I've been looking around various sites and a few people have suggested that Lyme disease or thyroid disorders, amongst other things, could cause symptoms that may be mistaken for MND. My mother has had thyroid problems, arthritis , sciatica, and recently, slight hair loss. Do these point to another disease, or are they irrelevant?
How long has your mother been sick? Is her thyroid problem being properly managed? Lyme and thyroid symptoms can overlap. Some people who have Lyme also have a thyroid disorder.
Regarding thyroid testing, I suggest that she has her Free T3, Free T4 (besides the T3 and T4) and thyroid antibodies tested in addition to the normal panel. These are simple blood tests. They are not usually done but are necessary for a comprehensive view.
Below is a Lyme symptom list. You can have any combination of symptoms.
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
When Lyme is possible, it is very important to see a kowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. No test is completely reliable, and results can vary by lab.
Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.
If you need a doctor recommendation, let us know.
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses (on-line). He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease
(2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.
Hi Ticker, thanks for the welcome. My mother has had arthritis for about 25 years, but her muscles have weakened a lot over the last year. Her hair has started to thin within the last 6 months or so. She was diagnosed with MND two weeks ago. I suspected it was MND before that, due to the symptoms, but if there are other possibilities, I'd like to look into them. Any help you can give would be great I live in the uk, so I don't know how easy it would be to get tests done.