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About Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme Disease Symptoms & Signs

Lyme disease symptoms can affect any system in the body and can mimic symptoms of many different diseases.

Lyme disease symptoms

Lyme Disease Symptoms Compiled by the LDA

As listed in the LDA LymeR Primer Available for online ordering

As listed in the LDA Spanish LymeR Primer Available for Downloading

Click dropdown arrows for symptoms

Lyme Disease Symptoms Compiled by the LDA

As listed in the LDA LymeR Primer Available for online ordering

As listed in the LDA Spanish LymeR Primer Available for Downloading

Click dropdown arrows for symptoms

Lyme disease symptoms
Lyme disease symptoms

Cardiac/Pulmonary

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    chest pain or rib soreness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block, heart murmur

Lyme disease symptoms

Lyme Rash

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    Only about 9% get the classic bull’s eye rash. Others may get another type of Erythema Migrans (EM) rash or may get no rash at all. Rash at other than bite site may be disseminated disease. Symptoms may occur days or months after a tick bite.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) surveillance criteria, an erythema migrans (EM) rash in an endemic area, means Lyme disease. In a non-endemic area, a rash requires a positive test. The CDC criteria are for surveillance purposes, not diagnosis.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal

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    nausea or vomiting, GERD, change in bowel function (constipation, diarrhea), gastritis, abdominal cramping, cystitis, irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction, newly diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal

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    joint/muscle pain in feet, ankle pain, shin splints, joint pain or swelling, stiffness of the joints, neck or back, muscle pain or cramps that migrate, Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMJD jaw pain), neck creaks & cracks, neck stiffness.

Neurological lyme disease

Neurological

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    muscle twitching, 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 thinking/concentrating/ 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, decreased hearing, seizure activity, white matter lesions, low blood pressure.

Neuropsychiatric

Neuropsychiatric

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    mood swings, violent outbursts, irritability, depression, disturbed sleep (too much, too little, early awakening), personality changes, obsessive – compulsive disorder (OCD), paranoia, panic/anxiety attacks, hallucinations.

Reproductive

Reproductive

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    testicular pain/pelvic pain, menstrual irregularity, milk production (lactation), sexual dysfunction or loss of libido.

Lyme disease symptoms

Other Symptoms

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    fever, sweats, or chills, weight change (loss or gain), fatigue, tiredness, hair loss, swollen glands, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swelling around the eyes, burning in feet, swelling

Lyme Transmission

Lyme Transmission

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    Not all patients recall a tick bite. Studies vary as to how long the tick must be attached in order to transmit Lyme disease. The longer an infected tick is attached, the greater the chance of contracting Lyme disease. Lyme can be transmitted through the placenta.

Lyme disease symptoms

Lyme from Borrelia mayonii
Another strain of Borrelia that causes Lyme

Early symptoms: fever, headaches, rash, neck pain Later: arthritis. Difference from Borrelia burgdorferi may include nausea & vomiting, diffuse rashes, higher concentration of bacteria in blood

Symptoms reviewed by Elizabeth Maloney, MD; President, Partnership for Tick-Borne Diseases Education


Other Tick-Borne Diseases & Conditions:

Patients may also contract other tick-borne diseases (co-infections) from a tick bite along with Lyme disease.

Visit LDA website Other Tick-Borne Diseases page


Other Resources for Lyme Disease Symptoms:

Columbia Lyme Rash Poster

Dr. Joseph Burrascano’s 2005 Lyme Disease Symptom List Chart

En Espanol Enfermedad De Lyme”  Spanish Patient Intake, Printable PDF

LDA Cardiac (Heart) Poster

LDA Lyme Disease Medical Photos  Including Rashes

LDA LymeLiteracy  LDA President’s Blog

LDA “LymeR Primer™” Detailed LDA Printable Brochure

En Española – “LymeR Primer™”  Folleto de Sensibilización

ILADS Treatment Guidelines International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society

Columbia Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center – Treatment Page Columbia University, Irving Medical Center

© LDA. 2015, 2016, 2020. This website provides practical and useful information on the subject matters covered. It is distributed with the understanding that LDA is not engaged in rendering medical or other professional services. Seek professional services if necessary.