400 – Common Misdiagnosis

Lyme disease, often referred to as the “Great Imitator”, is often misdiagnosed as CFS, Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, the flu, Bells Palsy, ALS, Autism, MS, Alzheimers, Autism, Parkinson’s or any of a host of psychiatric illnesses.

Early stages of Lyme often brings on FLU –like symptoms such as:  fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph glands.  In this phase, 20-30% who contract the disease will experience Bulls-eye rash.  Persons experiencing this rash should be treated immediately.  Not doing so may lead to more severe symptoms later as well as a longer recovery period.

If not treated early, the disease begins to spread and enters a second stage whereby neurological symptoms may arise.  A person may experience numbness or paralysis in their arms or legs, fever, stiffness, severe headaches, or an abnormal heart rate.  This phase generally begins after a few months.

The final stage, or the chronic stage, may set in after several months or even years after first contracting the disease.  The symptoms become much more exaggerated and severe.  Memory problems and difficulty concentrating surface, arthritis may occur, spasticity, sleep apnea, difficulty balancing may occur.  Lengthy treatment is generally required for chronic patients, possibly lasting years.

Often, the symptoms of chronic patients mimic many of the diseases listed above.  For this reason, it is essential that the patient gets properly tested for Lyme.  It is also important to remember that fifty percent of Lyme tests are incorrect, so having multiple tests from varying labs is valuable.

This section of the handbook discusses a few of the more common misdiagnosis occurring today.

Why are crippling Lyme disease cases being misdiagnosed?

CTV Video: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/WFive/20091113/w5_lyme_091114/

7 Responses to “400 – Common Misdiagnosis”

  1. do any of the medications for parkinsons’ diseasee such as: carbo dopa leve, mirapex and clonazepan have any positive effect on lyme disease?
    i realize this is the same question sent a second time but it said my email address was incorrect.

    • I do not believe so. The Parkinson’s patients I have known had physicians that were all in denial that their problem could be Lyme related. All had been given the typical regimen of PD meds. One died within five years which is very rare for PD. Obviously, this person had not been given any antibiotics and deteriorated quickly.

  2. rob, thank you for yur response. would it be safe to say that since i have responded very postively to the typical parkinson’s medication and have not experienced any of the general symptoms outlined in the information listed above i have probably been diagnoised properly with parkinsons and do not have Lyme disease instead?

    • Steve,
      You really need to follow your physician’s advice.

      Lyme is a serious and all too misdiagnosed disease. But, it does not mean that the other problems are not still out there.

      If you had Lyme tests done and you are satisfied that your problem is not Lyme related then I would think you need to stick with what is working for you. I do emphasize that people should expore the possibility of their illnesses being Lyme, because Lyme is reversible and PD is not. And people should also be aware that many Lyme tests are not definitive so the lab used is important.

      Have you been tested for metal poisoning?


  3. I was bitten by a tick about 22 years ago and was never diagnosed. I thought that it was a case of Ring Worm and soon forgot about it when the rash went away. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease about 18 years ago. I stopped using Parkinsons drugs about 12 years ago because I was disappointed that they did not help me very much. Things have much improved, and after much research in the internet, I have self diagnosed my self as having Lyme Disease. My biggest problem is getting my doctor to not follow the “CDC” guideline for Lyme disease and doing some open research on the problem at hand. I have been on Doxycline for 3 months and have been using a lot of coconut oil. Things have slightly improved although some Lyme symptoms are getting worse. How can I get my doctor to think outside of the box and get him to realize that I have a real problem?

  4. Please send out to Texas Lyme sufferers this link to a survey
    The link to the survey and more information about it is:

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