Show 210 A Q&A on Lyme Disease Symptoms with Dr. Julia Greenspan

In this show snippet Q&A from our interview ‘Is it Lyme Disease or an Autoimmune Condition?’ we welcome Dr. Julia Greenspan in this intriguing Q&A excerpt where we explore common Lyme symptoms and how to get tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Listen to the full compelling interview at for more about Lyme disease and how often it is misdiagnosed as an autoimmune condition.

Dr. Julia Greenspan has recovered from Lyme and one surprise she shares in the interview is, ‘you don’t have to see a tick on you or the circular, outwardly expanding rash common with infection to have contracted Lyme.’

SHARON: You have recovered from Lyme. What was it like to have Lyme? I read stories about it ─ sounds horrific!

DR. JULIA: I was born and raised in Oregon. I moved to New Hampshire when I was about thirty years old after I finished medical school. Growing up in Oregon, I really didn’t have the awareness. From medical school, I knew Lyme was an issue especially in the New England area but I didn’t understand how easy it was to get it.

I had indoor cats in the city while I was going to school. And when I moved to the country and lived on more acreage, I was like, go outside and be free!
But the cats brought in ticks. I’ve never ever seen a tick on me. I never pulled one out of my skin and the majority of the patients I’ve seen had the same exact story. Yet, over a progressive amount of years, I realized I was getting sicker and sicker and having these symptoms.

Just like a lot of us do, I would explain them away: Well, I’m a new mom. I just started a new business. I’m tired. And that’s why this hurts or that hurts.
I found out that I had contracted Lyme and another co-infection carried by ticks called “babesia.” Lyme isn’t the only infection that ticks carry.
Now, at the time, I was practicing as a naturopathic doctor; I still am. I was actually focusing in on the treatment of tick-borne disease because where I lived was probably one of the most infected areas in the country and there were very few doctors who treated it.

I was already doing that as a specialty but I really didn’t have the inner awareness ─ kind of “Doctor, heal thyself.” And it dawned on me, one day, after listening to certain symptoms patients were bringing up over and over again ─ oh my gosh!

It just sank in. It just finally clumped me over the head like a big piece of concrete after all this time of just thinking that I just had X, Y, and Z going on and not related to Lyme.

So I tested myself. Sure enough, there it was. And I got started on treatment. It took about two years for me to recover because it has probably been several years that I’ve had it and I had no idea.

SHARON: Wow! What are some of the symptoms? You said fatigue, and that’s a common one we can check off on most autoimmune.

DR. JULIA: For me, because of the co-infection piece, ticks will feed off of other animals and because the environment is so diverse with microbes in all places that when they’re feeding off of another animal which is how they live ─ they thrive off of a blood meal ─ they take in multiple forms of infections, mostly microbes, at one time and they can live in the stomach of the tick.
It might have been one tick that got me; it might have been many bites that I didn’t catch. But I ended up having Lyme and Babesia.
Lyme-like symptoms are going to be more joint pain and it’s going to be joint pain that’s roaming. It will move from one knee to the next depending on the time of day. On Monday, it would be on the right knee and on the left knee on Wednesday for no reason.

SHARON: How frustrating! I would be like, did I bang my knee? How strange that it roams!

DR. JULIA: Yes. And it will roam not just between the knees but the shoulder, the neck, your wrists, elbows ─ pick any joint space. And so, you have this roaming joint pain. A lot of people have a lot of foot pain and that was a symptom for me. So getting out of bed, my feet would hurt terribly by just touching the floor and having my feet land on the floor.

Headaches, dizziness, trouble with vision, light sensitivity ─ I would have ringing in my ears, focus and concentration issues so a lot of brain fog, having a hard time coming up with words, having a hard time multitasking which I was very used to doing. And so, when that started to fade and be more difficult, that was very concerning to me especially having a job in medicine and treating people.

Those were among some of the main symptoms. The Babesia has more of the foot pain, a lot of night sweats, a lot of trouble breathing. I had a lot of shortness of breath and heart palpitations that would come and go.
But the reason why this is sneaky and that you can kind of explain stuff away is that ─ in my case and in a lot of patients’ cases ─ it will exacerbate. It will have a flare, and then it will go away. And you think, oh, I think I’m fine now; maybe I shouldn’t push myself too hard. And then, it will come back up again in a few weeks. And, sometimes, it’s more frequent than that for a lot of patients.

These are some of the examples of some of the things that were happening to me at the time.

SHARON: Most of those you listed are very common in autoimmune: brain fog, pain. I can imagine how hard it is for a doctor to diagnose especially, let’s say if I contracted it in New Hampshire and came back here to Oregon. I’m thinking that it would not be at the top of their list to check off whereas in New Hampshire, maybe it’s becoming more common to check into.

Is it difficult to get diagnosed once we go, “Hmm, I’m checking off a lot of those things Dr. Julie had just mentioned”?

DR. JULIA: It is. It’s difficult to get diagnosed because there are different belief systems about what a true Lyme case is. There’s the political aspect of this and different ways of viewing Lyme and tick-borne disease in regard to what it actually means for a test to be positive or not and what Lyme needs to look like.

So if somebody comes into the office, doctors will have a certain belief like “Oh, your knee is now swollen and we didn’t see a tick on you and you’re not walking in with a tick. It can’t be Lyme. It’s probably a spider bite.”

And it doesn’t have to mean that you have to be on the West Coast where you wouldn’t think there’s a lot of Lyme disease. But there actually is quite a bit on the West Coast, unfortunately, and it’s growing.

