Lyme disease and its relation with autoimmune diseases
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Acute Lyme disease causes a rash, often in a pattern of bull’s-eye, and causes flu-like symptoms and turn into chronic Lyme disease. Chronic lyme disease is an inflammatory disease affecting multiple organ systems, including the nervous system, cardiovascular system, joints, and muscles.
The pathogenesis of the disease in its early stages is largely associated with the presence of viable bacteria at the site of inflammation, whereas in the later stages of the disease, chronic lyme disease has been found to be associated with various autoimmune conditions. Lyme is most challenging to identify and it often goes undiagnosed or becomes misdiagnosed as it may mimic various other disease conditions.
Thus, chronic lyme patients might also have manifestations of autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Inflammatory bowel disease. What starts off as disease-generating physical symptoms like sore joints and chest pain can get transformed into a chronic illness bearing symptoms of cognitive dysfunction, memory problems, chronic fatigue, depression, mood disorders, dysphagia, and achalasia cardia.
The conventional way to test for Lyme disease is a combination of the Lyme disease Antibodies IgG IgM, which measure specific antibodies in the blood. Treating Lyme disease involves diagnosis followed by treatment with a more natural long-term approach than just one course of antibiotics.