Avatar universal


Hi - I am a 46 year old male. I've just had a Stool Test returned showing positive for Campylobacter - which I think I have had for over 6 weeks (as I remember getting bad food poisoning then).

In addition to abdominal symptoms (pains, gas, twitches in my appendix area even tho they were removed) I am also getting some pain during urination (despite having also had Urology tests and an ultra sound scan/X ray which said there was nothing wrong with me); some sharp arthritis like pains in my left knee / ankle; having a very dry mouth/tongue PLUS some REALLY bad problems with anxiety and panic = all of which have flared up since the time I think I contracted Campylobacter (about mid-November).

I am waiting to see my Doc (Holiday season got in the way) - are these "other" symptoms consistent with Campylobacter??

IS Campylobacter easily curable even tho I have seemingly had it beyond the time most people should get rid of it?

Any response would be gratefully received.


12 Responses
627145 tn?1230305626
Here is an article that is helpful:

http:/ www.shands.org health Health%20Illustrated%20Encyclopedia 1 000224.htm

It says joint symptoms could indicate you have developed Reiter's syndrome because of it.  
This article gets technical and talks a lot about various organisms that can lead to Reiter's besides campylobacter.  All of that has to be skipped over to get to the  info you need.  In case this silly site wipes out the address in its necessary format, I'll leave a space where you would have to type in the missing back slashes periods to get it to work:  Remember that the first back slash is a double one, so add a second one:

http:/ www.aafp.org afp 990800ap 499.html
Avatar universal
Rob, campylobacter jejuni is a pathogenic bacteria and a common cause of diarrheal problems. It is often accompanied by abdominal cramping, fevel and vomiting. It is associated with undercooked or raw poultry, unpasteurized milk or contaminated water for the most part. It can clear on it's own, but in other cases it may take treatment with antibiotics to effect clearance.

It can take awhile for it to 'show' itself after acquiring it.

There's also a big component of anxiety when something is going on with the GI tract. Since the head and the gut use many of the same neurotansmitters, when the GI tract goes haywire, the head can take a hit, too. It also happens the other way around.
Avatar universal
Thanks to CalGal and Fuzzz for the responses - they have helped enormously.

Did not think I had anything like Reiters (I had never even heard of it before). I'll read in to the links and hopefully be better prepared when I visit my Doc next week.

I think the anxiety is causing as much trouble as the symptoms from Campylobacter (and now Reiters) - so it was good to hear that the GI tract could be the cause.

Any addtional info from anyone would be gratefully received.

Thanks again.


Avatar universal
Hey Bob,
I too have had Campylobacter back in June of 2008. I have had problems ever since. Rib pain, right sided pain, sometimes left sided pain. At times it feels as if my innards are swollen. I just don't feel well. I must add that I was hospitalized for 8 days with it, as it gave me a case of Pancreatitis. I have had several tests. MRCP, CT Scan, Ultra Sound, Scope down my throat (not ERCP) blood work. All come back showing that I do not have Pancreatitis anymore. YET..I still have the discomfort/pain. Not PAINFUL pain, just enough to make me uncomfortable. It lets me know it is there. The pain also is in my mid back. I am at a loss of who to go to and what to ask of the doctor anymore. I have seen my regular doctor as well as GI specialist. Sorry I am not of any help to you, just wanted to let you know that someone else out here has lasting ill effects of Campylobacter. I do wish you well.

Avatar universal
Hi Mary

Thanks for the response. I too have lower rib pain in my right side and a few inches below - and also feel like I have swollen inards.

Also - I get rumbling / twitchy inards in the middle of my abdomen - it is a sort of background non-painful pain - not painful enough to make me push to see my doc.

I took the antibiotics to kill off campylobacter and am going to take another stool test next week to see if it has gone.

The arthritis pain has ceased since the antibiotics - but I still have some light pain taking a pee. I too get lower back pain in the middle.

If things don't get better I will get an appointment to see a Gastroenterologist.

I would be very interested to keep in touch with you to see how you progress - and I will keep you posted on my condition.

I am in London - United Kingdom.

Please do keep in contact.


Avatar universal
Just stumbled upon this site looking for info, hope you're still checking in.

I also contracted campylobacter back in June '08 and I'm still sufffering the consequences...daily dairrhea, pain, bloating, nausea, fatigue. I was also hospitalized and now have post infectious IBS, lactose intolerance, & reactive arthritis. I've been seeing GI docs since Aug '08 but there's not much they do. I've been adjusting my diet but it's still a learning experience. When the stomach pain gets horrible (feels like razors going through my bowels) I take rifaxamin and after a few days that seems to calm things down but diet & rest seems to be the key.

I've been in pain mgmt for back issues for a few yrs but the meds I take don't seem to help with the joint pain I now have. I have GERD so I can't take NSAIDS. I'm sched to see a rheumatoid doc in a couple of weeks. Hopefully he'll be able to give me some answers.

One of the strange things is my GERD went from mild before the campylobacter to severe afterwards. Not sure how or if it's connected. My GI docs don't seem to be very knowledgeable about any of it.

I hope you're both feeling well. Please keep me posted on your condition.

