Talking to Your Doctor About Lyme Disease
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with Lyme disease. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions that you have not thought to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or to learn where you can find more information about your condition. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Lyme disease
- What is Lyme disease?
- How do you get 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 Options
- How do I best treat Lyme disease?
- What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking for other conditions?
- Will the medications cure me of the disease?
- 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?
- 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?
Lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html. Updated July 26, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Lyme disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114365/Lyme-disease. Updated August 15, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Last reviewed November 2018 by David L. Horn, MD Last Updated: 12/20/2014