Adrenal Fatigue For Dummies
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Lyme disease is an infection that can cause adrenal fatigue; it is a tick-borne illness that causes chronic pain and disability in some people. It's transmitted by the deer tick, and the organism responsible for the condition is the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. If you live, work, or travel near woods or a forest area, then you're at higher risk of developing Lyme disease.

Lyme disease can affect multiple areas of the body, and many of the symptoms, including joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and weakness, let Lyme disease mimic many other conditions.

About 10 percent of people who develop Lyme disease get a characteristic bull's-eye skin rash, called erythema chronicum migrans. This rash is the most common initial manifestation of Lyme disease; it usually appears a few days after someone develops the condition, although in some people, the rash takes a few weeks to appear.

Untreated Lyme disease can be debilitating and disabling and can affect other organs of the body in addition to the joints. It can cause meningitis and carditis, or inflammation of the heart. Lyme disease is thought to be an underlying cause of fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is confirmed via blood tests. The ELISA test is first, and the confirmatory test is the Western blot. Both of these tests need to be positive to confirm the diagnosis of Lyme disease, because many other inflammatory processes and chronic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can cause the ELISA test to be falsely positive.

Some healthcare practitioners use specialty labs (such as IGeneX) to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Early in the course of the illness, the blood tests used to diagnose Lyme disease may not be positive. If the tests come back negative, they need to be repeated, especially if you've experienced a tick bite and strongly suspect that you have Lyme disease.

The treatment for Lyme disease is taking an antibiotic, doxycycline, twice a day for 21 days. In places where Lyme disease is epidemic, sometimes patients need to take antibiotics for a longer duration, especially if Lyme disease wasn't diagnosed initially.

That being said, you can do other things naturally to support your body, strengthen your immune system, and provide nutritional support.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Dr. Richard Snyder, DO, is board certified in both internal medicine and nephrology, as well as a clinical professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutritional sciences as well as a specialist in sports dietetics. She is the coauthor of Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies.

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