Hunters Beware - LYME is not what you think!


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I first want to say that this thread is intended to help all outdoor enthusiasts to be better informed and aware of the dangers of Lyme Disease. It is not intended to give medical advice other than recommend folks get checked out by a qualified Lyme Physician if they have any reason to suspect an infection.

For those that do not know, I have been battling/struggling with Lyme Disease since February 2008. I am significantly better now but the road has been a rough one. I hope that bringing some attention to the disease will help others avoid it and know what to do should they contract it. Unfortunately, the more I know about Lyme, the scarier it becomes. Also it is unfortunate that it is highly likely many of you reading this thread already have Lyme and/or its many co-infections and don't even know it yet.

In the interest of accuracy and space, I will post various links so those that want to learn more can do so. Much of it can be technical, but overall you will come away with a much different perspective of a disease that is all too often swept under the carpet and very misunderstood.

Lyme Disease is commonly referred to as "the great imitator" and for good reason. It can and does imitate countless other ailments and diseases which makes it extremely difficult to diagnose. Lyme and it's co-infections should be ruled out if you have ever been thought to have any of the diseases in the below links. Some diseases beginning to be linked to Lyme are Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Bell's palsy. Deer Ticks are not the only carriers of the Lyme bacteria. Just about any tick, mosquito or biting fly can carry bacterias. Who hasn't been bitten by a tick? Scary isn't it. Being informed is the best defense.

Below, answering 20 yes represents a serious potential and Lyme should be included in diagnostic workup

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

  • The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash)
  1. Rash at site of bite or on other parts of your body
  2. Rash basically circular, oval and spreading out (more generalized)
  3. Raised rash, disappearing and recurring Head, Face, Neck
  4. Unexplained hair loss
  5. Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
  6. Pressure in head, white matter lesions in brain
  7. Twitching of facial or other muscles
  8. Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy, Horner's syndrome)
  9. Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
  10. Stiff or painful neck
  11. Jaw pain or stiffness
  12. Dental problems (unexplained)
  13. Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose
    • Eyes/Vision

[*]Double or blurry vision

[*]Increased floating spots

[*]Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes

[*]Oversensitivity to light

[*]Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes

  • Ears/Hearing

[*]Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears

[*]Buzzing in ears

[*]Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds

[*]Ringing in one or both ears

  • Digestive and Excretory Systems



[*]Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis

[*]Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

  • Musculoskeletal System

[*]Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome

[*]Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow

[*]Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)

  • Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

[*]Shortness of breath, can't get full/satisfying breath, cough

[*]Chest pain or rib soreness

[*]Night sweats or unexplained chills

[*]Heart palpitations or extra beats

[*]Endocarditis, Heart blockage

  • Neurologic System

[*]Tremors or unexplained shaking

[*]Burning or stabbing sensations in the body

[*]Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis

[*]Pressure in the head

[*]Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks

[*]Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking

[*]Increased motion sickness

[*]Lightheadedness, wooziness

  • Psychological well-being

[*]Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder

[*]Unusual depression

[*]Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)

[*]Feeling as if you are losing your mind

[*]Over-emotional reactions, crying easily

[*]Too much sleep, or insomnia

[*]Difficulty falling or staying asleep

[*]Narcolepsy, sleep apnea

[*]Panic attacks, anxiety

  • Mental Capability

[*]Memory loss (short or long term)

[*]Confusion, difficulty in thinking

[*]Difficulty with concentration or reading

[*]Going to the wrong place

[*]Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)

[*]Stammering speech

[*]Forgetting how to perform simple tasks

  • Reproduction and Sexuality

[*]Loss of sex drive

[*]Sexual dysfunction

[*]Unexplained menstral pain, irregularity

[*]Unexplained breast pain, discharge

[*]Testicular or pelvic pain

  • General Well-being

[*]Phantom smells

[*]Unexplained weight gain, loss

[*]Extreme fatigue

[*]Swollen glands/lymph nodes

[*]Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)

[*]Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)

[*]Symptoms seem to change, come and go

[*]Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts

[*]Early on, experienced a "flu-like" illness, after which you have not since felt well.

[*]Low body temperature

[*]Allergies/Chemical sensitivities

[*]Increased effect from alcohol and possible worse hangover.

