How Lyme Disease Affects Weight

Lyme disease is a chronic and untreatable condition that is spread through ticks and other parasites. Named after the town in Connecticut in which it was first documented, this disease is reason enough to double check that you don’t have any ticks, fleas or other outdoor parasites after making a trip through the forest. Lyme disease is manageable through a variety of different medicines and procedures, but the condition itself is permanent.

Unfortunately for the purposes of using it as a symptom, weight gain and weight loss are both common affects of Lyme disease. Much more common, however, is chronic and steady weight gain. Although it is not clear exactly how the disease affects these changes in your body, doctors have a general idea about the causes of weight fluctuation as a result of Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease and Weight Gain

More often than not, if Lyme disease contributes to any change whatsoever in weight, it will likely lead to a period of weight gain. Generally speaking, this occurs because the Lyme disease pathogens affect the metabolic systems in your body. As the speed of your metabolism changes, it typically takes longer and longer to process the food that you eat. This means that excess food is stored by default as fat content throughout the rest of your body. If you fail to adjust your diet accordingly, as many people do, the Lyme disease changes to your metabolism will cause your weight levels to rise.

Lyme Disease and Weight Loss

Lyme disease can also lead to weight loss in some patients. It is believed that the cause of this weight loss is generally the same as the cause of the weight gain in that it is affected by a shift in metabolism. However, the total cause of the change and why it is in different polarities for certain people is not yet fully understood. Most often, Lyme disease will contribute to a more minor loss of weight than it will contribute to an increase in total weight.

Other Considerations

Lyme disease is a manageable disease, but it’s important that you know how to properly adjust your metabolism and the foods that you eat accordingly. After your diagnosis, work with your doctor to examine how your weight has changed and what you can do to stabilize yourself at a healthy weight. This may involve certain dietary changes, including incorporating specific foods that help to either speed up or slow down your metabolism. It may also involve adding to or eliminating from the total calories that you generally ingest as a natural course for your meals. Through careful planning of this type and steady maintenance of a preplanned and well thought out diet structure, you can beat the metabolic changes that may come about in your body as a result of Lyme disease and maintain a healthy weight and a normal lifestyle. Ask your doctor for more information.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • Tiffani

    Lyme disease is a Completely treatable disease. Considering it “chronic,” is old school. I figured out I’ve had it for nearly six years. Within a year of various treatments from a Lyme literate physician, I am expected to make a full recovery.

    Without treatment Lyme continues to burrow into your tissues and nervous system, releasing nuerotoxins that eventually cripple you. If you need more info, contact me.

  • mary dyer

    I’d love to hear from you — I have just started treatment for lyme (undiagnosed for over a year), have lost weight (can’t afford to) and want to get my life back asap.
    Interested in your protocol !!!
    Thank you !!!
    ~ Mary

  • Eden

    This article is totally inaccurate and needs to be corrected. Lyme disease is TREATABLE and most are cured. Try getting your facts from appropriate sources like or

  • Nolan

    Peggy, 200 mg of Doxy is probably not enough. Some people go on high doses of IV antibiotics(along with oral antibiotics and other medication) for years before they see real improvement. People that have more success more quickly use herbs along with antibiotics, namely Cat’s Claw powder, Japanese Knotweed powder, and Eleuthero extract (at least 2:1 strength ratio). Generally at least 500mg of Doxy is needed to cross the blood-brain barrier.

  • Kat

    Guys please don’t act like there are finite answers in regards to curability; this is an ever-changing pathogen ( that’s what evolution does) and all of out bodies respond differently. 5 year progressed Lyme is not the same as Lyme that has professed for a month or even a year; because a test no longer says your positive, that is not fact. Unfortunately, for many of us, once the disease spreads through our bodies for many years, we get to points where our immune system is not even able to mount a defense and create the antibodies necessary to provide a “positive” Lyme screen. If you have permanent plaques or encephalopathy that will forever affect your memory, verbal skills, and balance, do you consider yourself cured? This illness is the furthest thing from black and white; by stating these things as if they are certainties we only strengthen the cynics (and often flat-out liars) of the medical community that want to stamp “Lyme-free” on our foreheads and then call us delusional and refer to our symptoms as psychosomatic. They don’t know and we don’t know; ignorane has to be acknowledged or arrogance and ego hinder and/or halt progression. I say this as a second year med- student specializing in infectious disease that saw the book closed far too often on topics that my superiors wanted to believe they knew all there was to know.
    When we believe we know all we stop listening.

