As a rule, the sooner Lyme disease is properly diagnosed and treated, the better.

Keep in mind that you may not remember having been bitten by a tick. In fact, many Lyme victims never recall having been bitten.  And to complicate matters, ticks secrete an anesthetic-like substance in their saliva that numbs the skin, meaning that you may not feel a bite either.

Stay alert to your symptoms and write them down. Knowing your symptoms can be a critical factor in determining your treatment when you talk to your doctor.

Antibiotics

The most common treatment for early-stage Lyme disease is antibiotics, prescribed by your doctor.  The specific type of antibiotic varies for each patient, and by the stage and severity of the infection and any co-infections. Antibiotic treatment is also different for children and pregnant women.

Typically, oral antibiotics are prescribed but in some more severe cases intravenous or intramuscular treatment will be necessary. Standard oral antibiotics include doxycycline for adults, and amoxicillin or cefuroxime axetil for younger children and pregnant or nursing women. Prescriptions are typically for a 14-21 day course of treatment.  Intravenous antibiotics are used less often except in extreme cases because of the risk of side effects.

Naturopathic Treatment

In addition to antibiotics, many health experts recommend natural holistic or homeopathic treatments. These treatments can strengthen the body’s ability to repair itself, particularly once it has been weakened by antibiotics, and to flush toxins from its system.  Herbal antimicrobials and immune support including supplements such as B12, coenzyme Q10, chromium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and other herbs have been shown to improve energy and help with cellular repair. Other common treatments include dietary and nutritional realignment and acupuncture.

Recurrence

Even if you have been cured, you can get Lyme disease again if an infected tick bites you. Prevention will always continue to be the most important factor in limiting the spread of Lyme disease.

Post-Treatment Lyme Disease

In some cases symptoms persist even after the antibiotic treatment has run its course.  This condition is referred to as post-treatment Lyme disease (PTLD) or sometimes “chronic Lyme.” Learn more about post-treatment Lyme disease.