Lyme disease and all of its co-infections cause many constant symptoms; consequently it easily mimics disorders, such as Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s disease. A distinctive mark unique to Lyme disease is the “bull’s-eye” rash known as Erythema Migrans, a red rash with an expanding red ring around it and this occurs soon after the tick bite; however, it is NOT ALWAYS in the shape of a bulls-eye. After the tick bite clears up, this bull’s-eye rash is gone. Erythema Migrans is the only manifestation of Lyme disease in the United States that is sufficiently distinctive to allow clinical diagnosis in the absence of laboratory confirmation

The cases of Lyme disease reported to the CDC (300,000 cases) have been distressingly low. Less than half of all cases of Lyme can be traced to a tick bite, so this “bulls-eye” rash is absent in many of those infected.

How do you know if you have Lyme disease? Besides the rash, some of the first symptoms of Lyme disease may include a flu-like condition with fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, achiness and fatigue. Early treatment is crucial to help avoid chronic Lyme. If one doesn’t see the tick and remove it, it can progress to ailments like arthritis, facial palsy, nervous system and heart problems and a hundred other symptoms. For an extensive list of symptoms, refer to the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance7 (TBDA). Some of the more frequent symptoms include the following:

• Muscle and joint pain
• Neurological problems
• Fatigue
• Low grade fevers, “hot flashes” or chills
• Night sweats
• Sore throat
• Swollen glands
• Stiff neck
• Migrating arthralgias, stiffness and frank arthritis
• Myalgia
• Chest pain and palpitations
• Abdominal pain, nausea
• Sleep disturbance
• Poor concentration and memory loss
• Irritability and mood swings
• Depression
• Back pain
• Blurred vision and eye pain & Hearing Problems
• Jaw pain
• Cranial nerve disturbance (facial numbness, pain, tingling, palsy or optic neuritis)
• Lightheadedness
• Mysterious migrating symptoms that seem to come and go
• Migraines

According to his personal email and several press reports, in August of 2013 the College of Charleston President George Benson was hospitalized for Lyme disease. He had been hospitalized for severe back pain, but no one was sure of the exact cause. Lyme is everywhere, “The Lyme disease bacterium has a quirky feature for survival. It can exist without iron, which most other living organisms require to make proteins and enzymes. Instead of iron, B. burgdorferi uses manganese, thus eluding immune system defenses that destroy pathogens by starving them of iron.”

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Updated: August 16, 2017