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What’s The Difference Between Lyme Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?

Lyme disease can affect the body in many ways. The initial infection typically involves symptoms such as a bulls-eye rash at the bite site, fatigue, muscle aches, and fever. Other symptoms that may also occur include headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pain and swelling. These can appear at any time following the transmission of the bacterial infection; however, the typical onset is between one and two weeks after the initial bite.

Some people with Lyme disease may not experience the symptoms early on, or may mistake them for other ailments such as a cold or flu. When this happens, the Lyme disease goes untreated, which can lead to more serious health complications. One such complication is Lyme arthritis. But what is Lyme arthritis, exactly? And what’s the difference between Lyme arthritis and osteoarthritis?

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joints with lyme arthritis

How To Test For Lyme Arthritis

Lyme disease can lead to many different health conditions. This is because the bacteria that causes Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, can hide out in the body’s lymph nodes and tissues and evade treatment from antibiotics, even in cases that are treated early. Unless a Lyme disease infection is detected immediately following the discovery a tick bite, it can also be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms and ailments often mimic those of other diseases.

Lyme disease is often referred to as “the great imitator” because of this fact. Some specific diseases that Lyme disease is often mistaken for include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and depression. In some cases, people with Lyme disease can develop a disease that appears exactly as rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is known as Lyme arthritis.

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Infectolab - tick on leaf

Can Lyme Disease Cause Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)?

Mast cell activation syndrome, or MCAS for short, is a disorder that occurs when mast cells release too much of their mediator substances at incorrect times. Mast cells are part of the immune system and are found in blood vessels throughout the body and in bone marrow. The mechanism behind MCAS is largely unknown, which is why it is often referred to as an idiopathic condition. Some research has found that a large majority of those with MCAS also have a relative with the condition, so it’s postulated that it could be linked to genetics.

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Infectolab - tick

Is Coxsackie Virus A Lyme Co-Infection?

Some diseases often go hand in hand because of the way they affect the body. When this occurs in a patient, it is referred to as a co-infection. Co-infections occur when two or more pathogens get into a cell and cause infection.

In the case of Lyme disease, many other infections can occur when one becomes infected with the Borrelia bacteria (the bacteria that causes Lyme). This is because diseased ticks are often infected with more than just one type of bacteria at a time. For example, if a person becomes infected from a tick that has Borrelia as well as anaplasmosis, the severity of Lyme disease can worsen and it can lead to a more difficult positive diagnosis.

But when it comes to the Coxsackie virus, is it a Lyme disease co-infection? Let’s take a look at what Coxsackie virus is, and if it relates to Lyme disease.

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What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Infected With B. miyamotoi Bacteria

Lyme co-infections are not often talked about, but for many patients, they can be a significant component of the disease. Co-infections are infections passed through simultaneously with Lyme, from the same tick bite. Ticks can be carriers of a variety of different bacteria strains, each of them causing different conditions once they infiltrate the host’s system. They can also compound the symptoms of Lyme; some of them add to existing symptoms, while others create new ones. Unfortunately, many doctors are oblivious to the effects and sometimes even existence of Lyme co-infections, and don’t realize the importance of treating all infections together. One of the more recent co-infections discovered stems from bacteria called B. miyamotoi.

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