National Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Seek North Cares About Lyme Disease
How to Protect Your Loved Ones & Yourself from Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a complicated illness that can be difficult to diagnose and understand. Through our own experience, we at Seek North, want to share what we learned first-hand about Lyme disease so we can help others protect themselves.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Every year, 427,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease. The disease often goes undiagnosed due to inaccurate diagnostic testing, a lack of understanding, and its wide range of symptoms that can mimic other illnesses.
Called the “Great Imitator,” Lyme disease can mimic hundreds of other conditions since its symptoms mirror many medical problems such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome or lupus. Symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases may come and go and may be subtle or pronounced. Because of this, many are misdiagnosed and go without treatment.
The most effective way to diagnose Lyme is a combination of diagnostics and a clinical diagnosis, based on a thorough examination from a Lyme-literate doctor.
Treatment for Lyme disease will vary from patient to patient depending upon the stage and severity of symptoms, presence of co-infections, age, and other clinical factors. The most common treatment for early stage Lyme disease is a 14-21 day course of oral antibiotics such as doxycycline for those age 8 or older.
It took over a year and a half before our co-founder, Julian Lesser, found out he had Lyme disease. If you suspect you, or a loved one, may have Lyme disease we encourage you to act on it. Trust the symptoms, not the test.
Lyme disease is spread by infected blacklegged (deer) ticks. Given the difficulty to diagnose and treat, taking steps to prevent a tick bite is critical. And with ticks year-round, it’s important to take precautions every day.
There are many effective things you can do to greatly reduce your odds of contracting this disease. Global Lyme Alliance suggests that we all Be Tick AWARE™ . First, the right clothing could be your best ally. Light colored clothing allows any ticks to be readily seen, allowing you to remove them before a bite. Using EPA-approved insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)*, or Permethrin for on-clothing, are known to be effective in repelling ticks, and other bothersome insects. In combination with the above clothing tips, this can greatly reduce your chances of tick bites. After any hiking or outdoor excursions, be sure to carefully check your entire body, and toss your clothes in a HOT dryer for 10-15 minutes to kill any lingering ticks.
To learn more about Practicing Effective Tick Prevention, click here.
If you do come in contact and are bitten by a tick, don’t panic. Your best method for your own safety is to remove the tick as soon as possible. The proper way to remove a tick is with tweezers, grabbing and pulling onto the head, as close as possible to your skin. Be careful not to twist, or inadvertently remove the head from the tick’s body, and avoid crushing the tick’s body on removal. If this can be done within 24 hours of contact, odds of infection can be greatly reduced. If you have any concerns, contact your physician, or locate your nearest hospital to determine if treatment is necessary from your exposure. And send the tick in for testing
We All Can Help
While Lyme disease can be very scary, armed with the above info, you can do a world of good to prevent coming into contact with it. You can also protect your family and friends by talking about this and spreading awareness.
One of the ways we help is by spreading awareness and donating a portion of our kombucha proceeds to a wonderful organization – Global Lyme Alliance (GLA). This organization is dedicated to conquering Lyme and tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness.
About Global Lyme Alliance
Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) is the leading 501(c)(3) dedicated to conquering Lyme disease through research, education and awareness. GLA has gained national prominence for funding the most urgent and promising research in the field, while expanding education and awareness programs for the general public and physicians. To learn more about GLA’s unrivaled focus on the science of Lyme visit GLA.org.
To learn more about Lyme disease stages and what symptoms to look out for click here.
This disease affected our Seek North family, and we want to make sure it doesn’t affect yours. Thank you for visiting our site, reading our blogs, drinking our kombucha-with-a-mission, and joining us on this journey.