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Talking to Your Doctor About Lyme Disease

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and/or experience with Lyme disease. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will help you talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask where you can learn more. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask

About Lyme disease

  • What does a tick that carries Lyme disease look like?
  • What should I do if I get a tick on me?
  • How do I safely remove a tick if I find one?
  • Can you test the tick to see if it carries Lyme disease?

About Your Risk for Developing Lyme Disease

  • Based on my medical history and lifestyle, am I at risk for Lyme disease?
  • How do I best prevent Lyme disease?
  • How do I know if I might have Lyme disease?
  • Is there a test for Lyme disease?

About Treatment

  • How do I best treat Lyme disease?
  • What medicines might help me? Will they cure my Lyme disease?
  • What are the benefits/side effects of these medicines?
  • Will these medicines interact with things I am taking, such as:
    • Other medicines
    • Over-the-counter products
    • Dietary or herbal supplements
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • Can I continue my regular activities?
  • What can I do to prevent being bitten by a tick?

About Outlook

  • How do I know that my prevention or treatment program is effective?
  • Once I am treated, can Lyme disease come back?
  • Is Lyme disease contagious?
  • Can I get it again if another tick bites me?
REFERENCES:

Lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html. Accessed November 12, 2021.

Lyme disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/lyme-disease. Accessed November 12, 2021.

Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor/. Accessed November 12, 2021.

Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD  Last Updated: 11/12/2021