Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme disease can mimic many other diseases and is very difficult to diagnose. There is no specific laboratory test that can confirm or rule out the presence of Lyme Disease anywhere near 100% accuracy. There is a rash, often shaped like a bullseye, that can appear several days after the victim is infected. However, there are many cases of Lyme Disease where the patient never had a rash of any kind.

Several days or weeks after being bitten by an infected tick, the patient often has the same symptoms as someone with a flu-like illness. Symptoms may include such things as aches and pains in muscles and joints, low grade fever, and/or fatigue.

This often goes on to other more severe symptoms. Lyme Disease affects each victim in very unique and personal ways. Symptoms can also include the following:

  • Jaw — pain, difficulty chewing
  • Bladder — frequent or painful urination, repeated symptoms of “urinary tract infection”
  • Lung — respiratory infection, with cough, asthma-like wheezing, pneumonia
  • Ears and hearing — pain, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sensitivity to noise
  • Eyes and vision — pain, inflammation, photophobia (extreme light sensitivity), scleritis, conjunctivitis, blurred vision, decreased visual acuity, “drooping” of eyelids, and (occasionally) blindness
  • Throat — sore throat, cough, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, swollen glands
  • Neurological symptoms — severe headache that is not resolved by usual medications, paralysis of facial muscles, seizures, meningitis, stiff neck, burning sensation, tingling, prickling sensation, poor reflexes or loss of reflexes, loss of co-ordination, and a syndrome that closely mimics multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms — mood swings, irritability, poor concentration, cognitive loss (thinking process impairment), memory loss, depression, disorientation, sleep disturbances, overall deterioration of mental status
  • Gastrointestinal system — abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) — dizziness, fainting, weakness, irregular heartbeat, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue that covers the heart), heart block (blockages in the heart’s electrical distribution system), cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Muscles — inflammation and pain
  • Joints — joint pain, arthritis
  • Skin — single or multiple rash, hives
  • Other organs — hepatitis (liver infection), elevated liver enzymes, enlarged spleen, swollen testicles, irregular menstrual cycles, sometimes complete cessation of menstruation
  • Pregnancy — miscarriage, premature births, birth defects, stillborn babies