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Avatar universal

Blood red Ear infection that wont go away

I have been tolerating a bad ear infection for many months now. And believe it to have originated about over a year ago. At the time I was completely unaware since I cant see into my own ear to notice whether it was red even back then, but i certainly remember having lighter yet similiar symptoms as I do now.

Alot of these symtoms seem to involve a throbbing sensation of the jaw and temple region as well as severe migraines from time to time. However I can go for months were I feel none of the symptoms aside from the occassional heaviness that sets in before a mini migraine takes hold. The one constant symptom is some heavyset saliva and the need to swallow constantly this has been ongoing for over a year if not close to two.

I approached my GP after my symptoms worsened 2 months ago, I woke up with chills and the final straw was when I had a few bouts of severe migraines that did not subside for 3 days, on top of that I felt drowsy and my right side of my face was partially numb not to mention increased nausea. I also became increasingly dizzy and for 4 days running I almost fell over when climbing out of bed with extreme vertigo.

My GP checked my right ear noticing what he called a severe blood red infection put me on soframycin drops for a week, this did nothing but aggravate my ear and migraines tremendously, I relayed that info to him and he told me to continue that the meds were taking effect on the infection. I returned after a week and when he checked again was surprised the blood red ear was unchanged. Prescribed me 500mg of cephalexin for another week. Again the symptoms worsened, my whole temple region and jaw hurt excruciatingly and my migraines worsened. After that week, he looked and told me it was slightly better and that he wanted me to remain on the meds for another week. I felt that it was torture the 1st week so I asked to get some bloodwork and other tests done instead to see what the hell it was. This took 2 more weeks to process. So when my tests returned I was clear for sputim and urine results. But my bloodwork was showing 3 enzymes in my liver.

He told me that I had tested positive for Hep A but that since I had gotten a combined vaccine for Hep A and typhoid recently for travelling overseas, that it may be within reason, and not a Hep A infection. Told me that another retest was necessary after 4weeks minimum or 8 weeks recommended. In the meantime he put me on more antibiotics, this time doxycycline tablets 100mg for another week.

I am now taking these but feel terrible, the migraines are intense and my jaw hurts to my temple and feels it penetrates into my brain. Last night I dreamt I was having a seizure, and was surprised that I couldnt wake myself, when I did I was still shaking for a few seconds and couldnt think and felt like I was not in control of my body. It was so brief that I cant be sure what it was, but my whole body felt odd for minutes after.

Anyways I have no idea whats going on, but I feel that from the material I have read that my ear infection could be fungal, and I have had a persistent nail infection that I took 4 months to cure. I also read that antibiotics actually aggravate the infection. But my GP doesnt seem too interested in my suggestions.

Hope you can shed some light on this.
26 Responses
Avatar universal
Marcopolo,
The next time that you see your doctor, ask him if he thinks you might have "temporal arteritis."
This is an inflammation of the arteries in the temples, and can cause ear pain and pain in the jaw when chewing.
It can be quite serious, as there is the possibility of losing vision.
This condition is treated with steroids to reduce the inflammation.
You can do a google search for this...the wikipedia article is informative.

Several years ago, I also had an ear infection that would not clear up.
I was taking a decongestant, which reduced the congestion in the ear, but it always returned.
My doctor said that he could see fluid behind the ear drum, and gave me antibiotics, which did not help.
After five months of this, a friend told me that a simple one week course of steroids could possibly clear this up, so I asked my doc for it, and he accommodated me.
The treatment worked very well, and also stopped my migraines and joint pain for a while.

Later, I found out that my migraines and joint pains were due to Lyme Disease.
In researching Lyme, I found out that it can cause autoimmune problems.
Temporal arteritis is an autoimmune reaction.

So, see if your doctor can rule out temporal arteritis for you.
If he thinks it may be temporal arteritis, he'll prescribe steroids.
If it is temporal arteritis, he should do bloodwork to test for autoimmune problems.
If you do have autoimmune problems, you need to read up about tick borne infections.

