Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Symptoms may include one or more of the following

  • Fatigue
  • Chills and fever
  • Muscle and joint pain (often migrating – appearing in different places in the body)
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tiredness
  • EM rash or Atypical EM rash

According to the Vermont Department of Health, Lyme disease may spread to various parts of the body. This is called “disseminated Lyme disease.”

Symptoms associated with disseminated Lyme disease:
  • Numbness and pain in the arms or legs
  • Paralysis of facial muscles (usually on one side of the face, also known as “Bell’s palsy”
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe headaches
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Meningitis
  • Chronic nervous system problems
  • Shooting pains
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Problems with concentration and short-term memory

“Symptoms of disseminated Lyme disease can occur days to months after the initial infection”
—Vermont Department of Health

What You Should Know

Lyme has Psychological Symptoms

Lyme and co-infections can cause depression, anxiety, rage, sudden mood changes, increased PMS symptoms, ADHD, and more. Sometimes emotional/neurological symptoms may be the only symptoms of a tick-borne disease.

Symptoms Can Change

One day a person with Lyme disease can feel fine, and the next day they may be bedridden. Because Lyme disease affects the immune system and causes inflammation, symptoms may vary greatly from day to day.

Lyme is called the “Great Imitator”

Lyme symptoms can mimic Multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome, and Depression, as well as other illnesses. It can affect any organ in the body, including the brain, heart, skin, or muscular and nervous systems.

Not Everyone Gets a “Bulls-Eye” Rash

In a 2014 survey of confirmed Lyme cases in Vermont, a rash occurred in only 50-70% of Lyme infections. The absence of a rash does not mean you do not have Lyme disease.