Common Misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is called the great imitator because it can masquerade as many diseases and as a result it often gets misdiagnosed. It's very hard for doctors and specialists to give a correct diagnosis of Lyme disease when the disease is perfectly imitating the symptoms of, for example, MS or Alzheimer's.
You may have found this website because you already have a diagnosis on the NHS but something in your gut is telling you to question your diagnosis. Here is a list of diseases that Lyme commonly gets misdiagnosed as.
A set of symptoms with no known trigger. The key symptoms of ME/ CFS are fatigue (both mental and physical), intolerance to exercise, flu like symptoms, poor concentration, memory issues, swollen glands, temperature control issues, sleep disturbance, walking difficulties, mood swings and headaches. I had every single one of those symptoms when I contracted Lyme.
This is a disease of the central nervous system and Lyme and co-infections love to invade the central nervous system. Common symptoms they share are vision problems, fatigue, numbness, tingling, difficulties thinking clearly, learning and planning, memory issues, muscle spasms, stiffness, weakness, depression, anxiety, vertigo, brain lesions, bowel and bladder problems and seizures. There have been some studies linking the co-infection Chlamydia Pneumonia to MS, as it has been found in the spinal cord fluid of some patients.
A lot of friends in my Lyme community were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia before realizing they had Lyme and co-infections. Symptoms are cognitive and memory problems, trouble sleeping, morning stiffness, headaches, IBS, painful menstrual periods, numbness tingling of the hands and feet, restless leg syndrome, temperature sensitivity, sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.
Memory loss, confusion, problems recognizing family members, inability to learn new things, difficulty carrying out simple tasks, problems coping with new situations, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and impulsive behavior. These are all symptoms of both Lyme disease and Alzheimer’s.
The actor Kris Kristofferson recently spoke about his years of misdiagnosis with Alzheimer's which turned out to be Lyme disease.
We all suffer from varying degrees of anxiety but not everyone gets to a point where it becomes unmanageable and dominates your life. The anxiety I experienced with Lyme isn't like any I've ever had before. Dealing with a disease that makes a you feel so unwell, that costs so much money to treat and is so misunderstood can be incredibly taxing on your mental health and trigger a lot of anxiety. However, Lyme and co-infections can trigger anxiety by depleting your good neurotransmitters and ramping up your bad, in particular an excitatory neurotransmitter called glutamate which can cause extreme anxiety.
Studies have suggested that depression can be linked to biomarkers of inflammation in the brain. Once Lyme and co-infections enter your central nervous system, they do all kinds of things including triggering inflammatory responses all over the body.
The crucial difference between Lupus and Lyme disease is a butterfly shaped rash that presents on the face and skin lesions that get worse in the sun. Other than that, the symptoms are nearly identical. Fatigue, fever, joint pain, shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches and memory loss are all symptoms of Lyme and Lupus.
RA is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the joints and causes systemic inflammation and so does Lyme disease.
The symptoms of MND and Lyme disease are hard to separate as they have nearly identical symptoms. Fatigue, joint pain, bell’s palsy, slurred speech, irregular heartbeat, dizziness and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord are both symptoms of the two diagnoses.
The list below covers other common misdiagnosis of Lyme disease:
- Cardiac complications
- Fifths Disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Meniere’s Syndrome
- Psychiatric Disorders (Bipolar, psychosis)
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Reactive Arthritis
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Sleep Disorders
- Thyroid Disease
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
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