Lyme disease is a common condition in the United States population, but there are many controversies surrounding its diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, many physicians do not understand how to properly diagnose and treat Lyme disease. If you’re experiencing neurological symptoms which may be the result of Lyme disease, Jeffrey Rumbaugh, MD, PhD, can help. Dr. Rumbaugh is one of the world’s leading experts in neurological manifestations of Lyme disease. He is co-chair of the panel currently updating the Infectious Disease Society of America’s Lyme Disease Treatment Guideline, representing the American Academy of Neurology on that panel, which provides expert consensus and evidence-based recommendations about everything related to human Lyme disease, from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment. Learn more about managing neurological Lyme disease at Pathway Neurology by calling the Tampa, Florida, office or by booking an appointment online.
Lyme disease is the result of an infection in which the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria travels into your bloodstream from the bite of an infected tick. This type of infection can cause fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash. If not treated properly, the infection can spread to your joints, nervous system, and heart.
In neurological Lyme disease, your symptoms could be primarily neurological, making it difficult to perform your usual tasks or your job.
The most common symptoms of neurological Lyme disease include nerve pain in your back that radiates into your legs, along with numbness and tingling in your legs and feet. Neurological Lyme disease also frequently causes a facial palsy, which is a temporary paralysis on one side of your face. Much more rarely, Lyme disease can infect the brain or spinal cord directly, causing signs or symptoms which may mimic other conditions such as multiple sclerosis or stroke.
Dr. Rumbaugh determines the best course of treatment for your condition based on your symptoms. He creates a custom treatment plan to address your specific needs. Neurological Lyme disease is a disease caused by bacteria. It is therefore highly responsive to a proper course of an appropriate antibiotic, leading to complete cure in most patients.
Even after proper treatment with antibiotics, a relatively small subset of patients may continue to experience a variety of nonspecific symptoms, which is typically termed “post Lyme syndrome”. Post-Lyme Syndrome is treated symptomatically but does not respond to additional antibiotics.
Dr. Rumbaugh can recommend physical-therapy exercises to assist with strength, coordination, and balance. He can also discuss dietary changes that can better support your immune and digestive systems.
Additionally, it’s important that you get plenty of high-quality sleep to reset your body’s functions and increase the healing process. Reducing stress through physical activity and lifestyle changes can also reduce your risk for worsening symptoms relating to Lyme disease or post Lyme syndrome.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rumbaugh, call the Tampa office today or use the online booking feature.