Lyme Disease & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Roughly 20 thousand people in the United State are infected with lyme disease every year. Lyme disease is a type of vector-borne infection, which are diseases caused by being bitten by insects, ticks, and mites. Lyme disease currently accounts for 90 percent of all vector-borne infections. The State of Montana is the only state in the United States that has yet to report any cases of lyme disease. Many times lyme disease is confused as being a different disease or medical condition because of the wide range of symptoms. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of those diseases that is often misdiagnosed or confused with lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Symptoms and Diagnosis
Lyme disease is contracted when an infected tick is attached to your body for at least two to three days. About 85 percent of the infections occur during the spring and summer and the other 15 percent of the infections occur during the fall. Most people with lyme disease will experience flu-like symptoms, headache, a stiff neck, fatigue, muscle aches, and a bulls eye rash surrounding the area where the tick was attached. Some of the symptoms including the rash could happen as quickly as a day or take as long as a month to appear. As the disease advances you can expect to experience more severe symptoms such as fevers, extreme fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches. Over time you can also experience paralysis, vision changes, blindness, panic attacks, dementia, eating disorders, and rash in various parts of the body. Lyme disease is very hard to diagnose because currently there are no tests to show the bacterium present in the system. Instead, diagnosis is done by identifying symptoms and travel history in addition to indirect antibody tests.
Lyme Disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Dr. Lauren Krupp from the State University of New York says that lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome share a lot of common symptoms like extreme fatigue, headache, muscle pains, stiff neck, mood disturbances, hearing loss, and more. In a study that she conducted Dr. Krupp compared patient's with lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome to one another. She found that as many as 84 percent of the patients that had lyme disease also met the same criteria as those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Treatment for Chronic Fatigue
Currently there are no prescription medications for chronic fatigue. Instead doctors advise their patients to pace themselves and avoid physical and emotional stressors. They have been known to suggest a low key exercise programs like yoga and tai chi as well as other therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic massage, self-hypnosis, and therapeutic touch. People suffering from chronic fatigue have also found much success in managing their condition by taking herbal supplements and eating a balanced diet.
Photo Credit: I got bored with my screen name