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Is it Lyme’s Disease?: The Top Signs and Symptoms of Lyme’s Disease

There are over 30,000 cases of Lyme’s disease reported to the CDC every year. But those are just the cases that are reported. It’s estimated that there are actually over 300,000 annual cases of Lyme.

Why the big difference in reported cases vs actual cases? Many people with Lyme disease don’t know they have it because they can’t recognize the symptoms. It can also be very hard to test for Lyme disease, which makes it tricky to diagnose.

In this article, we’re going to go over all of the symptoms of Lyme’s disease that you can see in both acute and chronic cases of Lyme. This can help you identify whether you or a loved one could have the disease, so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be caused by four specific types of bacteria. These bacteria are Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia afzelii

The first two species are the cause of cases in North America, while the second two are the types that cause Lyme originating in Europe and/or Asia.

How Do You Get Lyme?

Lyme is a tickborne illness. The bacteria that cause Lyme is found on a particular species of tick called the “deer tick”. When an infected tick bites a person (or an animal), the bacteria can be transferred through the bite, infecting the bitten individual.

Chronic vs Acute Lyme

Acute Lyme disease refers to the early stages of the disease. When you’re infected with Lyme, are diagnosed, and receive treatment within 8 weeks of the initial bite, then you’re classified as having “acute Lyme disease.”

If the Lyme is left untreated, or the initial bite occurred longer than 8 weeks before your diagnosis, then you’ll be classified as having “chronic Lyme disease.” 

The main difference is the severity and duration of the symptoms. Chronic Lyme is a chronic condition that can (and does) affect the individual for life.

Acute Lyme is usually able to be treated and cured. However, sometimes those who are originally diagnosed with acute Lyme have it develop into chronic Lyme at a later time. It’s unclear how or why this happens.

What is clear is that it’s crucial to see a doctor as soon as you notice any Lyme symptoms to give yourself the best chance at treatment and recovery.

Symptoms of Lyme’s Disease: Acute

With acute Lyme disease, the first thing you’ll notice is redness or a bump around the tick bite area. If the tick is no longer attached, it’s easy to assume this is a mosquito bite or another bug bite.

You may also develop a rash around the bite area. This rash forms a “bullseye” ring around the original bite area. It can take anywhere between 3 and 30 days before this rash appears.

The rash itself isn’t usually itchy or painful, which can make it hard to spot if it’s in an area you can see (your back, scalp, feet, etc). While this is a very common symptom, it doesn’t happen in every case. 

Other early symptoms of Lyme include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aches/pains
  • Fatigue (often extreme)
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Because this is a bacterial infection, you’ll notice that many of the early symptoms are similar to other infections, like fever, chills, etc.

If left untreated for more than a few weeks, you could begin to experience more serious symptoms like rash on other parts of your body, worsening cold-like symptoms, and increased pain.

Symptoms of Lyme’s Disease: Chronic

As we said earlier, Lyme disease will get progressively worse if it’s left untreated. At this point, it would likely be classified as chronic Lyme.

Neurological symptoms will eventually arise. When Lyme is left untreated, it causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. This can lead to paralysis on one side of the face, shooting pains, numbness in the limbs, nerve pain, short term memory loss, and more.

You may also experience:

  • Joint pain
  • Heart issues (palpitations, irregular heartbeat, etc)
  • Inflammation of the liver
  • Eye problems
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings/changes

These symptoms can continue for months and even years, especially if you never receive treatment.

Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome 

Post-Lyme Disease Syndrome (PLDS) affects 10% of Lyme disease patients. This syndrome occurs after you receive treatment for Lyme, but you still experience certain Lyme symptoms. Most commonly, people continue to experience fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, and neurological issues.

Scientists believe that the symptoms persist because of bacteria that isn’t eradicated during antibiotic treatment. Some suggest taking more antibiotics, but this comes with its own set of risks.

You can also receive NAD IV Treatment for Lyme and PLDS. While NAD IV treatment doesn’t aim to eradicate the Lyme from your body, it does provide your cells with key nutrients and chemicals that they need to fight off a number of conditions related with Lyme, including:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pain
  • Cognitive problems
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle problems

This can help treat any lingering symptoms, and it won’t interfere with any other treatment plan used to fight the Lyme bacteria.

Do You Need Help Treating Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is tricky to diagnose and, thus, often goes undiagnosed. Be on the lookout for the symptoms of Lyme’s disease, especially if you frequent areas where deer ticks are abundant.

If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms on this list, we can help. Contact us to learn more about our treatment methods regarding Lyme and other chronic diseases.