Specifically, some research has shown that the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme Disease can trigger Hashimoto's thyroiditis in some people. So there are some patients who had undiagnosed or untreated Lyme Disease, only to go on to develop an underactive thyroid later.
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but are not seemingly responding to thyroid hormone replacement treatment, familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. Thorough testing with practitioners who have expertise in Lyme Disease diagnose a Lyme infection, and get you on track towards treatment.
Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease (3-30 days after the tick bite)
- Red, expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM) or a "bulls-eye" rash — can reach 12 inches across, and usually shows up around 7 days after the bite.
- Muscle and joint aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Early Stage Symptoms of Lyme Disease (Days to weeks after the tick bite)
If Lyme is not treated, other symptoms may appear, and can include:
- Additional EM rashes in other areas
- Facial or Bell's palsy (loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face)
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness due to meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord)
- Pain and swelling in the large joints (such as knees)
- Shooting pains that may interfere with sleep
- Heart palpitations and dizziness
- Forgetfulness/brain fog
Late Stage Symptoms of Lyme Disease (Months to years after the tick bite)
- Approximately 60% of patients with untreated Lyme infection may have bouts of arthritis, with severe joint pain and swelling. Large joints are most often affected, especially the knees.
- Up to 5% of untreated patients may develop chronic neurological complaints. These include shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with short-term memory.
Other late stage symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Nerve problems
- Excessive fatigue
- Hormonal deficiencies and imbalances,
- Other immune dysfunctions
If you have these symptoms, and want to rule out a possible Lyme infection, learn more about how Lyme Disease is diagnosed.