Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can affect anyone. This review will tell you about this disease, its vulnerability and how it can be diagnosed. Home testing is a convenient option for the people who do not want to visit a doctor or a lab. It helps you with an early diagnosis and treatment.
Lyme disease and why you get infected
Lyme disease is an infectious disorder, caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). It is a spirochete and infection can involve multiple organs. Most commonly involved organs and organ systems include nervous system, skin, heart and musculoskeletal system. It usually spreads through tick bites and that is why it is more common in areas where insect bites are common (1).
Lyme disease Symptoms and the Danger of Lyme disease
There are various general and specific symptoms of this disease. Some important symptoms are listed below.
- Erythema migrans (migrating red spots)
- Muscle aches (myalgias)
- Joint pains (arthralgias)
These are the symptoms of localized disease. It can become disseminated, leading to more severe symptoms. Disseminated disease manifests as neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular symptoms. It also leads to multiple erythema migrans skin lesion. It can even become life-threatening. (2).
Importance of Testing for Lyme disease
As described earlier, Lyme disease is a multi-system disease and multiple organ systems get involved in the later stages of the disease. This has its own complications and can be even life-threatening. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics on the right time has proven to be essential for a good prognosis. (3) That is why it is necessary to test for Lyme disease as soon as you notice any of the above listed symptoms in you. Early symptoms of Lyme disease can be non-specific and confusing so only testing can help make an early diagnosis that further assures a good prognosis.
Home Testing for Lyme disease
There are many home test kits available in the market that provide you with the convenience of testing for Lyme disease at your home. They are accurate and sensitive and give results in a short time. They are available online and hence you do not need to step out of your home. Following are the steps to test for Lyme disease at home.
- Order an appropriate Lyme disease home test kit online
- Once it is delivered at your home, read the instructions carefully and see the equipment
- Collect your blood sample using equipment and follow the instructions or take the kit to the nearest lab to get sampled
- Interpret results
Types of Home Test Kits for Lyme disease on the Market today
There are different kind of kits available in the market. Some of them can be used to take a blood sample on your own, while others require a lab visit.
Some kits are more accurate than others and it is always good to perform more than one tests using different kits so there are least chances of an error.
Tick Home Test Kits
Following are some available test kits with good accuracy.
What to do when you have Lyme disease?
Once you are diagnosed with the disease, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid dissemination and complications. Your doctor recommends you an appropriate antibiotic and cure time depends on extent of the disease.
Lyme disease is an infection that can prove fatal. There are many symptoms of this disease and the early symptoms are usually general. If a person travels or lives in an area where tick bites are common, a test should be taken as soon as symptoms of this disease appear.
Home test kits are a perfect option for initial testing and provide a chance to take a test from home. Once you test positive, immediately contact your doctor and get treated.
1. Grażyna Biesiada – 2012-10-08- Lyme disease: review – Arch Med Sci. –
2. Bratton RL – 2008 – Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease – NCBI –
3. Thomas S. Murray – 2010 – Lyme Disease – NCBI –