Lyme Disease Symptoms To Watch For According To Doctors
Knowing the symptoms to look for can help diagnose Lyme disease early on, when it’s easily treatable.
Fever or fatigue, with or without a rash, can be a symptom of many thingsand Lyme disease is just one possibility. To diagnose Lyme, doctors say they have to consider symptoms and circumstances. If youve been hanging out in wooded or grassy areas, especially in certain regions of the country during the spring, summer, or even autumn months, it might make sense to entertain the possibility that you were bitten by a tick. And whats the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in America? Its Lyme disease, by far.
But Timothy P. Flanagan, MD, associate professor of medicine in the infectious diseases division at Brown Universitys Alpert Medical School, says it would be a mistake to latch on to a Lyme diagnosis without ruling out other possible causes, including other infections transmitted by ticks. You could have a different tick-borne infection entirely, such as anaplasmosis or babesiosis, or you could have Lyme with one or more co-infections. Thats because the same ticks that transmit Borrelia can carry other disease-causing microbes, too.
Its super important that we think of all the tick-borne diseasesnot just Lyme, Dr. Flanagan tells Health. Babesia, a parasite that causes babesiosis, is treated differently than Borrelia, for example.
Why Water Cures Leg Cramps
A more in-depth look will be considered on the causes of leg cramps in the future. When the cause is considered idiopathic, literature will say that the cause is unknown. At Water Cures, we disagree as we have ended the cramps of thousands of people. As a hospital nurse, I personally helped over a thousand through the years on the floors of numerous hospitals. We have found that muscle spasms or cramps in almost all cases are caused by chronic and unintentional dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
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Lyme Disease: Heel Pain
Some people with Lyme disease and/or a Bartonella coinfection report severe pain on the base of the heels. In some cases the heel pain was compared to tendonitis and was noted to be worse when lying in bed with the back of the heels resting on a mattress.
Common causes of heel pain with or without a Lyme diagnosis include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bursitis, stress fracture and more. Never ignore heel pain or wait for it to go away on its own. Make an appointment with an experienced, caring podiatrist today for an expert diagnosis and effective treatment plan for your heel pain. Back to top
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Lyme Disease Muscle Cramps
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Risk Factors For Acquiring Lyme Disease
Where you vacation or live, as well as what outdoor activities you participate in, affects your likelihood of being exposed to Lyme disease. Common factors that put you at risk of contracting Lyme disease include:
- Spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Deer ticks are very prevalent in the Central PA area due to its heavily wooded countryside. Deer ticks thrive in these types of places. Children here are particularly at risk as well as adults who work outdoors.
- Having exposed skin. Ticks find it easy to attach themselves to exposed skin, so if youre in an area thats known for ticks, always wear long sleeves and long pants and never allow your pets to run through long grasses.
- Removing ticks incorrectly or not quickly enough. As you already know, bacteria from a tick bite has the potential to enter your bloodstream if the tick has been attached to you for between 36 to 48 hours or longer. If you spot and correctly remove the tick within 48 hours, your risk of acquiring Lyme disease is low, so always check your skin after being outdoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that older adults and children are most susceptible to the disease, along with others, like park rangers and firefighters, who spend time outside. Its estimated that 300,000 people nationwide are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Post
Doctors have known for years that they cannot rely on a physical exam to diagnose early Lyme disease unless they find an erythema migrans rash, Bells palsy, or heart block. Now, Rebman and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine acknowledge that doctors also cannot count on a physical exam to diagnose Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
In their article published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, the authors state, Results from the physical exam and laboratory testing our sample of patients with PTLDS did not show a pattern of significant objective abnormalities. However, the most notable exception was the higher rate of diminished vibratory sensation on physical exam among participants with PTLDS.
Following treatment for Lyme disease, it is uncommon to find objective clinical manifestations in patients with PTLDS, according to the researchers. In fact, a much more likely scenario after treatment is the persistence or development of subjective symptoms without any residual or new objective manifestation.
