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Living with Lyme

I've had Lyme disease now for three years, misdiagnosed at first, I am a hiker and a climber and continue to do so even though the pain in my shoulders and knees is sometimes bad. I’m going to climb Mts. Whitney and Rusell soon. Will the high altitude affect my Lyme disease?

Question:

I’ve had Lyme disease now for three years, misdiagnosed at first, I am a hiker and a climber and continue to do so even though the pain in my shoulders and knees is sometimes bad. I’m going to climb Mts. Whitney and Rusell soon. Will the high altitude affect my Lyme disease?

Submitted by - Isabel - Thousand Oaks, CA

Answer:

If you have a change in the effects of Lyme disease at altitude, it would be related of course to the arthritis you’re suffering. Some forms of arthritis improve at altitude. Osteoarthritis, for instance, often bothers sufferers less when they go up and the barometric pressure goes down. Lyme disease arthritis, I believe, is a non-traditional form of rheumatoid arthritis. It may or may not improve at altitude. It may get worse. It might not change at all.

Have you undergone antibiotic therapy for Lyme? Sometimes, even long after the disease is first contracted, antibiotics can help.

1 Comment

  1. Pat

    I had LD for a few painful years, feeling least bad when I was on abx. During that time I did some extended backpacking trips in the Sierras and didn’t feel any more arthritic than usual. I’ve gotten over the Lyme, but was left with some arthritic symptoms. I hiked from Kearsage Pass to Whitney Portal this summer. Not as much fun as pain free would be, but still worth it! Altitude didn’t help or hinder.

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