Lyme disease in children

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Lyme disease in children is of special character because they often cannot explain and show what is wrong with them. They suffer when they feel pain when they have a disturbed sleep or when they are struggling with problems at school and when they do not want to play. They may feel confused, lost and betrayed by parents and teachers who often do not realize what health problems their child is facing.

Because the symptoms of Lyme disease can be very unspecific, unclear and changeable, parents may not even be aware of the severity of the problem. Children with Lyme often have problems at school because the disease contributes to learning difficulties and behaviour. Children are particularly vulnerable to tick-borne diseases and various infections, because they play football and play on the grass, cuddle to animals and often put various dirty items into their mouths.

Lyme disease in children can affect almost every part of the body, including the central and peripheral nervous system, heart, brain, muscles, joints, skin and eyes. The symptom of wandering joint pain that appears and disappears,which is a hallmark of Lyme disease. Symptoms may appear soon after infection or may occur after several months or even years. The early stages of the disease are usually manifested by flu-like symptoms, but specific symptoms such as Bell’s facial palsy or a rash called erythema migrans, which is a clear indicator of Lyme disease, may also appear.

Lyme disease can cause a wide range of physical, psychological and cognitive symptoms, it can be particularly difficult to identify in children and adolescents. It is difficult for small children to describe how they feel, especially when symptoms disappear and change. It is not uncommon that the symptoms of the disease are confused with periods of puberty and developmental stages that often affect the behavior and personality of the child. Doctors who suspect Lyme disease in children often advise parents to observe the behaviour of their child for symptoms.

SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN

*Fatigue. This symptom is common. Fatigue can be temporary or continuous. It happens that a child may suddenly experience poor strength, may be unable to do physical exercise, and even the fun of which he once enjoyed. Children experience a certain variability, an energetic and enjoying toddler can become to shadow of himself in just one blink of an eye , there may be exhaustion and symptoms of bedridden disease.
*Arthralgia. As a rule, it is migrating and can move between different joints. The intensity of the pain itself can be different and disappear. The disease attacks larger joints including knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. The joints do not have to be swollen and red. Sometimes it happens that pain can also occur in smaller joints such as the fingers, wrists, hands, ankles and feet. The pain may extend to the child’s neck and back.
* Pain and muscle weakness. Muscle pain is often generalized and usually does not have one location. Children may have morning stiffness and muscle weakness that affect their ability to do sports or physical activity. They may feel muscle stiffness, neck and upper back pain. Some children are unable to walk because of muscle weakness.
* Migraine and headaches. Young children often describe headaches as a general pain or pressure.
* Fever and night sweats.
* Sleep disorders. A child may sleep too much or may have difficulty falling asleep. Night fears or fears of sleep may appear.
* Gastrointestinal pain. Abdominal pain may occur, including nausea and other digestive problems.
* Urinary problems. A child may feel pain while urinating or there may be a problem with frequent urination. Bladder dysfunction often develops and urinary incontinence may occur.
* Irritability and impulsiveness. Children may have low tolerance for frustration and difficulty in concentrating. In children, the ADHD syndrome may appear, the child becomes hyperactive, it can often cry and show internal anxiety.
* Bursts of aggression / anger. Parents often see a change in the child’s behaviour from day to day. Behavioural outbursts  or mood swings are atypical and uncaused.
* Brain fog. Children become more forgetful. Memory is short-lived and weak. Sick children have difficulty processing information. There is slow thinking.
* Hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch and taste. The child can be very sensitive to light, sounds, touch or flavours. Everyday sounds can make your child uncomfortable. Children can get angry when they are affected.

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