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Mucormycosis – Five Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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If you have been diagnosed with mucormycosis, you may wish to ask your doctor the following five questions:

1. My reports say I have mucormycosis. I am not familiar with what this disease is about apart from the symptoms I am experiencing. Can you brief me on it?
Mucormycosis is a rare fungal infection that is caused by the common fungi (found in soil and decaying vegetation) mucor, rhizopus absidia, cunninghamella, mortierella, syncephalastrum, saksenaea absidia and cokeromyces. It primarily affects the brain, sinuses, and lungs of those with a weak or suppressed immune system and those who are exposed to soil and decaying matter.

2. Besides the fever, blood in my cough and facial pain, is it likely that I will experience any other symptoms of this disease?
The symptoms are wide-ranging depending upon the type of fungus that has caused the infection and the part of the body it infects. A patient may get one or more of these symptoms dependent of the type s/he has contracted.
• Pain behind the eyes accompanied by swelling of the eye
• One-sided headaches
• Black discharge from the nasal passage
• Severe sinusitis
• Nausea and vomiting
• Abdominal pain
• Labored breathing
• Reddening and then blackening of skin
• Flank pain
• Seizures of brain, paralysis, etc.
• Disintegration of the mouth palate, eye socket and nasal passage

3. I have undergone a swab test of the throat. Will you need to run any other tests?
Sometimes a combination of tests may be used instead of a single one to reach a confirmatory diagnosis.
• A CAT scan of the head, face, abdominal and chest cavities or a MRI of the heart and lung cavities may be ordered to see the exact nature and locale of the problem.
• An ENT specialist may be referred to if sinus and nasal passage are affected.
• Photomicrographs exhibiting the presence of mature spores of the fungus.
• Biopsy and culture of the specimen involved.
• A complete blood count is often prescribed to study the arterial gases in the blood which will enable homeostasis and acidosis correction.
• An iron overload test may also be accompanied to exhibit low iron binding capacity of ferritin.
• A study of the cerebrospinal fluid is done to get to the depth of central nervous system damage.
• In such cases where there are doubts of pulmonary involvement, a broncho-alveolar lavage biopsy is performed.

4. Are you sure it is mucormycosis? There are other diseases that have similar symptoms.
Like for many conditions, differential diagnosis is practiced even in the case of mucormycosis, especially because it has a range of symptoms that are common to many conditions. Thus differential diagnosis method is often followed by physicians in treating such patients – such as ruling out of conditions like colonic and bowel obstruction, anthrax, pulmonary embolism, cellulitis, ileocecal tuberculosis, aspergillosis, etc. This also depends on your risk factors; for example, if you have AIDS, are a transplant recipient, steroid user, diabetic, and/or are working in occupation that exposes you to soil and decaying vegetation.

5. Besides my lung which is presently affected, what else could possibly be harmed when infected with mucormycosis?
In some cases mucormycosis fungi also affects the gastrointestinal tract, skin, heart and maxilla of the person as well.


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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