Lyme Disease and Mold Exposure: The Link to Thyroid Disease

I recently had an email from a reader who wanted to make sure that fellow thyroid patients are aware of two trigger factors for thyroid disease -- chronic untreated Lyme disease, and mold exposure -- that are not frequently discussed. She writes:

Just last year, I tested positive for late stage Lyme disease. The source of my autoimmune thyroid issues and my disabling symptoms were from the undiagnosed Lyme disease, and tests proved that I had biotoxin illness from both Lyme and mold exposure.

100 percent of the patients I have met in every doctor's office along the way also have severe thyroid issues. In all of the patients, the first symptoms of illness were thyroid problems. The markers and chemical reactions of the endocrine system are documented in every Lyme book that I have read and the "Surviving Mold" book, by Dr. Shoemaker. These patients, including myself, can never win the thyroid battle ( I had most of mine surgically removed, because of a 6.7 cm nodule) without treating the source of the battle in the first place. I truly feel the more information we can share, the better educated we will be in treating our chronic health conditions.

Experts recognize that there is a link between chronic, long-term, untreated Lyme disease and the onset of various autoimmune conditions, including autoimmune thyroid disease.

In addition to the more immediate and well-known signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, which include fatigue, joint pain, and the classic "bulls-eye rash," some signs of an untreated, long-term Lyme infection include:

  • bouts of arthritis, with severe joint pain and swelling
  • shooting pains
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • problems with short-term memory.
  • cognitive defects
  • sleep disturbances
  • fatigue

Similarly, exposure to certain types of toxic molds can activate the immune system, and is also identified as a potential autoimmune trigger, and can cause a variety of ongoing symptoms, including:

  • nasal and sinus congestion, upper respiratory tract infections
  • cough/sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • difficulty breathing
  • asthma
  • nosebleed
  • headaches
  • skin irritation, rashes

Resources

If you want to learn more about Lyme Disease, here are some resources:

For mold information:

Photo: istockphoto

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