  • Kerri Anne

    In the last ten months, without changing my diet or exercise routine whatsoever, I have gained almost forty pounds, mostly in my belly. Despite me exercising more and cutting calories, I am still gaining weight. (No, I am not pregnant – believe me, I would be relieved if I were because it would explain the belly!) I went to my physician, and she told me it was my birth control medications; therefore, I stopped taking them three weeks ago, and I’m still gaining. They checked my thyroid with blood work and claim nothing is wrong, but I don’t see how there isn’t anything wrong – what’s happening to me is not healthy! My friend who sees a lyme literate doctor has been saying for years that I have chronic lyme (because of other ailments I suffer with such as repeated sinus infections, migraines, a bartonella rash, anxiety, etc.) and I was always hesitant to believe her. Now this weight gain is the last straw for me, and she claims it is the untreated lyme. Is this possible??

  • Janina Turchin

    Lyme disease IS curable. I know this article is a few years old, and we’re still learning about Lyme every day, but I really don’t want people to think it’s untreatable. I have Lyme disease and am treating it now and my doctors have fully cured many patients. So there definitely is hope.

  • Jackie Raville Johnson

    I see this was four months ago. Are you cured? I hope so! How long did you have lyme? Everything I have read definitely states that it is curable, however, it also states that Chronic Lyme is extremely difficult to treat and only 30 – 50% (depending on the source) are cured. Most have recurring symptoms or relapses. I have probably had it for 30+ years. I was given a fibromyalgia diagnosis 22 years ago and even though I suspected lyme at one time (was scoffed out of the doctors office without a second thought), have only been diagnosed with lyme for 2 months. I am overwhelmed and trying to educate myself. Anything you can share is appreciated! Thanks!

  • Janina Turchin

    I am not cured yet, but I have already made progress with my treatment and it’s only been 5 months (before I would’ve thought 5 months was so long, but I’ve since accepted that chronic Lyme takes a long time to beat. It’s been in your body for years, it’s going to take a while to rid your body of it as well). Because I have no recollection of being bitten, I am not sure how long I have had Lyme, but my doctors suspect I have had it for quite a while and do put me in the chronic category. It’s so important to find a good Lyme literate MD. I had to switch doctors at one point bc I kept getting worse. It’s overwhelming and more difficult than I can express in words, but it will get easier. You have to find the best doc. I see Dr. Christine Green in San Francisco. She is one of the best Lyme docs in the country. A lot of docs still don’t know enough about Lyme, so find one that does. And don’t give up. Sometimes one antibiotic doesn’t work and you have to try another one, or a different dosage. You can email me if you have more questions. [email protected]

  • Janina Turchin

    I can’t give you personal experience with recurring symptoms bc I’m still treating, but my doc says I will make a full recovery. And when I started treating with her I could barely walk, that’s how bad my Lyme got. So I feel your pain. Literally. It’s one of the most horrible, curable diseases. Hang in there.

