What Happens If Lyme Disease Is Left Untreated?

What Happens If Lyme Disease Is Left Untreated?

Mar 16, 2023

As winter gives way to spring, the deer ticks in Buffalo, New York, or anywhere in Western New York are abundant and active. And many of them carry Lyme disease — a serious bacterial infection. If you get bitten, early treatment is critical.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. The source is caused by the bite of an infected tick. It’s one of North America’s most common tick-borne illnesses, and it can have significant consequences if left untreated. If you live in any of the areas surrounding Buffalo, New York, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with Lyme disease and to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you think you may be infected.

Fortunately, Dr. Kim Howes, our Lyme disease specialist at OWM Integrative Wellness in Buffalo, New York, is one of the country’s leading experts on diagnosing and treating acute and chronic Lyme disease. Here, she explains the dangers of ignoring your symptoms and allowing Lyme disease to go untreated.

Chronic Infection

Without early treatment,  Lyme disease can become a chronic infection that can last for months or even years. Chronic infections are difficult to treat and often cause persistent symptoms, such as fatigue, joint pain, and cognitive problems. You may experience difficulty with work or school due to ongoing symptoms.

Additionally, chronic Lyme disease can lead to long-term health problems, such as arthritis, heart issues called Lyme carditis, and neurological complications. These conditions can be debilitating and may require long-term medical care to manage them effectively.

Secondary Conditions

Lyme disease can also cause secondary conditions, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

These conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life and may require their own treatments in addition to those used for treating the underlying infection.

Some researchers also suspect a link between Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Although we’ve yet to identify the exact causes of these two debilitating conditions, most experts agree that a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically in the connections between the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, and the adrenal glands.

Since Lyme disease can affect your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, it may also be the culprit behind CFS and fibromyalgia.

These secondary conditions can also make it more difficult to manage your Lyme disease since you’re also dealing with multiple overlapping symptoms.

Lyme disease treatments

Lyme disease is still a mystery to many physicians, so it’s essential to consult an expert like Dr. Howes, a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. She offers the most advanced, evidence-based treatments for Lyme disease, including:

  • IV support
  • IV ozone
  • Ultraviolet irradiation
  • Hyperthermia

Here at OWM our treatments aim to stimulate your body’s natural healing properties and address underlying immunity issues through integrative and naturopathic medicine.

The bottom line is that leaving Lyme disease untreated can have significant consequences for your health in the short and long term. If you live in Western New York or anywhere else where ticks are common, it’s essential to pay attention to signs of infection after being bitten by a tick and seek medical treatment immediately.

Early diagnosis and treatment are critical if you contract Lyme Disease. If you suspect you have symptoms of Lyme disease, talk to Dr. Howes about your health concerns. If you plan on taking walks where deer ticks are common, be certain to take steps to minimize your risk of developing Lyme disease.

Contact OWM Integrative Wellness online or by phone to schedule an appointment.

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