Keeping kids Lyme free

When you were little, your mom probably strapped your sandals on your feet and dressed you in shorts before she sent you out to the backyard to play. Now, if you live in a region where Lyme is rampant, and you're aware of the trouble caused by Lyme disease symptoms, you're likely to cover up your kids from head to toe and spray them down with bug repellent before sending them outside.

Although you may feel the need to take more precautions if you live near wooded areas where deer that harbor ticks roam, the reality is that ticks are found even in urban neighborhoods. Anywhere grasses or shrubs grow, ticks can hide. Ticks need warm-blooded animals or people to give them a ride and a hot dinner. They cannot get around very far by themselves, so they hang out on the tips of branches, leafy bushes, grasses, and hop on when they sense a convenient critter walking by.

Lyme disease is a growing endemic, and prevention is the best medicine. Keep your kids protected when you send them out to play, and make sure older children are taking precautions, especially as they head out to the woods and trails for hiking and playing.

Alzheimer's and Lyme Disease

Alzheimer's and Lyme share many symptoms, an unfortunate circumstance that can result in misdiagnoses for elderly people whose caregivers suspect senility. The Alzheimer's Disease Association lists changes in mood or behavior, disorientation of time and place, and an inability to concentrate among the warning signals of the disease. Symptoms may also include problems with abstract thinking and difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as buckling a belt or preparing a simple meal.

Brain dysfunction or dementia, what used to be called 'senility', are commonly recognized as disabilities that afflict older citizens. Other potential signals of Lyme are joint pain, dizziness, and muscle aches, which are common complaints among seniors. For generations, the prevailing notion has been that old people simply tend toward absent-mindedness, arthritis and fatigue. Therefore, older people's symptoms are less likely to signal anything out of the ordinary to a doctor or health care practitioner. Doctors may easily miss the warning signs of Lyme, instead giving the patient a catch-all diagnoses such as Alzheimer's, heart disease or lupus. Seniors have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's, when the real problem is Lyme disease.

Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the Borreliosis bacteria, the bugs that cause the effects of Lyme disease. However, undetected by medical professionals, the patients are unlikely to get the medicine they need. Without proper treatment, Lyme can have devastating effects.