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What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria (scientific name is Borrelia burgdorferi) that people can get from being bitten by an infected tick. Lyme disease is called “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. It is a very resilient type of bacteria, called a spirochete, that burrows into and can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints… even the heart.

CLICK HERE for an informative video from the Lyme Action Network.

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Lyme Facts

  • Fewer than 50% of Lyme patients recall being bitten from a tick Source
    Note from Cadie: I didn’t see a tick on me or remember getting bitten at all.
  • Fewer than 50% of Lyme patients remember having a rash (may be as low as 15%) Source
    Note from Cadie: I never noticed a rash.
  • There is currently no reliable test for Lyme. Doctors often use the Elisa test, which measures a patient’s antibody response to an infection. When your body is invaded by the Lyme spirochetes, your immune system makes antibodies to fight the infection. However, current Elisa tests are not sensitive enough for screening and may miss over half the true cases of Lyme. This is because during the first 4-6 weeks after tick exposure, most people have not developed the antibody response that the test measures.
    Note from Cadie: My lyme was clinically diagnosed and I never had a positive test.
    CLICK HERE for an informative video from the Lyme Action Network.
  • Lyme disease has been called “The Great Imitator” because it is a multi-system illness and difficult to diagnose. Lyme should be considered as a possibility when initially diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Somatization Disorder and many other illnesses. Source
    Note from Cadie: I was initially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Pain Amplification Syndrome
  • Co-infections complicate the treatment of Lyme. One tick may carry more than one disease, so sometimes people get more than one infection from the bite of a single tick. The symptoms of these co-infections are often nonspecific (such as fever and headache), which makes diagnosis difficult. And the treatments for each co-infection may be different.
    Note from Cadie: Luckily, my LLMD does not think that I have any co-infections.
  • Lyme can be spread not only from adult ticks (the size of a sesame seed) but also from tick nymphs (juvenile ticks) that are about the size of a poppy seed.
    Note from Cadie: I can only guess from the time of year when we think I was bitten that it was a nymph.
  • Studies indicate that Lyme can be passed from an infected mother to her unborn child. Source
    Note from Cadie: I can only hope they find a cure for Lyme so this doesn’t affect my future.

Lyme Myths

Myth: Lyme is only present in the Northeast U.S.

FALSE! Lyme disease knows no borders.  Not only is it found in every state of the U.S., it is now present in every continent except Antarctica.


Myth: Short-term antibiotic treatments cure Lyme disease.

FALSE! No study has ever documented that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures chronic Lyme disease.  On the contrary, there is a plethora of documentation in the U.S. and European medical literature demonstrating that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete.”  Source


Myth: Long-term treatment of lyme with antibiotics is irresponsible and should never be considered.

FALSE! According to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (a group of highly educated physicians willing to put patients’ needs above all else): “The very real consequences of untreated chronic persistent Lyme infection far outweigh the potential consequences of long-term antibiotic therapy.” Source


Myth: If your blood tests came up negative for Lyme then you definitely don’t have it.

NOT TRUE! Of patients with acute Lyme disease, at least 20-30% do not have positive bloodwork indicating they have lyme. Source


Myth: In order to have lyme you must have all of the symptoms associated with it (CLICK HERE for a symptoms list)


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