If you mention mycoplasma in any doctor’s office, you’ll likely get the same response –
“Everyone has mycoplasma. It’s not a big deal. It couldn’t have anything to do with your case.”
If you hear this, run far and fast. Especially if you’ve been fighting chronic illness for years, it’s like you’re throwing open the door and inviting the mycoplasma in for a tea party.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of mycoplasma infection in children and adults are:
- Sore throat
- Fatigue (being tired)
- Slowly worsening cough that can last for weeks or months
HOWEVER – these are not the only symptoms! You can have neurological, gastrointestinal, and hormonal issues from these infections. If these symptoms linger or if your chronic disease (such as Lyme/fibro/other inflammatory processes) is not going away/lessening/showing any sort of variation in flares or herxes, I encourage you to get tested. Here’s why:
It’s well known that there are over 200 types of mycoplasma infections – these can disrupt your flora, attack your body, and enter your cells, disrupting your immune system function. These microbes do not have a cell wall, and are therefore not easily killed with an antibiotic regimen. A more holistic approach to the attack may be needed if your infection lingers.
According to Dr. Rawls, “Mycoplasma are spread by biting insects (ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, biting flies), sexual contact, contaminated food, and airborne droplets…To gain access to needed resources, mycoplasma generate inflammation in the body by manipulating the signaling mechanisms of the immune system (called cytokines). Inflammation breaks down tissues and allows the bacteria to gain access to the host’s resources. Mitochondria are prime targets for energy; fatigue is always a factor in mycoplasma infections.” (Rawls, 2016).
So, the next time your doctor brings up chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, or fibromyalgia – it may be worth asking to have the test run for this. DO’s and PA’s are more likely to be attune to what mycoplasma can do and can assist you in ordering the proper tests. Yes, everyone has some levels of this in their body – but to those of us who are already sick, this can be the determining factor in whether or not we are healthy after years of being ill.
CDC – Mycoplasma Pneumoniae infection. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/atypical/mycoplasma/about/signs-symptoms.html
Rawls, B. (2016). Mycoplasma, the most common Lyme co-infection. Rawls M.D. Retrieved from https://rawlsmd.com/health-articles/mycoplasma-the-most-common-lyme-coinfection