But as far as being in the New England area where it’s more well known, it is still very difficult for people to get an accurate diagnosis and to be heard and listened to because there are different criteria that the CDC has created.
But what I find, and this is just my clinical opinion. This is just one practitioner’s opinion. What the CDC has mandated as what is considered a Lyme case based on a lab doesn’t match clinically with what’s happening in people’s lives and what’s happening to people physically.

A Lyme patient is going to have symptoms in many different areas of their body but, a lot of times, people will come in with these illnesses and complaints. Again, as I’ve said, I never saw a tick on me so they wouldn’t even know how to relate it to Lyme. They get funneled into seeing a rheumatologist or a neurologist or a specialty because of the symptoms and symptom management.

It is very difficult for patients to get a Lyme test and to have it taken seriously even here in New England where it’s an epidemic.

SHARON: Wow! Is it just a United States problem? We have listeners all over the world. Is it worldwide?

DR. JULIA: It is [worldwide]. Give or take, new strains are being discovered all the time. But based on my research and where things stand right now, there are between three hundred and four hundred strains that have been identified worldwide. And there are strains of Borrelia and Babesia so if we just talk about Lyme specifically, there are strains that are more specific to Europe or to China or to Australia, and there are strains that are more specific to the United States.

SHARON: Thank you, Dr. Julia! So helpful. Everyone, that’s Dr. Julia Greenspan sharing common symptoms and diagnosis of Lyme and tick-borne disease. Find the complete audio and video of this interview at

Dr. Julia Greenspan is a naturopathic doctor and author of the book “Rising Above Lyme Disease.” Dr. Greenspan is a Lyme Literate Doctor with a majority of her patients having some form of the tick-borne disease. She has been listed in the Top Doctor’s Reader’s Poll with New Hampshire Magazine several times and interviewed as an expert on tick-borne illnesses on TV, radio, podcasts and in print media. Dr. Greenspan’s website is

And, thank you for coming with us on another great adventure in Q&As. Remember to join the Courage Club!
In joy;



DISCLAIMER: The information provided on, The Autoimmune Show, or The Autoimmune Hour is for educational purposes only. Seek sound professional advice. Sharon Sayler is not a medical doctor, or medical professional. We are talking about other people’s research and our own anecdotal experiences including those of and with clients, listeners, and friends.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join The Courage Club

Join us in the Autoimmune Show's Courage Club, where we bring together top experts and courageous first-hand stories of those with autoimmune to bring you the latest insights about how to thrive regardless of your diagnosis.

Sign up below to be the first to find out about new shows, get the transcripts of previous shows, plus an immediate download of the helpful ebook ‘Five Things You Can Do Immediately That Will Help You Feel Better.’

About Your Host, Sharon Sayler

Your host, Sharon Sayler is a certified executive and wellness coach, communications trainer, public speaker, best selling author, and the founder of Competitive Edge Communications who specializes in teaching professionals critical nonverbal and body language skills including how to have those critical “tough” conversations. She teaches how to up-your-impact on the stage, in the boardroom, with clients, customers, team members and even how to deal with difficult people.

Now, she's taken those skills, her passion for clear and competent communication, her own experience dealing with a rare medical condition and her frustration with the medical community in understanding what it is like to have a chronic and complicated medical condition to teach others to become courageous self-advocates so they too can turn life transitions into triumphs. One way she spreads the word is through the podcast and videocast called The Autoimmune Show: Inspiring hope and help for those with autoimmune.

Thank you for visiting Be sure and join the Courage Club here at

Aware of our potential to make a difference, we support:


We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Privacy Policy

What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you register on our site or place an order. When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address or mailing address.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information. We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to?keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business. If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service. Google Analytics We use Google Analytics on our sites for anonymous reporting of site usage and for advertising on the site. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link (

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.


The minimum information we need to register you is your name, email address and a password. We will ask you more questions for different services, including sales promotions. Unless we say otherwise, you have to answer all the registration questions. We may also ask some other, voluntary questions during registration for certain services (for example, professional networks) so we can gain a clearer understanding of who you are. This also allows us to personalise services for you. To assist us in our marketing, in addition to the data that you provide to us if you register, we may also obtain data from trusted third parties to help us understand what you might be interested in. This ‘profiling’ information is produced from a variety of sources, including publicly available data (such as the electoral roll) or from sources such as surveys and polls where you have given your permission for your data to be shared. You can choose not to have such data shared with the Guardian from these sources by logging into your account and changing the settings in the privacy section. After you have registered, and with your permission, we may send you emails we think may interest you. Newsletters may be personalised based on what you have been reading on At any time you can decide not to receive these emails and will be able to ‘unsubscribe’. Logging in using social networking credentials If you log-in to our sites using a Facebook log-in, you are granting permission to Facebook to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth and location which will then be used to form a Guardian identity. You can also use your picture from Facebook as part of your profile. This will also allow us and Facebook to share your, networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Facebook account settings. If you remove the Guardian app from your Facebook settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a Google log-in, you grant permission to Google to share your user details with us. This will include your name, email address, date of birth, sex and location which we will then use to form a Guardian identity. You may use your picture from Google as part of your profile. This also allows us to share your networks, user ID and any other information you choose to share according to your Google account settings. If you remove the Guardian from your Google settings, we will no longer have access to this information. If you log-in to our sites using a twitter log-in, we receive your avatar (the small picture that appears next to your tweets) and twitter username.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Updating your personal information

We offer a ‘My details’ page (also known as Dashboard), where you can update your personal information at any time, and change your marketing preferences. You can get to this page from most pages on the site – simply click on the ‘My details’ link at the top of the screen when you are signed in.

Online Privacy Policy Only

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.
Save settings
Cookies settings