Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that causes a wide range of signs and symptoms. It is important to note that symptom combinations vary greatly from person to person.

It is also critical to note that you can be infected for years without becoming disabled due to the morphologic nature of the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi). In other words, Lyme disease can lie dormant in your body for months or years, taking over when you are worn down physically or when your immune system is suddenly (or gradually) compromised. If you have symptoms in two or more bodily systems, you should consult a “Lyme Literate Medical Doctor” (LLMD), also referred to as a Lyme-literate Doctor (LLD).

Have you had any of the following?

The Tick Bite

  • Tick bite (deer, dog, or other)
  • Rash at site of tick bite
  • Rashes on other parts of your body
  • Rash (basically circular – called “bulls-eye” rash) and spreading out
  • Raised rash, disappearing and returning

Head, Face, Neck

  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Headache, mild or severe
  • Twitching of facial or other muscles
  • Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy)
  • Tingling of nose, cheek, or face
  • Stiff or painful neck, creaks and cracks
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Sore throat


  • Double or blurry vision
  • Increased floating spots
  • Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
  • Oversensitivity to light
  • Flashing lights
  • Ears/Hearing
  • Decreased hearing in one or both ears
  • Buzzing in ears
  • Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sound
  • Ringing in one or both ears

Digestive and Excretory Systems

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping)
  • Upset stomach (nausea or pain)

Musculoskeletal System

  • Any joint pain or swelling
  • Stiffness of joints, back, neck
  • Muscle pain or cramps

Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

  • Shortness of breath, cough
  • Chest pain or rib soreness
  • Night sweats or unexplained chills
  • Heart palpitations or extra beats
  • Heart blockage

Neurological System

  • Tremors or unexplained shaking
  • Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
  • Weakness or partial paralysis
  • Pressure in the head
  • Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
  • Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
  • Increased motion sickness
  • Lightheadedness, wooziness

Psychological Well-being

  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Unusual depression
  • Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
  • Feeling as if you are losing your mind
  • Overemotional reactions, crying easily
  • Too much sleep or insomnia
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

Mental Capacity

  • Memory loss (short or long term)
  • Confusion, difficulty in thinking
  • Difficulty with concentration or reading
  • Going to the wrong place
  • Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
  • Stammering speech
  • Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

Reproduction and Sexuality

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sexual dysfunction

Females only

  • Unexplained menstrual pain, irregularity
  • Unexplained breast pain, discharge
  • Pelvic pain

General Well Being

  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swollen glands
  • Unexplained fevers (high- or low-grade)
  • Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
  • Symptoms seem to change, come and go
  • Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
  • Early on, experienced a flu-like illness, after which you have not since felt well

**This list was compiled by Denise Lang, author of “Coping with Lyme Disease” but is by no means conclusive. If you suspect you have Lyme disease, visit to find a Lyme-literate doctor in your area.

Related Lyme Disease Info Pages:


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