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Lyme disease - what to ask your doctor

What to ask your doctor about Lyme disease; Lyme borreliosis - questions; Bannwarth syndrome - questions

 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of one of several types of ticks. The disease can cause symptoms including bull's eye rash, chills, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider about Lyme disease.

Questions

 

Where on my body am I most likely to get a tick bite?

  • How large are ticks and tick bites? If I have a tick bite, will I always get Lyme disease?
  • Can I get Lyme disease even if I never noticed a tick bite on my body?
  • What can I do to prevent getting tick bites when I am in a wooded or grassy area?
  • In what areas of the US am I more likely to get a tick bite or Lyme disease? At what time of the year is the risk higher?
  • Should I remove a tick if I find one on my body? What is the proper way to remove a tick? Should I save the tick?

If I get Lyme disease from a tick bite, what symptoms will I have?

  • Will I always have symptoms soon after getting Lyme disease (early or primary Lyme disease)? Will these symptoms get better if I am treated with antibiotics?
  • If I do not get symptoms right away, can I get symptoms later? How much later? Are these symptoms the same as the early symptoms? Will these symptoms get better if I am treated with antibiotics?
  • If I am treated for Lyme disease, will I ever have symptoms again? If I do, will these symptoms get better if I am treated with antibiotics?

How can my doctor diagnose me with Lyme disease? Can I be diagnosed even if I do not remember having a tick bite?

What are the antibiotics used to treat Lyme disease? How long do I need to take them? What are the side effects?

Will I have a full recovery from my Lyme disease symptoms?

 

 

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease. Updated August 19, 2016. www.cdc.gov/lyme. Accessed October 27, 2016.

Steere AC. Lyme disease (Lyme Borreliosis) due to Borrelia burgdorferi. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 243.

Wormser GP. Lyme disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 321.

 
  • Lyme disease

    Lyme disease - illustration

    Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, joint inflammation and symptoms similar to the flu that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms resolve in 3 to 4 weeks even without treatment, but secondary or tertiary disease may develop if initial infection is not treated. Borrelia burgdorferi

    Lyme disease

    illustration

  • Tertiary Lyme disease

    Tertiary Lyme disease - illustration

    Tertiary Lyme disease is a late, persistent inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, neurological and musculoskeletal symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a tick. Tertiary Lyme disease is indicated by chronic arthritis. Borrelia burgdorferi

    Tertiary Lyme disease

    illustration

    • Lyme disease

      Lyme disease - illustration

      Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, joint inflammation and symptoms similar to the flu that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms resolve in 3 to 4 weeks even without treatment, but secondary or tertiary disease may develop if initial infection is not treated. Borrelia burgdorferi

      Lyme disease

      illustration

    • Tertiary Lyme disease

      Tertiary Lyme disease - illustration

      Tertiary Lyme disease is a late, persistent inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, neurological and musculoskeletal symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a tick. Tertiary Lyme disease is indicated by chronic arthritis. Borrelia burgdorferi

      Tertiary Lyme disease

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

    Talking to your MD

     

    Self Care

     

      Tests for Lyme disease - what to ask your doctor

       

         

        Review Date: 8/22/2016

        Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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