Lyme Disease Symptoms

If you what to know what are the symptoms of Lyme Disease, please reference the chart below. This disease spreads in the body, causing a more spread out set of symptoms in patients. The Immediate Symptoms are what you might experience when you initially get bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease (Acute Lyme Disease). The rest of the symptoms are those of Chronic Lyme Disease. If you have more than 15 of these Lyme Disease symptoms its advised that you go see a LLMD who can test you properly for Lyme. This disease is an invisible illness and often goes undiagnosed, so this checklist is a great place to start.

Early Lyme Disease symptoms

  • Flu-like illness (stiff neck, chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, joint pain)
  • Rash (it is accepted by knowledgeable Lyme professionals that the classic “bulls-eye” rash appears in as little as 10% (at most in 50%) of all Lyme patients, and even if you have the rash it is easy for it to go unnoticed
  • Bell’s palsy (weakness/paralysis in one side of the face)

Chronic Lyme Disease symptoms (Late-stage Lyme Symptoms)

*All symptoms from the early Lyme category as well as the following:

Musculoskeletal symptoms

  • Joint pain, swelling, and/or stiffness that may migrate (often misdiagnosed as just being Rheumatoid/Osteo/Juvenile arthritis but is not helped by traditional arthritis medication)
  • Bone pain
  • Neck stiffness or pain
  • Foot pain or swelling (joints and/or muscles; burning in feet, ankle pain)
  • Muscle and/or joint pain or cramps that may migrate (commonly misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia but is not helped by traditional fibromyalgia treatment/medications)
  • TMJ/Jaw pain or stiffness

Neurological symptoms

  • Twitching of the face, eyelids, or other muscles
  • Persistent, and often debilitating, headache or pressure (often described as a “brain trying to break out of skull” sensation)
  • Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations
  • Dizziness, light-headedness
  • Poor balance, difficulty walking
  • “Brain fog”: Difficulty in thinking or with concentration or reading; forgetfulness; poor short term memory; disorientation (getting lost, going to wrong places); trouble with word recall (even of commonly used words)
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Double or blurry vision; eye pain; blindness or decreased vision; increased floaters
  • Increased sensiitivity to light or sound
  • Buzzing or ringing in ears; ear pain; deafness or decreased hearing; plugged ears
  • Seizure activity; tremors; white matter lesions in brain

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty eating; lack of appetite
  • Change in bowel function (constipation, diarrhea)
  • Gastritis
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Irritable baldder or bladder dysfunction
  • Cystitis
  • Sudden-onset food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities

Cardiological/Pulmonary symptoms

  • Chest pain or rib soreness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pulse skips
  • Heart murmur or valve prolapse

Reproductive symptoms

  • Testicular pain or pelvic pain
  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Milk production (lactation)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Loss of libido

Neuropsychiatric symptoms

  • Mood swings
  • Violent outbursts; unexplained rage (“Lyme rage”)
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Distrubed sleep (too much or too little; waking early)
  • Personality changes
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • General feeling like you’re going crazy

Miscellaneous other symptoms

  • Unexplained fevers (off and on, intermittent)
  • Chills, sweats
  • Weight change (loss or gain)
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Sudden onset allergies
  • Hair loss
  • Swollen glands, sore throat, difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Frequent illness/infections

(from LymeisLame)

Tick Testing

If you pull a tick off of you the very BEST thing you can do is send the tick off for testing. The reason for this is because a lab can tell you exactly what diseases that particular tick was carrying. This will help you know what you need to look out for, or get a head start on a prophylactic antibiotic treatment. On the flip side if the tick comes back clean that can give you a piece of mind. Each state has a state run lab which you can send the tick off to, and there are also quite a few at home collection kits on the market. Most of them run about $150-300 per tick tested and varies depending on which diseases you want it checked for. That can get pricey, which is why I want to share an option with you for FREE tick testing.

The Bay Area Lyme Foundation
 is offering FREE tick testing nationwide. They have a lab which is examines the ticks and reports back to you what diseases the tick was carrying. So, why is it free? Because the use of citizen science is very helpful to scientists who need to get data collection from all over the United States. You get a tick tested for free and The Bay Area Lyme Foundation gets data about ticks nationwide for their research purposes. Note: This service is temporarily halted due to the amount of samples received. Still check and see if they offer it again. If not, then go to http://www.savethetick.com/ to find all the places/prices you can send a tick to be tested.

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