Lyme disease: Symptoms to watch out for if bitten by ticks
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The entrepreneur from Birmingham is estimated to be worth over one and a half billion pounds. Despite the family’s immense wealth, the Caudwells have been just as vulnerable to the tick-borne illness as anybody else. In a recent interview, he said he felt “powerless to help” his son who suffered severely from the condition. Caudwell himself was infected with the disease as well.
“There were many, many, many times when we thought we’d lost him,” the entrepreneur said on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
“We used to have, 24/7, people in his bedroom in case he tried to kill himself.
“He’s many times since said the only thing that kept him alive was because we were fighting so hard for him and loved him so much.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is carried by spider-like creatures, known as ticks, in woodland areas.
A lot is unknown about the disease and there is a long list of symptoms that people have reported after infection, including depression and suicidal thoughts.
However, the symptoms listed on the NHS website are a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery, headache, muscle and joint pain, and tiredness and loss of energy.
Caudwell and his family were diagnosed with Lyme disease back in 2014.
Talking to Forbes, he described the disease as “nasty” and “worse than demoralising… incredibly debilitating”.
“I had to fight … to get through the day, [suffering a] huge lack of energy, brain fog, and memory issues”.
Despite their battle with the disease, Caudwell thinks he is lucky and has a lot of empathy for others with the disease. His son Rufus is all clear of the disease now.
“He is doing brilliantly now… It’s never ever too late. You can come back from the most horrendous situation in life,” Caudwell said on the podcast.
Many big-timers in the entertainment world have opened up about their Lyme disease, including Justin Bieber, Alec Baldwin, and Ben Stiller.
The British Medical Journal has recently recognised the disease as the fastest-spreading vector-borne disease in Europe – although it is also under-researched.
A study from 2019 published by the journal found that cases of tick-borne Lyme disease in the UK may be three times higher than previous estimates. It suggested that cases might have topped 8000 in 2019.
Caudwell, who has been campaigning for many years to raise awareness of the disease, said to Forbes that Lyme disease “destroys people’s lives completely”.
“Some people are not able to get out of bed … people are complete and utter invalids,” he added.
He recommended that people should focus on eating healthy rather than relying on medical professionals as they “don’t have an immediate cure”. He said: “Look at everything you can do to build up your immune system.”
Although Caudwell takes this position, the NHS prescribes antibiotics to treat the disease and have seen widespread success at treating the condition.
Avoiding Lyme disease infection
According to the researchers, there are several things you can do to avoid a Lyme disease infection.
These include avoiding dense vegetation in moist and humid environments, using insect repellent on skin and clothing, tucking trousers into socks, and searching for ticks to remove after hiking.
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