The Effects of Lyme Disease on the Hormonal System

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Nearly half of a million people are infected with Lyme each year, and while many people know about the more common symptoms of Lyme, they aren’t always aware of how Lyme can affect almost every area of the body. The effects of Lyme disease on the Endocrine (Hormonal) System aren’t talked about as frequently but can have a huge impact on your health and well-being. You might find yourself unwell only to find out that it is a hormonal symptom of Lyme Disease.

Keep reading to learn about the relationship between your hormones and Lyme disease.

As a result of Lyme disease, these symptoms can occur:

  • Decreased levels of magnesium
  • Hormonal imbalance/ Abnormal hormone levels due to inflammation
  • Infected liver/ Hepatitis
  • Thyroid gland/tissue that gets attacked by the immune system
  • Decreased testosterone

Of course, your hormones affect so many aspects of your health, such as your reproductive health, mood, and efficacy of other body systems.

Lyme & Magnesium

Put simply, Lyme disease depletes the magnesium levels in our body and because magnesium is needed to balance our hormones, the result is imbalanced hormones. “Hormonal imbalance in the brain may result in dysfunction between the brain’s Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and other organ systems.” (Dr. Lam Coaching)

Additionally, magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramping, mental disorders, fatigue, osteoporosis and irregular heartbeat—all symptoms of Lyme disease.

If you have low levels of magnesium, consider getting tested for Lyme disease.

Lyme & the Liver

When Lyme bacteria infects the liver, it can affect the hormones. The hepatic system is responsible for metabolizing sex, thyroid, cortisone, and adrenal hormones, so it’s no surprise that Lyme can end in hormonal dysfunction.

In addition to the liver helping process hormones, it is key to filtering through toxins and metabolic waste. When it can’t do that, your body will experience toxic burden.

Lyme & the Thyroid Gland

Lyme disease can affect the thyroid gland and may even trigger Hashimotos’s disease. This means that the immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that your body needs, plays a role in metabolism and growth, and helps to regulate body functions. 

Lyme & the Adrenal Gland

Because Lyme causes chronic inflammation, issues with the adrenal gland arise. Adrenal glands produce essential hormones for the body.

According to Toronto Functional Medical Centre, “The human body perceives chronic inflammatory states as stressors, leading to adrenal insufficiency (adrenal fatigue) from hormonal depletion.”

The result is adrenal fatigue resulting in symptoms of body aches, fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and digestive issues.

Does Lyme affect women and men differently?

Yes! With women, estrogen levels can be affected, resulting in mood swings, change in mental clarity, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

However, testosterone, a hormone essential to both men and women, is lessened when you have Lyme disease. This can lead to low libido and low sex drive.

How to Treat the Hormonal Effects of Lyme Disease

A magnesium supplement, hormone supplementation, and Hormone Replacement Therapy may help those dealing with the debilitating hormonal effects of Lyme disease.

The hormonal effects of Lyme can be scary. If you believe that Lyme disease is affecting your hormones, it is important to talk to a healthcare practitioner.

Chronic Lyme affects the entire body. Learn more about the symptoms of Lyme.

Sources

  • https://torontofunctionalmedicine.com/lyme-disease-treatment/hormones/
  • https://www.seaywellness.com/the-impact-of-heavy-metals-in-lyme-disease/
  • https://www.gordonmedical.com/lyme-neurotoxins-and-hormonal-factors/
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