I hope this helps.
Carol
Avatar universal
Thankyou for your reply Carol.

It may in fact be what you are describing. Another thing... I often find that my constant swallowing turns to occassionally feeling like im choking at night. I have suffered from migraines since I was a 19yo, but now at 31 I realise that if I have in fact had lyme disease or whatever that it might explain certain other occurences. My migraines have always been in the same right corner side of the temple and eye socket region until as recently as 1yr ago when I had a terrible episode one night where a really odd thing happened. I remember I couldnt shake a excruciating migraine for 6hrs and didnt sleep all night (usually my migraines always subside with sleep) Anyways I felt an odd sensation like I was having a mini stoke (I usually feel this way when my migraines are severe) To cut a long story short after much drama and worry I felt a popping sensation in my brain then like a tingling feeling but the oddest thing was that my migraine subsided in that very instant, which never happened to me ever (they usually take hrs to subside) I called the ambulance thinking the worst, as this sensation was also accompanied by a sudden rush of pins and needles in my face and right arm.

Since that time I have never had a migraine in the eye socket region and in fact almost went completely for 6months (id regularly get them every 5weeks or so), but now my migraines have now shifted completely to my ear and temple region.

Another thing worth mentioning after you hinted Lyme, and autoimmune problems, is that I did have an episode of severe rashes in 2002, I got them all over my limbs, and this is when I began feeling nausea and fatigue since that time. My rash persisted for 9 weeks, and slowly went away. Accompanied with this was a slight prostate inflamation, which seemed completely unaccounted for. My urologist never found out why I came down with the rash and prostatis. Even now my bladder and urinary tract are tender and sore to press down on, but I have put up with that since I noticed that losing weight alleviates my discomfort. I am not fat since I am about 83kg at 180cm, but when I drop to 72kg I feel alittle more relief around that region.

My rash returned after 10months, and the doctors at the time seemed quite baffled and refered me to a dermatologist, which in hindsight was a complete waste of time and money, as nothing eventuated from that. Another noteworthy thing was a development in my knee of arthitic like symptoms. My knee was never a problem before but the cartilage now pops out quite abit and it causes me pain whenever I stretch it out or flex it. It also feels weak and compromised.

I notice that when my nail was infected with a fungal growth that the antifungal tablets actually relieved my knee pain and I had some very sore arthritic-like pains in my feet which felt extremely tender, they actually subsided completely and never returned.

From what I can recollect in 2002, I did have bloodwork done to explain my rash. And I came back clean, altho my blood showed elevated signs of sensitivity to allergies, in his words I was many times over the normal range.

Im going to suggest temporal arteritis as a possible route to investigate. Since all other leads have turned up nil. Im still curious if it is lyme, personally I had a gut feeling it might have been blastomycosis, because of my bout with the fungal infections, and the reason behind my severe reactions to antibiotics. Although my chest xray revealed no compromising plueral abnormalities in my lungs. Despite sometimes feeling like an asthmatic.
Avatar universal
I have been taking the 100mg doxycycline doses as prescribed but have been feeling terrible with throbbing migraines and now what seems like a flu like symptoms of blocked sinuses and a dry cough.

I didnt take my tablet last night, because I was out all day and stayed over with friends for the night drinking. The curious thing is that I feel alittle better today, my migraines are lessening, and I just have risidual numbness. Whats more I noticed that after 6beers I still was very sober, and noticed everyone else feeling the effects of the social drinking. Its something that I wonder about, usually I do feel tipsy after 3-4 beers, but why did I remain unaffected, I could of drunk more and Im sure I would not have felt the alcohol. Does anyone know if this antibiotic has that effect? Otherwise, can Lyme disease (if thats what I have) cause flu like symptoms and shortness of breathe (which is what I felt last night as the night drew on) I also developed a tightening of my chest and a dry cough.

