Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by Lori Geurin
Wondering how the immune system can change when you have a chronic illness? Find out some interesting things people with Lyme disease have discovered.
It’s been two full years since I published this post and I’m bringing it to the top of the blog feed because it’s received so much interaction. Not only have you posted your thought-provoking questions and comments here on the topic, but you continue sending me emails about your personal experiences with this strange phenomenon many of us have had. Thank you!
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Does everyone with Lyme or other tick-borne diseases stop catching colds and flu? No, apparently not. But it’s clearly something that happens to a lot of us so I want to keep the conversation going.
We have much to learn about Lyme bacteria and how it impacts our health. Through sharing our experiences, we can learn from each other and support one another in what we’re going through. Because – as you know – Lyme disease isn’t like other diseases.
Please view this post as a sort of forum for the topic and feel free to share updates to any previous comments you may have made. Also, add new comments.
Lyme Disease Ebook
As always, please remember that everyone is entitled to their own experience and opinions. We are all individuals with various life experiences, and respecting other viewpoints is essential.
If you’re wondering, does Lyme disease compromise the immune system? keep reading…
Possible Theories About Lyme Disease And Immunity
That said, in the two years since writing this post, after reading your replies, talking to my doctors, and my personal experience (I still haven’t had the flu or a cold, just a day or two of sneezing, which I attributed to allergies) I have two general theories about why this phenomenon is happening:
- Immune system issues caused by the Lyme bacteria
- Borrelia needs to keep your body temperature low to survive and thrive. As many of you have mentioned, Lyme hates warmer temperatures.
Keep in mind that knowledge is ever-changing, so I may alter my views in the future if something changes. I haven’t conducted scientific experiments or anything earth-shattering like that. This is simply more of a hunch strung together with some facts and a whole lot of experience from some intelligent Lymies and Lyme-literate MDs. So there you go, friends.
I would love to know your thoughts below! I love learning along with you!
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Original Post – Lyme Disease And The Immune System
(The original text of this March 2017 post is written below in its entirety, with a few minor tweaks here and there.)
So, as I write this, I’m living in a house full of sick people.
Completely surrounded by influenza.
And contagious germs.
Caring for all of my ailing family members.
And I’m thankful for one thing Lyme disease might be good for….preventing me from catching colds and, in this case, the flu that otherwise “healthy” people get.
Ever since I’ve had Lyme, I can be surrounded by a highly contagious illness, but over and over, rarely, if ever, get “sick.”
If you have Lyme, you know this is a small consolation considering everything else we deal with, but each little thing helps, right?
I mean, we may end up going to the doctor, emergency room, or hospital for several other Lyme-related health problems, but if I can bypass the colds, flu, and other assorted viruses out there….I’ll take it.
For now, anyway.
Interestingly, a friend who has Lyme told me her doctor was encouraged when she started catching colds and viruses her children would catch at preschool. He said this was a good sign.
But why, I want to know?
Does it mean her immune system is beginning to work like it’s supposed to again?
Why Do (Some) People With Lyme Disease Not Catch Colds And Flu?
I’ve researched this strange phenomenon online and found many fellow “Lymies” with the same experience. But I’ve had difficulty finding any concrete explanation for why this happens.
So if you know, can you please share with me? 🙂
Our doctors tell us that our immune systems are messed up, so I’m guessing this has a lot to do with it.
But is it because our immune system is so weak and worn down from fighting Lyme and co-infections?
Or perhaps our immunity is in overdrive and simply wipes out every invader that comes close. But if that were true, would we even have Lyme in the first place?
Or, here’s another thought. Because many of us have felt like we’ve had the flu every day since we were infected with Lyme disease, maybe we can’t recognize a “little” cold? (I’m not implying a cold is little, just using it as an example.)
So many questions. Please help!
As a side note, I’ve read on some message boards that people with MS and a few other autoimmune conditions experience this same crazy phenomenon.
More Information About Lyme & Ticks
Several years ago, I was bitten by ticks and started having debilitating symptoms. None of the doctors could figure out what was wrong with me I was desperate for answers. I spent many hours researching on my own, working to figure out what was causing all of my health problems.
Thankfully, I was eventually tested for Lyme and co-infections and diagnosed with Lyme, tularemia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). Yet, so many people are still searching and wondering why they’re suffering from many of the same symptoms.
Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, autoimmune conditions, or chronic fatigue syndrome – as I was initially.
But, like me, you wonder, what is causing all of this? Why am I in pain and exhausted all the time?
I created a Lyme resource to help answer your questions. The guide provides you with:
- more details about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases
- valuable information on diagnosis and testing
- where to find financial help for Lyme patients
- prevention tips
- instructions for how to properly remove a tick
- and more…
all based on research. Simply click here to get the Lyme Disease Ebook.
It’s FREE, or you can pay what you’d like.
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PLEASE PIN FOR LATER
Summary – Lyme Disease, Colds, And Flu
Untreated Lyme disease presents debilitating symptoms that mimic other diseases, making it hard to identify and treat. Some of the symptoms are shared by many Lyme patients. Many (but definitely not all) have reported that they don’t get colds or the flu like they used to before contracting Lyme.
This post is intended to get people talking about their symptoms and experiences and explore what could be causing this phenomenon.
If you have Lyme or know someone who does, do you still catch colds and other illnesses or not? Have you read or heard a good explanation for why this happens?
Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I’d love to hear your take on this! Hoping we can learn more together. X, Lori
For more on Lyme disease and chronic illness:
- Changing DNA To Eliminate Lyme Disease: Could It Be The Answer?
- 16 Facts You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
- Celebrities With Lyme Disease
- The Ultimate Gift Guide For People With Chronic Illness
- Justin Bieber’s Lyme Disease Battle Exposes Ugly Truth
- Coronavirus Information For People With Lyme
- How To Sleep Better With Lyme Disease
- 21 Strategies To Fight Lyme Disease Naturally
- Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real? Part 1