How Debbie Gibson's Lyme Disease affects her DWTS rehearsals?

Lyme disease can leave someone's energy level zapped without any notice.

“There are days where I’ve been feeling not so well and dealing with ankle pain and knee pain or something’s not working right, but in pushing through it safely, that’s when some of the best progress [is] made,” Gibson said.

Gibson refuses to let her Lyme disease keep her from competing on DWTS.

“I don’t want to stay home and rest. I’ve done enough of that,” she said. “I’m ready to move!”

Early signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease can be mild and easily overlooked. According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, the first symptom is usually an expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM, in medical terms) which is thought to occur in 80% to 90% of all Lyme Disease cases.

An EM rash generally has the following characteristics:

Usually (but not always) radiates from the site of the tickbite

Appears either as a solid red expanding rash or blotch, OR a central spot surrounded by clear skin that is in turn ringed by an expanding red rash (looks like a bull’s-eye)

Appears an average of 1 to 2 weeks (range = 3 to 30 days) after disease transmission

Has an average diameter of 5 to 6 inches (range = 2 inches to 2 feet)

Persists for about 3 to 5 weeks

May or may not be warm to the touch

Is usually not painful or itchy

Multiple rashes may, in some cases, appear elsewhere on the body sometime after the initial rash, or, in a few cases, in the absence of an initial rash.

Around the time the rash appears, other symptoms such as joint pains, chills, fever, and fatigue are common, but they may not seem serious enough to require medical attention. These symptoms may be brief, only to recur as a broader spectrum of symptoms as the disease progresses.

As the Lyme Disease spirochete continues spreading through the body, a number of other symptoms including severe fatigue, a stiff, aching neck, and peripheral nervous system (PNS) involvement such as tingling or numbness in the extremities or facial palsy (paralysis) can occur.

The more severe, potentially debilitating symptoms of later-stage LD may occur weeks, months, or, in a few cases, years after a tick bite. These can include severe headaches, painful arthritis and swelling of joints, cardiac abnormalities, and central nervous system (CNS) involvement leading to cognitive (mental) disorders.

Tip! Learn 6 Prevention and Treatment Tips for Lyme Disease at MedicineNet.

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