Lyme Disease Symptoms and Questionnaire

Lyme disease is a far more extensive cause of chronic fatigue and disability than mainstream medicine cares to recognize. It can mimic every disease process including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, autoimmune conditions like MS, psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety, and cause significant memory and concentration problems, mimicking early dementia. It is called the “Great Imitator,” and inaccurate testing-combined with debate and denial of this chronic infection-makes it difficult for sufferers to find effective care.

 

Dr. Nicholas Anhorn, BSc, ND of the Moncton Naturopathic Medical Clinic is fully trained through ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) to test and treat patients with Lyme Disease.  

 

Have 7 mins to spare? If so, check out Dr. Anhorn’s interview with CBC’s Jonna Brewer on Naturopathic care of Lyme Disease. 

 

There is no perfect test for Lyme disease.  Dr. Anhorn uses IGeneX Laboratory testing out of California, which is widely considered as the best that is currently available.  However, regardless of the test results, experienced doctors recommend that Lyme disease be diagnosed clinically, meaning diagnosis is based on an evaluation of your risk and your symptoms. The Horowitz Lyme – MSIDS Questionnaire is one tool that can be used to determine your likelihood of having Lyme and associated tick-borne disorders. is found in Dr. Richard Horowitz’s book “Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease.” 

 

Horowitz Lyme-MSIDS Questionnaire

The Horowitz Lyme-MSIDS Questionnaire is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. You should consult a medical professional in matters relating to health, and individuals are solely responsible for their own health care decisions regarding the use of this questionnaire. It is intended for informational purposes only and not for self-treatment or diagnosis.

© 2014 Richard I. Horowitz, M.D.

 

SECTION 1: SYMPTOM FREQUENCY SCORE

None = 0   Mild = 1   Moderate = 2   Severe = 3

1. Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing

2. Unexplained weight change; loss or gain

3. Fatigue, tiredness

4. Unexplained hair loss

5. Swollen glands

6. Sore throat

7. Testicular or pelvic pain

8. Unexplained menstrual irregularity

9. Unexplained breast milk production; breast pain

10. Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction

11. Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido

12. Upset stomach

13. Change in bowel function (constipation or diarrhea)

14. Chest pain or rib soreness

15. Shortness of breath or cough

16. Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block

17. History of a heart murmur or valve prolapse

18. Joint pain or swelling

19. Stiffness of the neck or back

20. Muscle pain or cramps

21. Twitching of the face or other muscles

22. Headaches

23. Neck cracks or neck stiffness

24. Tingling, numbness, burning, or stabbing sensations

25. Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy)

26. Eyes/vision: double, blurry

27. Ears/hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain

28. Increased motion sickness, vertigo

29. Light-headedness, poor balance, difficulty walking

30. Tremors

31. Confusion, difficulty thinking

32. Difficulty with concentration or reading

33. Forgetfulness, poor short-term memory

34. Disorientation: getting lost; going to wrong places

35. Difficulty with speech or writing

36. Mood swings, irritability, depression

37. Disturbed sleep: too much, too little, early awakening

38. Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

 

SECTION 2: MOST COMMON LYME SYMPTOMS SCORE

If you rated a 3 for each of the following in section 1, give yourself 5 additional points:

39. Fatigue

40. Forgetfulness, poor short-term memory

41. Joint pain or swelling

42. Tingling, numbness, burning, or stabbing sensations

43. Disturbed sleep: too much, too little, early awakening

 

SECTION 3: LYME INCIDENCE SCORE

Now please circle the points for each of the following statements you can agree with:

44. You have had a tick bite with no rash or flulike symptoms. 3 points

45. You have had a tick bite, an erythema migrans, or an undefined rash, followed by flulike symptoms. 5 points

46. You live in what is considered a Lyme-endemic area. 2 points

47. You have a family member who has been diagnosed with Lyme and/or other tick-borne infections. 1 point

48. You experience migratory muscle pain. 4 points

49. You experience migratory joint pain. 4 points

50. You experience tingling/burning/numbness that migrates and/or comes and goes. 4 points

51. You have received a prior diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. 3 points

52. You have received a prior diagnosis of a specific autoimmune disorder (lupus, MS, or rheumatoid arthritis), or of a nonspecific autoimmune disorder. 3 points

53. You have had a positive Lyme test (IFA, ELISA, Western blot, PCR, and/or borrelia culture). 5 points

54. Thinking about your overall physical health, for how many of the past thirty days was your physical health not good?________ days

Award yourself the following points based on the total number of days:

0–5 days = 1 point

6–12 days = 2 points

13–20 days = 3 points

21–30 days = 4 points

 

 

55. Thinking about your overall mental health, for how many days during the past thirty days was your mental health not good?________ days

Award yourself the following points based on the total number of days:

0–5 days = 1 point

6–12 days = 2 points

13–20 days = 3 points

21–30 days = 4 points

 

 

SCORING:

Record your total scores for each section below and add them together to achieve your final score:

Section 1 Total:

Section 2 total:

Section 3 total:

Section 4 total:

 

FINAL SCORE

If you scored 46 or more, you have a high probability of a tick-borne disorder and should see a health-care provider for further evaluation.

If you scored between 21 and 45, you possibly have a tick-borne disorder and should see a health-care provider for further evaluation.

If you scored under 21, you are not likely to have a tick-borne disorder.

 

Interpreting the Results

We see a high frequency of Section 1 symptoms in our patients, including fatigue, joint and muscle pain that often migrates, sleep disorders, as well as memory and concentration problems, and a high frequency of Section 3 symptoms, especially neuropathic pain that comes and goes and migrates (tingling, numbness, burning, etc.). These form a cluster of presenting symptoms that are characteristic of those with a high probability of having Lyme-MSIDS.

In one recent study conducted in our office of 100 consecutive patients, we found that more than 25 percent reported that the following symptoms were present most or all of the time in the month preceding their office visit. Many of these patients reported that these symptoms affected their quality of life: 71 percent reported that their physical health was not good and 47 percent reported that their mental health was not good on at least fifteen days in the previous month.

 

Disclaimer: The Horowitz Lyme-MSIDS Questionnaire is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. You should consult a medical professional in matters relating to health, and individuals are solely responsible for their own health care decisions regarding the use of this questionnaire. It is intended for informational purposes only and not for self-treatment or diagnosis.

 

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