When most people think of Lyme disease, they probably picture a tick bite and the classic bullseye rash (if they’ve heard of Lyme disease at all). But there’s so much more to Lyme disease than that. Not everyone with Lyme disease even gets the bullseye rash, and there’s a huge range of other symptoms that can crop up and continue to affect you long after the bite. In fact, Lyme disease is often called “the great imitator” because its symptoms can mimic so many other diseases.
With Lyme disease expected to become even more common this summer, it’s important for the general and medical communities to be educated about the reality of possible symptoms. So we asked our Mighty community with Lyme disease to share some of the “surprising” symptoms they’ve experienced that others may not know about. Let’s move beyond the stereotypes and show people the other life-altering symptoms of Lyme disease.
1. “Severe nausea. I can’t eat for days and then will eat everything in sight once the nausea goes away… making me feel even worse.”
3. “Eye pain to the point of not being able to see colors correctly.”
4. “Suddenly having a severe increase in pain and stiffness that leads to a lot of difficulty walking. I could have been fine an hour ago, but then I need to lean on someone. It’s scary.”
5. “Now that I have started Lyme treatment I get localized pain that feels just like a bull ant bite. The pain is horrendous, and the first time it happened I ripped off my clothes because I thought I was being bitten, but when I revealed the area there was no ant, just my muscle violently twitching where the pain was.”
6. “I started to misplace or rearrange words/sounds in several sentences. Even though I knew exactly what I wanted to communicate, I would say it over and over the wrong way.”
7. “I actually feel as though my body is being attacked from the inside. It’s never just one thing going on, and the stress of hurting literally never goes away. Whether it be pulsing sharp pain in my joints, weakness in my legs, cramping in my hands, aching in my head and chest, or any one of the other 20-some symptoms that occur. There are always at least five physical symptoms occurring at any given minute.”
8. “Short term memory loss. ‘Did I just take my meds?’ I seriously can’t remember, I can’t remember 30 seconds ago.”
9. “Seemingly random joint pain, dizziness, and fatigue.”
11. “Inability to eat due to severe metallic taste from medication. Tinnitus for three-plus years [that] still continues on and off. Pronounced veins and varicose veins. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome: feeling faint/fainting or blurred/lost vision when standing up, inability to stand for long periods of time.”
12. “Paralysis in my limbs.”
13. “Loss of hearing, vision, muscle spasms, memory loss, fatigue, extremely prone to infections, unusual body sensations, to list a few.”.