  • Aretmis

    It is not curable IF it is never diagnosed or diagnosed wrong. It then turns into late stage Lyme. For janina to say it is is wrong to SO MANY,TOO MANY people. Lyme is treated as this antibiotics of Doxy 30 days if it is your FIRST bite. But doxy alone does nothing!!!You need Plaqiunal Maldarone or Mepron ask most Dr’s they will not even know these med’s, sad right!!! Quest labs usually never even pick up Lyme. IgEnex lab in CA is the best lab, but costly that is out of network for hospitals too so your stuck with quest which IMO stinks!!!! Ok. So Epstein Barr is another co infection which wipes you out and your immune system. Let’s start with what worked for me. IV Rocephin, mino helps your brain fight inflammation and bad bacteria even right after a stroke if Dr’s are smart… Ha ha they give minocylcline on on set. Me 3 years of that and plaquinal along with mepron, mepron helps the coughing ya get from Lyme and resportary illness. Nowif you are late stage Lyme YOU DO NOT GET CURED, if at all, you always get flair ups. Stress or a bite brings it ahead again. Your joints are and will wear down – fact – even every march say, you were first bite you may have every March you feeling like crap again. And a cold can spin your body out of control and make you feel like a truck hit you. What I have done HERBS Chinese are smart Herbs such as Burbur, banderol, Pasely, Samento. Take slowly build it up take the Burbur with Banderol in an inch of water day and night start off 3 drops of each then wait….15 minutes an inch of water place paisley and Samento couple of drops repeat this sequences at night, so space this 12 hours if can. You work your way up. IT KICKS UP Lyme and then kicks it out, even in your muscles. It is strong so remember if you flair stop and just cleanse with water and lemon the whole day. I also had a metal test which showed I was allergic to titinuim weird right. My back fusion was REMOVED it was poisioning me. I went holistic chiropractor who place me on drops. These drops under tongue…metal chord, immune detox, inflamma terrain drops, bacteria detox,liver milieu detox…cleansing Liver is SO IMPORTANT. Look on Amazon for the burbur and those drops. These that I had gotten from Holistic Dr. My symptoms. Were???Brain white matter so I am getting Metal OUT of my mouth Root canals BAD, mercury fillers BAD most Denists are living under a rock. Floss EVERYDAY 3 x i heard switch cocunuts oil around in mouth Dr Oz says it pulls out bad bacteria. Apple cider vinegar helps acid reflux but now I hear Lyme too. Take with apple juice ,honey it cleanse gallbladder. Which Lyme attacks. Lyme can make your LIVER Count go High HIGH, be aware get bloods regularly if you have Lyme and are on antibiotics long for GI track because Lyme attacks that, if you go to Amazon put in Mastic Gum, it is GREAT it’s a PILL a probiotic from Greece. Known to CURE bad bacteria and help inflammation in GI track, helps with acid reflux and IBS. Can even help Chrons disease. See I had the white matters in spine, in brain. IV and anti malaria med’s and antibiotics help. IT TAKES YEARS!!!No quick fixes UNLESS, you are stage 1 Lyme. This is geared to Late stage Chronic Lyme. Take D3 B12 shots if it is low, B Complex I take one for Neropathy burning nerve pain, numbness in feet and legs HURT. B Complex is VERY important . Especailly B 3- B6. B 12. Most Doctors do NOT tell ya this why. It Sadly is a BIG business that is why their are No cures in 80 years in Cancer which, I feel is a viral infection that attacks our T cells, which controls our whole body. Stem cells are needed to boost our immune system and fight it off BETTER then chemotherapy, but chemotherapy makes $$$$$$$ can we talk it is a business. So RESEARCH it all, be YOUR own dr. By researching natural holistic things. japenense Nd Chinese have done it for years, India too. But USA are married to pill companies. Well, nuff of reality. Lyme is dangerous so be careful. Remember if you can DIET No wheat, sugar count down, mega vitamins I like Boost drink.beef you may find you become allergic to things you were not before Lyme. As you can tell your brain forgets simple spellings, memory fog. CLEANSE your liver!!!Milk Thistle is great I like drops because they are faster then pills. I got one to cleanse gallbladder,kidneys,liver o amazon called Vogul. Just goodle how to cleanse li er and gallbladder. Google anything you want to know. Why I say amazon is the reviews MANY Lyme people on there. You are not alone. Also deep tissue massage.why it gets the toxins OUT of your muscles and body. Drink TONS of water and lime or lemon,GOOD LUCK all stay positive, be careful of being misdiagnosed with MS,Lupus,Chrons,Parkenstin, Alzemher, ALS, it CAN BE LYME neurological late stage Lyme. My Dr book Dr Richard Horowitz on amazon called” why can’t I get better” you can read my story I was misdiagnosed, so stay strong your attitude will pull you throw. Stay away from stress and away from people who stress you. Believe me keep your immune system strong even gentle yoga. Tho, when your joints Burn and ache it is hard,that is when massage can help… Best to all. Oh my ” white lesions” white matters” are GONE. Check your metals in your mouth OR any Fusions. YOU can REMOVE IT! MELISA is a metal blood lab, check your levels please. Metals give central nervous system problems.again best to all. I am Tired, but remember those drops under your tongue I posted helps with Epstein Barr and Fatigue. Find an holistic DR. ASAP! Weight gain oh yes been there, that IS Paristies look it up they make us fat, Lyme is a parasite too. Now that I have killed probably hundreds of them I lost 25 lbs. Wow that is a lot for someone who had huge problems losing 5 dam pounds. Wheat gives inflammation, foods on long shelf life No Good, froze foods..etc. You will see,feel your body flair and Lyme FEEDS off of sugar and wheat!!!

