Full body numbness and tingling due to Lyme disease


In their article “Lyme Disease Presenting With Interesting Neurological Features of Weakness and Hyporeflexia: A Case Report,” Semy and colleagues describe the unique case of a young woman with Lyme disease who exhibited solely neurologic features of numbness and tingling throughout her body. [1]

The 25-year-old female developed numbness and tingling throughout her torso, which later spread to her entire body. She presented to a neurology clinic with complaints of numbness and tingling that had been ongoing for the past 4 weeks.

She did not recall a rash or tick bite and had not recently travelled.

The woman did not exhibit any of the typical symptoms seen with Lyme disease such as “arthralgia, fever, rash, or regional lymphadenopathy but in fact exhibited decreased reflexes, numbness, and tingling particularly near the hypogastric region making it distinct from the classical presentation,” the authors wrote.

The numbness and tingling began on the right side of her stomach and radiated to her back and later spread to her entire body. “The tingling was not associated with any burning or pins and needle sensation,” the authors point out.

The woman was prescribed steroids and an albuterol inhaler. But her symptoms did not improve.

“She especially became alarmed when she could not hold her toddler anymore and ended up dropping the child secondary to her numbness and tingling.”

Motor examination revealed that the patient had “decreased tone more significant in the upper limbs (3/5) than in the lower limbs (4/5) along with hyporeflexia in the biceps, triceps, patellar, and Achilles,” the authors wrote.

A lumbar puncture revealed elevated protein concentration (148 mg/dl; normal: 15-60 mg/dl).

The Western blot test for Lyme disease was positive, and the woman was prescribed IV ceftriaxone for 3 days before transitioning to oral doxycycline.

“At the time of discharge, the patient was able to move all extremities spontaneously and ambulate with a normal gait,” the authors wrote. At her follow-up visit, she exhibited only minimal residuary weakness.

Authors’ Conclude:

  • “Physicians need to be aware of the non-pathognomonic timeline of the disease at presentation since the clinical presentation of the disease can differ significantly from one individual to another.”


  1. Semy M, Lee-Kwen P, Semy S (August 10, 2023) Lyme Disease Presenting With Interesting Neurological Features of Weakness and Hyporeflexia: A Case Report. Cureus 15(8): e43296. doi:10.7759/cureus.43296

9 Replies to "Full body numbness and tingling due to Lyme disease"

  • Rene Rothstein
    01/29/2024 (12:41 am)

    I had Lyme disease many years ago. At least 20 years, when I lived in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. My records are at IgeneX LABS. I suffered with the usual symptoms bu improved be years. I am now at age 86 and have problems similar to most people my age. However, I am now plagued with neuropathy in my hands. I thought this was just an aging sign, or caused by all the meds I take. I do have a prescriptionfor small pills to help with the neuropathy that I take every eight hours, it doesn’t help at all. I certainly never thought that this could be a delayed reaction to Lyme disease. What is your opinion?

    • Dr. Daniel Cameron
      01/29/2024 (6:29 am)

      There are so many causes of neuropathy. Nevertheless, Logigian, Steere and Kaplan described neuropathy up to 14 years onset of Lyme disease in 1990 in the New England Journal of Medicine in their article Chronic Neurologic Manifestations of Lyme disease. I advise my patients to include an evaluation by a doctor with experience treating Chronic Neurologic Lyme disease.

  • Brian
    08/15/2023 (4:52 pm)

    Thanks. My fiance is fighting Lymes and this helps me to understand her needs more.

  • Sue
    08/14/2023 (4:15 pm)

    I have suffered from this for five years now. I did oral doxy and 30 days IV ceftriaxone which for some reason made it worse. I haven’t found anything to help. I wish more doctors knew more about it. I have constantly questioned and searched for answers on how and why this happened. I actually take an pain killer to “mask” the symptoms. Anyone have any ideas?

    • Dr. Daniel Cameron
      08/16/2023 (7:58 am)

      I have had patients whose numbness and treatment have resolved with other oral medication including Zithromax and treatment for Babesia with Malarone.

    • Peter
      01/26/2024 (8:01 pm)

      yes, take tapeetea.com it is an herbal tea that reduces the inflamation significantly. I have Lyme with several coinfections, and on herbal tinctures for 9 months, currenty at the 2 month stage- but the tea allows me to be fully functional.

  • G. Sheldon
    08/14/2023 (10:51 am)

    Is there any indication that Lyme can leave a person more susceptible to their extremities ‘falling asleep?’ That is, to increase the chance of transitory and positional paresthesia versus longer-term paresthesia (e.g., lasting more than a few hours)

    • Dr. Daniel Cameron
      08/16/2023 (7:59 am)

      My patients described a broad range of numbness, tingling, or burning.

  • T Allen
    08/14/2023 (8:39 am)

    Can’t access full paper but wonder what other TBD they tested for? Those symptoms sound more like Bartonella. I had similar symptoms but have never received a positive Lyme or Bart test, even though I have had classic symptoms. I have had a positive ANA test. Herbal treatments for Lyme, Bart, and ANA worked after 4 years non-stop.

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