Whether you’re new to Lyme disease or have been dealing with it for years, you might be wondering whether or not the symptoms you’re experiencing with Lyme are unique to you. Here are some answers to those “is it only me?” questions!
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Symptoms vary for each person, but include:
- A bullseye-shaped rash at the location of the tick’s bite
- Flu-like symptoms (fever and chills, sore throat, headaches)
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Brain fog
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Neck pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Facial palsy
- Hearing loss
These are the most common symptoms. If your symptom is not on the list, though, it may still be indicative of Lyme—directly or indirectly. The thing is, these symptoms can occur concurrently and/or in different times and seasons. They often manifest themselves differently and to varying degrees in each person. For example, one Lymie may experience manageable headaches and another may experience migraines that debilitate them.
Check out this video of Lymies sharing their symptoms.
Do all Lyme symptoms appear immediately?
Kim caught her Lyme early because she had the classic flu-like symptoms that lasted for days. Her initial symptoms included the bullseye rash, chills, fever, body aches, joint pain in her jaw, and low energy. After being treated for Lyme, though, she later developed anxiety. (Just another example of how Lyme symptoms may not all appear at once.)
Watch her story here.
For somebody diagnosed with Lyme, symptoms may disappear after initial treatments. However, many symptoms can become worse over time, regardless of treatment, and new symptoms can begin to develop.
Can Lyme symptoms come and go?
It is normal to have good days and bad days when you have Lyme disease. Friends and family may not understand how you can have more energy on some days and not on others or why your symptoms come and go. It is also normal to not have enough energy to complete daily tasks and just “push through it.” For example, showering is a simple task for most people, but a Lymie may use all their energy for their day in doing just that.
Also, the pain really can move. You might find that your muscle and joint pain is in one part of your body and then the next day, it aches in another part of your body.
Many factors can affect how you’re feeling. While diet and medication do play roles in this, you might be confused if nothing in your regimen has changed, and your pain has somehow increased. While this can be frustrating to not understand why there is a sudden change, just know that this is normal for Lymies to experience.
A flare-up is a sudden outburst of pain that is triggered and different from the normal, everyday pain you deal with. Certain things can trigger flare-ups, such as drug or food reactions, traveling, stress, and more. Some people will find themselves having a good day, pushing themselves, and then paying for it the next day.
Is Lyme treatment supposed to make you feel worse?
A HERX reaction (herxing) is short for a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction. It occurs when Lyme bacteria is being killed off in the body. This is usually positive because that means your treatment is working. However, some reactions can be too severe.
Everyone experiences herxing a little differently. Heather has Lyme and this is how she would explain herxing.
We hope this has helped answer a few questions about Lyme symptoms. Let us know if we missed any symptoms you’ve experienced!