  • Stacia Rose

    I’m 12 and I just recently have been diagnosed with Lymes Disease and I have been getting upset stomach and losing then gaining wait and I’m getting tired of not feeling well

  • LMarie

    I think its great you were able to get help. I live on the East Coast in NC and was given 3 weeks of doxycycline back in October when I FINALLY tested positive for Lyme disease even though symptoms had been raging for 8 years. I went back as I continue to stay continually fatigued, migraines two to three times a week, severe joint pain in hips, wrist and arms, and ankles that constantly rotates, severe pain and spasms in my eye that also rotates depending on the day, a 30 pound weight gain I am now 155 when I used to be 125, nausea , mental brain fog that got me pulled over…., trouble speaking sometimes and then limited coordination. When I went back to get help from my doctor she became outraged and told me I needed to go to a psychiatrists. That is how NC handles Chronic Lyme. I have been trying to find things online to help myself but I feel like my life is falling apart and I have no idea where to turn. I am only forty three. This has been going on since I was 37 and yes I clearly remember my left foot across my toes being covered in tiny ticks that I later learned where deer ticks. My family went for a hike by Lake Jordan just outside of Raleigh that spring and tadah I was the lucky one. My mom is so sarcastic always referring to my bug bite which DID NOT have a bulls eye rash, my doctor has been no help because I have learned if they treat past three weeks here they can lose their medical license?!!!! I have had to quit my job and I am able to get one third of what I used to done. I feel like Im on my own. I just ordered FXVital and am praying that will help. It is supposed to be an herbal remedy from the doctor mentioned in the documentary Under Our Skin regarding Lyme Disease. I will keep you all posted. 🙂 God bless.

  • Elaine Clements Finn

    I went to an excellent Lyme doctor. He would NEVER tell any of his Lyme patients they were cured because this bacteria can screw into bone, muscles, tissue, etc. There is no test to verify it is completely eradicated. The only goal we can strive for is to become symptom free by whichever method(s) work for us.

  • Elaine Kenney

    I have chronic lyme disease and there are only 3 antibiotics to treat lyme and I am allergic to 2 of them, so sometimes you don’t have a choice

  • GG Bah

    Hi Lmarie, I’m sorry you’re sufferring with this awful disease. I’ve had Lyme for 15 years. It’s amazing the way doctors have treated us. I also was told I needed to see a psychiatrist and I have the same symptoms as you and I feel all alone except for the online research I’ve done.
    I feel hopeless almost always. I do desire to be healthy, not fat and everything else. I pray for us all to get the help we need. Mostly for the doctors to get a clue somehow, God bless you, Teri Baxter

  • GG Bah

    Wow! Very experienced. I am late stage chronic kyme,15 years. I’ve been completely ALONE for almost 6 years,since I became disabled. I wish I could focus the way you do. I follow your information, but its overwhelming. I feel like I need a nurse or companion to help me but I don’t have either. I’m so broke I eat whatever I can get and I feel weak, depressed, hopelesss, you name it. Anyway thank you for your wisdom and God bless, Teri Baxter

  • Nola

    I am just like you!