Coping with Lyme disease
Living with Lyme disease can be a painful and frustrating experience. Many Lyme victims are misdiagnosed, and too often their health deteriorates while they seek proper treatment.
Why is Lyme difficult to diagnose and treat?
- There are over 100 different symptoms of Lyme disease, so it’s hard to detect, and even harder to properly diagnose and treat. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for patients to be told that their symptoms are “all in their head”, or to be treated for the wrong disease.
- Lyme disease initially affects everyone differently, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. However, as time passes the disease becomes more debilitating.
- Symptoms may come and go in varying degrees, with fluctuation from one symptom to another. Some victims experience a period that feels like remission, only to be followed by another onset of symptoms.
- The longer Lyme disease goes untreated, the harder it is to fight. Undiagnosed Lyme disease will affect a patient over the course of their entire lifetime.
Don’t lose hope
There are a variety of treatment options to help everyone from the freshly infected to long-time Lyme sufferers.
Learn everything you can about your illness. When you know more about the disease, you’ll be more comfortable talking to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment.
Know your treatment options
Early intervention is the key to beating Lyme disease. When caught in the early stages, quick antibiotic treatment can eliminate the infection. When Lyme is diagnosed in the later stages, a patient has several other treatment options to consider.
- Oral Antibiotics – There are four main courses of antibiotic treatments that vary in strength. Each Lyme patient is different, so treatment varies from person to person.
- Intravenous Antibiotics – If oral antibiotics are ineffective, a patient may receive intravenous antibiotics. This is often reserved for those who have been suffering from the disease for an extended period of time before diagnosis.
- Intramuscular Antibiotics – Intramuscular penicillin is sometimes effective for patients who don’t respond to oral and intravenous antibiotics.
- Pulse and Combination Therapy – This treatment involves a careful combination of antibiotic treatments that coincide with symptom flare-ups.
Want to know more about each treatment and what treatment might be best for you?
Talk to someone
Getting support is an important step in recovery. Contact the CanLyme Area Support Team or find a support group near you.
Do your symptoms keep coming back?
You may have Chronic Lyme Disease. This means that the strain of bacteria is particularly resistant to antibiotic treatment and wasn’t eliminated by your original course of treatment.
This type of continuing, low-grade infection may require multiple treatments. More on Chronic Lyme Disease.