May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #6 What are Symptoms of Lyme Disease, PART II?

As I previously mentioned there are MANY symptoms of Lyme Disease and all of the co-infections have list of specific symptoms too.  A Lyme Literate MD (LLMD) can determine you have a specific co-infection just by your symptoms and they have to because the testing isn’t 100% accurate.

What are the co-infections?

  • Babesiosis (Babesia)
  • Bartonella
  • Ehrichlia
  • Mycoplasma and Anaplasama
  • Colorado Tick Fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Powassan Virus
  • Q Fever
  • and more here at lymedisease.org

Here is a chart to compare symptoms of Lyme and the co-infections.

Babesiosis (Babesia) is the only co-infection that I test positive for but I’ve been told I probably have Bartonella and Ehrichlia too.

Here is a great website that lists the symptoms of Lyme Disease and co-infections.

Lyme-Symptoms.com

Babesia


May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post # 5   What are Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #4   The Great Imitator

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #3 What is Lyme Disease?

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#2: Prevention is the only cure!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#1 Lyme Disease Awareness Month Begins

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #5 What are Symptoms of Lyme Disease, PART I?

Lyme Disease can effect all parts of your body so it can have a wide range of symptoms.  It can get into your brain, joints, heart, lungs, muscles and nervous system.

Symtpoms MEme

First symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • Bulls eye rash called erythema migrans which most people don’t get.
  • Flu-like symptoms which disappear and then the infection becomes dormant

Some early symptoms may also include fatigue, fevers, joint pain and sleep problems.  But everyone with Lyme is different.

Chronic Lyme or Late Stage Lyme Disease is when the infection is no longer dormant and has invaded the body everywhere and then finally more symptoms appear.  This is where the list of symptoms become endless.  They say Lyme will become full blown when a person goes through a major traumatic event in their life.  That’s what happened to me.  I believe I got Lyme when I was young because I have many illnesses my entire life.  And, I believe the Lyme really appeared when my mom got diagnosed with cancer and 6 months later died because that is when my migraines,  depression and constant nausea started.  

My Symptoms of Lyme Disease:

  • Migraines – Daily
  • Migratory joint pain.  It means you have pain in your joints that jumps around to different joints.  Sometimes it feels like someone is ripping your joint open and then the next day it’s a different joint.  
  • Burning Pain – Feels like your body is on fire.  It’s all over.  Arms, palms, hands, fingers, legs, calfs and bottom of feet.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors  – really bad neurological problem that causes your body to shake.  It is especially bad when the burning pain is bad.
  • Muscle aches
  • Electricity shooting pain.  This is horrific!  I feel like someone has plugged my body in an outlet.  
  • Insomnia.  Trouble falling asleep and constantly waking up in the night. 
  • Crippling Pain in hands, fingers and legs.  It feels like my hands and legs have stopped functioning and I can’t hold something or walk at times.
  • Severe anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eye Twitching
  • Mood swings and irritability.  Seems worse with more pain.
  • Severe fatigue
  • Low grade fever
  • Memory loss and forgetfulness
  • Brain fog
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Breathlessness called “Air Hunger” which feels like you can’t get oxygen in.  Very scary.  You become completely out of breath just going from your bed to the bathroom.  Having your own pulse oximeter helps you relax and make sure you are getting enough O2.
  • Hearing problems
  • Panic attacks
  • Itching – mostly head, ears, eyes and face but sometimes all over body itching.
  • Heart murmur 
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Lightheadedness
  • Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
  • Poor concentration
  • Sparklers shooting at my hands, arms and legs.  Feels like someone is holding a sparkler near me and the sparks are sharp when they hit me.
  • Weigh gain
  • Thyroid problems
  • Overall body weakness
  • Chronic dry lips
  • Digestive issues or upset stomach
  • Chronic chest cough
  • Anger
  • Constant nasal issues and allergies
  • Sweating.  This could be day or night sweats.
  • Rage
  • Menstrual and PMS problems
  • Sleep paralysis and nightmares
  • Teeth grinding
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Ear pain
  • Facial Paralysis.  Luckily I’ve only had this once.
  • Tingling.  Sometimes I get random tingling in different parts of my body.

So those are just my symptoms but the list goes on and on of the different type of symptoms a person with chronic Lyme Disease can have. 

Here is a Lyme Symptom Checklist that Dr. Joseph Burrascano created to help see if someone has Lyme Disease.

Here is aan MSIDS Questionnaire by Dr. Richard Horowitz to evaluate if you have Lyme Disease.

The Lyme Research Alliance also has a good symptom checklist

Remember even if you don’t test positive for Lyme Disease you still may have it.  A clinical diagnosis can be made by a Lyme Literate MD.


