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The Symptoms

Lyme Disease is a tricky little @#$!. It enjoys a good, ongoing game of hide-and-go-seek, hiding in your organs, tissues, blood and bones. The 'great imitator', is, naturally, difficult to spot. Once the symptoms pile up, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. The CanLyme website is an absolutely fantastic resource, and I pulled this list of Lyme symptoms off it, and used Joe the Tick's Lyme Blog, and excellent source clear information of tick-borne illnesses.

Check out this clear chart of symptoms here, or read below checklists from various sources!

If you have more than 20 of the following symptoms of Lyme disease, there is a serious potential that you indeed have Lyme, and proper testing is required. I know the list is daunting, but it is well worth your time. My mother printed off a similar list and too it around to all the doctors I saw, with more than 2/3 of the symptoms checked off. It is great to have as a handy resource. Make sure to take your time when answering the questions, thinking about your whole life too, not just your more recent symptoms.  Once completed, if you have more than 20 ‘yes’ answers, there is a serious potential that you have Lyme disease, and I would urge you to get a Lyme diagnostic workup and see a doctor in the know pronto! Please don’t wait, for your sake. 

I have also included the checklists for Babesiosis (babesia), Ehrlichiosis, and Bartonella, 3 of the most common co-infections that are also carried by ticks. When you are bitten by a tick, there could be any number of different diseases floating around in their body that they can pass on to you. I would recommend that you look at all 4 lists, just to insure you aren't missing a piece of the puzzle.

Unfortunately, most people who I've met who are very sick have multiple co-infections. The symptoms of babesia and bartonella I experience cause me much more grief than even the Lyme disease.  

Many of the symptoms overlap for all 4 diseases, but knowledge is your best weapon in fighting them. Your LLD (Lyme Literate Doctor) will understand how to diagnose these properly, looking primarily at the symptoms (but also at accurate testing). If you are looking to research more about how complicated co-infections can manifest in your body, check out this incredibly detailed look at most of the co-infections on CanLyme's website.

  For your convenience, please download the Lyme disease checklist here.~

Symptoms of Lyme Disease
    * The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash)
   1. Rash at site of bite
   2. Rashes on other parts of your body
   3. Rash basically circular, oval and spreading out (more generalized)
   4. Raised rash, disappearing and recurring

          * Head, Face, Neck
   5. Unexplained hair loss
   6. Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
   7. Pressure in head, white matter lesions in brain (MRI)
   8. Twitching of facial or other muscles
   9. Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy, Horner's syndrome)
  10. Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
  11. Stiff or painful neck
  12. Jaw pain or stiffness
  13. Dental problems (unexplained)
  14. Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm, hoarseness, runny nose

          * Eyes/Vision
  15. Double or blurry vision
  16. Increased floating spots
  17. Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
  18. Oversensitivity to light
  19. Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes

          * Ears/Hearing
  20. Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
  21. Buzzing in ears
  22. Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
  23. Ringing in one or both ears

          * Digestive and Excretory Systems
  24. Diarrhea
  25. Constipation
  26. Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis
  27. Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

          * Musculoskeletal System
  28. Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
  29. Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
  30. Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)

          * Respiratory and Circulatory Systems
  31. Shortness of breath, can't get full/satisfying breath, cough
  32. Chest pain or rib soreness
  33. Night sweats or unexplained chills
  34. Heart palpitations or extra beats
  35. Endocarditis, Heart blockage

          * Neurological System
  36. Tremors or unexplained shaking
  37. Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
  38. Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
  39. Pressure in the head
  40. Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
  41. Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
  42. Increased motion sickness
  43. Lightheadedness, wooziness

          * Psychological well-being
  44. Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder
  45. Unusual depression
  46. Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
  47. Feeling as if you are losing your mind
  48. Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
  49. Too much sleep, or insomnia
  50. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  51. Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
  52. Panic attacks, anxiety

          * Mental Capability
  53. Memory loss (short or long term)
  54. Confusion, difficulty in thinking
  55. Difficulty with concentration or reading
  56. Going to the wrong place
  57. Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
  58. Stammering speech
  59. Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

          * Reproduction and Sexuality
  60. Loss of sex drive
  61. Sexual dysfunction
  62. Unexplained menstrual pain, irregularity
  63. Unexplained breast pain, discharge
  64. Testicular or pelvic pain

          * General Well-being
  65. Phantom smells
  66. Unexplained weight gain, loss
  67. Extreme fatigue
  68. Swollen glands/lymph nodes
  69. Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
  70. Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
  71. Symptoms seem to change, come and go
  72. Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
  73. Early on, experienced a "flu-like" illness, after which you have not since felt well.
  74. Low body temperature
  75. Allergies/Chemical sensitivities
  76. Increased effect from alcohol and possible worse hangover

 Symptoms of Babesiosis (Babesia)

Quoted from CanLyme co-infection article: "In milder forms, symptoms may include a vague sense of imbalance without true vertigo, headache, mild encephalopathy, fatigue, sweats, air hunger and occasionally cough. When present as a co-infection with Lyme, initial symptoms of the illness are often more acute and severe. Suggestions of co-infection include the above symptoms, but the headaches are more severe, and encephalopathy is out of proportion to the other Borrelia symptoms. The fulminant presentations include high fevers, shaking chills and hemolysis, and can be fatal."

