What are the Causes and Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused due to an infection by bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to us through a bite from infected deer or black-legged tick.  The symptoms of this infection usually start becoming evident within 3 to 30 days of the bite. In some cases, the symptoms may appear very late and persist for several months affecting multiple organs and systems of the body. [1] Your risk of getting Lyme disease from the tick bite depends on the kind of tick and the duration for which the tick had been attached to your body. The black-legged ticks can transmit Lyme disease to you when they are attached to your body for at least 36 hours. Also, if you remove the ticks within 48 hours, you are less likely to develop severe symptoms. 

Lyme disease is more prevalent in the Northeast USA where it has been found in all 50 states. The cases of Lyme disease have also been rising in the districts of Columbia, California, and Florida. The healthcare experts fear that the tick might be expanding its range into the western and southern U.S. and even into Canada. [2] [3] However, with improved awareness about preventive care and hygienic precautions, the incidence of this disease is expected to come down. This marks the importance of learning all about Lyme disease so that you can adopt appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family so that you can avoid the infection and stay healthy


What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

  • Severe headache and weakness
  • Skin rashes
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Neck stiffness
  • Arthritis with pain and swelling, in the joints, particularly in the knees
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Drooping of the face on one or both the sides
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Inflammation in the brain 
  • Shooting pains with numbness and tingling in the hands or feet

If you notice any of the above signs of Lyme disease, contact your physician at the earliest so that you can receive timely treatment aimed at clearing the infection and preventing complications.

Your doctors may prescribe antibiotics, especially if the infection is in its early stage. 

Oral antibiotics are the standard treatment for patients with early-stage Lyme disease. You may have to follow a course of antibiotics for 14 to 21 days depending on the severity of the infection and the extent of symptoms. 

Your doctor may recommend intravenous antibiotics if the infection has progressed considerably resulting in the involvement of the central nervous system. A course of intravenous antibiotics for about 14 to 28 days is often effective in these cases to clear the infection. This would help in eliminating the infection, although it may take longer for you to recover completely. 

This is why; it is important to complement these treatments with alternative therapies in order to shorten the recovery period. [4]

If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, follow the dietary and lifestyle interventions discussed by your doctor so that you are protected against the risk of complications and are able to recover faster. 

  1. Gwenn L. Skar; Kari A. Simonsen, Lyme Disease, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021 July  
  2. Robert L Bratton 1 , John W Whiteside, Michael J Hovan, Richard L Engle, Frederick D Edwards, Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, 2008 May, PMID: 18452688 DOI: 10.4065/83.5.566
  3. Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, Lyme Disease: Important Facts to Know, July 15, 2021
  4. Mayo Clinic, Lyme disease 
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