ZocdocAnswersAre my headaches caused by Lyme Disease?

Question

Are my headaches caused by Lyme Disease?

For the last two years I?ve gotten bad headaches. I?m 26 and never had this problem before two years ago, when I was also bitten by a tick. Do I have Lyme Disease and not know it? I know ticks cause it. How can I find out if I have Lyme Disease?

Answer

Your symptoms are very unlikely to be caused by Lyme disease. Even though headaches can occur with Lyme disease, it would be very unusual for these symptoms to continue for 2 years without any other sign of the disease. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that can be found in some types of ticks. It is very unusual for this disease to occur outside the northeastern portion of the United States. If you were bitten by a tick outside of this area, your likelihood of Lyme disease is quite low. Also, the tick carrying Lyme disease needs to be attached to you for more than 24 hours in order to transmit the bacteria. If you noticed the tick within this time and removed it, then you wouldn't get Lyme disease. Finally, other symptoms of Lyme disease including fever, arthritis, a rash, and heart problems are more likely to be present than headaches. Other causes of recurrent headaches including migraines and tension headaches are much more common. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can evaluate your headaches with a detailed history and neurological examination. Depending on your final diagnosis, your primary doctor should be able to provide you the appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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