A condition not thought to be directly linked to Lyme disease, osteoporosis, nevertheless affects many of those suffering from the infection. The exact causes of osteoporosis may be difficult to pin down however, with some patients developing the condition following prolonged and aggressive treatment with the Lyme disease antibiotics such as Clindamycin, or Flagyl which can accelerate bone loss and cause problems with connective tissue.
There is also some evidence that certain antibiotics can be protective against bone loss and the connection between Lyme disease and osteoporosis is far from straightforward. Other patients may have dietary deficiencies in calcium, possibly due to the difficulties faced by many Lyme disease sufferers in taking adequate care of themselves during their illness when symptoms may affect mobility, memory, concentration, and energy levels.
Lyme Disease, Vitamin D, and Osteoporosis
Many patients with Lyme disease are also found to have problems with low vitamin D levels, and many of those with chronic illnesses show similarly abnormal vitamin D status which affects the absorption of calcium in the digestive tract and its assimilation into the bones, in addition to affecting the functioning of the immune system. Whilst Lyme disease itself is not considered an autoimmune disease there is considerable overlap between the condition and other diseases and illnesses thought to have an autoimmune component. Multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Lyme disease all share similar symptoms which can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.
The importance of vitamin D in immune system regulation is only just beginning to be understood and it may be that a patient diagnosed with Lyme disease may have been misdiagnosed or could have a co-morbidity involving immune system dysfunction with abnormal vitamin D a component of the disease’s aetiologies. Treatment for Lyme disease osteoporosis in the face of vitamin D deficiency or abnormal metabolism is likely to be very difficult and patients should be confident that their physician has bee thorough in investigating symptoms and their connections.
Lyme Disease Osteoporosis – A Coincidence?
Of course, some patients diagnosed with Lyme disease may have existing osteoporosis or may simply have developed it in time anyway. The physical inactivity often associated with chronic illness, or undiagnosed infection such as Lyme disease is, however, likely to accelerate bone-density loss, and paying attention to levels of load-bearing exercise is particularly important for patients with any risk factors for osteoporosis. Lyme disease patients with diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis, as are those who are chronically stressed.
Antacids and Osteoporosis in Lyme Disease
Patients who take aluminium-based antacids or protein-pump inhibitors, and even long-term doses of aspirin, heparin, corticosteroids such as prednisone, and anti-seizure medication such as phenytoin and phenobarbital are also at increased risk of osteoporosis. Chronic inflammation is also a risk factor for osteoporosis, and long-term Lyme disease infection can cause such inflammation, resulting in symptoms such as Lyme arthritis, joint pain, and a subsequent drop off of activity levels.
Continue Reading –> Can Lyme Disease Antibiotics Prevent Osteoporosis?