may be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are like those of many other
illnesses. Your doctor will take a careful medical history and do a physical
examination to help diagnose early Lyme disease. You may be asked whether you
have recently visited an area where you may have been exposed to ticks. The
doctor will ask about your symptoms and look for physical signs that may
indicate Lyme disease. The clearest physical sign is an expanding, circular red
erythema migrans). See a picture of a
Lyme disease rash.
The often vague, flu-like symptoms of Lyme
disease can easily be
misdiagnosed as another illness (such as
chronic fatigue syndrome).
Lyme disease tests are blood tests that help confirm a diagnosis of Lyme
disease. These tests can detect
antibodies to the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that cause Lyme disease. Although blood tests are fairly
reliable, they may not be needed. The decision about
when to use blood tests for Lyme disease depends on
whether your doctor strongly thinks you have Lyme disease and whether the test
results will change the course of your treatment.
such as a skinbiopsy, may be done to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme
disease or to rule out
other similar conditions.
It is important to get treatment for Lyme disease
as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor if you have had a tick attached to
your skin, especially if you live in an area where people have reported getting
Lyme disease. Also watch for early symptoms of Lyme disease, such as a slowly
expanding rash or flu-like symptoms.
If possible, put the tick
that was attached to you in a dry jar or a ziplock bag and take it to the
doctor with you. Sometimes tests can be done on the tick to see if it is a
carrier of Lyme disease.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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