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5 Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Apr 1, 2016


As temperatures rise, critters of all kinds are emerging from their winter hibernation. Spring marks the beginning of deer tick season, with these parasites lurking on grasses or in wooded areas. Deer tick carriers not only suck your blood, but they also transmit Lyme disease. Recognizing the symptoms of Lyme disease is essential to catch and treat this condition as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Lyme disease symptoms vary widely from individual to individual. Consult a Lyme disease specialist immediately if you think you may have the disease.

1. Rash

The classic symptom of Lyme disease is a bullseye rash, often called erythema migrans. Approximately 3 to 30 days after you are bitten by an infected tick, the rash will encircle the area of the tick bite. The bullseye typically expands over time, reaching as much as 12 inches in diameter. For most people, the rash is not painful or itchy.

However, not everyone with Lyme disease develops erythema migrans. Some people develop several bullseye rashes while others have a diffuse rash that spreads across various areas of their bodies. Still others have no rash at all. The estimated number of patients who have a rash vary from 30 to 80 percent. Thus, just because you do not have a rash does not mean you are not infected with Lyme disease.

2. Fever and Chills

Many patients with Lyme disease develop flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills. Take your temperature to determine whether you are experiencing a fever.

3. Fatigue

Many patients with Lyme disease report feeling extremely fatigued. If you are severely fatigued for no reason, Lyme disease may be the culprit. Fatigue is sometimes accompanied by body aches or a headache.

4. Joint pain

Lyme disease can have a severe effect on the joints, although these symptoms typically arise if an infection goes untreated. Patients with the disease report swelling and severe joint pain. This often affects the knees, but other joints may also be impacted.

5. Nausea and vomiting

As part of the fever symptoms that develop with Lyme disease, you may feel nauseated. Nausea and vomiting are rarer symptoms, but they can occur. If you experience these symptoms, drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated and visit your Lyme disease doctor immediately.

At Peconic Bay Medical Center, our Lyme disease doctors see thousands of patients each year. Because Lyme disease symptoms vary so widely by individual, it is essential to get a doctor’s expert opinion on your symptoms. Make an appointment today if you think you may have Lyme disease.