Well I am due to see the doctor on Tuesday. I am hesitant to resume the doses of antibiotics, since I have felt odd ever since starting them. Not to mention the terrible migraines I am terrified of welcoming back into my world. I only have to take these tablets for 2 more days, but part of me wants to resist resuming them. The other half wants to see them thru and honor the doctors prescription in case the meds take effect eventually.

Anyways any feedback is more than welcome.

I'll continue with updates in hope that anyone else in this predicament may benefit with what continues in my case.
Avatar universal
Marcopolo,
The reaction you've had to the antibiotics may be a "Jarische Herxheimer reaction."
This is when the antibiotic kills off bacteria, which then releases neurotoxins that cause symptoms.  It is common with spirochete bacteria, like Borrellia Burgdorgferi and Syphilis.  
This is why Lyme patients consider a "herx" reaction as indicative that the antibiotic is killing the bacteria that is making them ill.

Regarding the rash you mentioned, you may be interested in looking at the page of rash pictures at the Canadian Lyme Foundation.
Go to canlyme.com and click on symptoms (left side column), then the rash link is on that page.

That's very interesting that the antifungal medication relieved the pain in your knees and feet.
One of the alternative methods of treating Lyme is to take a specific antifungal med for several weeks, followed by a certain antibiotic., a protocol that was developed by a doctor in Germany.   Several people at LymeNet.org have mentioned that this helped them.  

Some people have found that taking glucosamine has helped their joint symptoms.  I'm presently taking it for my knees.  My knees seem a little better, but what really has benefited are my fingernails, which have grown in nice and strong.  I hope the cartilage in my knees is doing the same.

Regarding the incident with the severe migraine and the popping sensation.  I once had a severe migraine that culminated in a numb area on my face.  I didn't bother going to the doctor for it, as it improved in a couple days.  It took about a month before all the feeling returned.  I figured it was a mini-stroke at the site of that facial nerve.

One of the symptoms that people with Lyme have is chronic sinus infections, not relieved by antibiotics.  
This might be related to inflammation caused by the Lyme bacteria.  Several people at LymeNet.org have use Serrapeptase, an enzyme, to relieve this.
You can google for research on Serrapeptase, which is an over the counter supplement.  Doctors in Europe prescribe this to reduce the inflammation following facial and mouth surgery.
If you decide to try this, iHerb.com has good prices.

Lyme Disease can cause bladder and prostate symptoms.
From what I've read, some people present with only urinary tract symptoms, before being diagnosed with Lyme.

Good luck with the doctor appointment.
Carol
Avatar universal
Thankyou for your feedback Carol.

I visited my GP the other day and he seemed quite pleased that the redness in my ear has lessened. So to be prudent he has put me on another week of these antibiotics. I still complained to him about my soreness and other issues such as malaise. He will be testing my blood again in 2 weeks time. Specifically for the liver enzymes which showed up last time. I think if he can determine this, then I should have a fair idea what is causing me to feel so ill all the time.

Generally I am tender around my abdomen, so I will be getting the Serrapeptase and I thank you for mentioning that to me. It seems to work wonders according to what I have read about it.

I also notice that ever since my rash in 2002, I tend to crop up with alot of blemishes on my skin. The worrying thing is that they do not go away, but instead linger indefinitely and make my face seem alittle older. I am not so vain as to care about the aesthetic side, but they do feel abit sensitive to any scratching. I wonder if they are a sign of something more sinister, like my apparent liver enzymes, and not being able to keep my skin spotless as it once did when I was 100%

Anyways I will report how my tests go in 2 weeks time. However I will write here about my response to Serrapeptase probably sooner. Just out of interest have you had much experience with it? I would like to alleviate my urinary tract inflammation, which has been chronic for many years. The doctor mentioned a drug I could take to lessen my abdominal tenderness and pain, but I really dont want to load up on too many drugs, since my liver is also not too healthy.

Anyways Carol I thankyou one more time for your input.
Avatar universal
From what I've read, Demodex mites live in the pores of the face, feeding on the oils.   Seabuckthorn oil will kill these.  You can get a soap and a lotion made by "Face Doctor" that contains seabuckthorn oil.
(I found the products at Amazon.com.)