Previous Posts in this Series

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #4   The Great Imitator

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #3 What is Lyme Disease?

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#2: Prevention is the only cure!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#1 Lyme Disease Awareness Month Begins

 

 

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post #3 What is Lyme Disease?

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme Disease this is what I found out:

  • Lyme Disease can be bacterial and viral infections that you get from tick bite.
  • Lyme Diseases testing is inaccurate .
  • You can pick up more than one infection from a tick.
  • Other infections you get are called co-infections.
  • Ticks can be so small that most people don’t know that they have been bit. Some are the size of a poppy seed
  • Lyme Disease is referring to the bacterial infection Borrelia Burgdorferi.
  • My test showed I was positive for the co-infection called Babesiosis or Babesia.
  • I tested negative for Lyme Disease but because I tested positive for a co-infeciton, I have Lyme Disease.  The blood tests are testing antibodies that my body produces to fight an infection.   My body can only fight off so many things at once so not all infections will pop up positive.
  • When the Babesia infection gets better or goes away my body will start to fight the other infections and Lyme Disease will test positive.
  • Lyme Disease has been around for hundreds of years and was named after the town Lyme Connecticut.
  • Willie Burgdorfer was the scientist trying to determine why the so many people in the town and multiple family members in Lyme Connecticut were getting sick.
  • Lyme Disease is misdiagnosed all the time.
  • Many diseases mimic Lyme Disease so people are misdiagnosed.
  • Lyme Disease and it’s co-infecitons can cause problems in every part of your body.
  • My chronic daily migraines I have had for almost 20 years are most likely from Lyme Disease.
  • I’m going to get sicker before I get better.
  • There is NO cure for Lyme Disease-your symptoms will hopefully go in remission.

So that is the list of what I learned when I was first diagnosed November 9, 2015.  Then I began researching and reading more and more about Lyme Disease and here is what I found out.

What is Lyme Disease from lymedisease.org “Lyme disease is a bacterial infection primarily transmitted by Ixodes ticks, also known as deer ticks, and on the West Coast, black-legged ticks. These tiny arachnids are typically found in wooded and grassy areas. Although people may think of Lyme as an East Coast disease, it is found throughout the United States, as well as in more than sixty other countries.” “Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete—a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme is called “The Great Imitator,” because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. It can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.”

History from the Bay Area Lyme Foundation “Ticks and Lyme disease have been around for thousands of years. In fact, a recent autopsy on a 5,300-year-old mummy indicated the presence of the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. A German physician, Alfred Buchwald, first described the chronic skin rash, or erythema migrans, of what is now known to be Lyme disease more than 130 years ago. However, Lyme disease was only recognized in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. And the bacteria that causes it – Borrelia burgdorferi – wasn’t officially classified until 1981.”


Additionally I found out:

  • A tick is not the only way of contacting Lyme Disease
    • Ticks
    • Fleas
    • Spiders
    • Flies
    • Mosquitos
  • If you know you have been bit by a tick you are one of the lucky ones.
    • Early Lyme Disease  
    • Most people don’t get a rash but if you do take photos for the doctor.
    • Most people get are flu-like symptoms after they have been bit.
    • Testing early frequently produce false negatives.
  • If not caught early than it can lay dormant in your body for years or decades.
  • If not caught early it can cause permanent long-time health problems.
  • People die from Lyme Disease.
  • Most people with Lyme Disease have more than one infection.
  • Most people get many wrong diagnoses and spend years being sick before they see a LLMD.
  • Most people do not get better with antibiotics.
  • After laying dormant Lyme Disease will start to appear when you are going through a stressful or traumatic event in your life.
  • Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted.
  • Lyme Disease infections may be transmitted through donated blood.  The American Red Cross website specifically states that you are not eligible to donate blood if you have Babesiosis (which is a lyme co-infection)  Sadly, since misdiagnosis is so common most people don’t know they have it.  
  • Lyme Disease can be pass from mom to baby lymedisease.org
  • Our government denies that chronic Lyme Disease exists.
  • The politics around Lyme Disease are keeping patients sick.

It’s very overwhelming when you get diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  The more I read.  The less I know. It bothers me that the CDC denies chronic Lyme exists even thought there are over 700 studies proving that it does.  That 90% of treatments for Lyme Disease are not covered by insurance (thanks CDC).  And, when I mention that I have Lyme Disease to medical professionals they treat me even worse.  They ask me if I am under more stress and refer me to a psychiatrist because they think I make these symptoms up.

Believe me.  You can not make this SH** up! 

Prevention is the only cure!


Previous Post

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#2: Prevention is the only cure!

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month Blog Post#1  Lyme Disease Awareness Month