Can Systemic Mycosis Cause Fibromyalgia?


Image: Shutterstock/ Alexander Raths

We still don’t know what causes fibromyalgia. And the fact that this devastating disease is such a mystery has lead to a lot of people speculating on what the cause might be. But while some theories are based on good science and research, there are a lot of people out there who tend to latch on to some theories that aren’t so solid. One of these theories is that Fibromyalgia is caused by fungal infections like systemic mycosis.

On its face, this theory has a few things that make sense. Mycosis can lead to symptoms that are pretty similar to those that people with fibromyalgia suffer from like chronic fatigue and pain. So is there actually any basis for this theory? To figure that out, let’s talk about what mycosis is and what the link to fibromyalgia might be.

What Is Mycosis?

Basically, mycosis is a fungal infection. But it’s a broad term that covers any type of infection caused by the spores of a fungus. Types of mycosis can include things like ringworm, which despite the name, is actually a type of highly infectious fungal infection, and thrush, which is an infection caused by yeast that can affect the mouth or genitals.

The first sign of a fungal infection is usually chronic itching of the affected area. And over time, you’ll probably begin to see outward signs like a rash, depending on what type of infection you have.

These types of skin infections are usually fairly easy to treat with a topical anti-fungal medication. But sometimes, the infection can actually spread to your blood stream. From there, it extends into your internal organs and can even infect the lining of the brain. In these cases, the symptoms can be similar to what people with fibromyalgia experience.

Systemic mycosis can cause chronic fatigue, pain in the muscles or joints, headaches, and mental fog. Typically, these types of infections only happen to people who already have a weakened immune system. But that hasn’t stopped people from arguing¬†that systemic mycosis is actually behind fibromyalgia.

Is It Linked To Fibromyalgia?

The basic idea behind this theory is that the systemic infection is actually causing the symptoms of people with fibromyalgia. That makes sense on one level. The symptoms of a systemic fungal infection can be very similar to the symptoms of fibromyalgia. And once a systemic infection has spread to the brain, which is what causes these symptoms, it’s often hard to detect in tests.

But there are a lot of problems with this theory. To begin with, even systemic fungal infections usually display¬†outward signs like lesions on the skin or rashes. And that’s not a symptom that we usually see in fibromyalgia.

That’s not to say that someone from fibromyalgia-like symptoms might not actually be suffering from a systemic fungal infection. We know that these kinds of infections can cause the type of symptoms that could be confused with fibromyalgia. But that doesn’t mean that these people are suffering from fibromyalgia caused by fungal infection.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by a doctor pressing their thumb into 18 specific points around the body. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the patient needs to feel pain in at least 11 of these points.

On the other hand, a systemic fungal infection wouldn’t cause pain in these specific areas of the body, and these areas wouldn’t be sensitive to the touch. So if your doctor is conducting the proper test, they should be able to distinguish between pain and fatigue caused by fungal infection and pain caused by fibromyalgia.

But the fact that these conditions might be confused with each other illustrates a problem that many people with fibromyalgia face: there are many different diseases that resemble fibromyalgia. This fact can make getting an accurate diagnosis difficult.

And not every doctor is an expert on fibromyalgia since the condition is not well-understood by medical science. So it’s easy to see how a doctor could misdiagnose someone with fibromyalgia if they aren’t up to date on the proper medical procedures.

Make sure that any doctor you see is performing the proper tests. And consider seeing a doctor who specializes in conditions like fibromyalgia.

With that being said, it’s possible that you are actually suffering from a fungal infection if you’re suffering symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. So it may actually be worth mentioning to your doctor to see what they think. It’s always best to get an accurate diagnosis. But we can say pretty conclusively that fungal infections are not the cause of fibromyalgia.

So, what do you think? Could fungal infections actually be behind fibromyalgia? Let us know in the comments.