Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, because their symptoms are so similar, Lyme
disease and fibromyalgia are often confused for one another. Many people with Lyme disease suffer the same widespread pain
and tender points as fibromyalgia sufferers do. There is a diagnostic test for lyme disease, but it often produces false positive
or false negative results. Consequently, many patients are left suffering for prolonged periods of time.
It is thought
that between 15% and 50% of those patients diagnosed with Lyme disease actually have fibromyalgia. It is important that you
be tested for Lyme disease using a variety of different diagnostic tests, in order to rule out this disease. Long-term antibiotic
treatment can result in serious side effects, and won’t do anything for your fibromyalgia symptoms.
of Lyme Disease
If you have been in tick-infested areas, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms
of Lyme disease. If you have fibromyalgia, it is also important to be aware of the few distinguishing Lyme disease symptoms.
This will help to ensure that you aren’t misdiagnosed with Lyme disease.
Local Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Local or early symptoms of Lyme disease are those that occur within the first two months of infection. They are typically
mild and many people mistake the symptoms for the flu, making diagnosis difficult. These Lyme disease symptoms include:
presence of a spreading red skin rash around the site of your tick bite. This Lyme disease rash appears within 3 and 30 days
of infection; however, it only appears in 60% to 80% of those infected with the disease.
- low fever
- slight headache
- muscle and joint ache
of Lyme Disease
Disseminated Lyme disease symptoms occur after eight weeks of infection. These symptoms result
from the bacteria’s invasion of widespread areas of the body. Symptoms include:
- severe headache
- severe muscle and joint pain
- heart palpitations
- neurological problems including
memory loss, difficulty speaking, difficulty concentrating, and paralysis of the face (Bell’s Palsy)
for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease treatment can be effective, especially when caught within 8 weeks of infection.
More serious cases may never be eliminated completely. A four-week course of oral antibiotics is given for those suffering
from the early stages of Lyme disease. Commonly used antibiotics include doxycyclin and amoxicillin. Intravenous antibiotics,
like ceftrioxone, are administered for more advanced cases.
Lyme disease does become chronic in about 5% of cases. Chronic
lyme disease, called post Lyme disease, does not respond well to treatment and can lie dormant in your body for years. People
with post Lyme disease can suffer from recurrent symptom outbreaks for many years.
Lyme Disease Prevention
In order to avoid getting Lyme disease, your best solution is to avoid contact with ticks or tick-infested areas. If you
are going to be in areas where ticks are breeding:
- Wear long sleeves and long pants
- Tuck your pants into
- Use tick repellent
- Keep your pets inside
- Check yourself every 24 hours for ticks. Remove
any ticks you find and keep them in a glass jar for testing.