• Alec Baldwin has talked about the symptoms of Lyme disease for 20 years.
  • He was bedridden with cold sweats, joint pain, body aches and exhaustion from multiple tick bites. He still suffers today from “inexplicable” joint pain.
  • It is estimated that 476,000 people contract Lyme disease each year in the United States.

    Alec Baldwin dreams of enjoying a summer outdoors without worrying about Lyme disease. But after being bitten by a tick 20 years ago and enduring long-term symptoms of the disease, he just can’t get rid of his anxiety.

    the 30 Rock the star recently spoke about her experience with the disease on the Hypochondriac podcast hosted by Sean Hayes and Priyanka Wali, MD, but first mentioned her struggle with Lyme in a 2011 interview with The New York Times.

    “I think twice I had it, I got bitten twice and I probably had it four times in five years where it came back at exactly the same time,” he explained. Each time, he says he was bedridden with cold sweats, joint pain, body aches and exhaustion.

    “One summer in August, I was standing on my friend’s porch at night, and it was a cool evening – it wasn’t a hot, scorching night – and I literally felt this wave pass over my back and on my shoulders and somehow wrap around me. me like a thrill, and I just got attacked. It came as if someone snapped their fingers and cast a spell on me, “the actor recalls. And the symptoms returned over the following summers.

    “I had the same thing every August,” he said. “I got bitten, then got it again the following August, and got bitten again. I got it the following August and it kept coming back. He added that even today he sometimes has “inexplicable” joint pain.

    Lyme disease, caused by B. burgdorferi bacteria transmitted by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, is often reported as a bull’s eye rash at the bite site, but not always. Flu-like symptoms like fatigue, fever, headache and muscle aches are also common. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a blood test is usually required to confirm a diagnosis.

    In most cases, symptoms will go away within three to four weeks with the help of antibiotics. But in an estimate 10 to 20% of others, they can linger and resurface, known as Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). In the PTLDS, patients have been officially diagnosed with Lyme disease, which means they suffered a tick bite or bull’s eye rash, and treated with antibiotics, but suffer from lasting symptoms.

    However, Baldwin believes he suffers from chronic Lyme. This differs from PTLDS in that it can be used to describe cases where a B. burgdorferi the infection was never officially diagnosed, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

    Because this definition is so broad, many doctors do not support chronic Lyme disease as a diagnosis. “It’s very controversial whether this actually exists,” Dr Wali said on the podcast. “It is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. There are nearly 300,000 people who suffer from it every year and many of them do not recover. It is a real phenomenon that is happening. (The CDC recently updated this estimate, which is now closer to 476,000.)

    Despite the skepticism and controversy, Alec and his wife Hilaria are taking no chances, especially when it comes to their six children. The family lives in the Hamptons, New York, where Alec says it’s “the center of the tick” every summer.

    “When we have a very mild winter here, the ticks are beyond it,” he explained. “My wife finds a tick on one of my children and she says, ‘That’s it. The hiking season is over. She just finished the hiking season.

    He wishes it didn’t have to be this way. “I want my kids to grow up riding and cycling and having fun every day and not having to spend every day with us examining them with a magnifying glass to make sure they don’t have ticks on them. their bodies or their dogs, but it’s part of the way of life where I live, ”he admitted.

    According to People, the actor works with the Lyme Bay Region Foundation fundraising for disease research in the hope that one day he can get more answers.

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