Lyme disease causes a wide range of symptoms including rashes, fatigue, and body aches. At Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition in Century City, Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP, ABIHM, and his team diagnose Lyme disease and offer customized treatments combining the best of Western and integrative medicine to heal your body and improve your overall health. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
Lyme Disease Q & A
Q: What is Lyme disease?
A: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection usually caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii in the United States. Lyme disease is also a vector-borne illness, which means it’s spread through insects and parasites such as ticks, fleas, or mosquitos, which are classified as vectors.
In the United States, Lyme disease is usually spread by deer ticks that carry the bacteria. Infections from the Babesia and Bartonella bacteria can cause similar symptoms. Your risk of contracting Lyme disease is higher if you spend time outside in grassy or wooded areas without wearing sufficient protective clothing or insect repellant.
Q: What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
A: One of the tell-tale signs of Lyme disease is a bulls-eye shaped rash called erythema migrans. The rash tends to expand slowly and can eventually reach 12 inches in diameter. In addition to the rash, Lyme disease also causes:
- Neck stiffness
- Body aches
- Fever and chills
- Swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, Lyme disease can contribute to other issues such as joint pain and neurological problems such as meningitis, Bell’s palsy, or numbness or weakness in your limbs. Lyme disease can also lead to liver inflammation and heart problems.
Q: How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
A: Lyme disease symptoms are similar to those caused by a wide range of other illnesses, so Dr. Rahbar and his team use a variety of tests to reach a Lyme diagnosis.
For example, they may use the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test to detect antibodies for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. If your ELISA test is positive, your doctor may use a Western blot test to confirm your diagnosis by checking for additional antibodies to the bacteria.
Q: How is Lyme disease treated?
A: At Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Dr. Rahbar combines Western and integrative medicine to treat Lyme disease.
For example, while antibiotics can help your body fight off the infection, Dr. Rahbar will also provide dietary and nutritional advice and supplements to improve your health and protect your digestive tract from the antibiotics. He may also suggest treatments to detox your body and reduce inflammation, which will enhance your overall health and improve your energy levels.
If you’re concerned about Lyme disease or are living with chronic fatigue, body aches, and other unexplained symptoms, call Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition or make an appointment online today.