Who Treats Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to people by deer ticks. Lyme disease can cause different symptoms, depending on how long you’ve had the infection. And symptoms of Lyme disease can come and go, making it seem like you’re better—and making it harder to figure out when you were first infected.
All of this can make Lyme disease complex for healthcare providers to diagnose and treat. If you think you have Lyme disease, look for providers who have experience treating the condition, especially in areas where Lyme disease is more common. In the United States, this includes the northeastern coast and the upper Midwest.
Healthcare providers who treat Lyme disease include:
Primary Care Doctors
Your primary care doctor is the place to start. Doctors who provide primary care services include family medicine doctors, internists, geriatricians, and pediatricians. Their training helps them recognize the signs and symptoms of early and later-stage Lyme disease. If a primary care doctor treats your Lyme disease and symptoms seem to persist, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to provide further treatment.
Rheumatologists specialize in the health needs of people with rheumatic problems. Rheumatic diseases involve inflammation and loss of function of your joints, tendons, ligaments, bones or muscles. Lyme disease often involves joint pain and swelling. If this happens to you, your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist.
Infectious Disease Specialists
Infectious disease medicine doctors specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. While most people respond well to a round of antibiotics, some cases of Lyme disease aren’t so simple. If you’ve gone through a treatment and your symptoms persist, you may see an infectious disease specialist.