There is not a test currently available that diagnoses Lyme with 100% accuracy. The simple blood test that most all General Practitioners order is HIGHLY unreliable. It produces both false positive and negative results which really is a waste of time and money. It also gives a false sense of security or cause for concern. There are a few other tests out there but the Western Blot and ELISA tests are typically the most common depending upon your doctor's Lyme knowledge. The results, while not definitive on diagnosing a current ongoing infection, show exposure to the bacteria and is used with symptoms/ailments to produce a clinical diagnosis.

I spent 5 months trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I had many CT scans due to enlarged intestinal lymph nodes, an MRI, Hydascan, Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, Chest X-rays, had my enlarged appendix out, ECGs, Neurological testing, and lots of blood work. Other than my pain, enlarged appendix and lymph nodes, doctors found nothing wrong. The Gastro(DB)thought it was all in my head.:angry:My wife agreed with him!:angry::angry:I began investigating on the internet and was told that it was not Lyme and that I shouldn't believe what I read on the internet. I educated myself and found a Lyme Doctor that I travel 1.5 hrs to see. Having a Doctor tell me he believed me and that he would help me seemed like half the battle. Treatment has been slow, methodical and difficult. I have the chronic, late stage form of the disease and likely went undiagnosed for years, even though I am only 36. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and hope this thread helps others before they get to the level I was/am at.

Anyone with knowledge of or stories about Lyme is highly encouraged to post in this thread. The more people know, the better off they will be.

Lyme Disease: The Great Imitator | Psychology Today

Richards Family Health Center | archives | Lyme Disease. The Great Imitator

Edited by PotashRLS
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Cannot be too careful with ticks, especially with kids.

Read and also heard that most of the after effects of lyme's are not reversible. Pretty well once you have it the damage is done to the extent or degree it has been let go. Guess though it can be stopped from progressing and helps with treatment if the cause of the symptoms are known. A lot of those symptoms seem they could be related to several other problems, easy to see where misdiagnosis happen. Unfortunately misdiagnosis happen with several other diseases too. Shame some physicians don't or won't listen to their patients which I am sure also leads to wrong diagnosis.

Afraid ticks are gonna be bad here this year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
is there spray to keep ticks away that you can put on while hunting?

Think permethrin and permanon are both effective for keeping ticks off. Robinson labs "no stinkin ticks" is supposed to be effective for ticks. Would think spraying your boots and pants should help a lot, however have had ticks get on me above the waist from brush or trees. Have used the "no stinkin bugs" but it has deet and deet is not so great for ticks, although I can say I don't recall ever picking up any ticks while using the "no stinkin bugs" on my boots and pants..

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I sue this on clothing ONLY:

Cabela's: Sawyer Duranon Permethrin Insect Repellent

On my person:

Cabela's: Ben's Insect Repellent Spray

And this to keep other buggy things away:

Cabela's: ThermaCELL® Mosquito Repellent OD Appliance Holster Combo

I also use a camo Tick gaiter. They run about 6" in length and can keep you boot laces secure while also keeping the top of your boot closed off form the sneaky little ticks that may try getting into your boot or sock and then, you!

Tick/Chigger Gators Camouflage - Shoes -

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Thankfully turkeys can't smell, otherwise no one would kill one:D I use liberal amounts of bug/tick repellants that are high in deet. I keep the drawstrings on my camo pants tied tight and tuck pant legs in whenever possible. I never go in the house with hunting clothes on and have my wife check my head for ticks hiding in my hair. The Thermacell works wonders for mosquitos.

In the fall I worry more about the ticks coming off the deer you already harvested. You won't even realize they got onto you.

Over 50% of people with Lyme or it's accompanying co-infections never see a bite mark. If you have any type of bite mark, especially a red one with a bullseye or rash, you need to see a doctor ASAP. They will likely only give you 10-21 days of antibiotics which is not enough. Try and talk them into 6 weeks of Doxycycline (200mg/day minimum) unless you have a sensitivity/allergy to it. Doxy is a frontline med for those who saw a bite. Take it with food as it can make people nauseated on an empty stomach.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I got a Tom on Monday and when I got home and showered I rubbed off my chest some little black bug that left a red spot. I went to the Doctor and I got a Rx for Lyme's just in case. The Doctor was pleased we took the precaution so soon. It may not be Lyme's but I would rather be safe than sorry.

