Just wondering if there is any connection between alopecia and Lyme disease? I know it sounds like quite a stretch, but I've been curious about this lately as I'm battling Lyme disease and starting to realize that I may have had it for a long time and passed it to my daughter (who has some of the symptoms).

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There are no published reports.

But any "assault" to the system either emotional or physical can be a trigger for alopecia to arise. Mine arose this last round during the time of major life changes: death of a parent, moving 4 times in 9 years, premature baby,and career change. But it just as easily could have been a disease like Lyme as the trigger.

I hope you're on the way to a quick and uncomplicated recovery soon.

Thanks Thea. My daughter was born IUGR at 27 weeks so I hear you on having a preemie. Thanks so much for your respone. Wish we all had an easier road this year...
Hi there Margaret...

I was diagnosed with Lyme in September and my test from www.igenex.com revealed positive for the IGN Western blot. HOWEVER, my symptoms are more in line with Lupus than Lyme, and the presence of ANA and/or rheumatoid factor (both of which I had 2.5 years ago, when I was last tested) can skew the Western blot for a false positive. In all the possible symptoms I've read for Lyme, hairloss isn't one of them...however it IS a very likely symptom of Lupus, but not in an alopecia pattern. I've probably lost 80% of my hair since September, but I have no discrete completely bald patches.

Sadly, there is congenital Lyme. 80% of Lyme patients don't recall a tick exposure, so they don't know to treat it. On the other hand 20% do recall. I think the CDC needs to make a push saying "If you have been bitten by a tick, go to a doctor and get antibiotics right away." A 28-day course of Doxycyclene is...get this...$15. Doctors medicate pre-emptively all the time, so why not this? It's such a destructive disease if left for any length of time.

I think there is a stronger relationship between alopecia and other auto-immune diseases since Lyme itself is caused by an arthropod. Lyme is on the rheumatic spectrum, but it's different than all the others for this very reason. While it behaves as an auto-immune, it really isn't. Your body is attacking itself, but it's trying to attack the spirocetes which are burrowing into your flesh, and the antibodies can't get to them. This is why it's the only one on the spectrum that responds to anti-biotic treatment.

With Lyme there is big business in fear, I've discovered, and many so-called doctors profit nicely from it. Make sure you get your ANA and rheumatoid factor checked as well. Blessings to you and yours.

Thanks Andrea, that is very interesting. I saw a rheumatologist 3 times this summer thinking I had RA but all the auto-immune stuff was negative so he called fibromyalgia and sent me on my way. I even asked him if it could be lyme but he said he didn't think so, and didn't test me! I completely agree with you that the CDC should urgently revise the standards of care for any tick bite to indicate preventative antibiotics. It is an epidemic that is just starting to be heard and will continue to explode with global warming. I had seen hair loss listed in the Canlyme symptoms but it didn't specify alopecia pattern or not so I'm not sure what to make of that. We had my daughter, who has alopecia, tested for Lyme today and are praying it is negative. I'm glad to be connected to such smart informed people through this site. Thanks again! Margaret
Hey Andrea!

Are you feeling better? Hope so!! just wanted to chime in say that in a lyme disease book I have "hairloss" is listed as a symptom. It does not however say- AA, AT, or AU-- but rather generalized hair loss.
Hi Heather!

I guess I didn't have a full write up but I haven't seen it on any of the websites I've been browing about it. I am doing better. I got the positive diagnosis from igenex but then upon reading I discovered that Lupus and RA can cause a false positive (from Igenex's own FAQ). So still a bit of a medical mystery but my rheumatologist decided to treat for Lupus and RA because the symptoms are so much more like those than Lyme. I think we're closing in, which is a relief :-)

Hello Margaret and Nicole!

I was very much enjoying a long remission from AA until it reoccurred in 2004. (and is still with me!!!) Anyway a few month prior to the discovery of that fateful AA spot back in 2004 I had lyme disease. For me, given my first experience was prior to the Lyme disease I do not think it caused it but have often wondered if that was the trigger that brought it back on! I did see and was successfully treated by a Lyme specialist. I asked him if he thought the lyme disease was responsible for the AA starting back up again.

He said that it certainly possible but no way to really test for it or prove it. However there are many incidence of people developing autoimmune disease following a virus/infection. He said that could be the catalyst that caused the immune system to "malfunction"

Good luck battling the Lyme disease! IF I can be of any help- holla! :)

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