Lyme disease is carried by black-legged ticks, but it’s the harmful bacteria introduced to your body through tick bites that cause this perplexing condition. Walks through the woods or time spent in tall grass increase your risk of infection with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium carried by ticks.
One of the most telling early indicators of Lyme disease — a bull’s eye shaped rash — appears at the location of your tick bite. The red area around the bite expands, eventually showing a pale center, so that the ring appears like a target with a skin-colored bull’s eye. That symptom appears in about 70-80% of all infections.
However, other symptoms of Lyme disease aren’t so obvious. Jake Schmutz, NMD, Joshua Hersh NMD, and our team at Integrative Medica in Salt Lake City, Utah, can diagnose your Lyme disease and recommend effective options for managing your symptoms and improving your condition.
Watch out for potential symptoms of Lyme disease, and take steps to get checked out if you suspect you’ve been infected. Here are some lesser-known symptoms of Lyme disease you should be aware of.
Your immune system ramps up activity to try and fight off the bacterial infection causing your Lyme disease, resulting in an elevated temperature. If you have a fever, in combination with other symptoms, you should get checked out for Lyme disease.
2. Arthritis and body aches
Lyme disease results in severe joint pain and swelling. Lyme-related arthritis occurs most commonly in the knees and other large joints.
If you have Lyme disease, you could also experience more generalized body aches affecting your joints, bones, muscles, and tendons. The pain may seem to come and go.
3. Neurological problems
Later down the road, untreated Lyme disease can cause facial palsy and other neurological issues. Neurological symptoms sometimes appear years after the initial Lyme disease infection.
The loss of muscle tone and drooping appearance of facial palsy might be visible on one or both sides of your face. Bell’s palsy, a temporary facial paralysis and another symptom of Lyme disease, appears on one side of your face.
You could experience meningitis, an inflammation in the membranes that surround your brain or spinal cord. Neurological symptoms of Lyme disease can leave you with nerve pain, feelings of tingling or numbness in your extremities, or lessened muscle control.
4. Heart trouble
Several weeks after infection, some people experience Lyme carditis, with symptoms of heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat. You could also experience periods of dizziness or struggle with shortness of breath.
5. Severe fatigue
Rarely, Lyme disease causes severe, lingering fatigue in people fighting systemic infection. Fatigue differs from everyday tiredness, which gets better after rest and recuperation. The fatigue that’s symptomatic of Lyme disease won’t improve after a few days off work or in bed.
If you’re concerned about Lyme disease, get in touch with the team at Integrative Medica right away. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.