Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks which may also be carrying other infections such as Bartonella, Mycoplasma etc..
Typical symptoms of Lyme include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system and the Gastrointestinal tract. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful but are not a requirement to making a diagnosis Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases including Bartonella (commonly associated with cat scratch fever), Mycoplasma ( a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome and gulf war syndrome), Ehrlichia, Babesia ( a parasite causing anemia), .
Gastrointestinal Lyme and other tick diseases may present as…
Abdominal pain (belly aches),
blood in the stool ( colitis)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohns disease, Ulcerative colitis
failure to thrive, poor gain weight, not meeting age appropriate milestones
diarrhea and/ or vomiting
constipation with or without motility issues ( Gut issues secondary to neurologic lyme and/or bartonella)
soiling or encopresis
Irritable bowel syndrome
rashes may occur in patients that are not the characteristic bullseye rash and might resemble a stretch mark or be a non descript looking red earlobe or slap face or slap back appearance