Among all tick-borne illnesses, Lyme disease is the most common one, especially in the U.S., and Europe. Carried by deer ticks, the bacteria Borreliaburgdorferi are responsible for this infection. You become infected when a tick bites you. You need to take antibiotics to clear the infection and its symptoms. Some symptoms go away quickly after the use of antibiotics, while others take more time to clear. When left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious complications. These complications are more common in the late stage.
Late Stage Lyme Disease Symptoms
When you do not seek treatment, Lyme stage enters its late stage in which you have to deal with damage to the nerves, joints, and brain. These complications may become visible years after you become infected. Here are some of the most common symptoms during the late stage:
- You experience tingling and numbness in your feet, hands, or back.
- You feel very tired and lose control over your facial muscles.
- You notice problems with mood, memory, and sleep.
- You may develop shakes, tremors, and spasms that may vary in severity and duration.
- Dizziness and vertigo may also affect you and sometimes result in complete loss of orientation.
- You may find turtle-shaped aliens crawling right underneath your skin – this usually affects your shins and forearms.
- You develop arthritis that affects the knee – it may turn into chronic Lyme arthritis that causes recurring episodes of redness and swelling in the joint.
- Popcorn, fireworks, or pincushion sensations are also common that appear at a specific part at one time but pick another spot when they appear again. These sensations are usually due to bacteria dying inside a nerve.
What's more, some people also develop heart problems during the late stage.The most common heart problem causes inflammation of the structures around the heart – it is possible to treat it without any lifelong damage. Moreover, you may experience hallucinations that may occur when your body and mind feel exhausted and you fail to sleep due to the buildup of toxins in your body.
Late Stage Lyme Disease Management
During the late stage, you need to seek medical attention and learn how to keep things under control.
1. Get All the Help Available
Make sure there is someone around you all the time because you need reassurance and encouragement to recover. Your mind will be out of your control and someone around you can always help you feel less terrified, confused, and discouraged. Talk to someone whenever possible because emotional release will help a lot.
2. Maintain a Well-Balanced Diet
Once you get through the initial stage of treatment, you need to pay special attention to your diet. Stick to liquid food for quite a while because solid food may not feel easy to digest. Take your multi-vitamins and minerals supplements as prescribed to help keep your immune system in top working condition.
3. Stay Active
You need to stay active and avoid being in bed all day long. Stretching and moving will help improve your circulation and make those deep tissue bugs more visible to antibiotics. This will also help flush out toxins and make you feel better. Talk to your doctor to learn some of the best stretching exercises and ways to stay active to better deal with late stage Lyme disease.
4. Take Your Medications in a Timely Manner
You have to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Never miss any dose. You also need to understand that antibiotics will make you feel better in a few days, but that does not mean you have recovered completely. Never stop taking your medication unless your doctor says so. Discontinuing your medication too early will make you become infected again.
5. Do Not Take Anti-Inflammatory Medications
You will definitely feel tempted to take painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication, but you have to resist it. Inflammation helps improve circulation to affected areas and make antibiotics more effective. Taking anti-inflammatory medications may also make your joint pain worse, so it is better to avoid it, especially during the first month of treatment.
6. Avoid Taking Antihistamines
Your immune system is your biggest defense against any infection, and antihistamines slow it down. The antibiotics prove effective to a certain extent, but your immune system does the rest of the job. Antihistamines can turn off your immune system and make it difficult to recover.
7. Make Use of Natural Herbs
You can take advantage of many natural herbs that improve your immune system such as garlic, turmeric, Astragalus, etc. With a stronger immune system, you will be in a better position to clear your infection quickly, speeding up your recovery from late stage Lyme disease.
8. Make Lifestyle Changes to Accelerate Recovery
While taking aforementioned steps will definitely help, you also need to make lifestyle changes to accelerate recovery. For instance:
- You should stop drinking alcohol and avoid caffeine as much as possible.
- You should say no to smoking to recover fast.
- You should take plenty of rest and give your body time to fight off infection.
- Enjoy warm drinks instead of hot ones because they can make the layers of cells on your tongue rather thick. This promotes the growth of yeast.