Symptom Checklist: From Joe the Tick's Lyme Blog

1. Chills
2. Fatigue and often excessive sleepiness
3. High fever at onset of illness
4. Night sweats that are often drenching and profuse
5. Severe muscle pains, especially the large muscles of the legs (quads, buttocks, etc.)
6. Neurological symptoms often described as “dizzy, tipsy, and spaciness,” similar to a sensation of “floating” or “walking off the top of a mountain onto a cloud”
7. Depression
8. Episodes of breathlessness, “air hunger”, and/or cough
9. Decreased appetite and/or nausea
10. Spleen and/or liver enlargement
11. Abnormal labs (low white blood count, low platelet counts, mild elevation of liver enzymes, and elevated sed rate)
12. Headaches (migraine-like, persistent, and especially involving the back of the head and upper neck areas)
13. Joint pain (more common with Lyme and Bartonella)
14. anxiety/panic (more common with Bartonella)
15. Lymph gland swelling (more common with Bartonella and Lyme)

Bartonella Symptom Checklist

Also taken from Joe the Tick's Lyme Blog
  1. Fatigue (often with agitation, unlike Lyme disease, which is more exhaustion)
2. Low grade fevers, especially morning and/or late afternoon, often associated with feelings of “coming down with the flu or a virus”
3. Sweats, often morning or late afternoon (sometimes at night) – often described as “thick” or “sticky” in nature
4. Headaches, especially frontal (often confused with sinus) or on top of head
5. Eye symptoms including episodes of blurred vision, red eyes, dry eyes
6. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and sometimes hearing problems (decreased or even increased sensitivity – so-called hyperacusis)
7. Sore throats (recurring)
8. Swollen glands, especially neck and under arms
9. Anxiety and worry attacks; others perceive as “very anxious”
10. Episodes of confusion and disorientation that are usually transient (and very scary); often can be seizure-like in nature
11. Poor sleep (especially difficulty falling asleep); poor sleep quality
12. Joint pain and stiffness (often both Left and Right sides as opposed to Lyme which is often on one side only with pain and stiffness that changes locations)
13. Muscle pains especially the calves; may be twitching and cramping also
14. Foot pain, more in the morning involving the heels or soles of the feet (sometimes misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis)
15. Nerve irritation symptoms which can be described as burning, vibrating, numb, shooting, etc.
16. Tremors and/or muscle twitching
17. Heart palpitations and strange chest pains
18. Episodes of breathlessness
19. Strange rashes recurring on the body often, red stretch marks, and peculiar tender lumps and nodules along the sides of the legs or arms, spider veins
20. Gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain and acid reflux
21. Shin bone pain and tenderness

Ehrlichiosis Symptoms

Quoted from (CALDA) website: "The clinical manifestations of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are the same. Each is often characterized by sudden high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headache. The disease can be mild or life-threatening. Severely ill patients can have low white blood cell count, low platelet count, anemia, elevated liver enzymes, kidney failure and respiratory insufficiency. Older people or people with immune suppression are more likely to require hospitalization. Deaths have occurred."

Other Co-infections

Check out CanLyme's page on co-infections and the poster below from

click the above chart to view larger version


    1. I have suffered most all of theses symptoms! I am really scared sometimes, I thought I was going to die in the hospital!! I just got out yesterday, and I had been in there for five, and a half days. I was just told about a month ago I have Lyme's Disease, it only took eight months, and like four trips to the hospital! I am very lucky, my brother in law is a lyme's disease specialist in Texas, but right now my husband, and I live in Idaho where they are not used to people with this disease, so until we can get moved my brother in law talks with my doctors about treatment, and other things. I have to say I am blessed by God! I cried so hard when I thought I was going to die, and leave my husband behind, I remember all I could say was I have not had enough time with my new husband, and I am not ready to leave him, I just remember crying, and telling him neither of us signed up for this, and I would understand if he wanted out, I did not want him to have the worry, the stress, but he has a huge heart, and we love each other very much. We will be married one year the 25th of this moth, we have 21 years between us I am 41, and he is 62. He has been a blessing in my life thank you God! Please anyone out their let know will I ever be the same person I was before this horrible out break? Will I ever have a normal life? My e mail is please if anyone wants to share your story with me if someone can give me some hope of a normal life please help!!!!