Also, taking Omega-3's in the form of fish oil will help the complexion.
It acts to reduce inflammation, and is one of the supplements that is highly recommended by doctors who treat Lyme.
You need a pharmaceutical quality fish oil, so that you won't get mercury.

Regarding the Serrapeptase, I originally bought some to try to reduce the inflammation associated with Lyme.  I read the European doctors prescribe it for arthritis, among other things.
I used it for several weeks, and did not notice any relief of joint pain.
I did some reading about proteolytic enzymes, and tried several of them.
When I tried Wobenzym, a blend of enzymes, I hit the jackpot.
My constant headaches were reduced in frequency and severity.
I no longer woke up every day with a splitting headache.
I take it when I first get up, as it is more effective on an empty stomach.
In doing some reading about it, several of the articles mentioned that the doctors would give large doses "to force the therapeutic response."  They mentioned 20 tablets at a time!
I ramped up to 12 tablets each morning, only once daily.
(If you do this without ramping up gradually, you're likely to have some digestive issues.)

Which antibiotic are you on?  Since you'll be on them for several weeks, you need to learn about probiotics.
Antibiotics kill off the intestinal bacteria, the good with the bad.
Once the balance is out of whack, the yeast that is normally present has a chance to multiply.  Heh, this is not fun.

One of the "co-infections" associated with Lyme is Bartonella.
This can cause pimple-like eruptions on the skin...not only on the face, but also the trunk and arms.
It also can cause many intestinal problems.
If you go to a doctor who is Lyme literate, you would get tested for this.

Coconut oil might also help the abdominal soreness.
When I first read about it, I was amazed.   You can buy it by the quart...look for a vendor with a discount.
(It kills yeast too.)

Carol
Avatar universal
Okay, I just saw that you're taking Doxycycline.
Your reactions do sound like a herx to me.
This med can make you sun sensitive.   Some of the people at LymeNet said they got terrible sunburns, even from driving a car.
Don't drink orange juice when you're on doxy, as it can increase the sun sensitivity.

Carol
Avatar universal
Carol you are a wealth of knowledge, thanks for giving me some more information about my condition.

Speaking of mites, I had noticed that a few summers ago I would occassionaly feel my arms tingle, like something tiny was crawling along my limbs, I would of course intinctively try to brush it off, but would never see anything on my arms or hands. Come to think of it I also had a recent pink eye infection, that went for almost a week after i started using some eye drops. I wonder is the mite too tiny to tell when its moving along ones skin?

Anyways I will be on the lookout for Omega 3, as well as Seabuckthorn oil. I assume none of these are to be taken orally am I right?

Also thanks for your concern to my extended use of antibiotics, and yes I am now taking probiotics to balance things out. You know I notice that the little bumps on my face and arms (particularly my arms) seem to have a pimple like nature to them, although they never pop and they seem quite hard and permanent looking. Some of the ones I can account for on my arms and face have been there for many months, and dont look as though they can even be popped (being primarily flat slightly raised and uninfected) Sometimes they even look like just blemishes caused by aging, since they appear to be fatty deposits of a sort. But theres just an increasing number of them which is unsettling.

On a final note, my skin rashes from 2002 have never returned with the severity they did the 1st two times, however I do get the occassional cherry red spots that appear without warning in little batches of 3 to 4 that are clumped together and do seem to be from my pores. They used to itch once upon a time, now they come and go on their own accord and sometimes itch but usually appear as mosquito bites that dry out with time, (although when I say time I mean over a month sometimes, which is not typical of a mosquito bite that I know of)

Well I will get some of the oils you mentioned and see how my skin responds to them.

Thankyou kindly for your suggestions Carol, sometimes information is the most scarce resource even amongst the GPs I rely upon for advice, and you are most welcome in any way you can offer insight into the unknowns I encounter since dealing with all this. Looking forward to more of your future posts.

