Everybody loves the spring season. But this is also the time to protect yourself from a serious disease that blooms with the flowers. When you know you’re safe, then you can enjoy spring time to the fullest. Until you do, watch out for Lyme Disease. It’s on the rise in a big way! The CDC increased their estimate of annual cases to ten-fold! It’s 10 times more widespread than ever.
Dr. Oz: Avril Lavigne’s Lyme Disease – Her Secret Health Crisis
Lyme Disease spares no one. Even the rich and famous get them. Musician Avril Lavigne is opening up in People Magazine her ordeal with the disease. So, in today’s show Dr. Oz and Mary Margaret, senior editor at People Magazine talk about Avril’s story.
Avril Lavigne disappeared and fans got nervous wondering where she was. Was her marriage on the rocks, or was she in rehab, but the truth was she was incredibly sick. She didn’t know what she had and it took a very long time and several torturous months before finally realizing that she has Lyme Disease. She said, “I felt like having all your life sucked out of you.” It all started when last year, she remembers waking up completely drenched in her own sweat, and not being able to brush her teeth because she couldn’t stand up. She thought she had flu and took different kinds of medication, but she just got worst. She was in and out of emergency rooms, and talked to countless specialists and countless doctors. It took pretty much the rest of the year to figure out what she had. But now she’s well and very grateful for her experience as she considered it a wake-up call to eat healthy and exercise.
Another celebrity friend of Avril’s who acquired Lyme Disease had reached out to her and Avril helped guide her in terms of what to expect. Avril blogs how she went through the disease and how she struggled with it, and it’s been a big help because most do not know how this happens and not clear about when it happens.
Dr. Oz: The Importance Of Detecting Lyme Disease Early
It is crucial to catch the Lyme disease early and it’s important to know why sometimes we miss it.
Dr. Oz Explains Lyme Disease Symptoms:
- It starts with a tick bite and it’s called a Lyme Disease because it started in Lyme Connecticut
- They bite and attach to your skin for 36 hours and within that time period, they infect you. Anywhere from 3 to 30 days later, you get this sort of rash. It looks like a bulls’ eye where there’s a center and there’s a ring around it. It’s not all the time that it would look perfectly like bull’s eye, but most of the time it will appear like it.
- For 3 to 30 days, you feel fatigue, fever, aches…but then again, you don’t have to have those symptoms during that period.
- After the first 30 days after the bite, and months or weeks later, very unpredictably you will have a series of more serious signs like,
1) Heart palpitations
2) Severe headaches
But it’s not restricted to these only. There are so many symptoms that it’s so confusing, which makes the disease more serious, complex and difficult to cure.
Dr. Oz: Why is it so hard to diagnose Lyme Disease?
Dr. Oz says that the catch is, when diagnosed, doctors use antibiotics. Antibiotics help a lot of folks, but it doesn’t work for a lot of other people which leaves many frustrated patients.
In today’s show, Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken, Infectious Disease Specialist, talks about why Lyme Disease is so difficult to cure and that there are limited testing which results in misdiagnoses.
So, Dr. Oz asks, “Why is it so hard to diagnose Lyme Disease?”
Dr. Tulleken explains, “First, you may not think of it as it does all kinds of things to different people, so it looks like other diseases. And also, in lots of parts of the U.S., there isn’t any Lyme Disease. So medical people just look for other things, and not Lyme Disease. Even if they look for it by doing blood tests and scans, still they might miss up to 30% of patients.” Now, that translates to thousands of misdiagnosis. So basically the reasons why it’s difficult to spot are, we don’t often have tests for it and we often don’t think of it as a possible cause of all the symptoms you might be having. As Avril Lavigne fittingly puts it, she couldn’t remember the last time she felt normal. So, it is difficult to treat if we don’t know what’s causing it.
In addition, Dr. Tulleken explains that, first of all, the antibiotics don’t always work. They don’t actually clear the bacteria. But even if they seem to have worked and the test is no longer positive, there may well still be lyme-causing bacteria hiding in your body where they are difficult to find and they avoid antibiotics. Because of this, patients do get a lot of long-term problems. On the other end of the spectrum, in the medical community, practitioners are kind of reluctant very often to admit that they don’t know what to do because it is a confusing picture, and there isn’t enough research on this. So the barrier to treatment is that the medical community doesn’t know what to do because they are not very open-minded about it.
Dr. Oz: Spread Awareness And Fight Lyme Disease.
At this point, Dr. Oz turns his attention to audiences at home. Dr. Tulleken gives the following advices for all those who are at home and are wary about the Lyme:
- To avoid bites, get your trousers tucked into your socks and your legs covered with insect repellent.
- If you think you have been bitten, get your tweezers and gently pull out the pin-head sized sting. The quicker you get it, the lesser chances you get the Lyme.
- If you think you have Lyme and your tests are negative, it’s worth pursuing specialist care. There are doctors who are more open-minded about this complex disease and are more expert in treating it.
So, with the Lyme on the rise, be on the watch. Only you can save you because at this point, prevention is better than cure.