Getting Lyme disease is never fun, but the tick-bite induced red, bulls-eye shaped rash and flu-like symptoms tend to resolve after a course of antibiotics. However, some Lyme patients who are treated don’t see a reduction in all of the their symptoms, and it’s so common it even has its own name. Subtle signs of post-treatment Lyme disease, also known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or PTLDS, include fatigue, pain, insomnia, and depression, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine. What’s more, these symptoms can persist long after the disease has left the body, sometimes for as long as a decade.
“Although physical exam and clinical laboratory tests showed few objective abnormalities, standardized symptom questionnaires revealed that patients with PTLDS are highly and clinically significantly symptomatic, with poor health-related quality of life,” the study reported. “PTLDS patients exhibited levels of fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, and depression.”
Like other chronic conditions that are poorly understood, living with post-treatment Lyme disease can be both physically and mentally exhausting, on top of being incredibly frustrating. If you’ve had Lyme disease, been successfully treated, and you’re still experiencing symptoms, these are the subtle signs of post-treatment Lyme disease to watch for.
Because the symptoms of PTLDS are similar to myriad other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, it can be difficult to diagnose. Extreme, unexplained fatigue in people who’ve been previously treated for Lyme disease isone of the first signs of PTLDS, according to the CDC. If you have had Lyme disease, find a doctor who will listen to you so you can start feeling better.
2Joint Pain Or Arthritis
If you start experiencing joint pain or symptoms of arthritis after you’ve completed treatment for Lyme disease, it could be PTLDS. While it’s rare for people in their 20s and 30s to develop suddenly arthritis, WebMD reported that at least half of people with Lyme disease get some form of arthritis. “Often the pain and joint stiffness can be felt all over, but sometimes it’s just in certain joints, like the knees. It usually goes away, but in some people, the arthritis may continue.”