Babesia is a parasite and one of the infections transmitted by a tic along with Lyme disease, bartonella and mycoplasma infections. Symptoms of babesiosis are similar to those of Lyme disease but it more often starts with a high fever and chills. As the infection progresses, patients may develop fatigue, headache, sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. Babesiosis is often so mild it is not noticed but can be life-threatening to people with no spleen, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Complications include very low blood pressure, liver problems, severe hemolytic anemia (a breakdown of red blood cells), .here is a picture of the parasite (blue) infecting the red blood cells. There is a blood antibody test that can detect Babesia, and treatment involves antibiotics and antiparasite medication.
The information in this slide show is way too basic. It makes it sound like Lyme disease is a diagnosis based on a lab test to confirm your suspicion. This is not true. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms even in the absence of a bullseye rash. Unfortunately many of the ELISA And WESTERN BLOT tests are accurate if 50% at best and a negative test does not exclude the disease.
Also the slide show neglects to mention that the ticks are now carrying other infections such as Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Erhlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasma and Babesia. It complicates the clinical picture because there are multiple organisms involved.
Just testing for lyme disease is a big mistake because you may be missing all these other serious infections.
Today a 9 year old boy with seasonal allergies presented with a 2-3 month history of not wanting to eat in the morning. He feels nausea upon awakening. During the allergy season, when sneezing and symptomatic, he improves on antihistamines but doesnt take them regularly. He tolerates all his lunch and dinner meals and has a well rounded diet.
He is allergic to ragweed and grass by allergy testing and has to shower daily to get pollen and grass allergens off his body.
It seems to me- that he is having a post nasal drip with possible reflux at night that could be causing his symptoms. I plan on doing some more allergy testing including other food and environmental allergy testing. This is an interesting presentation because we tend to think of environmental allergies mostly in the spring and fall and forget that grasses are with us all summer long. Allergy to grasses can present as in this case and should be a consideration.
I recently saw a patient with a history of Lyme disease and and a bullseye rash. He had it 4 years ago and was treated with antibiotics. He came to me because of nausea, diarrhea, belly cramps. Many people are unaware that when you are bit by a tic, you can now get a number of other infections such as bartonella ( the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever) and mycoplasma species ( cause of chronic fatigue ), Anaplasma, and babesia ( a parasite). Its not just lyme alone, which makes the picture of what is going on very complicated. Sometimes the labs dont confirm what you suspect and the physician has to go based on symptoms.
Lyme is called the great imitator cause it may mimic over 300 other diseases including, crohn’s, celiac, thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus ( just to name a few). Bartonella also causes enlarged lymph nodes and may mimic appendicitis. These infections may be associated with a rash which resembles stretch marks but occurs in areas where stretch marks dont occur.
My patient had a thorough evaluation by two other Gastro specialist as well as MRI of the brain, While there was no evidence of inflammation, or active infection, these infections often cause the immune system to be activated and chemical from the immune system can affect the body in different ways. I believe in this case, his brain was affecting his gut, causing cramps and diarrhea and vomiting. His endoscopy and colonoscopy were entirely normal, ruling out other causes of nausea vomiting and diarrhea.
Another point to make is– people can get bit more than once with a tic. There are different species of infections carried by tics. One treatment and success doesnt preclude getting bit again and new symptoms or recurring symptoms. Seek out a health professional who will listen to you, believe what you are telling you, who wont dismiss you and has the persistance to pursue and refer if he doesnt know what is going on.