Marc
Avatar universal
Omega-3's are definitely to be taken orally.
That's why you don't want a form that may contain mercury.
Seabuckthorn oil in a soap or lotion is applied to the skin, to kill the Demodex mites, although I have seen it available as a capsule, for ingestion.
Omega-3's will improve cell wall integrity throughout the body, and this also helps with anxiety and depression.
The oils in the skin pores will liquefy more readily, so you should have fewer pimples, and the blocked pores on the backs of your upper arms will clear up also.

The sensation of "bugs on your skin" would not be caused by the mites that live within the skin pores.   This sensation is called a paresthesia, and results from a deficiency of magnesium.   (Low Vitamin B12, if I remember correctly, may also cause this.)
It is common among people infected with Lyme, as the Lyme bacteria uses up the magnesium within our cells for its own life processes.  We need magnesium for all enzyme processes, and its depletion creates havoc in the body.  The nerve cells go nuts.

I don't think that a pink eye infection would be caused by the mites.  "Pink eye" is caused by a bacteria that can be spread by contact -- that's why you always wash your hands before touching your eyes, and you never share towels.

Carol
Avatar universal
I have bought a few supplements to aid me in the treatment to my symptoms. Omega-3 pills, as well as some magnesium tablets, I read about deficiency in magnesium and if i do have a drop in magnesium in my system due to mites or whatever, it goes a long way in explaining why Im so fatigued. The 1st signs of this in fact occured to me back in 2002, when I was sitting in the dentists waiting room and just felt so puffed out for no good reason. I believe this was so inexplicable to me that all I could think of that day was "what the hell was all that about" I had not felt that way ever, and pondered about it because it really felt like I was having heart palpatations or something, real scary at the time for a back then, healthy 25yo. That from memory was some weeks before coming down with my severe rash that persisted for 9 weeks.

Since then I have come to get used to my fatigue, and really dont have an answer for it. But taking these supplements will hopefully help me quite abit.

I read that detecting Lyme disease from a blood test is something like 30% and even then the reliability of those tests are flimsy at best. Is this true? I was cleared for Lyme when I asked my GP the other day, he almost sounded irritable when I kept prodding him about how my ear infection still feels tender. On top of that I read that even when detecting the disease, its hit and miss when treating it, some Lyme variants respond well to antibiotics, while others go into a dormant phase almost in an attempt to evade being wiped out of the bloodstream. This is quite disheartening to learn this.

Anyways I have been doing ok with my probiotic pills, and have no unusual digestive issues, which is a welcome change because I remember weeks ago that when taking 500mg cephalexin 3 times a day my bowels were very affected.

And Carol you have given me renewed hope in regards to the Seabuckthorn oil, Im happy to be applying this as a countermeasure to the spread of these little critters, I do feel that my forehead tingles and itches quite abit, but always dismissed the burning sensation to the antibacterial shampoo I have been using ever since my scalp started itching a year ago and subsequently making my hair brittle and abit thin of late.

Come to think of it, when reading about Demodex mites the symptoms began to hit home, I do notice that my skin is alittle sensitive and I do have patches of red crop up if i scratch myself. But its a very distinct red, like someone applied lipstick to my forehead. I have a very pale white complexion so it really shows when I have these red patches appear. Interestingly enough I could rub alittle part of my forehead right now and it would light up red in a matter of minutes and stay that way for upto an hour. My skin has never reacted that way ever that I can remember.

Today while driving to work I noticed that the sunlight reflecting off the road, was intolerable. I kept thinking back to what you wrote about sensitivity to light with the meds Im taking. I read that Lyme can also make one sensitive to light? I just remember not being able to look in the direction of the light, and when I looked around everything appeared to have a tinge of pink to it and seemed dull. And from what I could tell it was not too bright, my friend at the time didnt feel the same way about the light. I kept saying "You see that glow buddy? Man is that light bright" He just looked at me perplexed and said, "Its not that bright actually". To which I responded "Your telling me that light doesnt seem like its shimmering like crazy to you?" I had to really concentrate in order to still see where I was goin.

