Home Facts Does Lyme Disease Cause Constipation

Does Lyme Disease Cause Constipation


How Lyme Disease Can Lead To Sibo

Q& A – 377 – Avascular Necrosis, Lyme Disease, Constipation, Skin Issues

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth occurs when a shock to your intestines causes some type of gut dysbiosis.

Gut bacteria migrate from your colon to your small intestine causing mayhem in your gut bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Two significant causes of SIBO include infections and antibiotic medications. Both of these occur with Lyme disease an infection by Borrelia burgdorferi and vigorous antibiotic treatment.

These two causes can shock your intestines and the normal flow of bacteria in your gut gets shaken up inviting bacteria to overgrow in your small intestine.

Also, Lyme disease affects your nervous system including the autonomic nervous system in your gut.

This slows down gut motility and the proper descending of gut bacteria through the gastrointestinal tract.

The infection and treatment of Lyme disease have a crucial impact on your gut.

Focusing on your gut health with Lyme disease can help prevent SIBO and their unwanted symptoms such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation.

What Are The Symptoms Of Renal Problems Caused By Lyme Disease

When Lyme disease causes glomerular disease in patients, the symptoms can be serious and debilitating. They include:

  • Edema in the face, hands, feet, and other parts of the body
  • Muscle and tissue loss caused by low amounts of protein in the blood
  • Kidney disease leading to tiredness, insomnia, weight loss, itchy skin
  • Blood in the urine

These signs and symptoms need to be addressed immediately as they can lead to permanent damage to kidney function, which can cause seizures, coma, or in the worst cases, death.

Other symptoms to look out for if you suspect the development of chronic kidney disease include:

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss
  • Insomnia
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath from the build-up of fluids
  • Skin irritations such as pigmentation changes and unexplainable scratch marks
  • Hypertension
  • Muscle issues such as twitching and cramping
  • Cognitive decline
  • Chronic fatigue and widespread weakness

Addressing Gi Symptoms For Better Lyme Treatment With Dr Todd Maderis

On todays podcast, I speak with Dr. Todd Maderis, ND, about the connection between Lyme disease and the gut. Abdominal pain, constipation, and discomfort are among the symptoms of Lyme that can complicate treatment for an already complicated disease. Probably two-thirds of my patients that do walk in the door that either have a Lyme diagnosis or suspect they have Lyme, theyre having GI symptoms, says Dr. Maderis. We also discuss other issues including mold and allergens that can factor into Lyme treatment, and how to address them.

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Lyme Disease: An Overlooked Underlying Cause Of Ibs & Sibo

August 23, 2018 By Trudy Scott

Lyme disease is an overlooked underlying cause of IBS & SIBO and Dr. Tom Messinger addresses this fascinating connection in his interview on the IBS & SIBO SOS Summit, happening September 3-10, 2018.

Summit host, Shivan Sarna, found out about this connection when she told Dr. Messinger that her feet really hurt. He responded with this:

You know, the spirochetes from Lyme do like the feet

Who knew!?

He also shared that an acute presentation of Lyme disease can manifest with GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea:

a common underlying cause of SIBO is whats considered either a GI flu or food poisoning. Most times, clinically, you cant tease out which of those two scenarios happened. The person just has the same symptomsnausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping.

However, there is researchand thats published researchshowing that one of the ways an acute presentation of Lyme disease can manifest is that those GI symptomsnausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

So, a person that has that, and then years down the road is diagnosed with SIBO, its traced back to that as probably the onset, and thinking, Well, its probably a GI flu, you dont get worked up for it, or it was a food poisoning, but it couldve actually been a tick bite, Lyme disease, that caused that. And it was written off as it was just a GI flu. So an acute presentation, Borrelia can cause those symptoms that may lead down the road to SIBO.

And there is more:

Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease And Constipation

Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.

This stage is characterized by:

  • arthritis of one or more large joints
  • brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations and sleep disturbance
  • numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

Read Also: What Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Lyme Disease

Strategies To Tackle Lyme Disease

I have Lyme disease, writes this weeks viewer. Is there anything I can do to treat it naturally?

Lyme disease, the most common American tick-borne infectious disease, often goes undiagnosed or becomes misdiagnosed. That becomes a real problem when you consider that in America, up to 300,000 new cases a year of Lyme disease diagnoses have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , an increase of up to 10 times what researchers previously believed.

Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which can proliferate to every area in your body. An infected blacklegged deer tick transmits the virus to humans through a bite.

Unfortunately, Borrelia burgdorferi has the ability to proliferate within every area of your body, hiding from and suppressing your natural immune system. Lyme infections literally hijack your immune system like AIDS.

