Problems in Diagnosis of Lyme Disease Based on Symptoms

The bull's-eye rash so often mentioned as a positive Lyme disease symptom only appears in some people. The disease attacks the organs of elimination, so skin rashes of all sorts can be a Lyme disease symptom. In some cases people who have been clinically diagnosed with eczema have discovered that their persistent skin rash was a Lyme disease symptom instead.

The disease is problematic to diagnose based on symptoms alone, as many people who suffer with it have discovered. Any particular Lyme disease symptom such as severe muscle twitching, crippling fatigue, or heart arrhythmia can also be clinically associated with a number of other diseases. The need for a definitive test is critical, particularly one that is administered soon after infection is suspected. Experiencing even a severe Lyme disease symptom, if there is only one, is not enough to alarm anyone to the possibility of being infected with the disease.

Typically, Lyme symptoms appear together and in many cases seem unrelated. A person with neuroborrelia, which is caused when the Lyme bacteria attacks the brain, may experience hallucinations, a common advanced Lyme disease symptom. If that person also has a skin rash that won't go away and joint pain that feels exactly like rheumatoid arthritis, a doctor not educated about Lyme would probably not suspect any of these apparently unrelated signs as a Lyme disease symptom. Instead, the patient may be sent to see a psychiatrist to investigate the hallucinations, a dermatologist to inspect the rash, and another specialist to treat the pain of arthritis.

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