Lyme Disease

What Causes Lyme Disease?

In order to deal properly with Lyme disease we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow Lyme disease symptoms to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind Lyme disease consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to Lyme disease symptoms.  Here are seven possibilities:
  • Gout*
  • Alzheimer's Disease*
  • Lupus (SLE)*
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome*
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia*
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
* symptoms can be very similar

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
one to five tender points
frequent rashes
muscle pains in family members
fatigue for over 3 months
recent onset neck pain
brittle fingernails
voice change
severe rheumatoid arthritis
variable duration morning stiffness
poor tolerance of heat
afternoon headaches
regularly feeling unusually cold
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of Lyme disease symptoms:
Cause Probability Status
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia** 92% Confirm
Multiple Sclerosis** 30% Unlikely
Rheumatoid Arthritis** 14% Unlikely
Gout** 0% Ruled out
Lupus (SLE)** 0% Ruled out
Guillain-Barre Syndrome** 0% Ruled out
Alzheimer's Disease** 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
** Symptoms can be very similar

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Immune System Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about Lyme disease:
Lyme Disease. Have you ever been diagnosed with this condition? It is a tick-borne disease characterized by circular rash, headache, fever, chills and, later, by possible arthritis and neurological and cardiac disorders.
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Minor episode now resolved
→ Major episode now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of Lyme disease or Lyme disease, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Alzheimer's Disease

Spirochetes, such as those found in Lyme disease, may be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease and may also be the source of beta amyloid deposited in the brains of such infected patients.

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Lyme disease should be a differential diagnosis for all fibromyalgia patients who could have been exposed to a tick bite.

Gout / Hyperuricemia

Lyme disease is similar to gout and is sometimes misdiagnosed as such.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Putting aside the issue of whether Lyme disease does or does not cause some cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, the two diseases share so many symptoms that Lyme disease can be mistaken for Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Lyme arthritis is often mistaken clinically for systemic lupus erythematosus.

Multiple Sclerosis

Lyme Disease has been called "The New Great Imitator", a replacement for that old "great imitator" neurosyphilis.  The two diseases share so many symptoms that Lyme disease should be ruled out if multiple sclerosis diagnosis is in question.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of Lyme disease have frequently been misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis and subsequently mistreated.

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