Lyme disease stages: early localized disease, early disseminated Lyme, and late disseminated Lyme–what you need to know.
Lyme Disease Stages (Borreliosis Stages)
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected deer, birds, or mice.
Usually the tick has to have engaged in feeding for several hours to transmit the infection. Many people with Lyme disease have no knowledge or memory of a tick bite.
Lyme disease was first recognized in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. It’s the most common tick borne illness in Europe and the United States. People who live or spend time in wooded areas known for transmission of the disease are more likely to get this illness. People with domesticated animals that visit wooded areas also have a higher risk of getting Lyme disease.
The Lyme disease stages can overlap with each other, and patients may not go through all three stages. The symptoms vary depending on the duration and location of the infection.
Stage 1: Early Localized Disease
Symptoms with early localized (or acute) Lyme disease may begin hours, a few days, or even weeks after a tick bite. At this point, the infection has not yet spread throughout the body. Of all the Lyme disease stages, Lyme is the easiest to cure at this stage. Seventy-five percent of cases addressed during this early stage with an appropriate antibiotic protocol are permanently resolved.
Prominent additional signs and symptoms may include:
- Skin rash, which may or may not look like a bull’s eye
- Flu-like illness, including chills and fever
- Headache and stiff neck
- Muscle soreness and joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme
Early disseminated Lyme may occur several weeks or months after a tick bite. Bacteria begin to spread throughout the body. As the spirochete finds immuno-priviledged sites in the body to hide from the immune system and antibiotics treatment becomes more difficult. In addition to flu-like symptoms, this stage, of all of the Lyme disease stages, is often characterized by increase in symptoms such as:
- Pain, weakness or numbness in the arms, legs
- Vision changes
- Heart problems, such as palpitations, chest pain
- Rash may appear on body
- Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy)
Stage 3: Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease isn’t promptly or effectively treated in the first two stages, late disseminated (post-treatment, chronic, or neurological) Lyme occurs weeks, months, or even years after the tick bite. The Lyme bacteria have spread throughout the body and many patients develop chronic arthritis as well as an increase in neurological and cardiac symptoms. Cases that reach this late stage are very difficult to resolve with antibiotics alone. Symptoms may include:
- Arthritis in joints or near the point of infection
- Severe headaches or migraines
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Migrating pains that come and go in joints/tendons
- Stiff, aching neck
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
- Disturbances in heart rhythm
- Mental fogginess, concentration issues
- Numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
- Problems following conversations and processing information
- Severe fatigue
The best way to avoid any of these Lyme disease stages is to prevent it in the first place. Take the following measures to reduce the risk of tick bites and illness:
- Wear shirts with long sleeves and pants to protect the skin.
- Apply bug repellent to exposed areas. (Better yet, skip the DEET and start drinking Cistus incanus tea, which may ward off ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests.)
- Examine clothing, gears, kids, and pets for ticks after a trip to areas known to harbor ticks.
- Use tweezers to remove a tick from the skin. Place the tick in a closed container and provide it to health professionals for identification.
- Remove clothes and bathe, washing the entire body and scalp to help prevent tick bites and the transmission of Lyme disease.
Try Drinking Phyllanthus niruri Tea
If you’re concerned about any of these Lyme disease stages or think you may have Lyme disease, we recommend that you consider drinking Phyllanthus niruri tea as a support to your body. First, arm yourself with the facts:
- Learn 5 ways to prevent Lyme disease.
- Identify Lyme symptoms and get Lyme support.
- Learn about Borrelia burgdorferi and Lyme disease.
- Recognize the 5 Lyme disease myths.
- Learn how Phyllanthus niruri may help fight Lyme.
- Learn about Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Phyllanthus niruri.
- Identify 5 ways to find a trusted source for Phyllanthus niruri.
- Read our free Lessons from the Darkness e-book: lessons from Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden, who suffered from Lyme for almost 4 years.