person with flu-like symptoms

Can Lyme Disease Cause Flu-Like Symptoms?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is often called the “great imitator,” because its symptoms are pretty non-specific in nature. This means that they may appear due to a variety of different conditions, so it can be hard to narrow down a diagnosis of Lyme disease based solely on symptoms. Some conditions that are often misdiagnosed when a person actually has Lyme disease include fibromyalgia, arthritis, and even multiple sclerosis.

Since Lyme may present in various ways, many people may be unsure of what symptoms to look out for if they think they may have come into contact with an infected tick and are at risk of Lyme disease. While the late-stage symptoms of Lyme disease mimic more serious conditions, the early signs that your body has become infected will present similarly to the flu. But how do these symptoms feel when they’re caused by Lyme? And is there a way to tell the difference between typical flu symptoms and Lyme disease? Read on to find out.

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doctor consulting with patient

Can Lyme Disease Be Misdiagnosed As Sjögren’s?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness, often referred to as “The Great Imitator” because of its vast list of non-specific symptoms. Initial Lyme disease infection can present similarly to flu, and late-stage symptoms can be similar to arthritis. Because of this, Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as other conditions. And since treatment for Lyme disease needs to occur quickly to rid the body of the borrelia bacteria, these issues with diagnosis can make it much more difficult to get proper treatment and fully recover from the disease.

One example of a health condition that can be mistaken for Lyme disease (or vice versa) is Sjögren’s syndrome. But what is Sjögren’s syndrome, how does it affect the body, and how can Lyme disease be misdiagnosed as Sjögren’s? Read on to learn more.

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fatigued woman resting

What Does A Lyme Flare-Up Feel Like?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that occurs when a tick infected with the borrelia bacteria latches onto a human host and feeds on their blood. During feeding, the bacteria makes its way into the bloodstream, where it spreads across the entire body and causes widespread symptoms. An initial Lyme disease infection feels much like the flu and has non-specific symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. 

Lyme disease can only be treated using antibiotics, but sometimes even treatment does not rid the body of the bacteria. If the borrelia bacteria manages to evade detection, it can hide in tissues and cause a condition known as chronic Lyme disease. When the bacteria stays in the body for a long time, Lyme can sporadically flare up in between periods of remission. So what does a Lyme flare-up feel like? And can you prevent it from happening?

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black and red tick

Can Lyme Disease Cause Jaundice?

Lyme disease is caused by the borrelia bacteria and can lead a variety of health complications if left untreated. Between three and 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick, a person may experience symptoms that resemble the flu, such as a fever, muscle and joint aches, headache, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.

A bulls-eye rash also appears around the site of the bite for the majority of people who have contracted the disease; however, 20–30% of people may not get a rash at all. Because of these non-specific symptoms, many people may not know that they’ve contracted Lyme disease and therefore won’t seek out proper treatment.

As the infection continues to plague the body, more symptoms will develop that can be more severe and damaging. These can include severe headaches and neck stiffness, a loss of muscle tone in the face, arthritis with joint pain and swelling, an irregular heartbeat, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and nerve pain. These symptoms can happen days or even months after a person first contracts the infection.

Clearly, Lyme disease has the ability to affect many organs in the body. But can Lyme disease cause jaundice as a result of liver problems?

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close up picture of tick

How To Identify Lyme Disease Rashes (And Their Lookalikes)

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through tick bites. When a tick infected with the borrelia bacteria manages to transfer it to a person, they may experience symptoms such as fever, chills, muscles and joint aches, headache, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases of Lyme disease, a rash will also develop. The rash most commonly associated with Lyme disease appears as a red bulls-eye shape. In medical terms, it is referred to as erythema migrans.

In as many as 30% of people with Lyme disease, however, a rash may not appear at all, or a different type of rash can develop that resembles that of various other conditions. To help determine if you have become infected with Lyme disease, it’s important to know what the rash looks like, what it could resemble, and at what stage in the disease it appears. Read on to learn how to identify Lyme disease rashes (and how to differentiate between their lookalikes).

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