Lyme Disease: “The Great Imitator”
Diagnosis of Lyme disease is complicated because symptoms can be vague and take months or years to develop
Particular difficulty arises when there is no bull’s eye rash, which is the case in about 50-70% of cases and presenting symptoms are vague and/or take months or even years after the exposure to develop. These can include fatigue, muscle aches, fevers, and neurological problems including facial nerve paralysis, radiating nerve pain, pins and needles sensation, numbness, and weakness.
Late Lyme disease, which usually appears months to years after exposure and occurs in about 60% of untreated patients, can include intermittent or persistent arthritis, “migrating” nerve and joint pain that moves around, a wide range of neurological problems.
Lyme disease is known as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms can mirror many other conditions.
Diagnoses that can mimic or be triggered by chronic Lyme disease include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
- Chemical Sensitivity
- Bipolar Disorder
- ADHD, ADD
- Any mental health presentation
- Fungal Hypersensitivities
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Hashimoto’s, Grave’s Disease
- Adrenal Insufficiency
- Addison’s Disease
- Menopause and other hormone transitions