7 Weird Symptoms of Lyme Disease that You Need to Know
If you live in an area where tick bites are common, you are likely aware of the possibility of getting Lyme disease. This tick-borne infection can wreak havoc on your body, affecting everything from your immune system to your nervous system. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, tremors, sleep problems, and so much more. And these can get serious, especially if they go undiagnosed and untreated.
In many cases, it is hard to diagnose Lyme properly. For one, the wide range of symptoms can mimic other conditions. And another major problem is that you won't show positive on a Lyme blood test for several weeks. All of this makes it hard to make a proper Lyme diagnosis.
So you'll want to be aware. Keep a serious eye out for tick bites and know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease so you can make sure to catch it early and get the treatment you need.
In this article, I will cover:
- What is Lyme disease?
- Symptoms of Lyme disease.
- The problems with Lyme disease diagnosis.
- My own journey with Lyme disease.
- Key takeaways
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease. It is a bacterial infection you get when bitten by an infected tick. The bacterium responsible is called Borrelia burgdorferi.
When you get bitten, the tick burrows in you and infects you with the bacteria. This causes a lot of problems. The infection moves beyond your blood and goes to your organs. Ultimately, a lot of collateral damage occurs because your immune system tries to kill off the infection from the tick bite. And you get all of these different inflammatory reactions in the body which can affect your muscles, your nervous system, and so much more.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Lyme causes more than 300,000 illnesses each year in the US.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Borrelia burgdorferi infection can cause wide-ranging problems throughout the body. These range from symptoms of the flu to nervous system issues like mood disorders and pain.
- Bulls-eye rash (erythema migrans) at the site of the tick bite.
- Joint pain.
- Flu-like symptoms like body aches.
- Swollen glands.
The best known Lyme disease symptom is the rash. It is called erythema migrans. This rash often shows up as a bulls-eye shape, and it is one of the easiest ways of identifying a Borrelia burgdorferi infection. The erythema migrans rash appears within a few days at the site of the tick-bite and can expand gradually in size. It is not usually itchy or painful.
Along with the rash, flu-like symptoms are very common. Especially in the early Lyme disease stage.
But the longer you are infected without getting treated, the more generalized your symptoms can become. This can lead to other, more odd symptoms that you might not know about.
Other symptoms to be aware of
- Mood disorders like anxiety or depression.
- Sleep problems.
- Migrating pain that moves around the body.
According to the Center for Disease Control, many signs and symptoms can be quite delayed. They may show up anywhere from days to months after the initial infection.
Again, the longer you are infected without being diagnosed, the more generalized your signs and symptoms may be. What starts off as a rash and feeling like you have the flu may move to neck stiffness, problems sleeping, tremors, and knee pain over time.
All of these symptoms can come and go and move around the body. This makes it hard to pinpoint what is going on.
The problems with diagnosing Lyme disease
Lyme disease can be very difficult to diagnose. For one, you don't always know when you've been bitten by a tick. You may not notice it. Or the "bulls-eye" rash may be on a part of your body you can't see.
It is not uncommon for people to go for months or years before realizing that they are infected. The effects of a tick bite can be latent, and not show up until much later when you start to experience odd symptoms like joint pain, headaches, fatigue, and mood issues.
Additionally, if you go get a blood test for Lyme right after being bitten, your results won't show up positive. The antibodies against the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium take a while to develop. And so the blood test will only come back positive after several weeks (rather than days).
So even if your initial test comes back negative, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't have Lyme disease.
My own journey with Lyme disease
I have had Lyme disease myself. It was an odd situation, where I didn't think I'd ever had a tick bite. And then one day I woke up with severe headaches, achy joints, etc. It turned out to be Lyme.
I took antibiotics for the Borrelia burgdorferi infection to get treated. Taking antibiotics to fight off this bacterium as early as possible is important, because it is a nasty infection that causes your immune system to destroy your own body over time.
But here is what people don't realize: during the time you are taking your antibiotics to kill off the Lyme disease, you need to support your immune system. That is what I did.
I used natural remedies like garlic, onion, colloidal silver, olive leaf extract, and chlorella to do it.
Learn more about my experience with Lyme disease and how I dealt with it here.
Lyme disease occurs when you get exposed to the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium from a tick bite. It is a nasty infectious disease that wreaks havoc on your body over time, leading to all sorts of symptoms and problems.
Below are some key things to remember.
- Look at the big picture of what is going on for you, and try to identify all of the symptoms you are experiencing. If they sound like they might be Lyme, don't wait to see a doctor and discuss the possibility. Do so even if you don't remember getting bitten by a tick or never saw an erythema migrans rash.
- Getting a blood test just a few days after a tick bite won't help. It can come back as a false negative. So make sure you get tested after several weeks, after the antibodies have time to develop.
- If you do test positive for Lyme, get started with antibiotics right away to eradicate the infection. And if you get treated with antibiotic therapy, make sure to support your immune system in the process.
Thoughts, questions, comments? Leave me a comment below.
Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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