But the authors did discover a collection of symptoms among the Lyme disease patients which, when looked at as a whole, indicated the presence of problems post-treatment. For example, Although only found in a small subset of our sample , two participants met criteria for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, an autonomic condition that has been previously reported following Lyme disease.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection that is spread by ticks. You can get Lyme disease if you are bitten by an infected tick. But most people who have had a tick bite don’t get Lyme disease. It’s still important to see your doctor if you have a tick attached to you that you can’t remove.
Lyme disease is found in Canada. It is also found in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
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Neck Pain From Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is commonly associated with tick bites and a big circular rash. However, a tick bite does not hurt and many people do not recall being bit or seeing the rash. Further complicating matters, Lyme disease symptoms may start out minor and not become problematic for months or longer.
Lyme disease causes neck pain in more than 30% of cases. Watch:Neck Pain Causes Video
Media reports rarely focus on neck pain with Lyme disease, but some estimates note that it occurs in more than 30% of the cases and is typically one of the earlier symptoms.1 Recognizing Lyme disease early and seeking treatment can make a big difference in the outcome.
Determining The Source Of Your Symptoms
Again, its important to note that symptoms of tick-borne diseases in humans can vary greatly from person to person and can change over time if diseases are not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
The presence of any one of the symptoms above does not alone guarantee that you have a tick-borne disease, but if you do experience them alongside any other potential symptoms, its important to talk to a trusted doctor and get tested immediately.
IGeneX is proud to offer highly accurate, highly sensitive diagnostic testing for all major tick-borne diseases in the U.S., including Lyme disease, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonellosis, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. Learn more about IGeneX testing today.
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You Have More Than One Symptom
Lyme disease is a multisystemic illness. That means that people dont usually complain of just one symptom, but instead notice a cluster of symptoms, such as:
- Chest pain with palpitations
- Psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety
Others may also complain of day sweats, night sweats and chills, as well as shortness of breath, with an unexplained cough if they have contracted babesiosis. A different tick-borne infection than Lyme disease, babesiosis can be transmitted with the same tick bite. It’s a malaria-type parasite which makes people much sicker and difficult to treat with resistant symptoms.
Risk Factors For Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
Youre at risk for early disseminated Lyme disease if youve been bitten by an infected tick and remain untreated during stage 1 of Lyme disease.
Youre at an increased risk of contracting Lyme disease in the United States if you live in one of the areas where most Lyme disease infections are reported. They are:
- any of the Northeastern states from Maine to Virginia
- the north central states, with the highest incidence in Wisconsin and Minnesota
- parts of the West Coast, primarily northern California
Certain situations also can increase your risk of coming into contact with an infected tick, such as:
- gardening, hunting, hiking, or doing other outside activities in areas where Lyme disease is a potential threat
- walking or hiking in high grass or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks into your home
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Early Symptoms And Signs Of Lyme Disease
You can expect a small, red bump on the site of your bite, or where you removed the tick from, and this will resolve within a day or two. This is to be expected after being bitten by any insect, and it in itself is not an indicator that you have Lyme disease.
However, if you have been infected, you can expect the following within a month or so:
- Flu-like symptoms. Early-stage Lyme disease can present as chills, fever, fatigue body aches, stiff neck, headache and other flu-like symptoms.
- Rash development. Between three and 30 days after an infected tick bites you, you may see a rash that looks like a bulls eye. This will expand over days, and it can grow to as many as 11 to 12 inches across. It is usually not painful or itchy.
Neurologic Pain In Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can also cause neurologic pain. Nerve pain has qualities of sharp, stabbing, shooting, piercing, or electrical type pain. These qualities of pain occur when Lyme germs directly injure nerves. Or it occurs as a result of inflammation of those nerves from cytokines.
There is a second type of nerve pain known to occur in people with fibromyalgia and MS, that likely occurs in people with Lyme disease. This is due to infection in the brain activating a brain immune cell called microglia. When infections activate Toll-like receptors on microglia, this leads to neurologic pain felt throughout the body. Some think this is the cause of the muscle pain seen in people with fibromyalgia. It is also likely a major cause of the myalgia seen in Lyme disease.
