What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Acupuncture, Integrative Medicine, & Functional Medicine located in Scottsdale , AZ

Symptoms of Lyme disease may include ongoing fatigue, pain, increased sensitivity to light and sound, difficulty remembering things or concentrating, fevers or sweats that come and go, sensitivity to chemicals (of all sorts), and depression or anxiety. Lyme disease almost always occurs with a co-infection, and the symptoms that present themselves are often due to the other bacterial, parasitic, or viral co-infection(s) and less from the Lyme Disease.

The real problem is that all of these symptoms can change on a weekly — or even daily — basis, making diagnosis challenging. Most physicians look only at what is presenting itself right now, and that can lead to a misdiagnosis. Some of the ailments Lyme disease can mirror include chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, fibromyalgia, arthritis, autoimmune disorders including lupus, irritable bowel syndrome or disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, chronic headaches, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and even hormonal issues. Worse are the people who don’t even go to the doctor because they think it’s all in their head — or fear the doctor will tell them as much. There is hope!

General Early Signs and Symptoms:

Erythema Chronicum Migrans (EM), also called the Bull’s Eye Rash, may be seen at the bite site. However a rash (of any kind) is only found in ~25% of patients, making initial diagnosis challenging for conventional doctors. The bite may have come from a tick, mosquito, flea, or mite making identification even more challenging. Other Types of Rashes anywhere on the body may also occur (rash at other than bite site signals disseminated disease).

  • Fever and Flu like Symptoms/Illness.
  • General: unexplained fevers (off & on), chills, sweats, weight change (loss or gain), fatigue, tiredness, hair loss, swollen glands, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swelling around the eyes.
  • Cardiac/Pulmonary: chest pain or rib soreness, air hunger like shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pulse skips and/or heart murmur.
  • Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting, difficulty eating, change in bowel function, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, abdominal cramping, irritable bladder, bladder dysfunction, or cystitis (irritable bladder).
  • Musculoskeletal: joint/muscle pain in feet, swelling in toes or balls of feet, ankle pain, burning in feet, shin splints, joint pain and/or swelling, stiffness of the joints, neck or back, muscle pain or cramps that may migrate, neck creaks and cracks, neck stiffness, TMJ/Jaw Pain (Temporomandibular Joint). Classic diagnostic sign is muscle and/or joint aches that wander/travel around from site to site.
  • Neurological: twitching of the face, eyelids, or other muscles, headache, tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) dizziness, poor balance, increased motion sickness, light-headedness, wooziness, difficulty walking, tremor, confusion, difficulty in thinking or with concentration or reading, forgetfulness, poor short term memory, disorientation (getting lost, going to wrong place), difficulty with speech, double or blurry vision, eye pain, blindness, increased floaters, increased sensitivity to light or sound, buzzing or ringing in ears, ear pain, deafness, seizure activity, white matter lesions in brain, low blood pressure.
  • Neuropsychiatric: mood swings, violent outbursts, irritability, depression, disturbed sleep (too much or too little, early awakening), personality changes, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), paranoia, panic anxiety attack, hallucinations.
  • Reproductive: testicular pain or pelvic pain, menstrual irregularity, milk production (lactation), sexual dysfunction, loss of libido.

These medical conditions may in some cases be caused by or related to Lyme Disease and co-infections:

  • Abdominal pseudo-eventration
  • Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA)
  • Acute Acral Ischemia
  • Acute conduction disorders
  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Acute exogenous psychosis
  • Acute meningitis
  • Acute myelo-meningo-radiculitis
  • Acute peripheral facial palsy
  • Acute perimyocarditis
  • Acute pyogenic arthritis
  • Acute reversible diffuse conduction system disease
  • Acute transitory auriculoventricular block
  • Acute transverse myelitis
  • Acute urinary retention
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Algodystrophy
  • Allergic conditions
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Alopecia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS: Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Amyotrophy
  • Anamnesis
  • Anetoderma
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Antepartum fever
  • Anxiety
  • Arrhythmia
  • Arthralgia
  • Arthritis
  • Asymmetrical hearing loss
  • Atraumatic spontaneous hemarthrosis
  • Atrioventricular block
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • AUTISM (ASD)
  • Bannwarth’s Syndrome
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Benign cutaneous lymphocytoma
  • Benign lymphocytic infiltration (Jessner-Kanof)
  • Bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bilateral facial nerve palsy
  • Bilateral follicular conjunctivitis
  • Bilateral keratitis
  • Bilateral papilloedema
  • Biphasic meningoencephalitis
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brain tumor
  • Brown recluse spider bite
  • Brown-Sequard syndrome
  • Cardiac Disease
  • Cardiomegaly
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Carditis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Catatonic syndrome
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Central vestibular syndrome
  • Cerebellitis
  • Cerebral atrophy
  • Cerebro-vascular disease (CVD)
  • Cervical facet syndrome
  • Cheilitis granulomatosa
  • Chiasmal optic neuritis
  • Chorea
  • Choriocapillaritis
  • Chronic encephalomyelitis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Chronic muscle weakness
  • Chronic urticaria
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Cogan’s syndrome
  • Collagenosis
  • Complete flaccid paraplegia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Concomitant neuroretinitis
  • Conduction disorder
  • Conus medullaris syndrome
  • Coronary aneurysm
  • Cortical blindness
  • Coxitis
  • Cranial Neuritis
  • Cranial polyneuritis
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma
  • Dementia
  • Demyelinating disorders
  • Depression
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Diaphragmatic paralysis
  • Diffuse fasciitis
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Diplopia
  • Discopathy
  • Disseminated choroiditis
  • Dorsal epiduritis
  • Encephalitis
  • Encephalomyelitis
  • Encephalopathy
  • Endogenous paranoid-hallucinatory syndrome
  • Eosinophilia
  • Eosinophilic fasciitis (Shulman syndrome)
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptic crises
  • Episcleritis
  • Epstein Barr
  • Erythema chronicum migrans
  • Exanthema (local and generalized)
  • Extrapyramidal disorders
  • Facial diplegia
  • Fascicular tachycardia
  • Fatal adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Fetal death
  • Fever
  • Fibromyalgia (FMS)
  • Fibrositis
  • Focal nodular myositis
  • Frontotemporal atrophy
  • Generalized motor neuron disease
  • Geniculate neuralgia
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Gonarthritis
  • Granuloma annulare
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • HLA-B27 negative sacroiliitis
  • Headaches (severe)
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart block
  • Hemiparesis
  • Hemophagocytic syndrome
  • Hepatic disorders
  • Hepatitis
  • Herniated discs
  • Holmes-Adie syndrome
  • Horner’s syndrome
  • Human necrotizing splenitis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hyperacusis
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Idiopathic atrophoderma of Pasini and Pierini
  • (IAPP)
  • Idiopathic facial paralysis
  • Infarction pain
  • Impaired brainstem response
  • Infantile sclero-atrophic lichen
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Infiltrating lymphadenosis benigna cutis
  • Inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid syndrome
  • Influenza
  • Internuclear ophthalmoplegia
  • Interstitial granulomatous dermatitis
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Intracranial aneurysm
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Intracranial mass lesions
  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Iritis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Isolated acute myocarditis
  • Isolated lymphadenopathy
  • Isolated neuritis of the sciatic nerve
  • Isolated oculomotor nerve paralysis
  • Isolated posterior cord syndrome
  • Jaundice
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
  • Keratitis
  • Keratoconus
  • Left sided sudden hemiparesis
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Livedo racemosa
  • Lofgren’s syndrome
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Lymphadenosis benigna cutis
  • Lymphocytoma cutis
  • Lymphoma
  • Lumboradicular syndrome
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome
  • Memory impairment
  • Meningeal lymphoma
  • Meningitis
  • Meningoencephalomyelitis,
  • Meningoencephalomyeloradiculoneuritis
  • Meningoradiculitis
  • Migraines
  • Mono-arthritis
  • Monolateral chorioretinitis
  • Morgagni-Adams-Stokes syndrome (MAS)
  • Morning glory syndrome
  • Morphea
  • Motor neuron syndrome
  • Multiple mononeuropathy
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Myelopathy
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Myositis
  • Neonatal respiratory distress
  • Neuromyotonia
  • Nodular panniculitis
  • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)
  • Oculomotor paralysis
  • Oligoarthritis
  • Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome
  • Nodular fasciitis
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Optic atrophy
  • Optic disk edema
  • Organic mood syndrome
  • Optic nerve lesion
  • Otoneurological disorders
  • Panuveitis
  • Papillitis
  • Paralysis of abdominal muscles
  • Paraneoplastic polyneuropathy
  • Paranoia
  • Parkinsonism
  • Parotitis
  • Pars plana vitrectopy
  • Parsonage and Turner syndrome
  • Peripheral facial palsy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Peripheral vascular disorder
  • Pericarditis
  • Perimyocarditis
  • Persistent atrioventricular block
  • Pigment epitheliitis
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polyneuritis cranialis
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Polysymptomatic autoimmune disorder
  • Porphyrinuria
  • Posterior scleritis
  • Primary lymphoma of the nervous system
  • Presenile dementia
  • Progressive cerebral infarction
  • Progressive facial hemiatrophy (Parry-Romberg
  • syndrome)
  • Progressive stroke
  • Progressive supranuclear paralysis
  • Prolonged pyrexia
  • Propriospinal myoclonus
  • Pseudo tumor Cerebrae
  • Pseudolymphoma
  • Pseudoneoplastic weight loss
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Radiculoneuritis
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome (pleocytosis)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Recurrent paralysis
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
  • Reiter’s Syndrome
  • Respiratory failure
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
  • Retinal pigment epithelium detachment
  • Retinal vasculitis
  • Reversible dementia
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Rhombencephalitis
  • Sacro-iliitis infection
  • SAPHO syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schoenlein-Henoch purpura
  • Scleroderma
  • Secondary syphilis
  • Seizure disorders
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Septal panniculitis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Seventh nerve paralysis
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Spontaneous brain hemorrhage
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Stiff-man syndrome
  • Still’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis
  • Subacute multiple-site osteomyelitis
  • Subacute organic psychosyndrome
  • Subacute multiple-site osteomyelitis
  • Subacute presenile dementia
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Sudden deafness
  • Sudden hemiparesis
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Sudeck’s atrophy
  • Synovitis
  • Syphilis
  • Symmetric Polyarthritis
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Temporomandibular Joint syndrome (TMJ)
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Thyroiditis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
  • Transient left ventricular dysfunction
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Unilateral interstitial keratitis
  • Unilateral papillitis
  • Urticaria
  • Uveitis
  • Vasculitic neuropathy
  • Vasculitic mononeuritis multiplex
  • Vasculitis
  • Ventricular asystole
  • Vertigo
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Vitreous clouding
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