Anyways I'd be happy if only the itching and spots ceases, and my inner ear infection completely goes away. I have a sneaking suspicion that the doctor probably just say the tip of the iceberg when looking at my progress. Sure the outer ear is better but I still feel my inner ear quite tight and swollen.

Well I'll check back with him in a weeks time.

Cheers.

Marc
Avatar universal
I got the results back from my liver function test the other day and the doctor reported a drop in my elevated enzyme that have been showing in my blood since July.

According to the latest figures, my AST level dropped from a previous 120 to 66. And my ALT numbers have also halved from 266 to 132. Of course the recommended and healthy AST & ALT levels in a normal person with healthy liver funtion is no more than 40 to 50. I still have quite a sore and tiring pain on my right upper side that extends from my appendix area to my ribcage. This comes and goes but almost always never goes entirely. At the very most it will subside to just a light runners cramp sensation.

The doctor has recommended I get retested for liver function in 2 months time. But since I experience quite abit of discomfort he is suggesting I get a CT scan just to be sure. Although he is quite happy to let time do the healing. He believes that something quite innocuous and insignificant caused a slight jump in my AST & ALT levels, ie bad diet, alcohol, prolonged sleep deprivation (im a terrible insomniac for 4yrs now) and some of the antifungal tablets I was on earlier this year.

So apart from suggesting an improved and balanced diet, there is no real prognosis on his part. Aside from lets wait and see. However Im in a way hoping a CT scan reveals something more concrete as to why Im so rundown, and why my left knee joint feels like its about to snap off. It hasnt improved yet, but I am taking glucosamine 1500 strength. I hope this doesnt have any adverse effects on my liver. The doctor assured me there is nothing to worry about. But my worsening knee is a source of continual frustration. To a lesser degree but also of concern is my ear infection which according to my GP has gone away and is looking healthy. I still feel the swelling but much less, although it is still uncomfortable enough to bother me and cause the occassional migraine.

The curious thing is that my bloodwork still shows me as testing positive to Hep A. And there is nothing that I can recollect giving any reason for this. I did travel abroad but I was immunised, although does that mean I am completely immune to Hep A? The doctor who immunised me in 2003, said that the shot was good for at least a 5yr coverage against the Hep A infections. But then again I have also read that for every innoculation there is a small degree of obtaining the virus but in a very mild form, as vaccines work in someway infecting the recipient in a very minor way so as to develop antibodies against the disease.

I will see if I can get a CT scan for my infected ear as well, since I might as well kill 2 birds with one stone and take advantage of the visit there.

Anyways Im interested if Woenzyme has any real benefits to chronic knee joint pain. Since it seems to be getting progressively worse as the months roll by.
Avatar universal
Marc,
Each time that you write, I see more symptoms that are common to Lyme Disease.
Lyme patients are notorious for being able to spot the disease in other people, and I see it in you.  Some people are highly offended by this, but since the tests for Lyme are not at all reliable, the diagnosis is made based on the patient's symptoms and his history.  This is called a clinical diagnosis, as it is not based on lab tests.
Most physicians are reluctant to make a Lyme diagnosis based on symptoms.  They order the blood test and when it comes back negative, tell the patient he doesn't have Lyme.  My docs told me I didn't have Lyme for fifteen years, without ever making a clinical diagnosis.

You need to put together a timeline for the progression of your symptoms.  
You also need to get copies of the tests and results, for your home medical file.

Regarding your knee problems.  Continue the glucosamine for at least three months.
You may find it helpful to buy an elastic knee brace for the days when you feel the need of more support.
Joint problems are very common for Lyme.  I know of a number of people who have needed joint replacements, usually by late middle age.
The Wobenzym acts to reduce hypercoagulation by reducing the surfeit of fibrin in the blood.   This may increase blood circulation, but I don't know if it will help your knees.

