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Difference between Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

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Old 11-11-2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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Rani HB User
Difference between Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

How do you tell the difference between Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? Has anyone ever had it? They call it "Tick Fever" here in North Carolina. I just moved to the WORST area for it in the country. It really shouldn't be call "Rocky Mountain". It should be called "North Carolina Spotted Fever" since, according to the CDC website, this state has the highest incidence of the disease. I think a lot of cases here are misdiagnosed as Lyme Disease since Lyme disease has had the most press. I am so scared of it. If anyone has had it and got through it okay I would love to hear your experience with it. It may take the demons out of it for me. Thanks.

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Old 11-11-2007, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Difference between Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.

Hi Rani, welcome to the board!

Do you have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? I do not know a lot about it, but from what I understand symptoms can come on quickly. About half the people who have RMSF get a spotty rash that resembles measels. Other symptoms can overlap with Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease in the US after AIDS and the number one vector-borne disease in the US. Nationwide, I think it is more prevalent that RMSF.

Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.

Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Swollen glands
Sore throat
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Upset stomach
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Lightheadedness, wooziness
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

When these diseases are a possibility, it is very important to see a kowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab.

Besides Lyme and RMSF, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.

It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses (on-line). He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease
(2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner. This book has a lot of useful information, including information on RMSF.

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