Lyme Arthritis is a chronic disease which affects 10 percent of people. This is a tick-borne disease common in the Northern Hemisphere. It is caused by three species of bacteria which belongs to the genus Borrelia. In North America, the main cause of this disease is the bacteria by the name Borreliea burgdorferi sensu stricto.
The two other bacteria named Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinni are the main reasons for Lyme disease in the European countries. This disease was identified in the year 1975 in the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme in Connecticut, United States of America. The name of the disease was hence named after these towns. Fortunately, the disease can be treated and cured with the help of antibiotic therapy.
Signs & Symptoms of Lyme Arthritis
There are cases when lyme arthritis affects the knees of the patient even though the bacteria are dead. This condition can be called as antibiotic refractory lyme arthritis and will continue for many years. Lyme Arthritis affects children between the age group of 5-9 years and adults of 30 years.
Symptoms of Lyme Arthritis are similar to that of flu. The person infected will not be aware of the major complications which are going on inside his body. Through the blood stream the bacteria moves on to affect the nervous system and the heart. It finally affects the joints, resulting in stiff necks, chills, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, strong headaches and fever. These symptoms will be continuing for a long time.
Some people get affected with Lyme Arthritis in a different way. Rashes appear on the body at the areas of tick bite. This rash is circular and by the passage of time, becomes larger.
The disease if not detected and treated during the first stage itself, the infection will spread to skin, joints and the heart. With the progress of the disease, Lyme Arthritis shows the symptoms like the arthritis in the shoulder as well as in the joints of the knee.
Mood disorder and anxiety can trouble the patient mentally. Swelling of the heart also occurs in some cases. During the chronic stage, fluids build up in the joints. Swelling and redness on the joints too occur. This can continue for more than six months.
In lyme arthritis the patient may experience tiredness. If skin rashes are the first stage symptom, then these rashes will be infected to other parts of the body. Sever pain in the arms and legs will develop and the patient will also experience weakness and numbness at the joints.
Damage of Nerves
Lyme disease if not diagnosed or treated properly, it would result in damage to the nerves, joints and even the brain. The symptoms of this stage are swelling and pain in the joints. The patient would find it difficult to take steps. Hands, feet and back will be experiencing numbness as well as tingling. Fatigue can also trouble you a lot as a symptom of lyme arthritis. Paralysis of facial nerves will occur within some months of the tick bite.