Gastroenterology Community
31.5k Members
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?1230309226
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
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem