyme disease is a complex disease that can be highly difficult to diagnose. Reliable diagnostic tests are not yet available which leaves many—patients and physicians alike—relying on the clinical symptoms of Lyme disease: discovery of a tick on the skin, determination of a tick from an endemic area, a bull’s eye rash, and possibly joint pain.
However, ILADS research indicates that only 50%-60% of patients recall a tick bite; the rash is reported in only 35% to 60% of patients; and joint swelling typically occurs in only 20% to 30% of patients. Given the prevalent use of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, join inflammation is often masked.
It is unfortunate that a significant number people who contract Lyme disease are misdiagnosed during the early stages, based on the statistics above. This leads to a chronic form of the disease that can prove even more difficult to diagnose and treat. Lyme disease is often referred to as the “great imitator” because it mimics other conditions, often causing patients to suffer a complicated maze of doctors in search of appropriate treatment. Serenity Health Care Center is dedicated to assisting clients with Lyme disease.