I am glad to hear that you went to the doctor right a way. The rest of your life can depend on it. What did your doctor prescribe if you don't mind me asking?

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I have way too many of those symptoms. I blame it on my meds.:bummed:

I wouldn't dismiss it too quickly Steve. Did you know that untreated Lyme can affect your heart and mimic/create cardiac problems?

It is very unfortunate that Lyme is being discovered as the underlying cause of other diseases that took on their own identity. Scarey Stuff!!

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28 pills, no refills of one day each dose of 100 MG tablets of Doxyccline Hyclate

At least you got 28 days worth instead of a measly 10-14 days. 100mgs may do okay for you with a new bite but it would certainly not be strong enough with a sustained infection. I take 4x that amount daily!!

Doxy is generally Bacteriostatic (stops bacteria progression but doesn't fully kill) in doses under 300mg and is generally Bactericidal (kills bacteria) over 400mg. These are things a Lyme knowledgeable Physician has up over a General Practitioner. I would certainly be very vigulant on any symptoms you have after finishing your meds. Partially treated Lyme will only come back "bigger and badder" down the road.

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At least you got 28 days worth instead of a measly 10-14 days. 100mgs may do okay for you with a new bite but it would certainly not be strong enough with a sustained infection. I take 4x that amount daily!!

Doxy is generally Bacteriostatic (stops bacteria progression but doesn't fully kill) in doses under 300mg and is generally Bactericidal (kills bacteria) over 400mg. These are things a Lyme knowledgeable Physician has up over a General Practitioner. I would certainly be very vigulant on any symptoms you have after finishing your meds. Partially treated Lyme will only come back "bigger and badder" down the road.

Correction, I have to take 2 -100 mg pills. Once in am and once in pm

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  • 3 months later...

Update - I've not been all that active on the forums this summer. It has been busy like most summers but I have also relapsed with my disease. It seems we (myself and my doctor) underestimated the extent of my "Co-infection/s". This past spring/summer I began having symptoms consistent with Bartonella. In early August I restarted two meds that target the Bartonella or Bartonella Like Organism (BLO) co-infection I likely have in addition to Lyme. The meds hit me like a truck! They started killing the bacteria in mass causing a "Herx" reaction in me. A Herx is similar to detox where your symptoms worsen because of the bacteria's toxins overloading your system. I had the worst headaches of my life. They were like my head was in a vice and my eyeballs were being squeezed. I ran 102F fevers and had drenching night sweats. I backed off the meds but it took over a week to get the symptoms to calm down enough to restart the meds on very low doses. The funny thing is that I had been on these meds before but apparently going off them allowed the Bartonella to repopulate my body. Once we get a handle on this, I will be trying to rule out a Babesiosis co-infection too. Many of the symtoms are similar which makes the clinical diagnosis difficult. Babesiosis is similar to Malaria and actually is treated with anti-malaria drugs.

All this from ticks, mosquitos and other biting insects. Not cool.

Check out this link for more information...... • View topic - Co-infection symptoms & Lyme symptoms

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  • 6 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

We adopted a Plott Hound from our load dog rescue and took him to the vet. The vet had a Lyme's disease shot as an option for our new dog. It is an annual shot but I thought well worth it since the dog stays in the house with us. I ask got Bayer Advantax II to put on him as well. Nothing like protecting yourself and your pets from the evil tick!

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I had the LymeRix immunizations back around 1999 or 2000. I found out that they took it off the market and followed it up with class action lawsuits because the manufacturers didn't reveal the fact that many predisposed people can get treatment resistant Lyme from the shots. I didn't know this until it was was too late. Now I have Lyme and co-infections and have never seen a classic bite. Medicine is more about money than helping people. I hope the shots your vet gave your dog are on the up and up.

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  • 1 year later...

About 2 years ago I had a small tick on me and it was buried. Yes I did get tweezers and pull it off but te head came off. I ended up getting the head out but did develop a ring aroud the area. I went to the doctor and he said he did not think it was but was still treated for it. I believe it was with the research I did.

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  • 4 years later...


And I'm allergic to sprays for ticks. Must be super careful on the hunt, and this is very distracting from the process. My rescue is good pants with tight clasps. I found here some suitable variants. But the pockets are not very deep, but reliable protection against insects. Also, do not forget about gloves, most often the ticks fall on the hands.

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  • 2 years later...

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