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Lyme Disease Message Board

Lyme Disease Board Index


Although an Erythema Migrans (Lyme "bullseye" rash) is a definite sign of Lyme disease, over 50% of people with Lyme NEVER get a rash and many do not even recall a tick bite. Furthermore, the Erythema Migrans may or may not take on a bullseye form, it can resemble a bruise or look like a line, it can be raised or not, it can be extremely large or very small, there can be multiple rashes, it may or may not be hot, itch, etc.

Below is a list of Lyme symptoms copied from one of Ticker's posts. You can have one, any combination, or all of these symptoms:

Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Swollen glands
Sore throat
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Upset stomach
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Lightheadedness, wooziness
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

There is no test which can absolutely rule out Lyme. The most common test, the ELISA, misses over 60% of infections and the more reliable test, the Western Blot, misses about 30%. You can test negative AND STILL HAVE LYME DISEASE. Lyme is suppoesed to be a clinical diagnosis with the test used only to help confirm.

For this reason it is extremely important to see a Lyme literate physician. Keep in mind that just because someone is an infectious disease doctor or calls themselves a "Lyme specialist" does NOT mean they are Lyme literate. The best way to get a referral is through other patients who have had positive experiences and have received successful treatment. If you can find a Lyme support group in your area they can be excellent sources of information and support, I highly recommend contacting them.

Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people with Lyme are also infected with one or more of these. It is important to test and treat for these if Lyme is a possibility, they must be treated in order for Lyme treatment to be successful.

It is essential to educate yourself as much as possible. There is an excellent book, 'Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases' by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner. This is a very helpful book and I highly recommend it.

Good luck in finding the answers you need for better health.

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