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Old 03-18-2006, 07:19 AM   #1
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Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hello everyone. Please forgive that this is a bit lengthy but I really need your opinions:
As some of you know I started my symptoms of blurred vision, tingling in extremities, tight cracking achy joints (ankles, wrists, fingers, jaw, neck), painful needle feeling under feet beginning of jan. I had an mri of the brain and c spine which came back negative, the opthalmologist examined me and said everything was normal, just extreme dry eye in the blurry eye.

Soo, after getting nowhere from a neurologist or opthalmologist, i decided to go to a rheumatologist, and she tested me for all kinds of arthritis, lupus, lyme disease, and different viruses/bacteria infections that could have maybe caused this. The results are in and she said I tested positive for a recent strep infection. Now the last time I had a bad sore throat was the beginning of december and I did not treat it with antibiotics. Then the beginning of january all this happened. Has anyone heard of lingering strep causing the body go haywire like this?? I am skeptical, as if I had this infection for almost 3 months I think i may have been very sick, not just out of whack as above symptoms describe. I am generally very healthy, follow an alternative lifestyle, take a lot of supplements, with about 5-10 thousand mg of vit c per day so my immune system usually wards off most winter illnesses.

I am wondering what I should do now-- lay off the doctors for a few weeks and see how I feel after taking the strep antibiotics she prescribed or seek further advice? I have a follow up appt with the rheumatologist next monday so I want to ask the right questions. I am also looking into seeing Dr. Martin Feldman, the best holistic neurologist in NYC, although a PRETTY PENNY I AM SURE.

Tha nks everyone,
Michelle

 
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hi Michelle,
It's so strange that you posted this! My friend at work has been going through so much with her 12 yr old girl with the same issues. They thought that she had Lupus - lots of neuro symptoms. U of M found that she has strep infection, probably for years. She has had 2 rounds of PCN and is now better. The docs said that strep can rage through the body without us knowing it and cause many different illnesses, including Lupus. They have to retest her to assure that it is gone. She even had symptoms of Torrettes syndrome-which have completely gone away. I am actually on my way to the rheumy's right now and am requesting that I be tested for strep. Who knows - it may be possible that I have it and it is causing the Lupus??? Stranger things have happened! I had strep throat all the time as a kid and teenager. We will see what he thinks today....I will post back later today.
Good luck!
Leslie

 
Old 03-18-2006, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Leslie,

THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE.. How weird that your friend's daughter is experiencing the same thing... what kind of neurological symptoms besides tourettes ticks has she had? and how long after she was on the antibiotics did the symptoms subside? I appreciate your feedback as this all is starting to make a lot of sense.. if the strep is causing this for me, as I am only 19, it was just strange that i was so sick in december, did not get treated and all of a sudden BOOM, these weird symptoms began. You mentioned the doctor said this girl probably had the strep for years-- how could they tell how long it has been in the system ? My doctor said it was a recent infection for me that was left untreated--december was pretty recent... yes, stranger things have happened! Good luck with your situation too!

Michelle

 
Old 03-18-2006, 06:25 PM   #4
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rheumatic fever???

Leslie,

Did your friend mention whether her daughter has rheumatic fever, a complication of untreated strep that causes arthritis like pain in the joint and heart problems signaled by chest pain and shortness of breath? I am very concerned about this...
thanks

 
Old 03-18-2006, 11:18 PM   #5
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hi,
No, my friend said the only illness was strep throat infections. Doc said that these doc's treat the infection with antibiotics and never verify that the infection has actually cleared. She had joint pain, neck pain, sore muscles, uncontrolled jerking of her extremities, fatigue, etc. She tested negative for lupus. Thank goodness that she is improving.
I asked the rheumy about it today and he said that yes, untreated strep can cause arthritic conditions. He assured me that this is not my case, but will test me the next time they draw my blood for my peace of mind!
Did you test positive or meet criteria for Lupus or anything? Were you tested for rheumatoid arthritis? I also have RA, as do many of my family members. It's funny because every one of us had a "major" infectious process going on before our first really huge flare. Interesting...
Leslie

 
Old 03-19-2006, 06:42 AM   #6
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hello Leslie,

I was tested by a rheumatologist for all different kinds of arthritis, lupus, lyme, hepititis and strep... all negative except strep. I also had MRIs of the brain and Cspine to check for MS-- all clear. How long after the antibiotics were finished did your friend's daughters' symptoms improve? Can you do me a favor when you see your doctor and ask him how common it is for untreated strep to turn into rheumatic fever in healthy 19 year old girl. I am very concerned about my heart and don't see my doc for 2 more weeks! Thank you so much for all your help and I wish you all well.
Michelle

 
Old 03-20-2006, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hi Michelle,
I already saw my rheumy but will try to research this for you. Have you had a echo of your heart done? Are you symptomatic (heartwise)? I would not worry too much until they tell you to!
I will post later when I get the energy to start the research for you!
Leslie
Just remember, you are on the right track now..

 
Old 03-20-2006, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

LMHART,

I had EKG and chest xray yesterday, after having chest pains and going to the ER. Everything was fine. I just don't know what to think anymore.. i don't know if these things are real, everyone is telling me it's anxiety but I truly know my body and something is not right. i am losing hope.

Thank you for your help,
Michelle

 
Old 03-24-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hi Miss Michelle,
Sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner, my husband has had the "flu" for 5 days now. (Poor me, ha, ha!) I am now in the middle of a 4 day stretch at work, but will research this for you while I am there. I talked to my friend at work who's daughter had the strep. They won't know if it is completely gone until 6 months from now. She is getting a few symptoms back, like muscle jerking, and the doc wants her mom to video tape her while it's happening so they can better diagnose her.
I feel your pain, it is so hard to be sick. To hop from appt to appt, and doc to doc. If you do have anxiety, it's normal. Being sick and not knowing what is wrong with you or what damage has been done is very scary. We are allowed to be anxious right now and a good cry truly helps release that. You have every right to feel the way you are feeling. My Mom always said that how you feel is never wrong..no matter what the feeling is. Make sense? ALWAYS go by your gut, that's my golden rule. I have had Lupus and RA for about 1 1/2 years now (since I was actually diagnosed) and I finally had my melt down about a month ago. Thank goodness for VJ and Goldenwings and the rest of them who always have the right words and advice. That is what we are all here for - to get each other through these anxious times.
I would suggest following up with a good cardiologist for the chest pain - maybe do an echocardiogram to rule out pericarditis, etc. When he gives you good results, check that worry off your list. Having a normal EKG and CXR are wonderful news!!! That is another step in the right direction.
When will they retest you for the strep? Just remember that you are in control of your body and keep track of your symptoms and when they occur. Keep things simple and organized so you don't get overwhelmed. A doctor that I once worked with said that medicine is just common sense with a little memorization! How true that has become!!
I have to go to bed - working 12 hour midnights - but will check in on you tomorrow hopefully with some info for you.
Keep smiling!
Leslie

 
Old 06-12-2006, 02:00 AM   #10
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hi, I've had a similar situation with lingering strep. For about 6 months, I've had an incurable sore throat with general malaise and fatigue; twice I had confirmation of strep group g (swabs and ASO titre). About 1 month ago my infection progressed into neurological symptoms (muscle numbness, weakness, soreness, extreme fatigue, disorientation, and of course, a sore throat).

Interestingly, after a couple of courses of penicillin, my symptoms seemed to improve.

Unfortunately, I'm off antibiotics at the moment and my symptoms seem to be returning. More pins and needles, and even a numb face. My doctor seems to be waiting for things to gradually improve or worsen... Meanwhile, I'm waiting to see an infectious disease expert and an allergist... a neurologist would be nice however... I may have to insist on it.

At this point, I'm almost tempted to defraud drop-in clinics and treat myself. Whatever 'it' is, it's Gram Positive, as Penicillin works... so it's just a matter of finding a suitable antibiotic. Macrolides, Cephalosporins?

Strep is no joke.

Blood counts are normal, as are liver, kidney, thyroid, and sedimentation rate tests.

ANd the battle continues.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 12:31 PM   #11
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Your doctor is telling you the truth. Thank God he is taking you seriously and looking into this aspect of your auto-immune problems. I can't get mine to take me seriously, or to test me for underlying infections. There is research that also says auto-immune diseases can be from underlying mycoplasma or chlamydial infections.
Do an internet search for The Road Back Foundation. Then research all this on your own. It is very interesting--You may contact me directly if you want more [email]info---mjennifer19@mchsi.com[/email]
pambyboo

 
Old 06-17-2006, 12:02 AM   #12
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MS-Like Symptoms after Strep Infection

Hi,

(thanks for the response pambyboo)

I've been doing a lot of research and apparently *drumroll* streptoccocal pharyngitis(sore throat) can lead to an MS/CFS-like syndrome called Post-infectious Encephalomyelitis.

Basically, it's an acute demyelination process, in the sense that it generally occurs only once and leads to temporary damage to the peripheral nervous system (leading to numbness, coordination difficulties, cognitive problems, muscle weakness).

Unfortunately, there's a chance that it may develop into full blown MS.

Arg, I still haven't been able to get to a neurologist, as Canada has monstrously huge waitlists.

 
Old 06-30-2006, 05:53 PM   #13
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Once again, I've tested positive for a recent strep infection, via an ASO titre. It's probably not coincidental.

How are the rest of you how were diagnosed with lingering Strep? Do symptoms tend to reoccur in the near future.... or with later Strep infections? Is an antibiotic prophylaxis required, as in the case of rheumatic fever?

I'm having big problems getting people to treat me at the moment. I have another post in the neuropathy section detailing all of my struggles, if anyone's interested.

Mike

 
Old 12-03-2006, 11:14 AM   #14
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Re: Rheumatologist Finds Lingering Strep Infection? Please Help!

Hello. I was just wondering if you ever actually found out what was wrong with you this past year besides just having strep throat?? I am 25 years old and all of a sudden one day I had a sharp pain in my arm. Then as the days went by it kept happening again. I started getting nausea, headaches and sharp pains and muscle aches all over including sporadic chest pain. I also wake up once a night sweating a little bit. Not too much thoug. I went to my doctor and he couldn't find a diagnosis for me. The next day I had trouble swallowing. After that I went to the ER for the chest pains and not being able to swallow. They did an EKG and chest x ray and everything was normal. They basically wrote me off as an anxiety case. I went to the doctor again as a followup from the ER and saw a different physician assistant and she did not know either. Finally this past week I went back again!! So 4 times in the past two weeks---She finally decided to check me for the flu and strep throat. My flu test was negative and my strep test was positive which was a surprise to both of us since I never had any actual symptoms of strep throat. It still makes me wonder if maybe I have a slight case of rheumatic fever. I mean I did not actually have a fever, but from what I have read you don't need to have a fever. It just really makes me worry. Any advice would be great. Thanks!!
Karolyn

 
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