Why is Lyme Disease a Parasitic Infection?

Why is Lyme Disease a Parasitic Infection?

Oct 13, 2023Mary Raleigh

Parasitic Transmission of Lyme Disease Through Ticks

Lyme disease is classified as a parasitic infection because it is transmitted through tick bites. Ticks are arachnids that feed on the blood of animals, including humans. The most common bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is carried by certain species, such as the black-legged or deer tick. When an infected tick bites a human, it transfers the bacteria into the bloodstream, leading to Lyme disease. This parasitic nature of the disease highlights the dependence on ticks for its transmission.

The life cycle of the tick further emphasizes the parasitic nature of Lyme disease. Ticks go through various stages of development, including larva, nymph, and adult. During each stage, ticks require a blood meal to progress to the next stage. If an infected tick feeds on a host during these stages, it can transmit the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, causing Lyme disease. This reliance on a blood meal from a host during the nymph stage when ticks are smaller and harder to detect is a classic parasitic behavior of Lyme disease.

How a Parasitic Tick Infection Affects Humans

The symptoms and damaging effects of Lyme disease illustrate its classification as a parasitic infection. Once the bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can spread to various organs and tissues, causing multiple symptoms, including fatigue, fever, joint pain, and neurological problems.

Lyme disease can lead to more severe complications, such as heart and nervous system disorders if left untreated. The ability of the bacteria to invade and affect multiple systems within the body reflects the parasitic nature of the infection. At Restoration Healthcare, our physicians specialize in treating patients with Lyme disease at any stage of infection. Few realize that the severity of the symptoms has little to do with how the bacteria can damage the body. Some people experience very few symptoms yet will become very ill. Read more on the signs and disease progression.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The following are some of the symptoms associated with Lyme Disease. Not everyone will respond the same way to a tick bite, so it is critical to seek medical help immediately, no matter how ill you feel.

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Digestive and bowel disorders
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Autoimmune reactions

The doctors at Restoration Healthcare are experienced in treating Lyme Disease and Long Lyme, which is caused by unresolved Lyme Disease complications. Our integrative physicians examine and diagnose each patient independently and provide a comprehensive plan of care based on an individual’s response to treatment. We do not use a one-size, single approach to treating any complex chronic illness at our clinics.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Lyme disease is considered a parasitic infection due to its transmission through ticks, the reliance on ticks for its life cycle, and the symptoms and effects it causes within the human body. If you live in Orange County or Los Angeles and believe a tick has bitten you or a family member and may have Lyme Disease, please inquire about becoming a patient or contact us at (949) 535-2322. Learn more here.

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