All the best,
Mary Mc
Avatar universal
im glad that i found this forum.
i have a 13month old boy who has just been diagnosed with this.
we cut our vacation short to come home to the doctors, thinking we might of had to rush him to the hospital as he had a fever, stomach and back rash, diarrehoa and constant unbelievable screaming in agony. He was up for 2 nights and was screaming and tensing his body as though he has stomach cramps, after reading these comments now i see that we where probably right. The poor little guy.
he has aquired this by eating the chicken poo out of the chicken run =( gross. it is now fenced off completely.
does anyone know?????
----- is this illness carried for some time?????????? or does it clear out of the system once recovery is made???????????
he was not treated with any medication and thankfully recovered from the rash and fever within 1 week and 2weeks from the diarrehoa although his faeces is still quite soft.
any answers would be greatly appreciated.
thankyou in advance. cheers. =D
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Since I had it a few years ago I've not been well at all. I have become lactose intollerant and suffer with cronic pains and indegestion although after many tests have stopped going to the doctors. I suffer with my stomach quite badly always feel bloated, can't lose weight and constantly pick up any bug going around. I'm currently off work again with what seems to be the same as before. Does anyone else gets this too?
Avatar universal
My son had Campylobacter back when he turned one years old. He was treated and was very sick although not hospitalized. Ever since then, he has not been the same. He bloats easily, has bouts with diarhea, atleast one every two months, and also coughs and vomits very easily. He is also hungry all the time and gains weight very easily. I am now on my third doctor trying to find answers and just today we got notification that he has campylobacter and he is to start medication immediately. The reason we found this was last week he had another diarhea spell and I was at a natural food store. That lady told me it sounded like he has a parasite. I called my doctor and we ran stool samples last week. Today was the call on the campylobacter. Did this never go away when he was one? I am so confused. My son's diarrhea is already cleared up and he is running around like a normal child although his tummy is bloated again today. So many questions. We are going to treat him and run another stool sample. I am just worried, after reading this thread, that he really won't be the same after having this! worried momma
Avatar universal
I would like to share my experience with campylobacter infection (food poisoning, usually from raw meat or poultry) I had last month from one of the take away places. It started off with sudden stomach pains and diarrhoea (light or green colour). Doctors could not figure out what it was and took 3 visits to GP and finally getting some tests done (which took long time too cause they have lost them!), so from my first visit on 13th of June I got my antibiotics erythromycin for campylobacter infection on 21st of July! Meantime I had suffered real bad reaction to most foods, i.e. Diarrhoea each day several times, stomach pains about half an hour after food, felt very weak cause I knew I wasn't digesting food very well nor did the water stay in my body. Took about week and a half off work (week with a sick note). Usually it lasts 2-5 days but the period of my sickness was 7-8 weeks. During the whole time I was taking Lansoprazole in the mornings as it appeared I had gastritis superfitsialis chronica with it as well (had to do endoscopy for this).... Then no-spa ('mebeverine' in UK, after food to relax my muscles. I also made sure I took acidophilus probiotic - 1 a day, every day ( got from Holland and Barrett and I have to say, it did help me big time), I think It helped with restoring or not damaging too much of my insides during this infection. Eventually I found out that Saccharomyces Boulardii probiotic helps especially well during diarrhoea, I found a packet in Holland Barrett called Bioglan Serious Help One-A-Day Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora (20 billion live bacteria which has both probiotics together), so I've switched to this probiotic only at the moment. However, if you are immunocompromised - do not take S.Boulardii probiotic, it could be very dangerous or even fatal!!! On the first day of erythromycin I felt much better, diarrhoea stopped instantly, but it did come back every 2 days for about a week and a half. I had to be very strict with what I ate: oats in the morning with blueberrys, cinnamon and honey, then banana about 10 am, something steamed for lunch and supper. I ate 4 times a day before the antibiotics, as they damage the stomach lining too. I made sure there was 3 hour gap between antibiotic and probiotic for both of them to actually work ( I usually took probiotic before bed so it would work over night). I did not drink any coffee or tea, had only water or camomile or peppermint tea during the whole time. Campylobacter made me also lactose intolerant (which I found out after eating ice cream on a very hot summer day.... Not a pleasant surprise), so I had only lactose free milk and yogurts for about three weeks, but i am back to normal now. I also took some multivitamins as diarrhoea flushes a lot of nutrition from your body. I made sure I went for even little walks on fresh air in the evenings as erythromycin doesn't agree with the sun or artificial UV rays very much. I also tried to have a siesta every day when I was off sick at home - you recover better in the sleep. So this is how I fought campylobacter infection.... I hope this might help some of you to fight it. Also please look out for any muscle aches or respiratory problems - ring your doctor straight away if you get them - these could be dangerous rare side effects. And please try not to cook for others for about 3 weeks after healing and stay away from pregnant women and anyone with weak immune system, as it takes 2-3 weeks to completely get rid of campylobacter. Best of luck
Avatar universal
I have had campylobacter now for over a week and still my stomach is sore. I am on antibiotics too. My stomach looks distended and hard, will this go away?
Avatar universal
I had a fever the monday before new year and spent new year's eve and day with cramps and diarrhea at home.  This continued for 10 days and I finally was told after contacting my primary to go to the E.R., where I was given an I.V., blood and stool tests and released.  A couple days later I was contacted and given the diagnosis of campylobacter.  I have struggled with this for almost three weeks now, I've been taking Saccaromyces Boulardii probiotics, Activia yoghurt and tried to stay on a bland diet, the past two days were better and I was hopeful, that my body had finally gotten rid of the bug.  Unfortunately, this morning I again had terrible cramps, stabbing pain and diarrhea with blood.  I am starting to wonder what the future will look like, especially considering the possible complications of campy, which are reactive arthritis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, and other chronic diseases.  I would love to hear some success stories from people that were able to beat it completely eventually.  
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