Lyme Disease Pain Strategy
For nerve pain due to microglia activation in the brain, one strategy is to block the Toll-like receptors to stop the microglia from turning on. LDN helps with this.
Another strategy is to decrease the inflammation of nerves. LDN, anti-cytokine herbs, and medical marijuana/cbd oil may help with this.
The last nerve strategy is to decrease the nerve signals that transmit nerve pain. Sleep helps with this, medical marijuana/cbd, prescriptions anti-seizure prescriptions and anti-depression prescriptions can help this too.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
Symptoms Of Tickborne Illness
Many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms. If you get a tick bite and develop the symptoms below within a few weeks, see your healthcare provider.
The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses include:
- Fever/chills. All tickborne diseases can cause fever.
- Aches and pains. Tickborne diseases can cause headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. People with Lyme disease may also have joint pain.
Your healthcare provider should evaluate the following before deciding on a plan for treatment:
- Your symptoms,
- the geographic region where you were bitten, and
- lab tests, depending on the symptoms and the geographic region where you were bitten.
Tick paralysis is thought to be caused by a toxin in the saliva of an attached tick. People with tick paralysis can experience weakness or paralysis that gradually moves up the body. These symptoms can sometimes resemble other neurologic conditions . Patients typically regain movement within 24 hours of removing the tick. Learn more at Tick paralysis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopediaexternal icon.
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What To Do If You Have A Blacklegged Tick Bite
Remove the tick by pulling it directly out with fine-tipped tweezers. Lift upward with slow and even pressure. Dont twist when removing it. Dont crush it or put soap or other substances on it. Dont apply heat to it.
Place the tick in a resealable container. See if you can identify what kind of a tick it is.
Immediately after removing the tick, wash your skin well with soap and water or with rubbing alcohol.
Not all ticks carry Lyme. The Lyme bacteria is transmitted only by blacklegged ticks in their nymph or adult stage.
Save the tick to show your doctor. The doctor will want to determine if its a blacklegged tick and if theres evidence of feeding. Ticks enlarge as they feed. Your risk of getting Lyme from an infected tick increases with the length of time that the tick fed on your blood.
Pull the tick out with tweezers and save it in a resealable container for identification.
Later Symptoms And Signs Of Lyme Disease
If you dont seek treatment, other symptoms and signs of infection may appear over the following weeks and months, including:
- The bulls eye rash. It is also called erythema migrans, and it may appear on other areas of your body.
- Neurological problems. At any time after the initial Lyme disease infection, even years later, you could develop meningitis, Bells palsy , weakness or numbness in your limbs and impaired muscle movement.
You may also suffer from:
- Other rashes
Many weeks after infection, some people develop:
- Severe fatigue
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Severe Night Leg Cramps No More
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Leg Cramps: What They Are What The Do
Leg cramps most often happen in the calf muscles although they can happen anywhere in the leg or feet. Cramps are considered harmless, although that statement is probably made by someone who has never been plagued by them.
Cramps are the sudden and painful tightening of a muscle. The pain can be mild to excruciating. The cramp and or pain may also be debilitating while the cramp is in progress.
Once the cramping is over, the pain may persist for several hours for some.
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Can’t Get Better 4 Signs Your Aches & Pains Could Be Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is the number one vector-borne epidemic in the world and mimics many common diseases and autoimmune illnesses. If you’ve been told that you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease like MS, or are just “getting old, it is possible that you suffer from the number one infectious cause of these symptoms.
The Center for Disease Control released data showing a tenfold increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease, with approximately one million Americans reported having been exposed to it in 2012. So if you go to a doctor complaining of fatigue with joint and muscle pain, and have a negative blood test, it’s possible you may have contracted Lyme disease. How can you know whether you have a tick-borne illness causing your symptoms, though? Here are four signs to watch for: