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Acute/Persistent Lyme

What is Lyme complex? 

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infection in the United States. It is transmitted by the bite of a deer tick or Western black-legged tick carrying a bacterium known as Borrelia. Four major species of Borrelia that carry Lyme disease have been identified in North America, Europe and Asia. In the US, the leading cause of Lyme disease is Borrelia burgdorferi and less commonly, Borrelia mayonii. Possible transmission via insects such as flies, mosquitoes and fleas has been reported, in addition to congenital and sexual transmission.

Acute Lyme is diagnosed from the onset of disease to no longer than 6 weeks of infection.  Persistent or chronic is post 6 weeks infection and more difficult to eradicate.  This may be ongoing infection, or it may be symptoms from remnants left behind in the monocytes (Dr. Bruce Patterson, Lyme).  Working with a Lyme Literate DO, NP, MD or Naturopath can help you make your way through proper testing and appropriate treatment.  Persistent Lyme Disease/PLD or Chronic Lyme, disseminated Lyme, or many other variations like what Dr. Kinderlehrer uses, Lyme Complex is what you will read more about on our website.  It is complex because it can linger with up to 300 symptoms, from multiple pathogens, not just borrelia burgdorferi, the most known species. 

Besides the Borrelia that cause Lyme disease, ticks are known to carry more than 20 microorganisms that cause bacterial, viral or parasitic infections in humans. When Lyme disease is present, these are referred to as ‘coinfections’. A typical tick bite is known to transmit an average of 3 infections, which may include may Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, bartonellosis, anaplasmosis or ehrlichiosis. Babesiosis, caused by a microscopic parasite, is another tick-borne coinfection that frequently accompanies Lyme disease. The combination of Lyme disease and one or more coinfections has been referred to as ‘Lyme Complex.’ The symptoms that result from several tick-borne infections can be multiple. They may overlap, which can make diagnosis and treatment extremely challenging, but not impossible.


Persistent/Chronic Lyme Disease: An Evidence-Based Definition by the ILADS Working Group †.

​Lyme disease, resulting from an active infection with any of several pathogenic members of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex (Bbsl), often affects multiple systems. It is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States [1] and Europe [2]. The Centers for Disease Control and Antibiotics 2019, 8, 269; doi:10.3390/antibiotics8040269

Antibiotics 2019, 8, 269 2 of 20 Prevention (CDC) estimates that the annual incidence of Lyme disease in the United States exceeds 329,000 [3]. It is well-documented that many patients present with manifestations of late disease prior to receiving antibiotic therapy and investigators in the field have long known that the illness can be chronic [1,4–6]. While a history of a known blacklegged tick bite or erythema migrans (EM) rash allows for a timely diagnosis, few patients were aware of a tick bite prior to infection [7,8] and the incidence of EM rashes varies by geographic location and Borrelial species such that some patients never develop an EM [1,8,9]. Thus, chronic manifestations of Lyme disease may result from diagnostic delays.


Chronic manifestations of Lyme disease may also result from failed antibiotic therapy as commonly prescribed regimens can be non-curative [4,10–15]. Researchers have documented that patients with acute and/or long-standing Lyme disease frequently remain ill for prolonged periods of time following treatment and that some experience disease progression despite treatment [4,15–18]. Chronic manifestations of Lyme disease are associated with significant and long-standing quality-of-life (QoL) impairments in some patients [16–20]. QoL scores of participants in the four National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Lyme disease retreatment trials were consistently worse than those of healthy populations [16–18].  


-Read the full version here:



Do you have any of these lingering symptoms?


Joints: Arthritis-like joint pain &
swelling, Migrating Joint Pain
Back Pain
Chronic Fatigue
Poor Sleep
Brain Fog
poor Concentration
Inability to Focus
Memory loss — especially short term
Speech Difficulties
Word Finding Problems
Facial Paralysis
Balance problems
Motion Sickness
Eyes: Blurred Vision
Floaters, Chronic Conjunctivitis,
Light Sensitivity
Ears: Ringing in the ears, Hearing
loss, Noise sensitivity
Heart Attack
Muscular. Impaired Muscle
Coordination, Impaired Reflexes
Muscular: Aches, Pain, Weakness
Nerve Symptoms: Numbness,
Tingling, Burning, Vibrating,
Shooting Pains
Gastrointestinal: Chronic Upset
Stomach, Change in Bowels
Psychiatric: Impulsivity, Aggression,
BiPolar, Depression
Dementia, Eating Disorders,
Hallucinations, Mood Swings, Panic
Attacks, Paranoia, Schizophrenia,


High Fever at onset
Overall sick feelings
FatigueJExcessive Sleepiness
Night Sweats
Neurological: Dizziness, Feeling
Headaches (migraine-like, persistent,
and especially involving the back of the
head and upper neck areas)
Lymph gland swelling
Episodes of breathlessness "air
hunger ' and or cough
Decreased Appetite
Spleen and/or liver enlargement
Lab abnormalities may include: low
white blood count, low platelet counts,
mild elevation of liver enzymes, and
elevated "sed rate"
Psychiatric: Anxiety, Panic attacks,
Muscular: Severe Muscle Pains


Joint pain and stiffness
Low grade fevers
Feeling of coming down with the flu
Fatigue with agitation
Sweats, often in the morning or late
Poor sleep (especially falling asleep)
Headaches, frontal or top of head
and confused with sinus
Eyes: blurred vision episodes, red
eyes, dry eyes, depth perception,
retinal problems, light sensitivity
Ears: Ringing in the ears, Hearing
problems, Sound Sensitivity
Sore throats — recurring
Swollen glands especially neck &
under arms
Gastrointestinal: Gut symptoms,
especially acid reflux
Psychiatric: Anxiety, panic attacks
or excessive worry
Agitation, irritation, rage
Impulsivity, or aggression
Episodes of confusion &
Seizure like episodes
Muscular: Muscle pains, especially
in the calves, may be twitching and
Foot pain in the morning involving the
heels or soles of the feet. (Sometimes
misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis
Shin bone pain and tenderness
Nerve irritation symptoms: Burning,
vibrating, numb, & shooting
Tremors and or muscle twitching
Cardiovascular: Heart palpitations
and strange chest pains
Episodes of breathlessness
Skin: Strange rashes recurring, red
stretch marks, peculiar tender
lumps, nodules along the side of the
legs or arms, spider veins

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University of Texas professor and social scientist Sarah Maxwell, PH.D.'s work for the Lyme community

Spatial and Temporal Comparison of Perceived Risks and Confirmed Cases of Lyme Disease: An Exploratory Study of Google Trends

Tick-Borne Surveillance Patterns in Perceived Non-Endemic Geographic Areas: Human Tick Encounters and Disease Outcomes

The aim of this study was to capture the experiences of Lyme
disease (LD) patients regarding symptoms, diagnosis, and
quality of life and compare experiences by diagnostic indicators.
The complexity of LD is presented through nonspecific
symptoms that mimic many other illnesses. Controversies
arise in diagnosis when the early stages of LD are missed and
disease progresses to later stages, which include multisystem
involvement that often leads to severe and chronic symptoms.

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