Here’s why Lyme disease is all over the internet and what you need to know about it!

Updated on:9 January 2020, 17:45pm IST
Pop singer Justin Bieber took to Instagram to reveal that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Read everything about the condition here.
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Lyme disease can impact one’s overall health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Pop sensation Justin Bieber has revealed that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Alec Baldwin and model Bella Hadid are two other high-profile celebrities who suffer from this condition.

Bieber took to his Instagram account to reveal the news, writing that while a lot of people kept saying that Bieber looked like he was on meth, they did not realise that he had been “recently diagnosed with Lyme disease” and that he had a “serious case of chronic mono” as well, which affected his skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borreliaburgdorferi bacteria that is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick.
The tick needs to be present on the human skin for at least 36 hours to transmit the infection.

Lyme disease was first recognised in 1975, in the town of Old Lyme in Connecticut, US and is more frequent among people who live or spend time in wooded areas.

what is Lyme disease
Justin Bieber reveals he’s battling Lyme disease.
GIF courtesy: GIPHY

Symptoms of Lyme disease

Lyme disease is commonly divided into three stages and the symptoms include:

  • Flat, circular rash that looks like a red oval on the body
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache

The common symptoms of Lyme disease also include sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment of Lyme disease

Lyme disease must be treated with antibiotics. An oral antibiotics course for two to four weeks can help kill the infection.

However, a collaborative study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School and International Alzheimer Research Centre found that about 10–20% of patients continue suffering from chronic symptoms. This is described as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

The same study highlights that while the reason for it is still debated, it could be that all the bacteria are not killed by the current Lyme antibiotics and remain active in the system and essential oils that have antimicrobial activities could help in reducing symptoms.

However, the study highlighted that only cinnamon bark, clove bud, and oregano essential oils killed the bacteria without any regrowth and that there is no study on humans to decipher the same.

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