Lyme is one of the most challenging, difficult situations in my practice because it mimics other illnesses such as the flu, manifesting as diverse symptoms like headaches, muscle aches, stomach ulcers, constipation, and joint pain. That makes diagnosing and treating Lyme very difficult.

A weakened immune system paired with suboptimal cellular function and protection, chronic bacterial infections, and exposure to environmental toxins, like molds and parasites, can make things much worse for those who suffer from chronic Lyme.

Wishing you health and happiness,

The Damage Lyme Disease Can Do

Lyme disease can damage all of the bodys systems. Specifically, the illness can wreak havoc on:

  • The heart and circulatory system
  • The central nervous system
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Skin

So, can Lyme disease cause damage to the renal system? Yes. Lets get to the bottom of how that occurs, and what can happen if it does.

Read Also: How To Test For Chronic Lyme Disease

The Treatment Sequence For Lyme


And speaking of Lyme, I know this is probably a loaded question or a lot to speak to, but is there a certain structure or hierarchy that you will use with Lyme patients? Just as one quick example, we often start with diet and lifestyle. It sounds simple for our patients, but a reminder that someone who lets say is overly stressed and has a heightened degree of emotionality or might have some limbic imbalances, support there can be huge in reducing their GI symptoms combined with getting them on the right diet. Someone may be eating a really high-FODMAP diet and has no clue that even though theyve been trying to change their diet for five years, they havent uncovered this one FODMAP piece.


Well kind of start there. That could be loosely described as a level one, and then see how they respond. And level two might be probiotics. Level three might be a short-term elemental diet reset. Level four might be antimicrobial therapy. Level five might be immunoglobulins. So there seems to be somewhat of a successful sequence to follow and to personalize. Is there something similar that youre using with Lyme?







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Lyme Disease: An Overlooked Underlying Cause of IBS & SIBO with Tom Messinger

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Read Also: What Kind Of Antibiotics Treat Lyme Disease

Review Of Mold Studies


For our audience, because I know of late there a few review papers that have been quite comprehensive in their scope reviewing and chronicling some of this evidence that I think youre referring to, Joe Mather from our office underwent the significant undertaking of reviewing that paper and the references. And this is something that I need to read, because I know Joe put in a lot of work reviewing these references. But one of the things that was interesting about this paper was there seemed to be a lot of emotionality amongst one paper in particular. It almost seemed as though the conclusion was reached at the beginning. I have a feeling that reading Joes writeup and objective analysis of this paper is going to be really enlightening for people in the mold field.


One of the things I credit Dr. Joe with is as someone who suffered from mold himself and had quite sizable personal hardships because of the symptomatic burden he was under, hes still very level-headed in not wanting to fall into various circles of dogma. The invade GI, the invade thyroid, Lyme, mold, everything. So Ill just point that out to our audience. I apologize that I have not yet read it. That means that Im both a bad friend and a bad co-worker for not having had read it yet, but what I suspect people will get there is a good balanced perspective on some of this literature.










Symptoms Of Autonomic Neuropathy

Your symptoms will depend on where the damaged nerves are and which organs are involved. They can include:

Digestive symptoms:

Heart and blood vessel symptoms:

  • Dizziness or fainting when you stand up
  • Very fast heart rate, especially when you exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble starting to pee or lack of control over peeing
  • A hard time emptying your bladder
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Dry vagina
  • Trouble adjusting between a bright room and a dark one

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Other Digestive Issues That May Be Associated With Lyme Disease

Other digestive signs that give clues there may be an underlying infection like Lyme disease are candida and parasite infections that are difficult to treat. Infection with Borrelia causes immune dysfunction, making it challenging to treat yeast or parasitic infections until Lyme is successfully treated.

Testing Testing Can You Find Me

SIBO in Lyme Disease

Tests for Lyme disease focus on measuring a patients antibodies, rather than the bacteria itself, in a process known as serologic testing. The US Centers for Disease Control require two-tiered testing to establish a Lyme disease diagnosis, and both tiers need to come back positive for a diagnosis to be confirmed.

Due to the complexity of the process, there are significant ambiguities in testing best practice across the medical system. Writing in The Atlantic, Meghan ORourke describes how her doctor sent her bloods to three labs, two of which gave a positive reading on one part of the test but not the other, and the third of which came back negative on both parts. ORourke was informed she probably had Lyme disease, despite not meeting CDC guidelines for a Lyme diagnosis.

Chronic Lyme thus becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any ache or ailment could be a symptom and blood test results can be interpreted as indicative of Lyme disease against official guidelines, or even confirm the presence of the disease when it isnt there.

