Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Lyme Disease

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Lyme Disease Can Cause Neurological Problems

By Cary Cook BSN RN
 
Rate This

Lyme disease is the most common tick-caused disease in the United States. Blacklegged ticks spread it across most of the country. The tick bites an infected mouse, squirrel, or other small mammal and picks up the bacteria. When the tick bites a person, the bacteria can enter the wound.

The first sign of Lyme disease is usually a rash shaped like a bulls-eye (as on a dart board) but sometimes this sign is missed, particularly if the tick bite is under hair or on a part of the body that is hard to see. The rash can grow to 12 inches in diameter. It is not normally painful, but may feel warm.

Symptoms progress to flu-like symptoms, with fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and body aches along with swollen lymph nodes. If the disease isn’t treated, most people will have intermittent arthritis with joint swelling. Sometimes this is mistakenly diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis.

If Lyme disease is recognized, it can be treated easily with antibiotics. But the symptoms can be vague and if you don’t realize a tick has bitten you, your health care provider may think you have a virus. It is thought the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease are caused by an over zealous response by the immune system.

Untreated Lyme disease can cause neurological problems that can become permanent. Temporary symptoms include Bell’s palsy, meningitis and shooting nerve pain that wakes you out of a sound sleep. As the infection continues, neurological symptoms become chronic, with numbness and tingling, and shooting pains in the hands and feet. This is often accompanied by severe fatigue, sleep dysfunction and cognitive deficits such as memory problems and difficulty concentrating.

Lyme encephalopathy is the most common late stage neurological problem related to Lyme disease. Patients suffer from symptoms related to mild encephalitis. These symptoms include difficulties with concentration, sleep disturbance, moodiness, memory and attention dysfunction.

Most people will fully recover from Lyme disease. The prime time for contracting the disease is late spring and early summer.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1896 Health

Changed

787 Lives

Saved

653 Lives
1 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do your teens have their own cellphones?:
View Results