If you live in a wooded area or spend a lot of time outdoors hiking and camping, you are likely aware of the threat that Lyme disease presents. Lyme disease is a common condition caused by tick bites, leading to everything from chronic headaches to intense fatigue.
When you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, you may fear that there is no way to address your symptoms or slow the progression of your condition. While there is no cure for Lyme disease, there are a variety of treatments that can alleviate symptoms and stop the disease from getting worse.
At Knox Wellness, we offer a selection of Lyme disease treatments for patients throughout Knoxville, TN. Read on to find out more about Lyme disease treatment and prevention.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a chronic illness that is caused by the borrelia bacteria, which is carried by ticks. Most people get Lyme disease from being bitten by a tick carrying borrelia bacteria. This is especially true for people who live or spend most of their time in heavily wooded areas, where ticks are most likely to be encountered.
Lyme disease is an ongoing condition that occurs in various stages. These stages may occur consecutively in a short period of time, or go in and out of remission over the course of years.
Common Lyme Disease Symptoms
Many people who have Lyme disease experience no symptoms when the condition is in its earliest phase. As the condition goes on untreated, Lyme disease symptoms can appear in a sudden and intense way or in a gradual, progressive way. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Extreme fatigue
- Headaches and chronic migraines
- Fever and hot flashes
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and pains
- Joint stiffness
- Rashes throughout the body
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Irregular heartbeats
- Muscle weakness
- Overactive immune activity
- Eye pain or visual disturbances
- Pain in the hands and feet
While all of these symptoms can be attributed to other common health conditions, experiencing several in combination can be indicative of Lyme disease. This becomes more likely when you have spent time outdoors in areas known for having heavy tick populations.
Lyme Disease Testing
If you experience any symptoms of Lyme disease, it is important to get evaluated and diagnosed as soon as possible. Early diagnosis can help you curb symptoms and stop further progression of the disease.
Lyme disease testing involves a physical examination, assessment of symptoms, and blood panels. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or ELISA, test is the most frequently used blood panel for detecting Lyme disease. The ELISA test looks for antibodies that are produced by the body in response to tick-borne illness.
Lyme Disease Treatment Options
When you have been officially diagnosed with Lyme disease, various Lyme disease treatment options are available, depending on your unique needs. Popular options include oral medication, intravenous antibiotics, and dietary changes. Oftentimes, a combination of these treatments is the best way to tackle most Lyme disease symptoms and curb the disease’s progression.
Oral medications for Lyme disease typically include antibiotics to fight off the infection in its earliest stages. This includes amoxicillin, tetracycline, and doxycycline.
Another way to approach Lyme disease is through intravenous antibiotics. These are liquid antibiotics that are administered directly into the bloodstream through an IV catheter. Intravenous antibiotics include penicillin and ceftriaxone.
Sometimes Lyme disease symptoms can be reduced through lifestyle changes like healthier eating habits. A Lyme disease diet eliminates sugar, gluten, and dairy. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables, are consumed in abundance. This naturally strengthens the immune system and helps fight off the effects of Lyme disease.
Tips for Lyme Disease Prevention
There are certain Lyme disease prevention tips that you can follow in order to reduce your risk of contracting the disease in the first place. These include:
Limit Time in Wooded Areas
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is limiting or altogether avoiding wooded areas. This may not be possible for people who live in heavily wooded regions or those who like hiking and camping. If you are very concerned about Lyme disease, just try to limit time spent in these areas whenever possible.
Wear Long Sleeves and Pants
When you spend time outdoors in areas prone to ticks, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants. While not foolproof, wearing covering clothing can reduce the likelihood of ticks reaching your skin.
Check Children and Pets for Ticks
You may already know to check yourself after spending time outdoors, but what about those around you? If you have children or pets, always check them for ticks after spending time outside. Pay close attention to dark, isolated areas of the body, like the armpits, groin, and within the hair.
Use Insect Repellents
Another way to prevent Lyme disease is by using insect repellents when outdoors. There are many topical products or sprays that can be applied to the clothes and skin, repelling ticks from coming into contact with you. There are also products you can use in your yard to eliminate ticks.
Where to Find Lyme Disease Treatment in Knoxville, TN
At Knox Wellness, we can help with Lyme disease treatment and address debilitating symptoms. Our experienced team specializes in reducing the severity of symptoms and slowing the progression of this condition. Scheduling a consultation appointment with one of our providers is the first step toward regaining control of your health and well-being. Visit our contact us page or call (865) 801-9501 to schedule an appointment.