How Heart Gets Affected By Lyme Disease?
by Peter Dobie
Dr. Dobie is a Lyme disease treatment specialist. He specializes in integrative medicine, anti-aging medicine, cosmetic medicine, and allergy. He has had extensive training in integrative and nutritional medicine as well as wide experience in general practice.
There isn’t much connection between Lyme disease and heart diseases, but there’s a possibility that heart complications might arise if proper treatment for Lyme disease isn’t provided to a patient. You need to understand that Lyme disease is a chronic disease that might affect multiple organs, including the heart of a patient.
Different studies conducted by experts have found that Lyme disease is actually a complex of contaminations that are transferred into a human body by deer ticks and a few other insects. It can lead to flu-like symptoms, muscle, and joint pain. In fewer than 10% of Lyme cases, cardiac and neurological symptoms might occur. This happens generally when treatment is not provided or postponed for more than 1 month or more after the tick bite.
Borrelia is bacteria involved in Lyme disease, and it attacks the heart muscle and leads to a problem called as carditis or infection in the heart tissues. If proper treatment is not provided on time, then it can cause a blockage in the heart. This happens when the electrical signal of the heart is disrupted. This might occur in different levels of seriousness, assigned as the first, second, and third levels of heart block.
Atrioventricular block, which is the third-degree heart block is the most extreme one and may need the pacemaker implantation, which manages the pulse and re-establishes the basic work of the heart.
Abnormal heart rhythms might happen when the conduction of the heart’s electrical signal isn’t working properly. A standout among them is atrial fibrillation, in which the heart beats quickly and leads to palpitations, trouble in breathing, and dizziness.
Medication is used to treat atrial fibrillation, which regulates the heartbeat and allows the heart to pump more effectively. When the heart is pumping too fast, blood can pool in the heart, this is why blood-thinning medication is generally required. Clots created in the heart can go to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolus, or to the brain, leading to a stroke.
If a person is suffering from heart disease already, a method known as cardiovascular catheterization might be required to open the clogged arteries of the heart. This helps to improve the blood flow to the heart. A surgical procedure known as coronary artery bypass graft is done when multiple arteries of a patient’s heart become clogged and need to be opened by performing ‘open-heart’ surgery. When heart valves get damage because of Lyme disease or any other heart disease, valve replacements might also be done by the doctor.
Heart problems caused by Lyme disease are uncommon and can be avoided by simply providing treatment for Lyme disease as early as possible.
If treatment is provided immediately, not all cardiovascular problems result in congestive heart failure. If heart complexities do happen, then even medications and a healthy diet can prove to be highly effective in helping people to live a long and quality life.
In case, any Lyme disease patient starts experiencing dizziness, palpitations, swelling in hands & feet, fainting, and shortness of breath, then they should immediately visit a Lyme disease specialist or any nearest doctor who can offer reliable treatment.