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Symptoms of Lyme Disease
|Lyme Disease Rash|
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Early Widespread Infection
- Multiple EM lesions—The rash may appear in several places on the body.
- Arthritis—Sometimes joint pain is the first symptom that is noticed. Other joint problems include stiffness and swelling, particularly in the large joints, such as the knee, elbow, and shoulder.
Nervous system problems—The bacteria can affect the brain, spinal cord, and other nerves of the body. Symptoms of this include:
- Weakness and drooping of the face and eyelid on one side (Bell’s palsy)—It may also occur on both sides of the face.
- Low back pain
- Wide-spread numbness, tingling, and burning
- Impaired motor coordination
- Persistent headache
- Stiff neck
- Mood changes
- Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
- Generalized weakness
- Eye problems—such as conjunctivitis (redness and inflammation)
- Other body systems—Affected areas may include the heart, liver, lymph nodes, testes, and eyes.
- Joint pain—painful inflammation of the joints, as well as intermittent or chronic arthritis
- Chronic nervous system problems—These may include:
- Chronic skin problems—can include thinning, thickening, or discoloration of the skin, usually of the hands and feet
Signs and symptoms lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/signs%5Fsymptoms/index.html. Updated July 26, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Lyme disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 29, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Lyme disease. lymedisease.org. Available at: http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme101/lyme%5Fdisease/lyme%5Fdisease.html. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Lyme disease. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymeDisease/understanding/Pages/intro.aspx. Updated March 29, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2012.
- Reviewer: David L Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/13/2014