Lyme Disease is caused by a Borrelia Burgdorferi infection transmitted through the bite of a black legged tick, "Ixodes Scapularis." The infected ticks are found throughout the Northeast and more than forty other states, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia. A telltale "Bulls Eye", or "erythema migrans" rash, along with flu-like symptoms, occurs in only 30-40% of early Lyme Disease patients. This rash classically delineates the initial stage of the infection. Usually after a four to six week course of antibiotic therapy, the disease process can be arrested.
However, Lyme Disease can prove to be a more difficult and complex process to diagnose and treat. When characteristic more commonplace symptoms are not present (such as above). Lyme Disease can progress untreated and become a serious, chronic, and sometimes debilitating illness, which affects multiple systems of the body.
Chronic Systemic Lyme Disease (CSLD) has an affinity for the joints, muscles, heart, and especially the nervous system. Exhaustion, fatigue, insomnia, behavioral difficulties, mood disorders as well as neurocognitive symptoms (such as memory loss and confusion states) are common in CSLD. Physical complaints seem also to fluctuate, producing a pattern of both active and dormant disease cycles. Neuroendocrine and immune system responses may be altered by CSLD. The autonomic system is particularly targeted. The effects of chronic stress exacerbate this illness.
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