What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by bacterial infected deer tick bites. These ticks contain the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which feed on the blood of animals and humans. It is the most common tick-born illness in the United States. If you live in wooded areas, you are especially vulnerable because these ticks thrive in this environment. They are most active in the spring and summer because this is their infant stage. Left untreated, it can cause arthritis, headaches, fever, skin rashes, joint pain, and fatigue. However, you do not have to suffer from these symptoms. Lyme patients can live a happy and productive life. You can do the following 5 things in order to prevent this disease:

Get Tested

Lyme disease is dangerous because it is similar to other illnesses such as lupus or multiple sclerosis. This is why it is often called "the great imitator." Symptoms usually occur within two weeks of infection. According to one doctor, it is misdiagnosed at least 30% of the time.  There is no absolute way of diagnosing it,  but there are laboratory tests available. It is diagnosed based on your symptoms and serological blood tests. One of the most obvious signs is the erythema rash, which is a red spot on the skin. A clinical exam is another way that you can get tested. You should have your doctor give you a serological test because it measures antibodies in your blood. Also make sure that you get your yearly physical exam.

Practice Good Hygiene

This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent Lyme disease. You should also practice good hygiene because it helps keep your skin healthy. This will reduce your chances of getting this disease. If you are planning on going hiking or camping, taking a bath or shower will help prevent deer ticks. Make sure that you use plenty of soap and water. This will reduce your risk of infection. If you have pets, make sure that you bathe them regularly. They can transfer ticks to you, especially if you work outdoors. Inspecting your body for ticks is also something that you should do.

Wear Protective Clothing

Caution: If you work in landscaping or forestry, you should avoid beaches, marshes, and high grasses as often as possible. Lyme disease is more prevelant in these areas. When you are walking through wood trails, try to walk in the center. Avoid walking along deer paths. Wear light-colored clothing in order to make it easier to spot ticks. Invest in buying tick-repellant clothing because they contain permethein, which helps prevent ticks. Wear pants and tuck your shirt in. Put on more than one pair of socks and make sure that your lower leg is covered.

Use Repellants

You should consider purchasing a repellant spray to help you fight deer ticks. A repellant can protect your face, neck, and other vulnerable body parts. They can also reduce your chances of infection. If you spray your clothing,  this will work even better. This will give you a double dose of protection. Do your research and find out which one is best for you. Insect Shield and Bugs Away are good for preventing Lyme disease. Make sure that you avoid brushes if your repellant is up to 30% DEET.

Consume Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a required vitamin that the body needs daily to function properly. It helps to protect your brain, heart, and other organs. According to one medical study, it is referred to as an "anti-infective vitamin." This is because vitamin A helps create anti-infection cells and strengthens the immune system. It also helps children with respiratory problems. A deficiency can cause Lyme arthritis and other joint diseases. Some natural food sources of vitamin A are egg yolks, milk, spinach, carrots, liver, and sweet potatoes. Caution: Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before taking  vitamin A supplements because they can be toxic.

Lyme disease is a very preventable condition. The most important thing is to get tested so that you can prevent symptoms. Practicing good hygiene and wearing protective clothing can reduce your risk significantly. Using repellants can protect the most vulnerable parts of your body. Consuming vitamin A can help fight infections because it helps produce cells that fight them. If you do these 5 things, then your risk of contacting this disease is reduced tremendously.

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