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emergency question please answer if u know anything about lyme disease asap! is it possible to have lyme disease WITHOUT having the usual bullseye rash?

my husband doesn't have insurance and about a month ago he was bitten by a tick- we didnt think anything of it but lately he has had flu like symptoms without the coughing and sneezing or fever and he has been having chills and after looking a few things up i realized he has the symptoms of Lyme disease but without the rash- and being that he doesnt have insurance he is refusing to go get checked up for fear of the tests they would give him putting us in further debt than we are already in- so i was looking for someone here who has had experience in this so i know if I should force him into going to the docs

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 11:04 PM on Dec. 6, 2009 in Health

Answers (9)
  • Yes you can have lyme disease with no rash. I've read that this happens in about 1/4 of cases diagnosed as lyme disease. I have never had it, but here is what I read:

    The easiest way for a doctor to diagnose Lyme disease is to see the unique bull's-eye rash. If there is no visible rash (as is the case in about one-fourth of those infected), the doctor might order a blood test three to four weeks after the onset of the suspected infection to look for antibodies against the bacteria. Unfortunately, the Lyme disease bacterium itself is difficult to isolate or culture from body tissues or fluids.

    In the early stages of Lyme disease, you may experience flu-like symptoms that can include a stiff neck, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain. You also may experience a large, expanding skin rash around the area of the tick bite. In more advanced disease, nerve problems and arthritis,
    AprilDJC

    Answer by AprilDJC at 11:15 PM on Dec. 6, 2009

  • especially in the knees, may occur.

    Here are some more details:

    Arthritis. After several weeks of being infected with Lyme disease, approximately 60% of those people not treated with antibiotics develop recurrent attacks of painful and swollen joints that last a few days to a few months. The arthritis can shift from one joint to another; the knee is most commonly affected and usually one or a few joints are affected at any given time. About 10% to 20% of untreated patients will go on to develop lasting arthritis. The knuckle joints of the hands are only very rarely affected.
    Neurological symptoms. Lyme disease can also affect the nervous system, causing symptoms such as stiff neck and severe headache ( meningitis), temporary paralysis of facial muscles (Bell's palsy), numbness, pain or weakness in the limbs, or poor coordination. More subtle changes such as memory loss, difficulty with concentration,
    AprilDJC

    Answer by AprilDJC at 11:16 PM on Dec. 6, 2009

  • and a change in mood or sleeping habits have also been associated with Lyme disease. People with these latter symptoms alone usually don't have Lyme disease as their cause.
    Nervous system abnormalities usually develop several weeks, months, or even years following an untreated infection. These symptoms often last for weeks or months and may recur. These features of Lyme disease usually start to resolve even before antibiotics are started. Patients with neurologic disease usually have a total return to normal function.

    Heart problems. Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme disease patients develops heart problems, such as an irregular, slow heartbeat, which can be signaled by dizziness or shortness of breath. These symptoms rarely last more than a few days or weeks. Such heart abnormalities generally appear several weeks after infection, and usually begin to resolve even before treatment.
    Other symptoms. Less commonly, Lyme disea
    AprilDJC

    Answer by AprilDJC at 11:17 PM on Dec. 6, 2009

  • disease can result in eye inflammation and severe fatigue, although none of these problems is likely to appear without other Lyme disease symptoms being present.

    I would DEFINITELY have him seen by a doctor ASAP.
    AprilDJC

    Answer by AprilDJC at 11:17 PM on Dec. 6, 2009

  • To reiterate the above advice- you most certainly can have Lyme w/o a rash...
    mtnmama111

    Answer by mtnmama111 at 1:02 AM on Dec. 7, 2009

  • Yep,

    Both my son and I tested positive for lyme and neither remember a rash. He had arthritis symptoms and recovered fairly quickly with a course of antibiotics. Im still having joint pain, body aches, eye problems and fatigue 6 months later. .

    I certainly hope your husband doesnt have Lyme Disease but if he does, he could get worse without treatment. I suggest a clinic closeby. If you're lucky a doctor will treat him just by his symptoms alone.

    There are also natural remedies that some people swear by. Certain vitamins and herbs may help.

    Good luck!!
    RainyDayLazy

    Answer by RainyDayLazy at 8:50 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • Hi!!!
    My husband has suffered with Lyme disease for years of not knowing what was going on. We went to about 20 doctors who could not pin point Lyme Disease. Lyme disease mimics many diseases from MS to fibro myalgias, pitutary tumors and so forth. It takes a Lyme literate doctor to diagnose you. Not many doctors will not order extensive Lyme testing.. They believe that if the ELISA test comes back neg. you do not have Lyme Diseae..NOT TRUE..With the ELISA, you can get a false neg- Many people have this disease and don't even know they have it. Many doctors won't go further with testing.
    So to answer your question..YES you can have Lyme disease without the bullseye rash..
    The best test for detecting Lyme disease is a diagnostic lab called IGENEX. You can go online and order your kit and bring it to your doctor to fill it out and take the kit to a local lab to draw the blood and send it out. www.igenex.com
    kmr3

    Answer by kmr3 at 2:21 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • there is also a good movie to watch called "Under Our Skin" It's a great movie to see.
    oh and if you cannot order the IGENEX kit. another test that is good to have done is the LYME WESTER BLOT BY PCR.
    Although IGENEX is better, it is more costly.
    I could go on and on about this disease. Let me know if you have any more questions..

    Good Luck!!!
    kmr3

    Answer by kmr3 at 2:24 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • oh before I forget...If it is left untreated..the symptoms do get worse. HE NEEDS TREATMENT!! My husbands because of not
    knowing is in the brain causing Neurological symptoms. Headaches, eye pain, numbness, joint pain, face pain etc..
    Get treatment early!!!
    kmr3

    Answer by kmr3 at 2:28 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

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