What Are Lyme Disease Symptoms?

What Are Lyme Disease Symptoms?

Lyme Disease is a parasitic disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Occasionally, but rarely, Borrelia mayonii also transmits to humans through the bite of these tiny black-legged ticks. Other forms of the bacteria, including B. afzelii and B. garinii are common in Europe and Asia.

While these ticks are most commonly found in wooded and grassy areas in the northeastern and midwestern United States, the wetter weather in California has increased the number of ticks in the state. Experts say that Californians should take precautions against tick bites.

Most Common Symptoms of Lyme Disease

The symptoms of Lyme Disease can vary from person to person, but there are some common signs to look out for. In the early stages, individuals may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms can occur, including severe headaches, neck stiffness, facial paralysis, heart palpitations, and dizziness.

If untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to long-term complications affecting the joints, heart, and nervous system. You must seek medical attention if you suspect an infected tick has bitten you and are experiencing any of these symptoms.

The well-known symptom of a tick bite is a bulls-eye-like rash or bite mark called erythema migrans or EM. However, our experience at Restoration Healthcare shows the rash may be present in as low as 20% to 40% of our patients (read more on the myths of Lyme Disease here).

Another common myth is that everyone will experience symptoms. It’s just not the case — everyone has a different experience, including no signs, mild symptoms, or debilitating symptoms. However, once you notice acute symptoms, the disease may have struck the central nervous system, which makes it difficult to cure.

Even those with minor symptoms may develop “Lyme arthritis,” a less severe form of the disease. The Lyme disease advocacy group Truth Cures reports that other people may have a type of Lyme Disease that suppresses the immune system and causes false negative test results.

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Lyme disease symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Digestive and bowel disorders
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Autoimmune reactions

The doctors at Restoration Healthcare are experienced in treating Lyme Disease. Since symptoms may not reflect the seriousness of the infection, our physicians examine and diagnose each patient independently and provide a comprehensive plan of care based on an individual’s response to treatment. We do not use a one-size, single approach to treating any complex chronic illness at our clinics.

Remember that without appropriate care from a clinic with experience diagnosing and treating Lyme, mild symptoms can lead to severe health consequences that are difficult to overcome.

Hear from one of our patients about her experience with Lyme Disease.


If you live in Orange County or Los Angeles and believe a tick has bitten you or a family member and may have Lyme Disease, please inquire about becoming a patient. Learn more here.