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Facts on Lyme disease

On Monday evening the Bedford Residents Association, in conjunction with our MLA, Kelly Regan, invited Dr. Ernie Murakami of the Dr. E. Murakami Centre for Lyme to discuss Lyme disease.

Over 120 people were in attendance over the course of the evening. The meeting was held at Basinview Drive Community School.

Bedford resident Donna Lugar says the meeting “was a very informative meeting and many, if not most, of the people in the audience have dealt with or are dealing with Lyme and/or associated co-infections. Sunday’s Mahone Bay meeting drew about 75 people and apparently over half said they have had or have Lyme disease. Makes it hard to believe the Province’s numbers on total diagnosed cases.”

The following information was taken from Dr. Murakami’s website:

BACKGROUND:

Lyme disease is a complex and rarely understood disease that is systemic in nature. It can present itself with a myriad of symptoms (sometimes well over 100) that can easily lead to misdiagnosis by the untrained professional. We’ve tried to break down the information about this disease to make it easier to understand its complexities.

What is Lyme?

Lyme Disease is an infectious disease carried by various birds, rodents, deer and ticks. There is indication that mosquitos and other biting insects may also be vectors to this disease. It is passed among the animals and insects in this group when a tick latches onto an infected host, usually a Deer Mouse.

The spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi) in the infected blood of the mouse enter the blood of the tick and begin another life cycle, or continue their lifecycle in the stomach of the tick. The tick then bites or latches onto a different host and infects the new host with the Lyme disease.

The disease was first discovered in 1970 with the characteristic bulls-eye rash appearing on men from the Groton, Conneticut submarine base, and the findings of studies reported by Navy doctors in 1974.

The disease then affected a group of families in the town of Old Lyme, Conneticut, where awareness of the disease became more prominent, and it received its current common name of Lyme Disease.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease (20 yes represents a serious potential and Lyme should be included in diagnostic work-up )

The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash)
– Rash at site of bite
– Rashes on other parts of your body
– Rash basically circular and spreading out (or generalized)
– Raised rash, disappearing and recurring

Head, Face, Neck
– Unexplained hair loss
– Headache, mild or severe,
– Seizures
– Pressure in Head,
– White Matter Lesions in Head (MRI)
– Twitching of facial or other muscles
– Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)
– Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
– Stiff or painful neck
– Jaw pain or stiffness
– Dental problems (unexplained)
– Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose
– Eyes/Vision Double or blurry vision Increased floating spots
– Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
– Oversensitivity to light
– Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes

Ears/Hearing
– Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
– Buzzing in ears
– Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
– Ringing in one or both ears

Digestive and Excretory Systems
– Diarrhea
– Constipation
– Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis|
– Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease)

Musculoskeletal System
– Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
– Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
– Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)

Respiratory and Circulatory Systems
– Shortness of breath, can’t get full/satisfying breath, cough
– Chest pain or rib soreness
– Night sweats or unexplained chills
– Heart palpitations or extra beats
– Endocarditis,
– Heart blockage

Neurologic System
– Tremors or unexplained shaking
– Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
– Fatigue
– Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
– Weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
– Pressure in the head
– Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
– Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking Increased motion sickness
– Lightheadedness, wooziness

Psychological well-being
– Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder
– Unusual depression
– Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
– Feeling as if you are losing your mind
– Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
– Too much sleep, or insomnia
– Difficulty falling or staying asleep
– Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
– Panic attacks, anxiety

Mental Capability
– Memory loss (short or long term)
– Confusion, difficulty in thinking
– Difficulty with concentration or reading
– Going to the wrong place
– Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
– Stammering speech
– Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

Reproduction and Sexuality
– Loss of sex drive
– Sexual dysfunction
– Unexplained menstrual pain, irregularity
– Unexplained breast pain, discharge
– Testicular or pelvic pain

General Well-being
– Unexplained weight gain, loss
– Extreme fatigue
– Swollen glands/lymph nodes
– Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
– Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
– Symptoms seem to change, come and go
– Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
– Early on, experienced a “flu-like” illness, after which you have not since felt well.
– Low body temperature
– Allergies/Chemical sensitivities
– Increased effect from alcohol and possible worse hangover

Source: http://www.bedfordbeacon.com/facts-on-lyme-disease

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