What is the Lyme disease self-test?
Ticks are insects that live in temperate forests. These insects can be infected with a bacterium (Borrelia), which can then be transmitted to humans. The bacterium Borrelia affects the nervous system and can lead to severe neurological disorders. This infection can also cause skin injuries and arthritis. Within a few weeks after the bite, inflammation and redness may occur in the bite region. The inflammation can be accompanied by fever. In the case of infection, the immune system responds by producing specific antibodies against the Borrelia bacteria that are detectable by the Lyme self-test.
The borreliosis tick test should be performed between 2 and 4 weeks after the tick bite or as soon as a round inflammation (erythema) occurs on the part of the body that has been exposed to the tick bite.
For whom is the Lyme disease self-test suitable?
Anyone can get infected with borrelia by having a tick bite and get Lyme borreliosis. Often, people who work outside a lot for their work, children who play outside and walkers at risk of getting tick bites.
How does the test work?
When the Borrelia bacterium is transmitted by a tick, specific IgM antibodies are rapidly produced by the immune system. The antibodies circulate in the blood and bind to the bacteria found. The Lyme Borreliosis Self-Test specifically detects these antibodies in the blood and thus the presence of this bacterium can be detected.
Why should I do the test?
An increase in the number of Lyme disease patients has been reported in recent years. Timely diagnosis and treatment is necessary. Lyme disease is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms that occur within a few months of the tick bite. If the disease is not treated, severe neurological, joint or cardiac symptoms may occur.
This infection can also cause skin lesions. Within a few weeks after the bite, inflammation and redness may occur in the bite region. In case of infection, the immune system reacts with specific antibodies directed against the Borrelia bacteria. A specific category of antibodies can be detected between 2 and 4 weeks after infection. Timely detection and treatment are very important.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can be caused by the bite of an infected tick. The pathogen causing the disease is called Borrelia burgdorferi. The infection with this pathogen can have serious consequences and make treatment indispensable. However, diagnosis is difficult and treatment is long term and intensive in most cases.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can cause all sorts of symptoms and discomfort. The disease has three stages with different symptoms: in the first phase we speak of a local infection, in the second phase of a spread of the pathogen and finally the third phase occurs.
Symptoms that can occur at any stage of Lyme disease are:
1st phase: local infection
The first sign of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi virus is a red ring-shaped rash around the tick bite. This circle (erythema migrans) occurs within a few days to two weeks after the bite. Only in a few cases, this circle occurs only after a few months. The ring grows larger at first and then disappears completely. Not everyone who is infected with Lyme disease gets that circle.
2nd phase: spread of the pathogen
Through the bloodstream, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease can spread throughout the body. At this stage, the following symptoms occur:
3rd phase: final phase
Sometimes, even a year after the tick bite, there are still complaints, often skin problems or joint problems. The skin becomes reddish-purple, thicker and feels warm. Later, the skin becomes thin, often on the arms and legs.
Treatment of the disease
Lyme disease is a complex disease that can be treated well with antibiotics in most cases. Unfortunately, permanent damage to the nervous system and joints can not always be prevented. The treatment is tailored to the duration of the infection and the course of the disease. The sooner you start treatment, the better and faster you will cure it. After antibiotic therapy of 14 to 30 days, 38 to 70% of patients are still symptom-free after three years. Because the pathogen has good survival mechanisms, it often requires 1 to 4 years of treatment and a high dose of antibiotics to kill all Lyme bacteria in the body. Sometimes a combination of antibiotics is used to fight this persistent pathogen. Despite this interventional treatment of Lyme disease, the disadvantages of long-term use of antibiotics, as opposed to the effects of untreated Lyme disease, are low.
Prevention of tick bites
Ticks are small animals that resemble small, flat spiders. They are about 1 to 3 millimeters small and occur mainly in the forest, in the dunes, in the heath and on meadows. Ticks bite firmly into the skin of humans and animals to suck blood. Tick bites can occur in all seasons, but mostly in the months of March to October. When you go outside in the nature, always wear sturdy shoes and cover your arms and legs! It is important to check every day if you have been bitten by a tick when you are out much. If you find a tick on your body, then remove it with a special tweezers as soon as possible. The longer the tick bites into the skin, the greater the risk of contracting Lyme disease. Not every tick bite causes Lyme disease. Only infected ticks cause the disease. Unfortunately, one can not tell from the look of the tick whether it is infected or not. Therefore, it is particularly important to look for possible symptoms of Lyme disease after each tick bite.
Consequences of Lyme disease
Lyme disease is not a deadly disease but can have serious consequences. In the long term, the effects of Lyme disease include memory loss, paralysis, joint pain and skin discomfort. It is not always possible to participate in public life so that Lyme patients often get a sense of isolation. In addition, the path to diagnosis is difficult and involves many visits to the doctor, where many patients do not feel understood. You can test yourself with the Lyme Disease Test. The sooner you know that you have this disease, the sooner you start the treatment and the better and faster you cure it!
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