Doctors and health practitioners believe that if a patient suffering from chronic Lyme disease is not responding, then underlying mold toxicity could be the reason. Lyme disease and Mold illnesses display common symptoms, hence it may get difficult to diagnose correctly in some cases. Hence, if all treatments for Lyme are not showing results, mold could be the hidden reason behind the symptoms.
Lyme disease is caused in Humans mainly through tick bites, the symptoms start showing after 3 to 30 days after the bite. Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and, in rare cases, Borrelia mayonii (1). These germs are frequently transmitted by tick bites. Ticks pick up the bacteria by biting infected animals like deer or mice, and they can spread the infection to humans by biting them as well. The disease is commonly conveyed by a deer tick in the Eastern United States, and by a western blacklegged tick in the West. The longer a tick remains attached to a person, the greater the risk of disease transmission. Lyme disease can also be passed from a pregnant mother to a fetus via the placenta, which is known as congenital Lyme disease transmission.
According to the CDC, every year 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease. The first symptoms of Lyme disease are a rash resembling a bull’s eye along with flu-like symptoms. As the disease progresses the symptoms worsen and one experiences symptoms like severe headaches, stiff neck, rashes all over, facial palsy, arthritis, muscle and joint pain, palpitations in the heart, dizziness, brain and spinal cord inflammation, nerve pain and more.
The connection between Lyme disease and mold exposure
Studies and research show that mold exposure can be of grave concern for people suffering from Lyme disease. Since the symptoms of both are similar it becomes difficult to administer the right treatment.
Our body can absorb these harmful mycotoxins during inhalation or swallowing or through skin absorption. Mold has harmful effects on the body, it can have an adverse impact on the human immune system, causing over reaction or under reaction. Mold exposure can cause immune-deficiency problems, hence people with a weak immune system may not be able to recover from a Lyme infection.
The similarity between Mold Illness (CIRS) and Lyme disease
Both mold illness (CIRS) and Lyme disease display symptoms caused by a dysregulated immune system and overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins produced by the immune system. Both Mold illness and Lyme disease can trigger similar inflammatory pathways. When the bacteria causing Lyme disease or mycotoxins causing CIRS to affect the body, causing inflammation, resulting in a dysregulated immune system and leading to many life-changing symptoms. Lyme disease is a multisystemic infection that can affect a variety of organs. However, it is extremely difficult to test for and culture. Lyme disease symptoms are numerous and extend far beyond the iconic bull’s eye rash. gastrointestinal symptoms, cardiac/pulmonary symptoms, musculoskeletal problems, neurological symptoms, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and reproductive symptoms are among them (3). Interestingly, many of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease are also associated with mold.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease and mold illness?
The symptoms of Lyme disease are very similar to Mold illness:
- Tiredness, weakness
- Attention/focus issues, difficulty recalling words, memory issues
- Frequent mood swings
- Muscle and joint pain, Muscle cramps
- Sensitivity to light, blurred vision
- Cough along with shortness of breath
- Increased thirst, excessive urination
- Numbness and tingling, prickly pain
- Appetite issues, Stomach pain, diarrhea
- Headaches and body tremors
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
It may be useful to know that Lyme symptoms tend to follow a see-saw pattern when navigating these treacherous seas. Lyme disease patients, for example, may have a good few days and then deteriorate for a few weeks. Mold symptoms, on the other hand, are more consistent. Every day before they are eventually treated, a mold patient may experience weariness and cognitive fog.
Mold patients may also experience an improvement in symptoms when they travel and leave the mold source, such as their employment or residence. Those who have mold colonization in their nasal cavity or mucosal membranes, on the other hand, may not perceive this difference.
Lyme disease and mold can have a devastating effect on the digestive tract. Mold enters the body through the respiratory and digestive tracts, eventually making its way to the lower gut mucosa. As seen above there is a clear link between these diseases exposure. Both diseases have similar symptoms making it difficult for accurate diagnosis. Both Lyme disease and mold illness can be responsible for triggering the other. Mold exposure can lead to complications in patients suffering from Lyme disease. The exposure weakens the immune system hence leading to several health issues. The right treatment and taking suitable steps for the removal of molds can help prevent chronic Lyme disease. Check for any damp conditions in the patient’s home or workplace that shows signs of mold growth. Moisture is the key source of mold growth in any place.