Bite prevention expert Howard Carter says: Antibodies to Lyme disease take a few weeks to form if you have an early test and youve got a puncture mark or have removed the tick yourself you can get a false re-assurance, so you really need to wait for six weeks before requesting a blood test.

Recommended Reading: Symptoms Of Untreated Lyme Disease

Has Niaid Looked At Whether Infection Persists After Antibiotic Therapy

Several recent studies suggest that B. burgdorferi may persist in animals after antibiotic therapy. In one study, NIAID-supported scientists found that remnants of B. burgdorferi remained in mice after antibiotic treatment. Another team of NIAID-supported investigators found that intact B. burgdorferi persist in nonhuman primates after antibiotic treatment. It was not possible to culture these bacteria and it is not clear whether they are infectious. More recent work by Hodzic et al. replicated the earlier finding of persisting DNA but non-cultivatable B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment using a mouse model. In 2017, scientists at the Tulane National Primate Research Centers, funded in part by an NIH research resources grant, reported evidence of persistent and metabolically active B. burgdorferi after antibiotic treatment in rhesus macaques.

In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, NIAID-supported researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy). This study remains underway.

Effects Of Chronic Inflammation On Health

Chronic inflammation does more than just make you feel sick, moody, and uncomfortable. It also causes long-term issues that have serious health consequences. There are many conditions, several of which are potentially fatal, linked to chronic inflammation. This list includes issues like cancer, asthma, Alzheimers disease, diabetes, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Chronic inflammation is a topic that has gotten much attention and is still being heavily researched. Studies have shown it to play a part in causing fluid buildup in the lungs, contributing to depression, promoting plaque buildup in the blood vessels, and much more.

The main point is this: Chronic inflammation is serious and requires medical attention. If you notice the symptoms, its important you meet with a doctor and get the treatment you need to live a healthy, disease-free life.

Also Check: Tick Bite Lyme Disease Symptoms

Antibiotics And Alternative Medicine

Of course, LLMDs would beg to differ. Many maintain that one of the best ways to treat chronic Lyme patients is with a long-term course of antibiotics, claiming the typical month-long course of treatment isnt enough to eradicate the disease in certain individuals.

Londons Lyme Disease Clinic founder and medical director Dr Joshua Berkowitz says: Long-term treatment with antibiotics is necessary to target and kill all the different pleomorphic forms of the bacteria and parasitic infections associated with chronic Lyme disease. Most of these bacteria have the ability to survive based on different mechanisms and they can easily change their shape and surface.

They can hide in other body cells and in intracellular spaces, plus they can invade specific tissues like connected tissue where there is no presence of immune cells which can kill them off. With the support of antibiotics we are able to take care of all these escape mechanisms, but it requires long-term treatment to do so.

Many chronic Lyme patients given a long-term course of antibiotics report feeling better afterwards. But, feeling better on an antibiotic is not a sure fire way to establish that it has actually killed a harmful bacteria, and some argue this approach can actually be dangerous.

A 2015 report in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that the efficacy for these unconventional treatments could not be supported by scientific evidence, and many could potentially be harmful.

Abdominal Pain Gastrointestinal Problems In Lyme Disease

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

The authors highlight several studies demonstrating a range of gastrointestinal problems, including abdominal pain, associated with Lyme disease.

There have been many case reports in the past highlighting the atypical presentation of Lyme disease including, but not limited to pseudo-obstruction, constipation, back pain radiating to abdomen known as Bannwarth Syndrome as a manifestation of autonomic dysfunction related to neuroborreliosis, the authors explain.

This patient also suffered from anorexia with a loss of 14 pounds. One study found that 23% of 314 patients with early Lyme disease suffered from anorexia.

Meanwhile, Shamim et al. reported two cases of patients who presented with severe constipation and hyponatremia in addition to other features of Lyme disease.

Lyme neuroborreliosis has also been reported as the culprit of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction in other studies, the authors explain. The patients can develop worsening constipation and obstipation as diagnosis and treatment is delayed, leading to diffuse bowel dilation in the absence of mechanical obstruction.

Lastly, There have been a few case reports of SIADH associated with neuroborreliosis, writes Zulfiqar.

Lyme disease should be suspected in patients who are from Lyme endemic areas and present with abdominal pain, constipation and SIADH with or without cranial nerve palsy.

The following questions are addressed in this podcast episode:

  • Why was a stroke initially considered?
  • What is SIADH?

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    Stage : Early Localized Disease

    Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.

    The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.

    The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.

    Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.

    The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.

    Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include: