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Fungal infection
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Fungal infection

First of all, I am a male, in his mid-40s, who is relatively healthy except for a positive diagnosis of Hepatitis B (but that is not what this post is about). I have been dealing with what I believe is a fungal infection since beginning of August. I had a sexual encounter a week before that. It was with a woman I did not know very well. We had sexual intercourse with a condom, and there was no oral sex. I asked her to penetrate anally, to try something new, and she did that, while wearing some kind of latex glove. We were in her bathroom which was wet from a shower.

Anyway, about a week later, I experienced a redness and itching at my penis head and anus, which also affected my left leg and foot. The left leg and foot also itched, burned, and tingled, although there were no outward signs of any lesions. I immediately went to the doctor and had a full STD panel of tests done - Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Trichomoniasis - all came back negative.

The pain in my left foot got so bad I could barely walk or stand. I bought Clotrimazole cream from the pharmacy and applied on my penis and anus, and suddenly the left foot no longer tingled or had pain. I followed the directions for a few weeks applying the cream twice a day morning and night. I also used Apple Cider Vinegar as an anti-fungal wash. By the time October came, I was symptom-free in my foot and my groin, so I put it all down to a fungal infection of some kind.

October was great, I was back to normal. Then November came, and the leg/foot pain came back with a vengeance. I had slacked off on using the Clotrimazole because of the lack of symptoms, although I was still wiping my skin with the Apple Cider Vinegar.

Now it is Nov 23, and I have been plagued with left leg and foot pain. It is not as bad as before when I could barely stand, but it is still there, and the fact that the pain is still there means I still have a fungal infection.

Recently, my doctor said I have a candida infection, and gave me Diflucan (flucanozole) to take for 10 days. I just finished it and there was no apparent effect. Now, I'm not so sure it is a fungal infection. Urine and blood analyses done back in August showed no bacteria in the blood or urine. Could it still be a bacterial infection?

I am still going through various anti-fungal topicals - Clotrimazole, Miconzole, Tonaflate, etc. and they work to some extent, but the pain doesn't completely go away like it did before. I even started taking Caprylic acid supplements.

Any ideas on what else this could be besides a fungal infection? If it is a fungal infection, what other treatments are there? Enemas? Nystatin?

Thank you.

189 Comments Post a Comment
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We don't have doctors on these sites but I can advice you. One thing I want to mention is that some strains of Candida albicans are resistant to fluconiazole. So, using terbinafine (Lamisil cream) should work if that is what it is. But the best thing to do is to have your doctor have it cultured. They can do a skin scraping of an area and send it to the lab. That way you don't just keep using many different medications. If it isn't Candida albicans some of the other yeasts are very resistant and you really need to know what it is. Usually, fungi cause a lot of itching and not pain. The way you describe your pain sounds like sciatic ir some type of nerve pain. Perhaps you pinched the nerve the day you had the sexual activity. So, you may have more than one thing going on here.
This is starting place. Hope this helps.
mkh9
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Thank you, mkh9. While the Diflucan didn't do anything, I found that a lotion from Vitamin Shoppe store worked very well. It has 1% Tolnaftate, which is something I never used before. Within an hour of applying that lotion, my left leg/foot stopped hurting. So, I have to believe there is a connection. I will continue to use the Tolnaftate.I'm only day two into the lotion and see real results.

This is definitely a fungal infection.

Do you think I still need to get a culture?
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See how this goes. If it goes away great if not get the culture. I wouldn't put vinegar on your skin any more as that can disrupt the normal skin bacteria (flora) and long chain fatty acids on the skin which can help fight off fungi. I'm not sure why the fungi is causing pain rather than itching. But, if it works that is good.
mkh9
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Actually I realized my left foot has a pinhole in the sole from stepping on a nail a few years ago. And a few months ago I was walking barefoot in a public shower at a gym. It could be the fungus from that rather any sexual activity.

When I apply Tolnaftate cream on the sole of my left foot, the pain goes away. After several hours the pain comes back, and I am guessing the fungus is growing back. My question is, will I have to do this for the rest of my life, or will the fungus (or whatever is kept in check by the Tolnaftate) eventually die off?
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If the growth on the foot is a fungus it should die off provided
1. that it is sensitive to the topical you are using.
2. that your shoes or other places you are stepping don't keep contaminating the foot/feet.

It is easy to keep getting fungus on the feet because fungi are in the dirt and around the house and in the environment. Try to keep your feet clean and dry. The fungi don't like being dry. Putting talc in your sock or shoes might help. If you belong to a gym wear flip flops in the shower etc. Keep the floor of your shower clean. It is hard to get rid of fungi. I get them as well as most people. It may be an off an on thing.

Once you have the right treatment it should be gone in a week. If not you should see a doctor. Or, try terbinifine (Lamisil). It is the only thing that works for me and my husband. My doctor has it too. LOL.

mkh9
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Thank you again for your response mkh9. Actually, this is strange. Rubbing Tolnaftate cream on the sole of the foot does help it to start hurting. But I do need to apply it around the anal area as well. If I don't, there is an internal warmth building up in my left leg. Once I do, it is gone. So I believe the fungus or whatever is growing in two areas.

I completely agree with you about keeping the foot clean. My foot pain is worse in the day because I have to wear socks and it gets fungal build-up. At home in the evening I walk around barefoot and it is much better.

But, I never had this problem throughout my entire life until a few months ago. i walked on some nasty floors before barefoot and it hasn't affected me.

Do you think the fungus is reproducing from within me, and is only causing pain when it reaches the extremities (anus and foot)?

I am going to take caprylic acid supplements as an internal anti-fungal. Do you think that would be effective?
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I think your problem is superficial because if it is a fungus and the only reason it seems to be is that the anti-fungal creams work for the dermatopytes. Dermatophytes don't live inside the body. They live on hair, skin and nails and are external fungi. But you could have a yeast. Until you get tested you really don't know. It can't hurt to take the caprylic acid to see what happens but it won't help internally. It has a lot of saturated fat which isn't good for you but temporarily you could try it. I don't recommend it myself but if you want to try it for a couple of weeks that is up to you. It can work on some yeast and maybe fungi as well as some bacteria. I hope it doesn't cause any problems with your normal bowel flora (bacteria).
mkh9
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Again, thank you for helping me out mkh9. I want to say yesterday (Sunday) has been the first day without any kind of pain. I rubbed tea tree oil on the sole of my foot and around the anal area. Today marks the second day. Do you know much about tea tree oil? Does it kill fungus?
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Actually, yes it does. Here is a technical article but I gave it to you to prove that it does have some antifungal properties. It works better on some strains of yeast and dermatophytes than others.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360

so the fact that it is helping to me means that it is probably a fungus and that the other antifungal you used was ineffective. That is good news.

mkh9
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That's good to know. So my regimen includes tea tree oil, but is not entirely limited to it. I also still use the Tolnaftate lotion, and I started taking Caprylic acid capsules and cranberry pills. The Caprylic acid capsules supposedly will attack the fungus inside. i do believe it helps. What do you think about it?

The anal area and my leg/foot still gets itchy and tingly after some time passes, so I have to continue with the tea tree oil/anti-fungal lotion.

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There seems to be some antibacterial and antifungal properties with the Caprylic acid.  I don't know how many studies have been done on it but is sounds like it also can work on this.
mkh9
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mhk9, I want to say your input is a great comfort to me in this rather scary period for me. Scary because I fear this may go on for years. I'm glad you're here to walk me through all this, and your educated advice is very helpful.

What is the cycle of regrowth of these dermatophytes? Today I felt pretty clear because I have been applying the tea tree oil every few hours. If I don't, the pain/itchiness will come back to my anus and left foot. Is this a regimen I will have to live with for the rest of my life? Is there nothing that can kill all these micro-organisms permanently? I'm only 7 days into the tea tree oil, so would you say 4 weeks is long enough to see if the TTO will kill all the fungi forever? Is that how long it takes?

Thank you, and sorry for all the questions.
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The dermatophytes grow to full potential so to speak in a few days. But they can start regrowing in hours. I think the problem is that the TTO isn't killing them off rather it is fugalstatic (keeping them at bay). If you had it cultured and find exactly which species it is which yeast or which fungus then you can determine the best treatment plan. There are some yeast that are very resistant and need different antifungal medication and some fungi are different than others. So that is why it is best to have it cultured rather than just treating the fungus. Also, trying to keep the environment as clean as possible with bleach and dry. For example with the shower my friend uses her overhead shower fan and then gets out and drys down the shower each time instead of letting it dry on its own. I can't do that myself at this point due to a back injury but I think it is a good idea. Also, keep your feet dry and you can use non talc powder on the groin area and feet to try to keep the area dry.  Pat dry the anal area with a towel after showering and wash all the towels and dry.  Dryness is important. If you can find which fungus you won't have to keep treating you will kill if off. It may return at some point but at least you can use possibly the right treatment. Environmental organisms are hard to control.  If your skin loses its long chain fatty acids from too much showering that is not good either. So depending on how dry your skin is you may think of showering every other day unless you jog or something like that. Just some suggestions.
mkh9
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Hello, I should clarify my symptoms. Starting the Sunday of December 7, which is the first day I used tea tree oil, my symptoms went down significantly.Every few hours I do apply to keep the pain at bay. However, the pain is less intense and less frequent than before using the TTO. I would say there is progress in terms of overall affliction of symptoms.

While I am looking to get a culture of my particular fungal infection, what I am also thinking is that every time I wipe my skin down with TTO that I may miss an area or pocket of fungus. So, it keeps growing back. I'm thinking about getting a basin and filling it with TTO and water, and then dunking  my foot or my butt in it for a period of time. It's hard to get ALL the areas that have fungal growth on them. Any area I missed will of course experience re-growth.

What do you think of this approach?

Also, since the severity of the symptoms have lessened since using the tea tree oil, would you consider that progress? I guess in my last post I was lamenting that there are still even symptoms, but I should clarify that they are indeed much less.

Thank you again.

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I'm glad that the TTO is working so well. It is possible that you are missing a spot here and there. But I still think it is fungistatic rather than killing it totally off. But if you see a decline over all and you think it is going away that is good. It has only been about a week so that is not too bad. I am not up on the idea of "dunking your butt" in the TTO" because it might irritate the sensitive parts of you and possibly cause more harm than good. So, that is my view on it. Are you trying to avoid a oral antifungal? or did you already try one and it failed? I can't recall. Still if you do get the culture you would have to stop the TTO for a while. I don't know how long. Because it may interfere with the culture. So that is something to think about too. The oral antifungals are hard on the liver.
mkh9
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Yes I tried Diflucan which is the only antifungal approved by my gastroenterologist. I did take Diflucan for 10 days but it seemed to have no effect. In my research I noticed Nystatin bypasses the liver so that might be a possibility. If Nystatin fails to work, I don't have any more oral antifungals I can take.

I understand I have to let the fungus grow to get a culture sample taken of it. My doctor is on vacation until January, so I have to wait until then to get that done.

There are other topicals I have not used - Terbafine, etc. I'm sure they would work,but for now I'm sticking to TTO and Tolnaftate, although I think the latter is really fungistatic (TTO too perhaps).

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Terbinifine would work better than the diflucan because the fungi are often resistant to it. Yes I would just wait until after the holidays if you can. Maybe it will be gone. If not then you can try the Terbinifine and go from there.  They have oral terbinifine tablets as well and that might be better since it is in more than one place. I'm not sure since it is in the anal area whether you should use a topical on that. I just don't have that background. To me if you do it would be only on the outside. But i would prefer you ask you doctor about that. I am not qualified to make that kind of decision. Also a pharmacist may answer that question.You would have to be specific with them.

mkh9
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Hello mkh9,

Happy Holidays! I hope you and your family are doing well this season. I appreciate your internet presence on my post.

Lately the symptoms (leg/foot pain, anal itching) are still there, but they come and go and are very mild. I did dunk my butt in a tub of TTO and water for a few days. It did help a lot.

However, I have stopped using tea tree oil altogether because I believe the skin around my anus got irritated from the TTO - rash, very itchy, scaly. I have been applying aloe vera gel and moisturizer instead to restore the skin. I also made the mistake of exposing my penis and foreskin to diluted TTO - the foreskin swelled up to the point I could hardly retract it to urinate! It was a little alarming. But in a few days the swelling went down. So, I am really leery of using TTO now.

But in the last couple of days my anus, scrotum, and penis started burning and got very itchy. It was so itchy a couple of nights ago I couldn't even sleep my anus was so itchy. Then I got this idea that I might have pinworms instead of fungus. Because the anus itched at night at bedtime and not during the day. I thought, this could be the dermatitis from the TTO  or that I had pinworms all along, and that the TTO was keeping the pinworms at bay.

So, I went and bought clove oil and mixed that with the aloe vera gel. That clove oil burned when I applied it on my buttocks and anal area, but the itchiness went away. I read that clove oil kills pinworm eggs, which are laid at night (thus the itchiness at night).

Before going to see the doctor about this (I have an appointment with her on Jan 6 when she gets back from vacation), and get prescription medication for pinworm (which I'm not sure I even have) - I'm going to try some natural/home remedies such as clove oil, garlic, etc.The few times that I did use clove oil did really take away the anal itchiness. Subsequently, the penile and scrotal burning and itchiness went away too.

So, pinworms instead of fungus? Or both? What do you think?



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Happy holidays to you too. Although it sounds like you have been very unconfortable indeed!  I did mention that I didn't think you could use those solutions on your private parts. It is too irritating. I think that you have both a fungus and possible pin worm. You need to get tested for it. They do a pin worm "paddle" or scotch tape method first think in the morning. They give you a paddle with scotch tape on it and first thing in the early morning you put the paddle on the anal area press and remove it and cover it with the tape they give you so the laboratory doesn't get it too. This is when the pinworm comes out. We can see the classic eggs under the microscope. They can then give you the right medication. You will then have to change yoru clothes and bedding and then I think in a week repeat the process. The pinworm wouldn't be the reason for the leg/foot pain. I would ask about that. I think the herbal meds might help topically but not get all of them out internally. So I would go with what treatment they give you in my opinion, if you have it.
mkh9
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Okay, I will get tested for pinworm. I think the leg/foot pain is from fungal infection via the nail hole in the sole.

Yes, you did warn me about dunking myself in TTO. I am pretty desperate to get rid of whatever I am afflicted with.

What do you think about the consumption of diatomaceous earth for either fungal or pinworm infection?

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I don't think you should try the diatomaceous earth for pinworm it is something you need strong meds for. If you have it knock out with a good antiparasitic. You probably will need one dose then clean everything as I think I mentioned then in a week I think you have to repeat it again meds and cleaning. I don't think so for the fungal infection either. Not for the anal area. I would see if they have some topical other than fluconazole for this. Or at least ask about what they have for that area other than fluconazole for the anal area.
mkh9
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Be sure to tell them the fluconazole didn't work. Also regarding your feet/foot. Did you say you tried Terbinafine on the foot? If you did it takes a week to work.
mkh9
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Today has been a practically pain-free day. It's a break-through day for me. No leg/foot pain, just some mild anal itching that came up around 6:00 pm in the evening - but the itching comes and goes on a momentary basis.

I haven't been using tea tree oil on the anal area at all. I used to wipe TTO there undiluted and I think that is what caused the rash/skin irritation. The tub was filled with 9 liters of water per 3/4 teaspoon of TTO. I still use the tub to soak my foot twice a day. But because of the direct TTO wiping I have chafed skin around my anus. It is prickly and I think that's where the itchiness comes from, rather than pinworms.

Last night, for the first time I did make a salve out of virgin coconut oil, garlic powder, and clove oil. Coconut oil -> supposedly anti-fungal, garlic -> supposedly anti-fungal, clove oil -> supposedly pinworm/egg killer. I wiped that around the anal opening before going to bed. There was some slight itchiness but overall not nearly as bad as a few nights ago.

But today has been stellar. Related? Who knows. I'll do the same thing tonight and see. I'm beginning to think I don't have pinworms at all.

I did tell the doctor before that the Fluconazole tablets did not work, and she seemed surprised by this. While she was away on vacation, I went back to that physicians group and another doctor said to take the Fluconazole for a longer period. I never tried a Fluconazole topical. The topicals I used were Tolnaftate, Miconozole, and Clotrimazole, and they all helped a lot.

I haven't used Terbafine but I have confidence in it, and will save it in my arsenal when the need arises. It's good to know what other solutions are out there to turn to.

The foot still aches a little, especially toward the front of the sole where the nail went in. It seems some unsavory biological microorganism got in there. But it is much better than when I first posted on this site.

I'm not totally ruling out pinworms, but I will wait and see with a skeptical eye if that is the case. The anal itching feels like it could be pinworms but could also be extreme skin irritation, dryness, and rash.













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Glad you are feeling better. I hope it keeps up!
mkh9
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My condition persists, but it has taken an interesting turn. Since my last post, I realize now that what made me feel better was garlic. I started taking two garlic capsules 3 - 4 times a day. Whenever my leg/foot started to tingle and itch, I pop two concentrated garlic capsules into my mouth, and about 30 minutes later, the tingling is gone.

The first day I did this was December 30, the day I reported that I felt no pain in my last post. That morning and throughout the day on 12/20, I took two garlic pills.

With that discovery, I have been taking 2 garlic pills every few hours. The effect is consistent in that the tingling and itching goes away after taking them. Would this point to a fungal infection? I have been reading online about garlic and its anti-fungal properties, but didn't realize it was that effective.

I still have acute anal itching at night in the sphincter region. Sometimes I feel like something is crawling out of my anus. While it could be the skin irritation from the chemicals I put on it, I still suspect pinworms. So I bought a microscope and did the tape test on my anus when it itched the worst. Under the microscope there was a lot of skin flakes from my peeling skin, and some cloth fibers, but I also saw something suspect - a squiggly S-shaped object. I'm no expert on worms, but it looked it could be a worm of some type or it could be something harmless. Is there a way to post a pic on this site?

I saw my doctor today. I told her everything I just posted here. She doesn't think it's pinworms, says it's a third-world problem or that it only happens to "kids who eat sand" but she still prescribed albendazole - one dose now and one dose two weeks later. "That should take care of any worm problem" she said.

She doesn't put much stock in garlic, tea tree oil, clove oil, etc. for fighting fungus because she didn't know much about the subject. She still thinks my foot tingling is neuropathy is from my pre-diabetic state.

What are your thoughts about the garlic?


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Typo correction: when I wrote 12/20 above I meant 12/30 - the same day as my break-through day. (Can we not edit our posts?)
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You description of the pinworm sounds right. I would take the meds exactly as prescribed. And repeat to kill off the lifecycle. You will have to clean the bedding , underwear and so forth with this treatment and again with the second treatment. I believe you do have pinworm. It is not only a 3rd world disease. I have seen many cases when I worked at the county hospital. It gets around quite a bit. Garlic is great for your immune system. If it is helping great. I think this doctor is helping so I agree with her except that pinworm usually is a 3rd world disease but not always. Maybe she can clear you of any thing else going on.  It can't hurt to continue the garlic. It is good for you anyway.  I agree that the foot tingling can be from pre-diabetic or pre type II diabetes. I think I mentioned that too. Diet can change that. A low fat or non fat whole grain (no white sugar no white flour diet with lots of veggies and some fruits. No desserts. You will get used to it. Can really help a lot.  I actually changed from being a meat eater all my life to vegan and oil free. If you get a chance watch the video Forks over Knives. It is great. There are some good books too. But I don't want to push that unless you are very interested. Then I would give information.
take care, and let me know how it goes.
mkh9
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Here is an update on my condition. For about a week or so I have been symptom-free. That means no leg/foot pain, and no anal itching. The skin around my anus that was irritated and peeling from exposure to the tea tree oil has been healing since I applied Aquaphor and Vitamin E. I still use an anti-fungal cream on the anal area - it is made of 2% Miconazole, petroleum jelly, zinc oxide that provides anti-fungal protection as well as keeping the skin from being dry.

What I have been continuing to do, is to dunk my left foot in the tub filled with water and tea tree oil, about twice a day. I also have been continuing with the garlic supplements - two capsules 600 mg each, for about 3-4 times a day. Since yesterday, I also started eating raw garlic cloves, once in the morning, and another clove in the course of the day or evening. The raw garlic does burn a bit in the mouth.

So for about a week now, I have been without any symptoms. I don't know what I can attribute this to. I even do not have the anal itching at night that has plagued me. Please, note I did NOT take the anti-worm medication the doctor prescribed me. While I don't have a problem taking it, I also am a little wary of it because of its effect on the liver. I do have Hepatitis B. I wanted to continue with the natural path first to see if I get any results before resorting to the Albenazole. The absence of the anal itching at night indicates it may have been skin irritation after all that is healing, or even worms that are being killed by the garlic and clove oil (which I wipe on the anal opening at night before sleep).

The foot tingling is gone for about a week now. The doctor admitted that pre-diabetic neuropathy was a reach for her because she didn't know what else it could be. She firmly does not believe a yeast or fungal infection or any kind of worm infection would cause my left foot to tingle. She observed the sole of my left foot that had a pinhole scar in it from stepping on a nail 4 years ago. She said the wound closed over so a fungal infection via that wound was unlikely.

So, there we are. I am hopeful the lack of symptoms will continue. I don't know for sure what is taking care of it - circumstantial evidence points to the use of garlic supplements, or possibly dunking my foot in TTO, or applying clove oil on anus. That's all I have been doing for the last couple of weeks.
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I should add the only time in the last week I felt any kind of anal itching is right after defecating. It goes away by itself quickly though. The itch occurs right at the opening, not anywhere else.

Could it still be worms then?
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I hope you continue to feel well. But the pinworms tend to itch most in the early morning and at at night. They do hang out at the opening of the anus. So it could be pinworm. It is very itchy. See what happens. They can monitor your liver enzymes if necessary. Are you on any meds now for the Hepatitis B or where are you with that?
mkh9
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Well, the anal itching came back with a vengeance yesterday - rectal itching, and even the skin on my buttocks itched. It was like I had a rash down there. The itching started after lunch and continued until evening. I also had that "squirming" feeling inside my rectum. The left leg/foot did itch a little but not nearly as badly as the anal area. All this in spite of me taking garlic supplements like I have been doing since December 30, when the symptoms abruptly disappeared.

The anal itching would come and go throughout the day, not always at night or in the morning, although the itching is acute and momentary.

I have a new theory: I no longer think this is my skin being irritated by the tea tree oil as I haven't used it in over a week now. This is some kind of worm. It may not be pin worm, though. I think it could well be hookworm.

Based on my research, hookworms do cause the same kind of anal itching pinworms do. They don't always cause itching at night or in the morning. They also respond to garlic. They do travel within the body and can cause itchy leg or foot, at point of entry.

A while back, when I was wiping myself after a bowel movement, I saw a long white strand on the tissue paper. I thought it was a single piece of spaghetti although I haven't eaten anything like it prior, and it was pale white in color. I didn't think anything of it and flushed it down the toilet. It was much bigger than a pinworm.

Also, when I was looking through my microscope before, the long S-shaped squiggly object had a "head" at one end, and wasn't tapered at both ends.

The Albendazole the doctor prescribed...I just picked it up from the pharmacy. Two 200 mg tablets now, and two in two weeks. I will take it.

I know hookworm infection in the United States is rare, more so than pinworm infections. But if it is indeed hookworm, then it would explain why everything I have tried so far did not get rid of the problem. In fact, my anus still itches as I type this. The sensation ranges from a tickling feeling at my rectal opening, to a rather sharp shooting pain in my rectum.

Lying in bed last night, I was running my finger up and down my rectal opening. It hurt to the touch as a dull ache or felt sore. There was also a bump just inside my sphincter that caused pain when I ran my fingernail over it.

What do you think?
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What I really think is you should have a stool ova and parasite test to see which parasite it really is to make sure you are getting the right treatment. But it looks like albendazole will treat a large variety of parasites including hookworm and pinworm. I would keep your fingers away from the anal area from now on as you will spread the eggs around and reinfect yourself. So take the medication and wash the bed sheets and your underwear and towels and all that. Wash your hands frequently. And, as the doctor said repeat in a week. It does sound like pinworm symptom wise. But it doesn't matter which it needs to be treated if you have it.  So, best to try and see if this solves your problem. I would use disinfectant wipes to clean down your sinks and toilet handles and toilet seat etc. and wash your hands and clean the handle of the faucet. The eggs get around easily. That is how you got it either from the soiil outside or someone else. So take care and I hope it works. Time to stop trying to self diagnose at this point. There always comes a time when you have to plunge in.
mkh9
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I took the two 200mg tablets of Albendazole last night after dinner. I took a shower and cleaned myself thoroughly. I changed beds so that I didn't sleep on the one I had been using.

My rectum still itches pretty bad today. I'm not sure how long the medication takes to wipe out the worms, if it is that.

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But it's not just my rectum that itches. Lately, my scrotum has started to itch - the same kind of sensation - sharp spikes of itchiness that come and go.

Interesting that my leg and foot no longer itches.

I took a tape to my old bed and looked through the microscope. I saw a lot of bright blue strands that are not sheet fibers. They are a deep royal blue and are kind of ragged in shape. I think they might be hyphae or fungi of some kind, or else worms that have died - I read worms turn blue from inside when they die?
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I don't know about the blue strands. But I would finish the course of the anti-parasitic medication and see what happens then.
take care,
mkh9
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My anus still itches, and now a very bad rash has started to break out on my keloid scar on my left arm. The scar was from an old surgery. It never took on a rash before until now. The Albenza was supposed to be taken now and then in two weeks to kill the eggs. So when I took it a few days ago it should have killed the adult worms. But the anal itching has persisted.

I have been taking tape to my skin - at the arm, at the anus - and both shows ragged strands under the microscope. I don't know if this is fungus or worms. If they were worms they should have been taken care of by the Albendazole.

I feel like the problem has gotten worse, not better.
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You may have spread whatever you have from the anus to the skin since that now has a rash. I don't mean you put the tape on the same place but maybe by touching it somehow. I wouldn't be irritating the area by using so much scotch tape. It is supposed to be a one time thing or twice. It maybe is causing a rash by so much irritation. Just a thought.....
mkh9
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I am seeing the doctor again today. My lab results came back abnormal for possible parasite infection. WBC is also high.
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Ok. I'm of course waiting to hear back about your report!!
mkh9
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Well it was a little anti-climatic. The doctor said she doesn't think it's pinworms or hookworms. I even brought in my microscope and showed her the tape samples - she said there's nothing that look like worms, and to be honest I never saw worms either just strands. The results showed a high WBC but still within normal range, and the EOS count was out of range high. She attributed that to allergies and not necessarily parasites.

The only thing that alarmed her was a bright red rash on my left arm.

She prescribed Sulfamethoxazole/Bactrim for 10 days, saying it could be cellulitis. I am not reluctant to take this, as it could be a staph infection of some kind and Bactrim is a treatment for it. My left ankle started to itch and where it itches there is a group of tiny red dots/bumps.

This is the first definitive sign of something and I didn't get a chance to show the doctor as I didn't see it until I got home. What do you think the dots could be - prinworm/hookworm rash? Staph rash?
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I'm also itching all over now or at least feeling pinpricks all over today. The doctor did order a stool analysis to settle once and for all if there are indeed any worms.
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Yes well cellultis is an infection and can most commonly be caused by a staph or strep bacteria. Did you start the antibiotics and then start itching all over? If so you may be allergic to the sulfa drug. If this is the case you should call the doctor. Do you have a rash from it? Good that she is getting a stool culture for parasites too. I think the rash is probably the same infection that is on your arm that spread. Don't scratch any of it as it will spread it and make it worse. Keep your hands away from the bumps as it is easily spread.
mkh9
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I am sitting in the lobby waiting to see the doctor again during my lunch break. The red area on my arm has gotten bigger which scared me this morning. I also wanted to show her the red dots that I noticed last night.

I took the first pill of the Bactrim late at 10:00 pm last night so the itching started before that. If anything, the Bactrim made me feel better even if it might only be my perception. Today I am practically symptom-free with no anal itching and very mild foot itching and no itching at ankle or arm (despite the redness). I did not apply anything last night or this morning - no anti-fungal lotion, no tea tree oil, no garlic, nothing - just 100% petroleum jelly per doctor's orders. The only medication I am taking now is the Bactrim (had another pill this morning). I don't think I have any allergic reaction to the new antibiotic.

I am mindful now not to touch any area that seems infected. I agree that whatever is on my ankle is the same as what is on my arm.

I am now in the exam room waiting for the doctor. I think we are making progress as to finding out what is going with me.




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Sounds like a plan. It did sound like the same thing. Probably a staph. They get everywhere. You have to be careful.
mkh9
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After I saw my primary care physician, and showed her the rash on my arm and ankle, she said to see a dermatologist right away. She was at a loss at the sudden and quick onset of new symptoms. She wanted a specialist to provide input on my condition. That was yesterday. This morning I was able to see a dermatologist on the recommended list the primary care doctor gave me. She looked at my skin and immediately said it was contact dermatitis from the tea tree oil or some other irritant. The ankle rash was from me dunking my left foot in a tub with tea tree oil, she concluded. I asked the specialist what about the possibility of a parasitic infection. She dismissed it completely. The anal itching, the redness on my arm, and the rash on my left ankle - were all the places I had exposed to tea tree oil and other creams, lotions, etc.

The dermatologist prescribed some steroid topical to apply on the skin, and she said the redness and rash should clear up in about two weeks, and that I would get better very soon.

I relayed this to my primary care doctor, who said to go ahead and do that and see what happens in two weeks. In the meantime, I will submit my stool samples tomorrow for analysis to see if there are any parasites. There is still a little thought in the back of my mind that it could still be pinworms or such, but the stool test will put that to rest once and for all.

If it's not worms, then I don't know what to do. The Bactrim I'm currently taking and the Azimothrycin that I took months ago should take care of whatever bacterial infection I might have. If it's fungus, and the Diflucan that I took for 10 days didn't work, then I don't know what I can do.



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I would go with the dermatologist. I have had similar problems and it will take about two weeks for the steroid to work. I had an allergy to a topical and my leg blew up like the size of an elephant leg and then it peeled it was so itchy I couldn't stand it. One doctor said it was vaculitis. Then I saw an allergist and he said it was an allergy to the topical and sure enough the steroid cleared it up. It makes sense that you have it in several areas and were using the tea tree oil on those areas so that is probably what it is. They know by what it looks like too. Hope it helps. But do give it some time for the itching and inflammation to go down. Like you said might as well follow up with stool samples to rule those out. But I think they figured it out.
mkh9
mkh9
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The rash on my arm and ankle has grown a lot, they both look the same, but has increased in area as well as become a shade of purple. The fact they look the same, and that the rash does not occur anywhere else, indicates that the dermatologist was right in thinking it is contact dermatitis from the tea tree oil. These are only areas where I exposed to tea tree oil. I am using the Flucononide steroid cream she prescribed for the last few days - no improvement yet, but I will give it two weeks.

Strange though, that I used tea tree oil on my skin starting in December and stopped right before Christmas Eve. At no time during that period did my skin react with a rash. Then around Christmas I stopped with the TTO and was still free from rashes until Jan 19, a couple of days after I took Albendazole. Could it be that the Albendazole caused a reaction in my body to create the rash?

I was practically symptom-free from just taking garlic supplements right up to the time I took Albendazole. Then I stopped with the garlic becuase I wanted the Albendazole to be the only medication at work. Even the primary doctor admitted she didn't want to keep prescribing this or that to address my symptoms. I still don't know what really caused the anal itching and left foot itching. They are still with me, as bad as ever. The Albendazole seemed to not been able to get rid of the anal itching. And now I have contact dermatitis on top of it. The contact dermatitis is not the root cause of the problem that started last year. It was just a side effect of the TTO, or reaction of the TTO with another drug.

Last night I could barely sleep due to itching at the anal opening. It is particularly bad when I am lying in bed at night. I used to put a raw garlic clove there and it did help when I did it, but I stopped doing that to follow the doctor's orders. I thought, well if it isn't pinworms, then it's dry, irritated skin, so Vaseline should alleviate the itching. I slathered some Vaseline around the anal opening, and it had no effect. So, I am at a loss. I'm still waiting for the stool analysis results. Who knows what they'll find.

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It does take about a week or so for the steroid ointment/cream to work. It has to be a topical for it to come out in two places like that or if it was an oral pill it would be all over your body or your face would blow up that kind of thing.

I would wait until you get the results from the test to see if you have pinworm or something else. If not that doctor seems to be good I would ask her about the anal itching. It may still be irritated. I have had allergies and hypersensitivites (bad ones) to topicals where my whole leg blew up and it took a couple of weeks to go down and stop peeling and was so very itcy. I did use vaseline too. You can put more. You can take a benedryl at night to help sleep and it is an antihistamine too. It is over the counter.  I would ask the doctor about your foot. I'm sure it is fungal. You may need something prescription level to get rid of it. Or perhaps it is a staph . She should look at it.
mkh9
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Well the results are in from the stool analysis. No parasites, at all. I went and saw my primary care doctor again today because I started getting a rash on my neck. She looked at it, and said it's the same kind as on my arm and ankle. The skin on my neck burns and is a little painful to the touch. It is red. I never put tea tree oil or any kind of lotion on my neck.

In light of the stool analysis results, my doctor said to abandon the course of Albendazole and Bactrim.

So I have contact dermatitis and a mysterious rash to contend with. And still have anal itching. I do sometimes have bright blood spots on the tissue paper after bowel movement - anal fissure or hemorrhoids?

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I don't think it's either anal fissure or hemorrhoids though as I don't have the other symptoms. So, we're back to fungal infection. That would explain the effectiveness of garlic and the anti-fungal lotions I used in the past; and, the ineffectiveness of Diflucan, Albendazole, and Bactrim.
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well contact dermatitis is an allergy to something you came in contact with. Usually a topical. Did she say it wasn't the tea tree oil? Because I would say it is still that. Despite it showing up on the neck. Or else some new detergent, new product you have changed to before all this happened. You will have to take a look backward. Probably do what I did and switch to all fragrance free products. The blood on the toilet paper may be from ripping the scotch tape off several times. If not get a colonoscopy to check for pre-canerous polyps or both. tape is pretty harsh to keep putting on there and taking several samples. It may have caused some irritation. The foot issue may be something different (fungus). It doesn't have to be connected. Especially if you don't have the rash on the foot.
mkh9
mkh9
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Hi, I just want to say I do appreciate your input on this. I am going to see the dermatologist today and show her the other rashes. They are starting to break out at other places - aside from the neck, they are also showing up at the collar bone, right knee, right ankle - places where I have never applied tea tree oil or any topical. Nothing has changed as far as detergent, and I still use the same soap I have always used for years. This rash might be systemic rather than contact. The primary care doctor did acknolwedge the Albendazole could have caused the rash if I am allergic to it. The Bactrim may have compounded it. The rash started a day or two after I took the first dose of Albendazole. I'll see what the dermatologist has to say. The primary care doctor pretty much is out of ideas as to what is causing this.

As for the blood spots on the tissue, I'm not worried about it as it only happens occasionally. Could be anything. Maybe a colonoscopy is in order at some point.



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I see, regarding the albendazole. You could have a hypersensitivity or allergy to it. You may want to get tested in the future if that is a possibility.  I wonder what they will say since it is spreading. It does sound systemic in that you ingested something.
mkh9
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I just saw the dermatologist. She immediately did a biopsy. Less likely now that it is contact dermatitis, although there is still a chance. I will know the results in 7 days.

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Another thought, could it be allergic reaction to garlic? In the few days before the first breakout, I was eating raw cloves - about 2 a day max, and taking garlic capsules. I was also inserting raw garlic cloves into the rectum night and day for itching. What do you think?

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New development: last night as I was applying the steroid cream on left foot I noticed for the first time a huge blister on the big toe of the left foot. This blister is on the same side as all the rashes on arm and ankle. The blister is clear, hard, and possibly fluid-filled. Could this is an insect bite such as from a spider, and could my condition be an allergic reaction to that?
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It is interesting she took a biopsy of the skin. I wonder what she is thinking. I doubt you are allergic to garlic. But, putting garlic up the rectum would cause irritation. If you were allergic to the steroid cream you would have blisters or redness/swelling all over wherever you put it and maybe a much larger area. I know because that happened to me. I put a small amount on my leg where I had eczema and my whole leg swelled up like an elephant leg and itched really badly. Then about a week later it peeled and still itched. I put a different steroid class given by the doctor on it to get it to go away. It was awful. I still have a burn from it. So, be patient. I think the doctor will figure it out.
mkh9
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The biopsy results came in. The dermatologist called me and said the results did not indicate it was contact dermatitis. Albendazole seems to be a strong possibility for the cause of the rashes. The dermatologist also said I am not to take that ever again. Another dosage could cause a reaction that can prove fatal. And I was supposed to take another two pills today of Albendazole today to finish the course.

I'm not sure why the primary doctor prescribed it in the first place. She never believed I had worms, and even when I brought my microscope in for her to see the scotch tape samples, she didn't see anything. We were also waiting for the stool analysis, which came back negative. Whey, then did she go ahead and prescribe the Albenza, knowing of its side effects? She could have at least waited until the results of the stool analysis came back.





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Sorry you had an allergic reaction to the Albendazole. That may mean you are allergic to all azole antibiotics. Such as fluconazole, and itraconazole etc. You may want to actually get allergy tested to be sure you can't take any of these druges ending in azole. It is the same with people who are allergic to penicillin they can't take any "beta lactam drug" like the cephalosporins which is a lot of antibiotics. This doesn't apply to you just the azole drugs. You should ask your doctor about that. Why did the doctor give you the drug to start with when she didn't know if you had parasites, it is over kill. A lot of doctors treat "empirically" meaning by symptoms rather than waiting for the test results. This is one of the big reasons why we have so much antibiotic resistance and also people get treated with antibiotics when they don't need them or the wrong one. Also, in your case you ended up with an allergy. At least you know why you have the rash all over. But I'm not sure it explains why you had the other symptoms to start with. I think I would still stay clear of the tea tree oil too because you might still be allergic to that. I don't know. I would definitely keep a diary of when you get rashes after using food or topicals.
take care,
mkh9
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Hi, thank you for your input. I don't know what I'd do without you being there to see me through this. I've been in a continuous state of freak-out for the last few months.

My original symptoms of foot and anal itching is another story. The dermatologist wants me to clear up the dermatitis first, then we can tackle what started it all. In honestly, I took six methylPREDISonone tablets last night and I was horribly nauseous all day today. The dermatologist was going to put me on a regimen of that, but in light of today's reaction she said to stop. However, the redness has started to lighten up noticeably, so that's a hopeful sign. The dermatologist was pleased about that. I have a follow-up appointment with her on Feb 11.

What's interesting is my primary care doctor called me this morning at 8:00 am all of a sudden. She asked me if I told the dermatologist about my heavy intake of garlic (raw and in capsules) a few days prior to the rash breakout. I replied that I had (the dermatologist made a face when I told her that - like that must've been yucky). But the dermatologist did not think these rashes came from the garlic or else she would have said so.

Regarding the tea tree oil, the dermatologist said some people do have allergic reaction to it, implying not all people do. She thought I was one of those who had a reaction to it, but now not so sure. I do admit I probably used it too much or too directly and it did irritate my skin after a certain saturation point, which I crossed. But I haven't touched TTO in weeks now. I have learned to respect its potency.

I have kept a detailed journal for the last few months, ever since these symptoms started. I am one of those record-keeper type people. I can find the exact date I started taking something and the exact date when symptoms started to flare up. This has helped me tremendously because now I can say with some certainty the Albendazole caused these break-outs. I was free of TTO for weeks without any reaction, and there was no other drug or topical at work.

Thank you again for your input.






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One thing, though. Rash is only one of the symptoms of Albendazole. What other side effects do I have to worry about? I do not think I can forget about this drug just yet. The aftermath of it is still swimming in my body.
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I think there is an inflammatory process going on too but you probably won't know about it externally. If you feel okay other wise it will pass.  You could take Benedryl for a while at night. Sometimes if it is bad enough they can give a cortisone shot. But that is bad for you too. So if you feel ok I wouldn't do the steroid if you can help it.
mkh9
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This is an interesting observation: the doctors seem ready to blame me the patient for harming myself with all these natural homeopathic remedies, when actually the prescription meds were potentially more dangerous. The doctor claimed that tea tree oil was unknown and yet the drugs she prescibed were known chemicals - known to have very severe side effects. Just because something is known does not make it any safer.

Everyone was sure I had contact dermatitis, that I did it to myself with TTO blah blah, and what did the pathologist come back and say? Whatever happened to listening to the patient? I guess being doctors they naturally assumed a non-medically trained person was an idiot and hell-bent on ruining his health.
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I agree. I am a clinical microbiologist yet I get the same treatment as you. I do disagree with you using tape on the anal area too many times because it cause too much irritation. However, I am not against someone trying an herbal method if you look up the known side effects. I use them too. I usually do a test on my arm to see if it reacts to the herbal oil.  I mean anything can give you an allergy. It is really no ones fault that you got an allergy. Just that I don't think doctors should be using antibiotics as freely as they do. But, maybe you also are experimenting a lot too and using things before you have a diagnosis. So you both equally at fault for trying something without knowing the diagnosis right? So, best to move on about that. I'm sorry you got that. One Harvard doctor totally misdiagnosed me after my allergy to the steroid and blew me off and said I had "vasculitis" of the leg and to wear compression stockings for the rest of my life. I went to a dermatologist and it turned out to be dermatitis. So there are just bad doctors out there too no matter what grand school they go to.
take care,
mkh9
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"So you both equally at fault for trying something without knowing the diagnosis right?"

Please, do not lump me in with a doctor who indiscriminately prescribes something as powerful as Albendazole for symptoms she does not even believe in. The only thing I dared to take internally was garlic or a little vinegar. Sure I applied tea tree oil on my skin, but that was out of desperation and nothing the medical professionals gave me did anything. If I saw any kind of reaction - any at all I would have stopped immediately. You can't compare a little irritation from scotch tape to the side effects of Albendazole prescribed improperfly.

After all these months and all these doctor visits, I never got a diagnosis. I'm not the medical professional. That's why I go to the doctor in the first place. If they are just going to do trial and error on prescription meds, then they should have said so.

"So, best to move on about that."

I don't think so. I may file a complaint with the hospital system in which she practices, or pursue some legal action. She put my life at risk. She did nothing to make me feel better, but rather worsened my condition. She hadn't even diagnosed the original issue I came to see her for. What happens when a professional can't provide the service for which they are paid? It's called incompetence, is it not?

Maybe I should weed out bad doctors for the sake of other potential patients, who could lose their lives over some prescriptions handed-out freely. The dermatologist noted my diligence in keeping track of things was key in keeping me from taking another dosage of Albendazole.

Has it come to this, that I have to protect myself from the doctors who are supposed to heal me?

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This is a lesson learned for me about female doctors, especially younger ones. They are so caught up in proving how capable they are, they do not listen to the patient. I have been scolded by the doctor for using tea tree oil and garlic, with her saying they are powerful drugs that have unknown effects on the body. Every office visit she would describe the mechanics of the human body as if giving a medical school lecture. And yet, I was much better off when I was using the TTO and garlic. How I long for those days.

As of today I am still reeling from the steroid drugs the dermatologist gave me on Thursday. She pressured me to take all six at once, and the next morning I could not function - my mind was foggy, dizzy, and I was nauseous. What the methylPRESNISolone did was alter the membrane in my ear drums so now I can't listen to the radio without wanting to throw up. I could the feel the membrane inside my ear crackling. Even today I woke up with a splitting headache.

What's with pressuring patients to ingest drugs? They get offended if I am hesitant. The dermatologist was like you need to take them right away. And the primary care doctor scolded me for not taking her drugs. And then once these complications develop, they said okay you can stop they weren't really necessary.

The primary care doctor told me she has two young children. What if some doctor treated her child the same way she treated me? She would be absolutely furious. People just don't think about other people anymore, only about themselves.
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Sorry if you got mad at me. I do want to say I agree that doctors don't take enough time to diagnose people any more. It took them 8 years to diagnose me with a migraine variant and I pretty much did that on my own by going to a psyciatrist and said the doctors can't figure out what I have so I must be crazy. He was the only doctor that listened and he said no your not crazy you have a migraine variant. I had told them I have an abnormal EEG (brain waves were off) and it wasn't a seizure. No one would listen even the neurologists. The psychiatrist treated me with one drug and I haven't had the throwing up for 20 years. But I still get migriane headaches (which I didn't have in my 20's). So I do understand your problem. I know steroids make you feel funny/dizzy and off. I got in a car accident a week after taking a shot of those for my back pain. So I won't take them unless it is an emergency. But you really do have to be very knowledgeable these days and go in with almost knowing what you problem is. I don't know people do when they are uneducated and don't look up things for themselves. But you do have to realize one thing about herbal medicine it can be dangerous. They do have harmful side effects. Some of the  most potent prescription drugs come from plants and herbs. So, do be careful. Just because it is an herb or natural doesn't make it safe. Also, these are untested by clinical trials so they are less likely to be known as to side effects. However, a lot of doctors are in the pockets of the big pharma and get kick backs. So I understand what you are saying. I don't think you have a law suit because even though you got an allergy, I don't know if you can prove it was her fault. Well, I am sorry this happened to you. I could go on for hours of all the bad things that have happened to me in the medical system and my mother as well. But they can also save your life. I know I have saved people's lives as a lab tech. So, I don't know. Just be careful. I am sorry if I made you mad at me. But I do think the scotch tape method can aggravate you if done more than a couple times. I have the right to my opinion too. If you don't want to forgive me I'm just trying to help and I'm really on your side 100%.
mkh9
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I'm not mad at you, although you have brought up the the scotch tape thing like 5 times now. The scotch tape has nothing to do with the rashes that broke out all over my body. The other thing is I know herbals can be toxic if ingested - I never intended to take anything like tea tree oil internally. Never crossed my mind. It was sold as a topical and I used it as a topical.


"I don't know if you can prove it was her fault"

With the lab results of the biopsy pointing to Albendazole, surely that's proof?


"I have the right to my opinion too."

Of course you are. I never stated you didn't. You just seem to be going out of your way to defend this primary care doctor.

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No, I'm not defending the primary care doctor. I am defending myself because I thought you were mad at me. I don't give a hoot about that doctor. I did want to try to explain some things so you wouldn't be so upset. I know how mad I was at the doctor that told me I had vaculitis when it was an allergy. If I didn't question it I would be wearing compression stockings for life. It is a good thing I got another opinion. So I am just sorry that you got an allergy. I didn't say you were going to ingest the herbal medicines I am just saying they are also dangerous. Just for your own information. I guess you just upset at what happened and I should have listened better instead of trying to explain things. It is my way and sometimes it doesn't help.  Sorry it went this way between us. As I thought we had a good rapport. I really wanted to help.
mkh9
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Well to update my condition, my anal itching and foot pain has gone away, and has been gone for a month now.

But I am dealing with a new set of issue, stemming from the drugs I took. The Prednisone that I took really caused a severe reaction in me. Extreme nausea, blurry vision, headaches, ringing in ears. I went to a new primary care doctor and he said I might have pseudotumor cerebri, or increased pressure in the brain causing all these symptoms. I have to go to the neurologist to get this looked at. The Prednisone took away the rash casued by Albendazole, but it gave me this condition.

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Good to hear from you. But I'm so sorry you got ill from the Predisone. Did you taper off of it or go straight off of it? Going straight off can cause problems too. I hope it is nothing serious and can resolve on its own soon. But yeah I would see the neuro to be sure you are okay. But it is good you got rid of the rash from the allergy caused by the Albendazole. It has been one thing after another hasn't it? I went through that too with an allergy and I refused to take the Prednizone. Instead I used a topical. But I think your allergic reaction was worse so you had to. Its just too bad you had to go though all this to start with.
mkh9
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Actually, I only took 7 pills of Prednisone. 6 on the first day all at once (at the dermatologist's instruction), and the 7th pill on the next day. Then the nausea kicked in. I went and told the dermatologist who said I should stop taking the Prednisone cold, which I did. I think I don't need to taper off since it was only one dose. The dermatologist gave me the impression that Prednisone was a harmless drug that I shouldn't have a problem with. She also said (after I had such a bad reaction) that I really didn't need to take it at all, that it was only to speed up the clearing of the rash.



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Maybe it is different than the shot. My GP was going to give me a steroid shot for an allergy to a topical steroid. I was told to taper off the shot to pills. But I never took the shot because their dermatologist ended up coming in and giving me a topical steroid instead for the allergy on my leg to another class of steroid I had been using.   So, then I don't know what is going on. If you do have the  pseudotumor cerebri They say it is idiopathic (no know cause) and it sometimes goes away on its own or sometimes needs treatment. So I guess you have to find why you are getting the symptoms. I am sorry you are going through all this.

From Medicinenet:

The production of corticosteroids is controlled by a "feedback mechanism," involving the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland and brain. known as the "Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis" (HPAA).
Using large doses for a few days, or smaller doses for more than two weeks, leads to a prolonged decrease in HPAA function.
Steroid use cannot be stopped abruptly; tapering the drug gives the adrenal glands time to return to their normal patterns of secretion.
Withdrawal symptoms (weakness, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain) can mimic many other medical problems. Some may be life-threatening.
Tapering may not completely prevent withdrawal symptoms. Steroid withdrawal may involve many factors, including a true physiological dependence on corticosteroids.
Patients should carry a list of all your medications in your wallet to alert medical personnel in case of emergency.

I don't know if your dose is considered a large dose or not. But you have some of these symptoms. So I wonder if that is the problem? It doesn't say  severe headaches or ringing in the ears though. Did the new primary care doctor know you were taken off Prednisone abruptly? If not you could ask if that would cause your symptoms. If he did know, then I would as the neurologist if that has anything to do with it too. Just to double check. Bring the dosage. It may not be but I just thought I would bring it up.

I know when I got allergic to the steroid my leg blew up like an elephant leg. Then I had to use another steroid ointment to get that down. And, even with the ointment you can't use much of it because it can shut down the adrenal glands. I had to taper off the ointment. It seems to stay in your system for a while. Still I would listen to them and get the physical as well at the neurologist but just make sure they know about the steroid.

take care,
mkh9
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Lets keep all your posts here please. I can't keep track of 3 different questions. I am also having trouble with one of the posts. It is not opening well. It is against MedHelp's policy to have mulitple posts on similar issues in the same site, so they may be shutting the other one down. I was trying to answer it and it wouldn't let me write, very slow. That is okay. You can ask on here.

So, regarding your question about reactive arthritis, it is really unlikely to get it via oral sex. But it isn't impossible. If your test for gonorrhea comes up positive you could pursue that. Also, if your RA test is negative and you really wanted to check the only other way would be to have the joint aspirated to check for bacteria. It would be very painful though. Since the likely hood is very very low I wouldn't pursue that unless your test is positive and your RA test is negative. Even then it may be caused by something else. Perhaps an autoimmune disease or something else. One thing at a time.

As for fungi getting into the joints it doesn't work that way. If you had it as a fungi of the skin such as joch itch it doesn't live in the joints. It eats the keratin from hair , skin and nails. It doesn't get into the blood and travel to the joints. Another type of fungus could but not the type that lives on the skin.
mkh9

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Got results today:

CRP - less than 1.0

ESR - 2

Gonorrhea negative

Chlamydia negative

Syphilis negative

Rheumatoid factor - 6.3 out of 0.0 - 13.9 IU/mL

HIV antibodies negative, but they did the wrong test, it was supposed to be    PCR not for antibodies, my exposure was only 2 weeks ago


So what could it be?
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mkh9, I just want to say I do appreciate your posts a great deal. You are very generous to contribute so much to my queries. You saw me through the ordeal I had with the fungal infection that started last year, and I am grateful.

This new set of issues stems from the same risky sexual behavior that started this thread in the first place. Normally, I am a practical and realistic person, but being single, I sometimes let reality get clouded. I certainly have been paying for my behavior. Why don't I get into a monogamous relationship? There are issues I am dealing with that do not warrant discussion in this forum.

Anyway, this latest development scares me more than anything that has happened in the past. My symptoms are excrutiating pain in my fingers, hands, legs, feet. I would say the pain includes both bone and muscle. It hurts to move. The pain comes and goes. I thought this latest encounter was relatively safe. I know the details are covered in my other post, but just protected vaginal intercourse, no oral sex, no kissing, and nipple licking on my part. That's it. Looking back, this woman may have had a bad case of yeast infection, and/or some STD.

You mentioned an autoimmune disease as the cause of my symptoms. Do you mean like HIV? I already have Hepatitis B, are you referring to this condition?

My labs all came back with everything looking normal, and some STDs coming back negative. The only thing left I'm worried about is Genital Herpes (which I'll find out about tomorrow). What do you think is the likelihood of this infection?

The doctors (and I have seen about 10 lately) are rather puzzled about my condition. Tongue pain (gone now), muscular-skeletal pain, chills, tremors, and this very itchy scrotum. I know what you said about fungi not working itself into the joints, but I did get something on it for it to burn so long. Perhaps the fungi/bacteria got into my body this way?

The pain in the fingers feel like this: it comes and goes on a momentary basis, a warm ache that seems to flow with the blood running through it.

Anyway, if I ever get clear of these symptoms, I will live on the straight path, and live a life giving to others and helping others.

Thank you again.






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I'll have to think about this some more. I may have some time tomorrow morning before I go to the dentist. Yuk.  No there are autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc. But lupus wouldn't do this. I'm just saying other autoimmune diseases. But I have to refresh my memory and compare to your symptoms. I don't know if that is what you have either. It is just a thought. I am thinking outloud.
have a good night.
mkh9
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Have a good night as well. RA might be it, but my RA factor from the labs is 6.3 with the seden rate at 2 and the CRP at less than 1. Doesn't indicate an inflammation of joints.

One thing to note: I have been using the 10mg Clotrimazole cream prescribed by the doctor and it doesn't seem to be doing much, aside from the steroid in it soothing the itching. Last night it itched so bad I couldn't sleep, so out of desperation I slathered on 100% pure organic coconut oil on the scrotum, and it felt better right away, enough to let me sleep a little.

I hope your trip to the dentist tomorrow is not too unpleasant.

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With these new symptoms I have some questions.

Have you traveled recently? Been bitten by any mosquitos? Was your new partner from out of the country? Any Weight loss? Any fevers? Where do you live?

Ok, that will help maybe narrow it down. Any other symptoms that you can think of? any new rash?

Thanks, and I'll get back to you when I can. I'm off to the dentist.

take care,
mkh9
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Bacterial infection? If so, it would have shown up in one of the labs right?

The woman was from out of the country - South Korea. Now the vision in my left eye is starting to have flickering lights. I saw the opthamologist and he didn't see any issues, although this may be an optic nerve issue because the flickering occurs when I close my eyes too. I don't know if this is related or not but it's a new symptom.

The joint pain comes and goes. On some days it doesn't affect me much, on other days I don't want to move.

No new rashes, no new symptoms except for the eye. No bug bites, no weight loss, no fever. If not for the joint pain, left eye, and scrotum itch I would say I feel fine.

I just got told I am positive for Varicella (chicken pox). I talked to a nurse and she said if it was a new Varicella infection it would show up all over my body, and if not (shingles) it wouldn't take place in the exact place I had skin contact with her.

Generally speaking, suppose someone licked something really dirty or contaminated, would it not work itself into the bloodstream?
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Okay. just tell me what dirty or contaminated thing you are worried about. It doesn't matter. I am here to diagnose and for health not to judge. Also, remember HIV dries out very fast on surfaces left out in the air. But Hepatitis doesn't.  Other bacteria? if you swallow most bacteria get killed by the acid in your stomach. I have to know more specifics. Usually, you don't get bacteria in to the blood stream that way.

A positive IgG for Chicken pox just means you had it in the past.

mk9
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Did the Opthamologist look at the back of your eye via putting drops in and dilating the eye? Flashing lights is not good , I don't know about" flickering lights. You may want to go in and get the retina looked at.

Yes usually the white blood cell count would be high with a bacterial infection. But since it is a new thing you would need a new test. These symptoms are new.

Which joints hurt? Does heat make them feel better? Does moving the joint make it worse? This is kind of out of my area. If your RA was 6.3 what was the normal range of your test?

If you have no fever it wouldn't be in the blood.

mkh9





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Hi, I did not mean anything about a woman is "dirty or contaminated" - my partner appeared to be in good health and was lively and in good spirits. I just wondered if the mouth was vulnerable to invasion of any systemic malady, because I believed that the pains are systemic in nature, at least it feels that way.

I did call the ophtamologist today and he assured me he saw nothing unusual in the left eye when he examined me. He dilated my eye and looked very thoroughly inside. He said my eye responded to light appropriately and saw no evidence of optic nerve damage. This man has over 50 years of experience and does not pull punches when it comes to telling patients how it is, so I trust him. He said he saw nothing in my eye that could cause this flickering that I spoke of.

The joint/muscle pain occurs in my wrist, fingers, ankle, top of foot, back of hand, web of hand. It comes and goes at a moment's notice. I had two RA labs done by different doctors. The first one got 9.6 out of 0.0 to 13.9 IU/mL. The one after that got 6.3 out of the same range. So it went down, but both values were within range of normal. The doctor said it would've had to been over 14 for it to be an issue. The seden rate was negligable. I got a 7 the first time, and 2 the second time.  CRP was consistently less than 1.0 in a range of 0.0 to 4.9. I did n't check for WBC after that first week after my incident, so I don't know if it went up or down. Like you said, the first time WBC was done could have been too early after the incident.

I will say the joint pain has improved. It is still there as of today, but not nearly as bad as earlier this week, when it was so bad it was debilitating. I don't know why it improved. There was a day or two when I didn't feel it at all.

I don't know about heat making it feel better, as I never tried it.

The only other thing I can say about the joint pain is that it started after I bought Zeolite powder from the Vitamin store. Zeolite clay is like Bentonite clay - a detoxifer that you mix with water or yogurt. I bought that because I was feeling nausea and unwell in the first week and thought that would rid me of my toxins. Zeolite is supposed to bind to any toxin or heavy metal in the body and carry it out with urine or bowel movement, because Zeolite itself cannot be digested by the body. I only drank three teaspoons of the stuff anyway, one for each day, mixing with a bottle of water.  I did notice feeling better and more energetic after drinking it, but stopped because I started taking Fluconazole. Could it have caused the joint pain? I saw nothing online that would suggest it would do that, through many testimonials and articles.

Now the scrotal pain. It is stronger now than it was in the first week. I have been applying the Clotrimazole cream on it for the last four days. I may have to apply a little more on the scrotal skin. Sometimes there is a shooting pain, but not from within the scrotum, but from the surface of the scrotal skin itself.

Last night, I tried putting apple cider vinegar on it as a cleanser, which stung at first but wasn't too bad. I soothed it afterward with aloe vera gel. It did ease the pain. But I am back to using the Clotrimazole cream all the way.

So there I am. Three weeks of misery. One doctor said by visual inspection the scrotum did not show any sign of Herpes, and another doctor (also by visual inspection) said it was a possibility. The latter also said that since my Varicella count was positive (498) that it is likely I also have genital herpes as the two usually go together. He made it sound like my Varicella infection was new. So I got yet another HSV IGG test today, three weeks after the incident. I know it's not the ideal three months, but I need something to counteract what this second doctor said. Maybe even only after three weeks, it would show any elevation of the HSV IGG antibodies that would tell me something, as I have always been at less than 0.91. What do you think about the Herpes possibility?

All these symptoms has puzzled more than one doctor. To sum up, I thought my sexual act was pretty safe. They seem to indicate at least on paper there is really nothing wrong with me, and that all my symptoms don't point to any clear or conclusive diagnosis.

I apologize for being repetitive as I don't want you to have to scroll through all the prior posts. I appreciate your time and effort in helping me to deal with this.









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I haven't read anything bad about zeolite and joint pain. No you generally couldn't get much by mouth unless you have a cut in the mouth or bad gums (bleeding) , Open sores in the mouth, that kind of thing. If you were exposed to something like a surface that had hepatitis since it survives dried out you can get that but HIV dies out quickly. But most things die off pretty quickly and to get it systemically unless you have a cut in the mouth is not likely.  A few things get into the gut if you eat them and survive, but usually that is in food.

I wonder if you were bitten by a mosquito that maybe this person was carrying in her baggage or something and you didn't really notice it or something like that. A short term disease  but you have a fever with it. You did have chills and maybe you didn't take your temperature? One thing that is going around in Florida and the carribean is Chikungunya. It gives you severe joint pain and fever. It goes away in a few weeks or a couple of months. It is very painful. It is a virus. Dengue can cause pain as well. But is also caused by a mosquito. It has severe headache, bone pain,high  fever and rash. But you don't have a rash. Dengue is seen in the U.S. You would be flat on your back.

Other than those things, you could get an Antinuclear antibody, and anti DNA test and maybe some other autoimmune tests. Or you can wait it out and see if you get better.

I doubt you have new herpes. If you did you would fight it off. Unless you had type one like 95% of us already have and got type II. But you could tell by not having it genitally and then you could do a Herpes IgM or could have done a culture on the bumps. I don't think you are going to see it. Herpes hurts a whole lot. If you had it you would know.

That is all I can think of right now.

take care,
mkh9




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Hi, thanks for your response. No, I never had a fever. I have been checking my temp ever since this started, always normal. The chills and tremors pretty much went away though.

So, I got more results back. Everything is negative - Herpes 1 & 2, Hepatitis C, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis. All labs are normal.

I do not recall ever being bitten by a mosquito.

I did try something last night - I applied raw apple cider vinegar on my scrotum instead of the Clotrimazole, because it still itched pretty badly even with the Clotrimazole on it. The vinegar made the itch go away immediately and it stayed gone for much of the night. I applied some more vinegar this morning before going to work. so far so good today. It seems the apple cider vinegar is effective in fighting whatever is on my scrotal skin, more so than the Clotrimazole. I would say this is definitely a fungus.

The joint pain started again today. I'm venturing that it is due to Candida in the body that somehow got through the stomach lining and got into the bloodstream. I started drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water last night after seeing how effective it was on my scrotum. I drank another solution this morning. The joint pain started today.

If I were to guess, I'd say the pain is a product of fungal die-off? I noted that the pain in fingers and hand started up after I took the Fluconazole, but subsided after I stopped.

What do you think?

It looks like none of the STDs are the cause, but fungi/yeast/Candida.  

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The Livestrong website site does say joint and muscle pain is a symptom of Candida die-off.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/162116-what-are-the-die-off-symptoms-of-candida/
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Well, don't overdo it with the vinegar it is acidic. So, regarding the yeast in the blood. No, if you had yeast in the blood you would be almost dead. You would have a high fever and in the hospital. It is a nearly fatal thing to have fungus in the blood. Very serious. No I don't think that you have that or that it even was there in a transient way. It doesn't work that way. No I don't think it was a die off either. I know what you mean. But, in this case I don't think so. Something else is going on. I think you may be getting better and getting flare ups of and on. More of a nerve related or joint pain related. From whatever it is that you have or had. I have a feeling it is going away and you are still getting some residual from it. You don't want to drink too much vinegar because you can get acidosis. So, no more than you would with eating salad dressing. OK?  It sounds like your symptoms were worse and are starting to subside. It may have been viral.
mkh9
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see last post. I took a look at your other post that described your encouter and the other symptoms again. It really sounds a lot like the recent flu that has been going around. It is slightly different. But most people have been getting very painful joints with this one. Even so bad they can't walk. My friend that had.that. I know you didn't get a cough and all that. But I just think since you are getting better and now the joints are starting to get intermittant pain that it was some sort of variant form of virus. You may have gotten it from this girl and she may have been a carrier. I think it will pass. At least I hope so. The symptoms would be getting worse and they getting better. Those are my thoughts on this. And, I think you also got a mild urinary tract infectiion that resolved. Maybe even a fungus from her. You may be susceptible to these since you got it before. I don't even know if these symptoms are related. But that is my take on it right now.
mkh9
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Thank you, mkh9. I forgot to include coughing as part of my symptoms, but yes I had a persistent cough.

Regarding fungus in the bloodstream - okay I hear you about that. Still, any chance of a systemic Candida infection?

I had a new thought about the joint pain. The Zeolite powder that I took last week could be the cause of the joint pain. Although it was only three days, it may be enough to lead to aluminum toxicity as zeolite, as it turns out, is basically aluminum. Is there a readily-available test for aluminum toxicity via hair or urine? Is there a treatment to rid the body of aluminum?

Looking back on the time I took the zeolite, it was March 1, 2, and 3. The joint pain started on March 6 or 7. Assuming that's the cause, does it take that long for the zeolite to work its way through the body to cause the joint pain?

Yes the joint pain now is not nearly as bad as it was a few days ago. It is intermittent and also not as intense.

Thank you for your service on this forum and your efforts to help.



Thank you again.
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Yes I guess there are places that test for aluminum toxicity. Your doctor might find one nearby but these places I just picked off the internet as examples.

http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8373

http://www.walkinlab.com/blood-disorder-tests/aluminum-plasma-serum-test.html

No you really couldn't have Candida albicans systemically without serious problems. Definitely not in the blood and it would have to be in the blood in order to get into other areas unless you cut yourself and then got it in that way into one spot but then you would have a high fever.

Its possible even if you had the aluminum toxicity and it is back to normal by the time you test it that your kidneys were working on gettin rid of it and causing bad symptoms. So it is interesting. Any metal poisoining is not good. At least it is not a heavy metal.
mkh9
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Thank you for those links. I'm glad there are tests that are easy to access.
I saw my doctor this morning and told him about testing for metal toxicity. He said he will look into it.

He looked at my scrotum and said the skin got worse, not better after a week of the Clotrimazole. After the vinegar, it got painful. He said not to use the vinegar again, but stick to the topical he prescibed. He gave me a Clotrimazole lotion that I could use. He also said for me to resume taking Fluconazole for another 5 days. He said, at least we can rule out any STDs.

I saw another doctor in the evening and he said it would take about 4 weeks for the scrotum to heal, and that it didn't look too bad. He said I didn't need to take Fluconazole. He also said it looks like ringworm.

I also have blurry vision today, and a lot of glare from lights. Could this be related to the fungal infection?









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Yes I agree about not using vinegar as I mentioned it is too acidic especially for that area. If it is ringworm Lamisil (terbinifine) cream works better on it or I don't remember if Clotrimazole was better or not. I know some fungi are resistant to it but it is usually yeast that are resistant not ringworm.

No I don't think the vision issue is due to the fungal infection unless you got some of the cream in your eye. Be careful about that. I don't know what is going on with your eyes.
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I tried the new Clotrimazole + Betamethasone + Dipropionate lotion that the doctor prescribed yesterday. It is the exact same drug as the cream, but in lotion form. I applied it last night and again this morning. Works great today, no scrotal itching at all. I will just use this.

I'm also taking Fluconazole again for a few more days.

Today has been a really good day - no scrotal itch, no pain in fingers, no ankle or foot pain. The only symptom I have remaining is the left eye flutter, and a dull ache in my left eye optic nerve. I also have an ache on the left side of my neck. Maybe I slept in a bad position last night? Maybe they're related - the left optic nerve pain and left neck pain.

Anyway, things are looking up. After this last course of Fluconazole and a week's application of the lotion, I should be feeling like things are normal again.
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Wow that is great news! I hope it keeps up.  I'm thinking positive /good thoughts for you.
mkh9
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Thank you very much for your support, mkh9.

The scrotal itch is still non-existent for 3 days now. I will continue to use the new lotion until my next appointment with the doctor on March 24.

I got an MRI done yesterday for the vision issues. The report went to my neurologist today, who called me. She said the MRI was unremarkable.

But based on some new research, I think I may have something called ocular migraine or retinal migraine (the former is more likely). Symptoms include:

Flashes of light
Zigzagging patterns
Blind spots
Shimmering spots or stars

Another website states:
"Sometimes, there can be a headache after the visual symptoms resolve. This is called migraine headache with visual prodrome. Some people get migraine headaches without the visual symptoms. Some people get the visual symptoms without the headache. This is called Ophthalmic Migraine. The cause is due to a temporary spasm in the blood vessels behind the eye called "vasospasm" similar to a spasm or cramp that you may have once experienced in one of your leg muscles (Charlie-Horse). Usually, this resolves without treatment and many people never have another episode. Some people may continue to have them. An examination of the eye is important to rule out any other causes for these symptoms."

What do you think? A possibility?
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Hi, well I have ocular migraines in addition to another migraine variant. I have all kinds of things. Let me tell you migraines can do a lot of things to you. I can tell you all about all the things I have gone through if you want to hear about the various forms of migraine. But to stick to the ocular forms I have a aura with or without migraine. This is slight blurriness that turns into wavy lines that wiggle and then grow larger and larger and cover one or both eyes and it goes away after about10-30 minutes. A migraine may or may not follow. Sometimes I get a second aura.  One day I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn't see out of my left eye. It was foggy. I thought I had stuff in my eye and tried to wipe it out and it wouldn't go away. I was tired so I went back to sleep. When I woke up it was gone. I went to an opthamoloigst and he said there was nothing wrong with my eyes. I went o my neurologist and she said it was a ocular or retinal migriaine. I had this happen a second time and I knew what it was so I didn't freak that time. So, I don't if that is what you experience but that is possible. Do you get migraine headaches? Have you ever had an electroencephalogram or EEG? If not it may be good to confirm you have migraines. It doesn't matter whether or not you have headaches or not. I am on lots of medication for migraine. I started when I was 23 getting other problems. It took them 8 years to diagnose me. So I am on Klonopin to stop me from throwing up at night. I have been on that for 20 years. Then I got the headaches and auras, which came 10 years later and got on Imitrex. I take that for headaches and a Ibuprofen or tylenol with it. Then a few years ago i started getting severe vertigo and went to and ENT and it isn't my ear it is the migraine variant. So my neuro put me on various drugs that didn't work. Now I'm on Topamax ER (Trokendi). So, it is hard to think and pull works out due to the Trokendi. But it is better than falling over.
mkh9
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Joint pain at fingers and ankle started again last night. I just don't know...

Vision flicker as bad as ever...
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Well the joint pain may be a different issue than the eye issue. My auras are colorful and move. I also have what I call flying lights that are white and dash across my vision. Before meds there were a lot of them. Not snow a darting light that flies across the vision. After meds most are gone. So since you went to an opthamologist I guess a neurologist would have to determine if it is migraine related or some other neurological problem. But I would get the EEG. Is it there all the time or off and on? Does anything trigger it? You might keep a food diary. For me MSG in foods, red wine, are the immediate triggers, stress and excitement and loud noise. Other people say walnuts, cheddar cheese in addition to these and some other things.

The joint problem is getting further apart right between episodes?
mkh9
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Hello,

I had an EEG done, so I am waiting to talk to the neurologist about that one. I will bring up the eye-related issues with her, never really talked to her about it since I've been focusing on the ophthalmologist for feedback. By the way, I called the ophthalmologist again and asked him if I might have ocular migraine or candidal endophthalmitis. He said absolutely not to both, and he sounded rather irritated.

Now back to the joint pain, it was gone for a while, but then started up again yesterday. Not really bad, but more than before. My theory about the pain in my hands and feet being from candida die-off may or may not be true, but it still lingers in the back of my mind.

I got tested for Aluminum toxicity today in one of the labs you posted a link to - thank for that by the way. When I was getting my blood drawn for that test, I asked the phlebotomist if she knew a good doctor. She did, as a matter of fact, and gave me the name of a 74-year-old internist downstairs who had a stellar reputation. So, I have an appointment with him for Monday afternoon. I have good feelings about this doctor, he is known to really be caring and astute about determining what is wrong with a patient. If it wasn't for your link, I never would have known about him.

I no longer think Al is the culprit, but in order not to leave any stone unturned, I also went and got tested at a special lab this morning. They tested for Thallium poisoning, due to the fact that when I described the symptoms to the National Poison Control Hotline yesterday, they didn't rule it out and said there was a chance of me having that. Yes, that's a little far-fetched, but I want to rule that out too. This special lab also offered a comprehensive "unknown toxin" analysis - they will take a blood sample and test for hundreds of potential toxins. I do this because the words of the ophthalmologist ring in my ears: "I can assure you whatever is wrong with your eye is not from an organic infection."

I also had a new symptom pop up today. In my left eye, in addition to the flickering, I am also seeing seeing green spots on the left side of field of vision.

Another new symptom is drowsiness during the day, even I thought I slept very soundly and for a full night. I find myself nodding off. And today, even though I should be well-rested, I find my body working on overdrive - nerves, eyes, brain, etc feeling strung out from regular day-on-day activities. It's like my brain got stuck in high gear and does not know how to take it easy. These point to neurological issues.

On to a new idea. I was at the vitamin store today, and the staff suggested parasites/worms as the cause of my joint pain. Could I have gotten such thing from protected vaginal intercourse?

Could parasites/worms manifest itself in such symptoms as blurry vision, joint and muscle pain, etc? I have had no anal itching. Could the parasites entered my body through the scrotal skin, since it reacted so strongly? (the scrotum is still doing pretty well now, by the way).

Thank you. You are an invaluable resource for me.














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I know you like your opthamologist. If the neurologist says you dont' have a migraine and the EEG is negative and she said the eye issue is not related to a neurological issue I might get a second opinion on the eye issue. It sounds like a retinal issue. But I would also get the toxic metal test done like you are first and rule out these issues first. I'm glad you got a good referral. That is always hard to find. I hope you like him. No you can't get a parasite through the scrotal skin. You can get them other wise. You have had a test done and it was negative. We can revisit this again after these other tests. It would be a stool test though. You can get  a few done on different days. But you are not getting diarrhea. You also weren't in an area where you were exposed to other kinds of parasites. But some eye parasites can get into the fresh water. I don't know if you have gone fresh water swimming, jacuzzi and use of contact lenses with unsterile water? There some reports of Acanthamoeba getting into the eye and causing eye problems. See the CDC weblink below. I would think the eye doctor would have seen a problem though. That is why I haven't brought it up.

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/acanthamoeba/gen_info/acanthamoeba_keratitis.html

Just some more thoughts.
mkh9
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I'm going to another neuro-ophthalmologist tomorrow for a complete exam. She has a very good reputation and was recommended by one of my neurologists. Although my first eye doctor was very thorough. He is known for doing the most thorough eye exams ever.

Waiting for the toxin and metal test results.

A doctor said parasites are not possible from my encounter. I didn't go swimming anywhere or been in a jacuzzi, and I don't use contacts. So, I'm going to rule out parasites.

The scrotal skin is not an issue anymore. It is back to normal.

At this point - it's either toxins or yeast.

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Ok. Hope all goes well.
mkh9
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Thank you.

With the new eye exam tomorrow, and the new doctor next Monday, along with the toxin test results that should be arriving soon, I should have most of my answers by next week.

I tend to think this could be something that can be resolved.
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One thing I did not get tested for is Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause these eye and pain symptoms. What do you think about EBV? How does one get it?
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Around 95% of people have already had EBV by the time they are an adult. They usually get it when they are a child or teenager. So you most likely have antibodies to it for past infection. So I don't know think this is causing your problems. Even the recurring types don't have symptoms like this. It is mostly chronic fatigue syndrome. You get it from sharing a glass or toothbrush or kissing someone etc. That is why so many people have it. You can shed the virus without having symptoms.
mkh9
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I was looking at this article.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/113847-epsteinbarr-neurological-symptoms/

"When the optic nerve becomes inflamed and/or infected, the general name for this condition is optic neuritis. Infection with EBV may result in this neurological symptom, especially if the eye is infected with the virus. In this case, eye pain and gradual loss of vision may occur. According to Drs. Osborne and Balcer, writing in UpToDate, vision usually diminishes over a course of hours to days; the peak of vision loss occurs within one to two weeks. Flashes of light, light flickers and loss of color vision are also potential indicators of optic neuritis."
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Anyway, I feel I am on the cusp of finding what is wrong with me. It has been frustrating because all these doctors do not listen and do not take me seriously.

There IS something wrong - it is a mild inflammation of either blood vessels, nerve, or muscle surrounding the optic nerve. I can feel the hardness of neck muscle on the back of the neck on the left side, as opposed to the right side which is supple. I think that is all part of it.

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Okay, I think I have it figured out.

It can't be Thallium because that wouldn't cause my tongue to burn painfully  for over a week. It is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless substance, thus it is known as a stealthy killer.

I don't think it's any other toxin.

I do think it is yeast because I have been taking Diflucan/Fluconazole 100mg every day. I notice my vision does get a little bit better (more focused, less glare) after I take a tablet. The one time  my vision cleared up was after the first day of Diflucan when I started off with two tablets at once.

So, once I see my new doctor, he will have to prescribe a treatment to get rid of the yeast in my body, maybe I have overgrowth.

What do you think?

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Well, You won't like what I think. LOL. I don't think it is the yeast that is causing it. But, the fact that the neck is tight on one side might be a pinched nerve or something like that of the neck/spine?. I wonder.

With the optic neuritis and Epstein Barr virus, it is usually with a new infection. I don't think they are talking about a latent viral infection. But the symptoms fit your description. That doesn't mean you have it.  But you can talk to someone who is a specialist in the area. I also think in  the article you gave me they are referring to children. I can look at more articles on this or you can. But I am going away this weekend. Although, I have a sore throat and if I get sick I won't go. I think it is not going to get worse because I had it yesterday and it is slightly better.

You may want to look into seeing if your spine is pinched at the neck area.

I don't know what you mean by overgrowth of yeast in the body? The only places it can grow are in the GI tract (gut), genital area, and mouth. The rest of the body is fairly sterile or doesn't grow yeast. If you had an overgrowth of yeast it would just cause thrush or itching. It would not cause a systemic infection like this. You would have a high fever, and it would be in the blood and you would be seriously ill. It is about 50% fatal and you would be hospitalized. It is not a light infection. In the eye you would have serious conjuntivitis it very rare and I have never seen it or hardly heard of it. You eye would be red, matted shut and swollen and very painful.
mkh9
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Hi, I'm glad I am able to catch you before you go away for the weekend.

I spent the whole day with the eye doctors - two specialists actually. The first one determined I have swelling in my retinas, and the second one who is a retina expert, determined the swelling is due to fluid build-up behind the retina. She wasn't able to talk to me about it, saying she needed to go over the images and data over the weekend. So, I have an appointment with her on Tuesday.

What she said was that the fluid build-up is not due to anything natural but rather induced by drugs or some substance. Steroid is a possible culprit. I asked her if it's treatable, and she didn't really reply, but did indicate it wasn't bad enough to warrant a surgical procedure.

I did some research after this visit, and found that the fluid build-up can be reversed naturally, and the prognosis is excellent for a full recovery.

I did have that steroid reaction at the end of January from the dermatologist. And the topical I have been using for the scrotum does have steroid in it.

I got the results from the unknown substance lab test. They only found Fluconazole in my blood, nothing else. The Thallium test results haven't come in yet. I also got the result for the aluminum - it is 6 ug/L in a range of 0 - 9 ug/L. It is more aluminum than I would liked to have seen, but I don't think that's a toxic amount. I'll need to pass that on to a doctor to interpret it for me.

I had a lot of joint pain today all over my body. It hasn't been this bad for a long time. I wonder what is causing this. It is still a mystery. But like the eye condition, there is a medical explanation for it.

If you do go away for the weekend, I hope you have an enjoyable time.



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Why won't I like what you think? What are you thinking?
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I got the Thallium results back - nothing. I also got X-Ray done of ankle and hand - they gave me the CD and I looked at it. I'm not a doctor, but didn't see anything. Will have to wait for the report to filter back from my doctor.

Retinal specialist keeps asking if I have Syphilis. I told her my RPR results on Mar 10 was negative. She said the RPR test might not be good enough.

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Hi and sorry I didn't get your email until today (Monday). I didn't think you would like my comment because I didn't agree with your previous eye doctor. I thought he was wrong and that there was something wrong with the retina and apparently it was. I'm glad you saw another doctor. The flashing lights usually indicate a retinal issue for whatever reason. But you were rock solid on the other doctor so that is why I said that. So Yes steroids are hard on the body. It affects everyone differently.  I hope there are no long term effects of the steroid. I think when it gets out of your system you will be okay. I would trust this second eye doctor.

Regarding syphilis the RPR test can be 20% false negative so it would be good to get a follow up FTA test. It could explain some of the arthritic pain. But I would think you would have had other symptoms such as rash on the hands and feet, sores in the mouth, but you can get joint pain too.
mkh9
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Hello, mkh9

I got my X-rays done today of the foot and the hand. Both of them actually, although only the left side hurts. I am still waiting for the report, but I did get the CD. I brought that to a new primary care physician who looked at them. He said, even though there is no report yet, that he didn't see anything abnormal in the left ankle and hand, where the pain is. Maybe a bit of tendinitis, but otherwise looks good. I am not physically active, never injured my hands or feet. So what could cause the tendinitis? He also wants to test me for Lyme disease, and gout (uric acid), just to be sure.

This new doctor that I'm seeing today (who is 74 years old and has a great reputation), said he doesn't think the oral steroid that I took 1-1/2 months ago would be causing the retina issues now. He also doesn't think I have Syphilis, but went ahead and ordered the MHA-TP test for it per the retina specialist's recommendation.

He looked at my scrotum and said the fungal infection hasn't completely gone away yet, and some mild itching there did start today. He prescribed an anti-fungal cream that did not have steroid in it, as well as a Clotrimazole lozenge to be dissolved on the tongue. Upon seeing my tongue, he thought it has a coating on it.

The retina specialist said that one other possibility is TB. She wanted me to get a Quantiferon TB test and a chest X-Ray, which I will get tomorrow.

I'm also thinking things like HTLV (Human T-Lymphoma Virus). Possible?
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Glad the steroid isn't the problem. But I wonder what is the cause. Some drugs do cause retinal damage.  But may be something else. I would still talk to the eye doctor about that. Tendonitis is usually from a repetitive strain injury. It usually takes years to develop. Anything like using the computer too much . especially with bad posture.  I have it too. I got mine mostly from work.
Your symptoms really don't match HTLV. Usually HTLV is in the form of leukemia. Although there are some lesser forms. I don't think you have that. I wonder why the retina specialist thinks you could have TB. You have no fever, no cough. But the quantiferon gold TB test is the best to determine if you were exposed. It can't hurt to get it.  It will rule that out as well as getting the FTA.
mkh9
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The x-ray report came in, and stated soft tissue had no swelling or abnormalities, bone had no abnormalities, spacing between bone was normal. This was for the left foot and hand. So, basically, nothing.

Saw the retina specialist today, she said my condition is central serous retinopathy. Could be from steroid, or could be from syphilis. Why syphilis? Because, she said, there were other things going in the retina images that indicate more than just a steroid reaction. She doesn't think there could really be any other causes. I gave blood for the confirmatory syphilis test today. Let's see what the result is.

I want to ask you a question, mkh9. I'm worried about the zeolite again regarding joint pain. I contacted the lab that did my Thallium test (they're not a medical office), and they said I could meet with their toxicologist to discuss my concerns. This is welcome news. It is very hard to find a toxicologist that accepts patients, and although he wouldn't see me as a doctor, but as a consultant. The reason I want to talk to him is to verify if indeed the zeolite is causing the joint pain. I read the label on the jar again, and they said the particles are 0 - 40 microns in size (WTH??). Is that small enough to pass through the GI tract and get into the bloodstream? I'm afraid some zeolite got deposited into these parts of the body that have pain, and are too small to be seen in an x-ray image. If so, it took about a week from ingestion to make its way to these parts and cause pain. Does that sound about right?

Also, is there a process, natural or otherwise, to get rid of this substance if that is indeed what happened?



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Well, to answer why Syphilis, it can cause the joint pain if left untreated. It can also cause ocular inflammation but it is rare. I don't know anything about zeolite. The particle size in theory is as small as some bacteria but I would think it would have to be phagocytized (eaten or picked up by a white blood cell) to get into the blood stream. How likely is this? I don't know. There no studies that I know on it. I somehow doubt this is the cause of your problem but you never know. It does fit in with your time frame. But I can't offer a suggestion on something I know nothing about.

There are some chelation substances. Whether this would work would have to depend on if it is really in the blood or not. If would have to be in the joints be causing a problem and you couldn't chelate that out of the joint. So I don't know.
mkh9
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Hi, thanks for your post.

I am still waiting for the TPA Syphilis test results, it won't be until Monday or Tuesday. I still don't think it's that, although if it is I would be kind of relieved, as it would put this speculating to rest once and for all, and is treatable.

About the zeolite, I talked to a PhD toxicologist about it, and he said he doesn't  think me taking 3 days of it would cause this much of a problem. He said to drink plenty of water (but not too much at one time). That would be the best thing to do, and I am doing it. I pretty much the zeolite idea to rest. I don't think it's that.

I do think my symptoms - both eye and joint pain, are due to some kind of infection. Lately, I'm thinking it is parasitic as my anus started to itch and tingle a little for the last couple of days (during the day though). Not too bad, but enough for me to notice. Are there parasitic infections you can get from skin-to-skin contact? Would Trichomonas be a reasonable possibility? I plan on getting a stool analysis tomorrow to rule the possibility of a parasitic infection. Would taking Flagyl for the possibility of Trich be acceptable?

I saw my opthalmologist again today. He examined my eyes again. He said he didn't really see anything to be concerned about in both eyes. I had him talk to my retina specialist on the phone. They seem to have had a good conversation, and he was impressed with the retina specialist, said she was really on top of things concerning my condition. After their conversation, he said we may never know what is causing my vision to be like that, and that is not unusual, and eventually it will go away. He said what the retina specialist was doing asking about Syphilis, etc. was a typical workup that may or may not yield any definitive answers. He does not think I have Syphilis, and my chest X-ray for TB was clear. Steroid? Possible and if so my not taking it for a time would make the condition go back to normal. So far, those are only causes on the table.

I went to a new primary care doctor this morning and got a whole new set of CBC labs done. She looked at my scrotum and said it looked normal, and that I can stop using the prescription cream. She also looked at my tongue and said it looked okay. She scraped it with no abnormality. She gave me a Nystatin mouth wash prescription if I ever need to use it, but said I don't really need to at this time. I asked her about having gotten a yeast infection on my scrotum from my sex partner, and she said you can't get yeast infection that way. I asked her about Trich, and she said no.

My next steps are to see a rheumatologist, and an infectious diseases specialist. They would see to the joint pain, which has now morphed into more of a muscle pain.

I am in good hands with the current retina specialist and opthalmologist.

That's about all I can do. I think time will resolve these symptoms.











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I got all my results back.

Syphilis: Negative
Gout (uric acid): Negative
Lyme disease: Negative
TB: Negative
Sjogren Syndome: Negative

The vision flicker remains although not as bad as a few days ago. Only left eye mostly.

The systemic pain remains, although not in joints so much as muscle. I'm going to rheumatologist and infectious disease specialist.
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Hi mkh9, I miss your input.

I called my retina specialist today and told her all my test results were negative, including syphilis. She said then it must be steroid and to wait at least a month if not 2-3 months for the vision issues to resolve now that I know to stay away from steroids.

I started having new symptoms this morning. My upper breast on the left side had a sharp pain today. The upper left arm was also painful to the touch - it was a muscle pain between the tricep and bicep. and the left side of my hip had momentary ache today. It feels as if something is coursing through my body, causing pain. The fingers of my left hand is stiff and sore.

I took a nap in the afternoon, and when I woke up the upper left arm pain subsided. The left breast pain is still there, and that worries me - could it be related to the heart? I feel like a toxin got into my heart. Left fingers are still stiff and sore.

Overall, the left side of my body from eye to foot has these aches and pain that the right side does not have. My joints have been feeling tender lately, with a lot of crackling and popping noises everything I do something simple like standing up, walking, turning, etc. though without pain.

Any ideas?
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Hi, well I just got back from visiting with family for the weekend. Long drive back and forth. We're tired. But I read your posts. I hope the retina think will go away with time. It does take time for steroid to get out of your system. Glad your Syphilis test came back negative and the other tests. If you had a heart problem such as a heart attack you would know it. It is not subtle in a man. So you are feeling muscle aches instead of or in addition to the joint aches. It can't hurt to see a rheumatologist. I don't know if that will solve your problem. It may go away on its own. I have a lot of cracking and popping of joints. It isn't that unusual. It is called crepitus. It can be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. I have some osteoarthritis which doesn't hurt. I wouldn't worry about the zeolite. It doesn't sound like you got that much of it.

You can only get trichomonas from sexual intercourse or oral. Most people don't have any symptoms and can be carriers. When you do you do you can get burning in the genitalia , itching and discharge. It is usually not found externally like on the surface of a body part. It doesn't match any of your symptoms.
mkh9
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Also, from the sexual encounter you had it doesn't sound like you had any exposure that fits your symptoms. Such as the anal itching. She was wearing a glove and you can't get it from that method.
mkh9
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Thank you for your responses, mkh9.

I will also go see an infectious disease specialist as well as a rheumatologist. Having ruled out a lot of things, I hope I'm getting close to the answer.

My symptoms are morphing from joint to muscle pain. I don't think it was a heart attack either, although it has crossed my mind. More likely it was a muscle pain.

I had a bowel movement this afternoon, and noticed a long white strand intertwined in my stool. It certainly doesn't look like a noodle or spaghetti - it was too big. Could it be a worm? Could worms cause these kinds of symptoms?





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Hi, well do you still have the white strand? Maybe it was unprocessed food. Even if it was a parasite it wouldn't cause the symptoms you have. But you already had a parasite test and it was negative. So it is unlikely that it is a parasite. You could get retested if you want to.
mkh9
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Yes I still have it. I took a picture of it. Would you mind if I posted it here? How would I post it?
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No I don't mind I'll take a look at it. I know you can post photos on here. I'm not exactly sure how people do it.
mkh9
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I don't know how to post a photo here either. I posted the photo for two online doctors and they both said it's definitely a worm. I also posted on a parasite support forum, and the one response said it's a worm.

The online doctors said I need to do a stool analysis, even if I already did one a few months ago. One doctor said it is possible to have systemic symptoms such as mine with a worm infection. I'm hoping that's what it is so I can take care of it.

I made an appointment with an infectious disease specialist as well as a rheumatologist this week.
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Do you have a link to one of the sites where you have the photo that I can look at the specimen? Also, what does it look like? Is it flat and white and very long? or is it round and long with curved ends and gray? If flat white and long it could be a tape worm. Those you can get from fleas and pets even someone else's pet. Other worms you can get walking barefoot in the sand like a hookworm and so it would be good to know more.
mkh9
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Okay that's a good idea. Let's try this so see if it works.

Here is the direct link to the image.
http://s21.postimg.org/pesppex8n/IMG_0209sm.jpg

If that doesn't work, try this one.
http://postimg.org/image/7or14djnn/

Tell me what kind of worm you think it is. It would indeed be helpful to know.

I will be seeing a rheumatologist tomorrow morning, and an infection disease specialist on Thursday.

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Well, I took a long time to consider the photo you sent. It could be a tapeworm but they are usually white or yellowish. But this is very yellow. I would bring it in anyway. It could be a type of Cestode or tapeworm. But it could just be plant fiber. So best to get it checked out. The ones I have seen have all been white. But I did see that can bee yellowish.  The line down the middle is suspicious for maybe it not being a parasite and rather a plant fiber. So we'll see what they say.  You might ask if they want to have you refrigerate it or keep it room temperature. You may want to keep it in a closed clean container either way.
good luck with the doctors.
mkh9
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See last comment. I am still leaning towards it being a artifact (plant fiber). But we'll see.
mkh9
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Well, the rheumatologist said it's likely due to a self-limiting unknown viral infection. Definitely not bacterial or fungal - the former doesn't show up in the lab work, and the latter would put me in the hospital if it's systemic. He said give it 6 weeks for the symptoms to go away. Due to latest normal labs, normal x-ray, and no sign of swelling, he said he couldn't tell me what is causing the joint pain except for some obscure viral infection.

He did say worms could also cause these symptoms, but I will have to go see an infectious disease specialist for the diagnosis.

Thursday I have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist. Hopefully, my final stop.

My anus has been itching lately for the last few days, and my scrotal area continues to itch mildly.

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I agree that if it was bacterial it would show up in the blood and fungal you would be seriously ill (hospitalized). I mentioned both of these before. It may have been a virus that is going to away. I think the "parasite" is probably a undigested vegetable fiber. But check it out since it is large. Tape worms are usually white or lighter yellow. So, you may be on the mend really. The flu this year caused serious joint pain. Maybe you got some symptoms of it and not all. Or a different virus. But we'll see. I look forward to hearing about the results.
take care,
mkh9
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mhk9, I showed the rheumatologist the photo of specimen, and he said it might be fiber, not worm. But I don't recall eating anything that would be that long.

Anyway, I will do a stool analysis to see for sure.

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Yes I am pretty sure it is a fiber too. It just surprised me how long it was too. But sometimes plant foods is hard to digest even though it is good for you. Good to check it out. I have worked in parasitology for a long time. But you don't get that many actual worms. More specimens that you see the eggs from the worms and those are easier to identify. But I reviewed all the possibilities and it didn't really match anything. But you can get an opinion anyway since I haven't seen it in person. It is a good idea.
mkh9
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Thanks, mkh9.

This is from yesterday when I gave a stool sample. Is this a worm or some parasite?

http://s8.postimg.org/noideui91/001.jpg
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No it still looks like a plant fiber. I'm not sure why you are getting long fibers like this. Interesting to see if they find any thing else though.
mkh9
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I went to two infectious disease specialists today. I showed the same photos that I posted online. They both said those aren't worms. I also got the results from the parasite test - negative. This is a a good thing as I am allergic to Albendazole, the anti-worm medication. I took it once and it made me break out. The specialist said today if you take it again you could have a more severe and potentially life-threatening reaction.


So, I don't know what is the cause of my systemic pain.


I will say this: I found one last tablet of Fluconazole (anti-fungal med), and I took it. All day today, my left forefinger was stiff to the point I couldn't move it without pain. After I took the Fluconazole tablet at 5:30 in the evening, the forefinger ceased to have any pain. I could move it fluidly. I don't remember the last time I could do that before all this happened. Granted it is still sore, but it moved fluidly and the joints did not have any resistance.

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That is what I figured regarding the parasite (worms) but glad they also said their were no parasites. There are other treatments for parasites. But you don't have them so you don't need them anyway. It is not good to take one pill of an anti-fungal or antibiotic you can create resistance if you have any fungi. It is odd that the pill helped your pain. It could be a placebo effect or maybe the pill has some anti inflammatory properties. I don't think you have any systemic fungal infection. As one of the doctors said it may be viral. Hopefully, it will pass.
mkh9
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Thanks mkh9. It could be a placebo effect. In which case it would mean all these symptoms are my mind playing tricks on me. One doctor told me as much.I would be floored if that was true.

Honestly the second doctor said he doesn't draw conclusions about anything from photos. He and the first doctor today based their decision that I don't have worms on my symptoms and my labs..

Should I get a second stool test? The second doctor gave me an empty stool kit to take home if I want to submit more samples.

Anyway, I have stumped three specialists this week - one rheumatologist and two infectious disease specialists.

As a last far-fetched effort to find answers, I talked to a PhD toxicologist on the phone and described my symptoms. He said it could possibly be heavy metals - which can cause both joint pain and the vision problems I described. So I got tested for that today. Not really thinking it will yield a positive result as I never did anything to expose myself to those substances. Just to rule out though.
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No I don't think it is a parasite. Generally you would have diarrhea and some different symptoms. I thought of heavy metals so good to rule it out. Also, a rheumatologist if you haven't seen one. Then I don't know I would say you got a virus and it will pass.
mkh9
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If heavy metals came back positive I would be shocked, but you never know and it does fit all the symptoms.

I saw a rheumatologist last Tue - no diagnosis. Basically all the doctors and specialist I have seen just go back to the labs, xrays, and tests, and once they see that it is normal or negative, draw a blank about my symptoms.

The second infectious disease specialist - someone very respected and experienced - ruled out any viral infection. He said it was just something a doctor would say if he couldn't figure it out. This doctor did order more tests - muscle enzyme, etc I don't know what they all are. He's a really good doctor, though. I feel better about him than most I've seen.

Thanks for your input, mkh9.
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How reliable are those OVA parasite tests? Can you get a false negative? My rectum has been feeling like something is crawling inside it. It may not be attributed to the joint pain, but a separate problem. The infectious disease specialist thought the first photo was of an undigested green onion, but I told him I would have had to not chew it for it to remain intact like that. And I certainly did not eat anything like that.

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Yes you can get false negatives in all tests. The O&P test depends on the person reading the slide.  But since you don't have diarrhea I doubt you have it. Most of the time you do have diarrhea or nausea, vomiting, flatulence, and abdominal pain.
mkh9
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My scrotum began to itch badly today, so I went to an urgent care clinic. He looked at it and said it was definitely a fungal infection. It has taken hold again and the scrotal skin is red. He also looked at my anal region and said the fungal infection has spread there (it itches there now too). The perineal raphe was also inflamed. He prescribed Terbinafine for 14 days, one 250 mg tablet per day. He also prescribed a Nystatin cream and Nystatin powder, to be used daily for at least a month. The other primary care physicians before have always said my scrotum looked fine, and that a topical was the only thing needed. Perhaps the Ketoconazole cream I was using was not sufficient (it was the only thing I had without steroid which my body can't take).

This is definitely a persistent fungal infection. The doctors I have seen said my immune system is not compromised. I took the first tablet of the Terbinafine tonight and will continue to do so for the next 13 days. Hopefully, this and the Nystatin will take care of it once and for all.

On a positive note, my vision flicker in my right eye has completely gone away, and in the left eye it has gone down considerably. The retina specialist said that is great news.
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That is great news about the eye problem going away. Regarding the fungus sorry you got that. If it is yeast Candida albicans is the most common and a lot of these strains are becoming resistant to Fluconazole. So, Terbinafine should do the job. Hope you feel better soon.
mkh9
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Hello mkh9, well after two days of Terbinafine the joint and muscle pain seems to have disappeared. I can walk regularly now without limping or fearing pain.

I told my primary care doctor about my trip to the urgent care doctor and the Terbinafine effect. He said I should see a dermatologist to do a skin biopsy of the scrotum. Does this mean he thinks this is more of a virus? Could it be a virus of some kind?

I developed a bad cough yesterday and it continues to today. I vomited my dinner yesterday after eating it. It is a hacking cough, and I tried gargling with salt water, cough drops, nothing really works, except for some apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Related?
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Hi, are you taking the pills or using cream? The pills can cause some mild nausea and stomach upset. The coughing I think is unrelated. The doctor may want a skin scraping to see what species of fungus you have since you said your symptoms went away with taking the Terbinafine. Other than that if the cough continues to make you sick you should call the same doctor that prescribed the pills. Do you still have hepatitis? Terbinafine is hard on the liver if it is a pill. But that has nothing to do with the cough either. How long are you going to be on the pills if you are on them? They may want to monitor your liver enzymes if longer than two weeks. As you probably know the liver regenerates. Since you are doing well with it and your symptoms. If you can tolerate it I would stay on it at least until you talk to the doctor if the cough persists. It is probably just a allergy or cold.
mkh9
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I'm taking the Terbinafine pills and using the Nystatin cream/powder. Supposed to do it for 14 days, no more.

Yes I still have Hepatitis B, but the viral count is zero as of my last visit to the GI. My liver enzymes were normal as of last week.

I will get the biopsy of the scrotum as soon as I can. It will determine if it's viral or fungal. I have had some doctors tell me could be viral. And you said it too. Not any of the more well-known STDs though, I tested for those repeatedly.

Or it could be a resistant strain of fungus. In either case once they identify it they can formulate a treatment. I am hopeful that I'm near the end.

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It could be a resistant strain of fungus. But the terbinifine may work on it.
Lets see how it goes.
mkh9
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New development, starting last night my scrotum started to hurt badly. It was very painful and very red. Putting Nystatin on it made it unbearably painful. This has happened once before about a month ago - same kind of searing pain, which went away after I applied Clotrimazole + steroid cream. I went to the dermatologist today and she looked at it. I asked for a skin biopsy per my PCP recommendation, but she said nothing she saw warranted a biopsy. She said it was either irritant dermatitis (detergent, soap, etc) or bacteria. She prescribed erythromycin gel to be applied generously on scrotum, anus, and overall groin area. She said to try that for a week, and it doesn't do anything she would consider a biopsy. I sense that dermatologists are reluctant to do biopsies.

The skin of my scrotum is not smooth. There are parallel grooves in it, not sure if that's normal or some kind of scarring. It is esp. evident when I apply the whhite Nystatin powder as the powder does not get into the grooves.

No lesions or bumps though.

Could it be that the Terbinafine is driving the fungus out, or that the fungus is seeking new places to hide after being driven out of one place? Or a viral infection?


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It sounds like you are allergic or having some kind of reaction to the Nystatin. The steroid then calms down the inflammation. Yes a biopsy in that area is painful and could cause scarring and maybe other problems. They usually do a punch biopsy of things and that is pretty deep. It may be too sensitive an area to do a skin scraping. Be careful with the Erythromycin gel I am just starting it too for dermatitis. It says the first few days you can get burning from it and that you will get used to it. I haven't had any problem from it yet on my thigh. But everyone is different and it is a less sensitive area. I think the fungus will be killed by the Terbinafine but it takes a little time.  We'll see I guess. I'd stay away from the Nystatin.
mkh9
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No, I don't think I have an allergic reaction to the Nystatin. I applied the Nystatin cream on the scrotum again today and it didn't hurt. Weird. It could very well be irritant dermatitis or bacteria as the dermatologist said. I will try the erythromycin and see.
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The dermatologist thinks I have erythrasma due to the Corynebacterium minutissimum bacteria. But I don't think that would cause the searing pain I experienced a few days ago. The pain is much better now. I applied Nystatin again on scrotum with no pain. Why just that one day?
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Interesting. The erythrasma is " pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed), which are classically sharply demarcated". Did the dermatologist use a fluorescent lamp on it or light? You may not know if it was fluorescent it would have looked like a type of light. It can distinguish a other bacteria from this type of bacteria but not fungus as they would fluoresce too (but this one fluoresces red which may help). Erythromycin or Azithromycin would be the right treatment if that is what it is. They also can use a fusidic acid topical.

I don't know why you got pain that one day. It may be unrelated. But you can try the treatment for the Erythrasma and see if it works.  It takes about a week to 14 days. It can be drug resistant and so if Erythromycin doesn't work they can try the fusidic acid topical or another antiobiotic. Sometimes  you can get co-infections with a fungus as well. So, you may ask the doctor about continuing the terminfine or just doing it anyway if you aren't having problems with it. But that is as long as the two drugs wouldn't cause you any harm. It is something to discuss with your doctor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1052532-medication#2

mkh9
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Thank you, mkh9.

I saw the urgent care doctor again last night, the one who prescribed the Terbinafine. He is by far the best doctor I have come across. And I love the fact he is available until 9:00 pm and on weekends, since he works in a clinic.

He told me I definitely have a fungal infection; he has seen cases like mine before. He said the Terbinafine is strong but should take care of the fungal growth. He was doubtful about the erythrasma, but said the erythromycin couldn't hurt. He also said I do not have a viral infection or any STD.

New revelation: the joint pain in my left forefinger and wrist and ankle - I know what is causing it. It is because I use my left forefinger to pound on the keyboard at work more than any other finger, due to the software I am using. It puts undue pressure on the finger. Same thing with the wrist and the ankle - due to the way I sit and work they get some pressure put on them.

I have since brought another keyboard to work that has much softer keys, the finger pain is down 80%.

What this tells me, is that something, maybe a fungal or bacterial infection, has tenderized my joints. My bones have been popping, cracking a lot lately with simple movements like putting on seatbelt. There is no pain, but every movement of the joint makes a sound. That tells me some infection affected maybe the viscosity of the joint fluid or such.

What kind of infection would do that - soften, weaken, or tenderize the joints in such a way?
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I agree with this urgent care doctor over the erythrasma diagnosis. It is just more likely. I worked with the bacteria C. minutissimum and I just don't think that is the problem.

I think the cracking noises are crepitus.and not harmful. Just your body making noises. I have it too and I also have tendonitis and I dont' know why I didn't think of that. But you know your habits and it makes total sense that is what you have. It may be carpal tunnel. Posture, in this case using the key board correctly, is very important. I have a good book called Dr. Pascarelli's Complete Guide to Repetitive Strain Injury, what you need to know about RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. By Emil Pascarelli, M.D. It is really the Bible for these illnesses. Yes I have been sufferering with RSI since I got injured on the job in 2006. Just that we were talking infectious disease and I didn't it together what else you were doing. Sorry about that. I'm glad you thought of it. I think the Crepitus can be genetic or you can get it along with RSI. I wouldn't worry about it. When you have the pain you can ice it for short periods at a time or wear a brace. Also, if you have two sinks in the kitchen putting warm water in one and ice water in the other helps. You start and end with the cold bath. 30 seconds in cold the 30 in warm up to the forearms. Always end in cold. NSAIDS help with the pain but always take them with food. I wouldn't take them long term. Getting your posture right helps. But giving yourself a break from typing is good for a couple of weeks. Then once you start typing again give yourself more breaks more often. You could see an orthopedic surgeon. But unless you want surgery it really doesn't help.
mkh9
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New theory:

Elevated levels of mercury. I'm still waiting for the metals test result, but if I have elevated mercury levels everything would make sense. You can get mercury from sushi or seafood.

Yeast thrives on elevated mercury levels. So that would explain the recurrent issues with my fungal infection and how the various prescriptions failed to get rid of it.

Mercury would also explain the joint stiffness and pain, muscle pain, as well as my vision problems.

Now if I can only get that metals test result.
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Another reason I think it may be mercury is that as of yesterday, my supra-orbital nerve of my left eye has gone completely numb. Meaning, when I press my finger on the SO nerve I my face can't feel the finger either above the eye or below the eye.
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Called the lab that was doing the metals test. They said they will need a little more time to analyze. It won't be until Monday. Not sure if that means anything. Did they find something?

The antibiotic gel is causing red rash to break out around groin. It also burns a little. Should I stop?

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I'm not so sure about the metal poisoning. I doubt it as it would show up in your complete blood count.

Erythromycin causes irritation and peeling the first couple of days you start taking it. It is supposed to subside as you get used to it. If it is more than two days and you are still getting a rash you might be having a reaction to it. A side effect of the drug is burning. But the rash is more of a allergic reaction. I would stop it. Call your doctor when you get a chance. There is no hurry. But  you should let that doctor know you couldn't tolerate it and that you got a rash from it. Are you putting a very thin layer and not rubbing it in? You are supposed to get put a light coating and let it air dry.
mkh9

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No I'm rubbing it it. The doctor said to apply generously. Also, do you do that once a day or twice a day?
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You are not supposed to rub it in so it may be irritating you. Once or twice  a day are the instructions. I am using it right now for foliculitis (folliculitis) and I am using it once a day. I tend to flare up so I am being cautious. I haven't had a problem so far after 4 days. I just lightly put one coating on no rubbing and let dry. It dries fast. You still could have an allergy to it. But the package insert says it can cause irritation or burning. But in some a rash. The rash is not a side effect rather more of a reaction such as an allergy.  So it sounds like you may want to stop it and let the irritation go down.  
mkh9
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Thank you, mkh9. Yes I definitely have a rash. I will stop using it. My other doctor doesn't think erythrasma is the issue anyway.

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The rash and irritation has gone down and I will not be applying it again.

I do want to ask, what I got a staph infection? It would affect the joints and other things. Is there a blood test to detect staph?
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Why would you think you got a Staph infection? Is this because of the Joint pain? You would get a wound infection or skin infection with it first. If it got into the blood stream you would have a high fever. You would know it. If you had a high fever they could do blood culture on you. But they won't do them unless you had a Staph infection somewhere else first and then you have to have a high fever.
mkh9
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I got my heavy metals test result today.

Lithium and Platinum are 200X above normal range! Barium is also above normal range.

National Poison Control Hotline says my doctor needs to talk to their toxicologist!
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Wow, Why would you have those metals in such high amounts? Have you had a Barium anema for a lower GI or anything lately? Taken Lithium for depression? I think platinum you should sell your blood on the stock market.
That is crazy.
mkh9
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See last message. Where do you live? State and/or Country? What kind of job do you do? Let me know how it goes.

mkh9
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Yeah that is bizarre. I work in an office building sitting in front of the computer, in the engineering/CAD field. The office building is in a posh area of town surrounded by expensive homes and churches. There is absolutely no industrial facility nearby. I also don't live near any industrial facility. I live in Houston, Texas.

I have never had chemo, never took any psych meds such as Lithium, never had an enema of any kind, Barium or otherwise.

I called the National Poison Control Center again, and asked them about these metals. They said the Lithium itself, even in the amount found in my blood, doesn't present a real danger as people on Lithium meds have much higher concentrations in their blood. Barium is only slightly elevated from normal. The real mystery is Platinum. Its presence in the human body is such a rare occurrence, that the medical professional said there are no documented cases of what it does to a person. They haven't even done research on the effects of platinum in the body.

Also, platinum is so rare and so exotic a metal, that to get it from environmental exposure is practically impossible. This is a real mystery.

Seeing a primary care doctor tomorrow.



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Yes it is really odd. You can get platinum from ocean water and soil. It is usually acquired by eating it but not usually at that level. But in the pacific ocean they have found some people that got some high levels. But maybe they made a mistake in testing. So they should repeat the test if they haven't yet. Or maybe get another sample drawn and send it to another lab?

I also wonder if there was a nuclear reactor in your area in the past. This happened in an area in Southern California. People live in that area and don't know about it now.

So, best to get retested to double check. Lithium can change your mood pretty drastically even if it doesn't harm you.

Take care,

mkh9
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Sorry I am wrong about nuclear reactor I was thinking plutonium not platinum. Disregard the last statement.
mkh9
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I have done some research and found chemo drugs for cancer have platinum in them. But I sure as heck never took those, at least to my knowledge.
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They also detected arsenic in my blood.

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I have read that too regarding chemo . But since you haven't had chemo it doesn't fit. I wonder if the lab results are correct. It sounds like you live near a toxic dump that was there in the past or something? I wonder what the doctor will say?  Personally, I would repeat the test at another lab. Just to be sure.
mkh9
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I talked to the toxicologist this morning. He said the lab analyzed the zeolite too. He said the zeolite is a very dangerous substance and I am to stay far from it. They found Thorium, Cesium, Lead, Barium, Stronium, etc. More than likely the zeolite is the culprit.

The toxicologist said for me to take NAC (A-Acetyle Cisteine) for 2 months, 600 mg tapsules 2X a day to remove the metals. He would like for me to get tested again in a month for metals levels. He said that should take care of the metals and I should make a recovery. He is however, not a medical doctor but a forensic toxicologist.

I have an appt with a toxin specialist on Friday who is a medical doctor. Hopefully, she will devise the right treatment.

My primary care doctor said this morning that the fungal infections are persistent due to the presence of contaminents in my system.
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Wow. that is awful. I haven't seen anything on the ingredients of zeolite only that it is used in a variety of things. I would still get another test to double check. But that is up to you if you trust the results. If they are correct then you do need to clear this from your system.
mkh9
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The toxicologist said had I taken more than 3 days of it, I would not be around now. He said the stuff could kill a dog.

The ingredient list ofr the zeolite only lists 1 item. Maybe it got contaminated.

Anyway, at least now I know why my fungal infection continues despite various meds, and why I still have these symptoms.



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That is pretty scary. Well, I hope you recover soon and feel better after that.
mkh9
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Hello,

Well I am getting conflicting reports from medical professionals again.

I saw a MD about the elevated levels of metals in my blood and she said it is not really something to worry about. My level of Lithium is still much lower than bipolar patients taking Lithium as a drug. As for the level of Platinum, the doctor said even at 0.2 ug/L it is an acceptable level. The problem is the range values the forensics lab used. They are off and not a standard medical range of values.

She also said to take NAC, same as what the forensics toxicologist told me to take. This MD is not a toxicologist, but rather internal medicine who has a lot of experience with chelation therapy.

All the other metals found in the forensics test are not alarmingly high, and can be found in most people. I am due for a metals re-test, but since this will be ordered by a doctor it will be done in a medical lab this time and not a forensics lab.

As for my symptoms, some things have gotten better. My vision has really improved, and my eye doctor was glad to hear about that.

My joint pain has also gotten much better. I no longer limp and for the most part am pain free. There are some lingering pains here and there, namely in the fingers but not nearly as severe as before.

As for the scrotal itch, it continues with severity. I went to see the dermatologist who stated I had erythrasma or corynebacterium minutissimum bacteria infection on the scrotum. She prescribed Erythromycin gel to be applied topically on the scrotum. In a follow-up visit to her, a Woods lamp was used to detect the bacteria and there was none. Could be that the gel took care of it, or maybe I never had it in the fist place.

Another doctor doubted I ever had corynebacterium minutissimum, which would not cause the severe itching and pain in the scrotum as I experienced. Instead he looked at the scrotum and said I had a bad fungal infection, and prescribed Nystatin cream, Nystatin powder, and a 14-day course of Terbinafine, 250 mg per day. It was a strong regimen, but I finished it and still have the severe scrotal itch.

The dermatologist, in my latest visit with her, did do a skin scraping of the scrotal skin and went and looked at it under the microscope while I waited. She came back and said there was no fungus. This was after I finished the Terbinafine course.

So, bacteria and fungi are not the causes of my scrotal itch. I don't know what it could be then. I then asked the dermatologist if it could be scabies or crabs and she said no. I had no red bumps.

Currently, my scrotal symptoms are thus: when I run my fingernail slowly over my scrotal skin, I could feel tiny bumps on it. To the eye these bumps are hardly visible and are not red or swollen. Yet they are there. And when the fingernail makes contact with the bump it hurts like crazy. It also sends a jolt down my left leg to my foot. I have tried to show these bumps to the dermatologist but because they are so hard to see she did not think much of it, and said my scrotal skin looks normal. She also said the itching is only due to what she called an itch cycle from inflammation, and said for me to only use Elidel from now on, for as long as I needed to. I haven't gotten the Elidel yet. In the meantime, I have been using witch hazel and apple cider vinegar to wipe down the scrotum. It burns upon contact, but I think it does help to lessen the itch. As long as I don't touch those bumps, the itch is minimal.

What do you think these scrotal symptoms point to?







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When my opinion is that the internal medicine doctor is right that if the metal values were not at medical unit values that would entail a clinical significance then there is nothing to worry about. It did seem extremely odd to me. So I'm going with that. I'm glad the other issues have cleared up. often when you have had an infection or dermatitis or whatever was causing your scrotal problem and have inflammation afterwards, It can be very irritating . Adding vinegar and witch hazel to such a sensitive area may only aggravate it. I would get the gel that they recommended to sooth the area and leave it alone until it heals.  So the symptoms point to irritation and inflammation at this point.
take care,
mkh9
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I went back to the urgent care doctor yesterday, the one who prescribed Terfinafine. He gave me a prescription for 2% Clotrimazole cream. I used it, and the scrotal itch went away for the most part.

So it appears to be a fungal infection. It was just resistant to the other topicals I tried - Nystatin, Ketoconazole.
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Yes some yeast and other fungi are resistant. I think I mentioned that a while ago. Terbinafine (Lamisil) is another good one. Hope the Clotrimazole works for you.
mkh9
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Thanks, mkh9 for all your input.

My scrotum itched insanely bad last night. Nothing helped - Clotrimazole, Nystatin, etc. I slathered a ton of Vaseline on the groin area and it helped a little. My skin at the groin is very red, looks like rash or eczema. My left thigh also got red and itchy, as well as the skin of my lower belly right at the belt line. I could feel a small bump at the belt line, and small bumps on the scrotal skin - these bumps itched like crazy when I touched them.

So, I believe what I really have is - scabies!
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Hi mil1209
well scabies is easy to diagnose. Either they see the scabies under the microscope or not. They have a particular look. But your description sounds like eczema. I have it on my legs and hands sometimes and it itches so badly I want to tear my skin off. But I don't even touch it because the more that you touch it the more it itches. Allergies are one reason for eczema. And, not drying yourself well enough is another. Then after drying yourself after a shower putting on a fragrance free lotion right away helps seal in moisture.  I use Cetaphil restoraderm.  But that is for my legs, arms face and hands. In addition, I use another cream for my hands and I wear gloves any time I need to wash dishes or get my hands wet. I try not to wash my hands as much as possible. So I use a lot of nitrile gloves. It is costly for us.  I only got this a couple of years ago along with an allergy to many topicals. I never had all these allergies until the last few years. So maybe that is what is going on.
mkh9
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I heard the opposite about scabies - that they are often misdiagnosed because they do resemble a number of other skin conditions. Usually adults only have 10-15 scabies so a skin scraping could miss one. And if you are looking for burrows they can be very small and itching would eradicate the burrows so they could be missed as well.

I also don't have a lot of confidence in the last dermatologist I saw. She already made up her mind that I don't have anything, including fungus. Even the urgent care doctor that I saw said he disagrees with her diagnosis about the erythrasma. I may need to see another dermatologist, but in the meantime I have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist on Monday.

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Well, I am talking about in the laboratory it is easy to diagnose. I understand it could be harder for the doctor to see what the skin problem is. But for Clinical Laboratory Scientists like me it is fairly easy to see once they have the Scabies skin scrapings. Hope the visit to the doctor helps.
mkh9
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Part of the problem is the doctors don't think I have anything. The dermatologist won't do a skin biopsy, and she is all upset that I'm not taking HER seriously. Meanwhile, I am in great pain and discomfort. Other doctors think it's a fungal infection and with the ineffectiveness of all the prescription drugs, they are drawing a blank. I do not want to take Permethrin yet for scabies until I know for sure that is my problem.
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I would wait for a diagnosis. Don't medicate any more that has gotten you into more trouble than it has helped you. That is my opinion. If you are still putting vinegar on the scrotum I would stop that as well. It is an irritant.
mkh9
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