My youngest sis (late 30's) has something going on that is driving her crazy!! 9 years ago she had a C-section and developed and infection. She was treated with antibiotic at the time and got the all clear. Within a year her big toe started acting up and she was diagnosed with Gout and treated for that. Then she was diagnosed with Rheumitoid Arthritis and has since been going the rounds with all the meds associated with that. Recently she developed a severe rash on her arms, legs and hands and was diagnosed with eczema. She also got strep throat and started penicillin. Now the rash is starting to clear up and also a "personal itch" that had been going off and on for years and the drs. repeatedly treated her for yeast infection. She is beginning to wonder if some sort of infection has been in her body all these years and just not cleared up. Could that cause so many mis-diagnoses? She has gone to several specialists over the years for all the different things. I have heard that infection can cause arthritis, but don't know if that is true. Any input would be appreciated.
Sure, infections can cause arthritis, but that would be a septic arthritis which is a surgical emergency that can destroy a joint within days. Your sister has chronic inflammation in her joints which has been grumbling on for years now.
The thing with diseases like rhematoid arthritis and gout and even lupus is the fact that, though they often only affect one part of the body significantly (i.e. RA affecting the joints) you have to understand they are systemic diseases and the inflammatory process is going on all over the body. RA and eczema are both autoimmune processes, and a person who has one is at a higher risk of having the other due to the connection in their mechanisms.
There is a certain faction of people who believe that certain low grade chronic yeast infections (i.e. Candida) could be causing symptoms like your sisters. I bring that up only because I think it's fair to show both sides of the coin; however, conventional medicine has shown this to not be true, and it was way back in the 80s. However, I'm not going to knock people who DO believe in the Candida theory, and in fact, there may be some people on the board who know more about it.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something. The person itch doesn't necessarily have to be from an infectious cause. Atrophic vaginitis, lichen sclerosis an labial eczema are al things which can cause vaginal itching but are not necessarily associated with infection.