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Lyme Disease Specialist

Spring Valley Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD

Lyme disease is a serious condition that’s often misdiagnosed due to the complexity of its symptoms. At Spring Valley Internal Medicine in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland, the team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. The medical team offers comprehensive care that focuses on easing the severity of your symptoms and protecting your general health and quality of life. To learn more about treatment options for Lyme disease, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Lyme Disease Q & A

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection that develops due to bacterium known as a Borrelia burgdorferi, which ticks carry. When a tick has an infection, it can pass it along to humans and animals through a bite.

The bacterial infection can travel through your bloodstream and settle into your body tissues. When not properly treated, the infection can cause a variety of symptoms that can linger forever.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

A hallmark symptom of early-stage Lyme disease is a widespread rash that develops within a week or two after a bite from an infected tick. As the rash develops, you may also experience a wide range of symptoms like:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic fatigue

Typically, the infection continues to spread to other areas of your body, and you may experience a worsening of your symptoms and tingling or numbness sensations in your arms and legs. In some cases, paralysis in your face can occur.

In later stages of Lyme disease, you may develop more serious side effects, including:

  • Intense headaches
  • Cardiac issues
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Chronic joint and muscle pain
  • Brain fog

Because symptoms in early-stage Lyme disease are similar to common colds and flu, you may not seek a timely diagnosis or you may be misdiagnosed.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

If you discover a tick on your body, be sure to follow proper protocol for removing it, using tweezers to grasp it as close to your skin surface as possible. 

Use steady pressure and pull upwards. Once it’s out, place it in a sandwich bag, and clean your skin with rubbing alcohol. Then, schedule an evaluation at Spring Valley Internal Medicine.

The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine also recommends diagnostic testing if you have a rash or other symptoms of Lyme disease. Testing involves specialized blood testing to detect antibodies against the bacteria.

How is Lyme disease treated?

Treatment for Lyme disease involves a course of antibiotics, and your dosage depends on how advanced your condition is. You may need to take oral antibiotics along with supplements to attempt to eliminate the bacteria from the body.

Your Spring Valley Internal Medicine provider customizes your treatment to meet your needs. In addition to antibiotics, they recommend holistic strategies to ease swelling, joint pain, and fatigue associated with Lyme disease as quickly as possible.

If you have symptoms of Lyme disease or discover a recent tick bite, don’t delay a diagnostic evaluation. Call Spring Valley Internal Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.