Patient discussion about Lyme disease

!!! The questions and answers on this page are written by patients and are not reviewed by health professionals.

Q. what is lyme disease

my dog can't seem to get rid of it - anything other than antibiotics for treatment?
ALyme disease is transmitted through the bite of a tick. Once the dog starts to be affected by the bacteria, Lyme Disease can progress from a mild discomfort to the stage where a dog will be in such joint and muscle pain it will refuse to move; it is not uncommon for an owner to have to carry a sick dog into the animal hospital. Over the span of two or three days a dog can progress from normal to completely unable to walk due to generalized joint pain. In addition to joint damage, the bacteria can affect the dog's heart muscle and nerve tissue. If the disease is diagnosed in time, treatment can cure the dog before permanent joint or nerve damage occurs. Certain antibiotics, such as the Tetracyclines, are very helpful in eliminating the disease. The earlier the antibiotic is started in the course of the disease, the better the patient's chances of a complete recovery.

Q. lyme disease, how long do the effects last? How often do they come back? What helps?

A1Lyme disease affects different areas of the body in varying degrees as it progresses. The site where the tick bites the body is where the bacteria enter through the skin. Initially, the disease affects the skin, causing an expanding reddish rash often associated with "flu-like" symptoms. Later, it can produce abnormalities in the joints, heart, and nervous system. Lyme disease is medically described in three phases as: (1) early localized disease with skin inflammation; (2) early disseminated disease with heart and nervous system involvement, including palsies and meningitis; and (3) late disease featuring motor and sensory nerve damage and brain inflammation and arthritis. It takes weeks to months after the initial redness of the skin for its effects to spread throughout the body. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. Lyme disease can be prevented by using tick avoidance techniques.
Hope this helps.

A2The symptoms of Lyme disease can go on as an early short term infection period, and remain as a late persistent infection, and even lead to on going chronic symptoms, unexplained by any other medical condition. Antibiotic use is usually helpful during the initial period, however it hasn't been proved useful for chronic symptoms.

Q. What to do for early Lyme that's not responding to treatment?

I came down with Lyme disease three months ago with a bulls-eye rash. Even though it was supposedly a recent case, I already was having Bell's palsy, memory loss, trouble thinking of words, joint arthritis, severe bone pain, and fatigue. I took 100mg doxycycline 2x a day, as my doctor prescribed, for 3 weeks, but still felt bad, so I took it for 3 more weeks. When I stopped after 6 weeks, all my symptoms came back and I kept getting worse. I finally convinced my doctors to give me a refill, and I've been taking the same prescription since then. Any time when I'm late on a dose or eat something with magnesium, I get very sick again. I'm not getting better, I'm merely suppressing the Lyme disease, and it comes back whenever I stop the antibiotics. What can I do to actually get rid of it? Higher dose doxycycline? Another antibiotic? Two antibiotics at once? IV antibiotics? Supplements? (I'm biased against this, but) Rife machines?
A1I did test positive for Lyme disease on the ELISA test.

I think it is just disseminated (I've been having Bell's palsy), so maybe I need 400mg doxy/day (200mg 2x a day) in order to reach the proper concentrations to inhibit B. burgdorferi in the CSF.
A2No cases of Borrelia (the bacteria causing Lyme) resistant to antibiotics were reported, so usually failure of treatment raises the question whether the diagnosis was true in the first place.

Another option suggested was switching to another antibiotic. However, al these should be discussed with your doctor, and try to emphasize the recurrence of symptoms. Getting a second opinion is also an option.

Take care,

Q. I need a Lyme LIterate Doctor in MA

Moving to MA - son has chronic Lyme
A1Hi! Where are you moving to? I'm here in Boston with early Lyme that I hope is not going chronic (the treatment I've taken so far is only suppressing it, and it comes back if I stop antibiotics).

Apparently there is a Dr. Sam Donta who works in Falmouth and Boston: 508-539-6666. But he is pretty busy.
A2Thank you = I'll take a look.
A3maybe this will help, it's called "best Doctors":
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