I'm not all that surprised that your liver enzymes are elevated.
When the Lyme bacteria are killed, they release neurotoxins that cause a number of Lyme symptoms.
The liver detoxifies the poisons that the body accumulates, including any alcohol you may drink and medications that you take.  Dead spirochetes add to the burden.
The liver uses Glutathione in detoxing, and this is often low in people with chronic illnesses.  You may need to do things to increase your level of glutathione; this would help the liver enzymes.
You can take sublingual glutathione tablets, or you can supplement the precursors to glutathione.  From what I've read, this latter way works better than just taking oral glutathione, as the liver makes what it needs when the components are available.
Non-denatured Whey Protein provides Glutathione precursors.   I've been using the ImmunoPro brand;  iHerb has competitive prices.

Taking supplements that modulate the immune system is helpful, as it helps increase the white blood cells that "eat" bacteria.
Doctors who treat Lyme usually advise their patients to take one or more of these.
I can provide more information if you're interested.

About the light sensitivity.  Photophobia is when your eyes are sensitive to light, and is a common neuro symptom of Lyme.  Wear good sunglasses whenever you're outside, especially when you drive.  The glare off the road can be brutal.
Although my eyes are very sensitive to light, my night vision is poor.

Did you look at the symptoms list and the rash pictures on the Canadian Lyme Foundation site, at canlyme.com ?

Carol
Avatar universal
Carol I have looked at the Canadian Lyme Foundation site and none of the photos resemble the kind of rash I had. Im goin on a limb here to say that photo 12 (row 4 2nd photo) appears the closest to what I had. But mine was quite irregular following no distinct patterns, more like the measels and didnt have the pinkish hue, but rather just scabs when the pores became irritated and were scratched too much. The one thing I never forget is that the itch was unbearable and I didnt stop until the itches blistered which resulted in bleeding.

Tell me does the rash itch incessantly with people who have lyme disease? And if so, does it follow a particular pattern (ie when its most likely to reoccur) I just know that in the times I came down with the rash I had to tolerate unbearable itching for almost 3 months before they subsided (and only on the limbs not the abdomen/back or face at all) My rash went away for almost a year before returning the 2nd time. But after that date it never returned again. I sometimes though get the odd itch during spring time, but only in isolated areas ie hands and wrists for no more than a few hours at a time and then they will go away and maybe return months later. But I put that down to my allergies.

Another thing Im curious about is that you seem to have your condition very much in control, do the doctors now have a better idea on how to treat your lyme disease with the focus on totally eradicating the virus from your system? And if so, how is this achieved? I ask because I dont wish to be stricken for decades with this condition and find my current situation quite frustrating, every time I look in the mirror I see my face has a few more blemishes and there are a few more raised bumps I notice, that never go away (do you have anything you recommend for keeping the skin in better shape and free of blemishes?) I just feel that I have aged 10yrs in the last 4.

Anyways I am glad your experience is shedding some light to my own.

Can you also tell me if there is any particular test that irrefutably proves the presence of Lyme spirochetes, so far my blood test are negative, anything that can fast track the detection of this condition would be a bonus to getting me better treatment rather than a skeptical GP suggesting a more passive approach, meanwhile my condition progresses steadily. And do you ever get Urinary tract infections/sore bladder/or a runners stitch(ie unhealthy liver function) the thing is I noticed the other day looking at my urine being darker than usual in the mornings, which is a classic example of the liver struggling to completely process bilirubin.

Im also curious as to whether Lyme infection is caused exclusively by ticks, and if so, does the tick have to be your common garden variety tick or microscopic ones can be just as effective?

Cheers,

Marc.
Avatar universal
Marc,
You are asking questions that are answered on the 'newbies help links' on the medical formum of the discussion group at LymeNet.org  .
http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?

Regarding the rash, from what I've read about other Lymie's experiences, it can vary widely.  Some people never get it, others get a bulls eye rash soon after a bite, and some have reported that it comes and goes, sometimes with antibiotic treatment.
Most people say that it wasn't itchy.

Regarding the blemishes on your face, I can suggest three things.
First is the 'Face Doctor' soap and lotion that I mentioned before.  
Next is fish oil capsules or liquid, which will help the skin oils to drain, instead of clogging up.  This is an oral supplement.  I found that the Carlson's brand with lemon flavor is the most palatable.
Last is taking supplements to support your immune system.  

Many Lyme patients have reported chronic problems with urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, groin pain, and inflammation of the prostate.
A few people reported that it was their only symptom of Lyme.

Regarding testing, it is difficult to find the Lyme bacteria in the bloodstream or the cerebral spinal fluid, as it goes into the tissues and nerves.
One of the better screening tests is the Western Blot IgG and IgM, which tests for antibodies to the bacteria.
This needs to be done at a specialty lab, like Igenex in California, or MDL in New Jersey.  See Igenex.com  
If you ask your doctor for the Western Blot for Lyme, it will get sent to one of the other labs, which use a different test kit and only test for one strain.
Test results report which "bands" are positive, with certain bands being specific for Lyme.  You need to know the results for the entire list, not just get a "positive" or a "negative" from the lab.

It has been shown that the Lyme bacteria can be present in the gut of ticks and nymphal ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, and biting flies.
The species of tick that carries the bacteria lives on the "White Footed Mouse," which nests in trees and rock walls, and is carried by migrating birds.
If you sit on a rock wall, a log in the woods, or lean against a tree, you are unwittingly exposing yourself to ticks.  
Several people at LymeNet.org have reported that their family members had a tick on the top of their head after being outside, under the trees.  Ticks live in birds nests, and can drop out of trees.

Dark urine can be a symptom of Babesiosis, which is another infection carried by ticks.  
LymeInfo.net has a good page about the coinfections.
http://www.lymeinfo.net/coinfections.html

Regarding eradicating the disease from your system:  you may not be able to, but you can force it into remission.
If you go to LymeNet.org, you can post to find a doctor who treats Lyme, usually with antibiotics.  Long term antibiotics can cause many problems for the patient, and it may take a long time before you see results.
There are a number of supportive therapies and alternative methods of treating.
This varies from herbs that are natural antibiotics, to others that increase the number of white blood cells.  
Lyme Disease treatment and diagnosis, from LymeInfo.net
http://www.lymeinfo.net/lymediseasetreatment.html

I hope you'll decide to post a query on the medical forum at LymeNet.org.
Carol
Avatar universal
Thankyou for your time Carol its very much appreciated.

Today I went to my GP for a referral to get my CT scan (liver). He went over my results again and mentioned that my triglycerine count was up from a normal 1.1 in July to a 2.9 in this last test I had over a week ago. There is no accounting for it whatsoever, im not a junk food fanatic by any means and I eat quite healthy all the time. Another interesting fact is that the ear infection that seemed to have been responding well to antibiotics has now flared up again. So I am being referred to a specialist this time. It appears no amount of antibiotics can rid me of it. And I still get sore there with the occassional migraine and general feeling of heaviness in that side of my head. Confusion and lethargy are also accompanying factors.

Anyways Im on a vegtable, fish and herbal diet. In an effort to screen out unhealthy food and excess fats for my ailing liver. I will be getting a CT scan later this week, so the road ahead of me still appears to be a very long and arduous one to get me back to 100% functionality.

Marc.
Avatar universal
Okay, you were right that Wobenzym might help your knees.
I was looking for information and found this.
Enzymes for Joint Disease     http://www.buywobenzym.com/article.cfm?PID=1&AID=4
Wobenzym N systemic oral combination enzymes may be extremely beneficial in cases of difficult-to-treat joint and inflammatory disease.
Of particular note is their ability to help children's juvenile chronic arthritis.

My cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated also.  From what I've read, this is a protective action the liver takes to reduce the damage from the Lyme bacteria.

Carol
Avatar universal
Carol I was looking at the wobenzym site and it looks quite promising. You mentioned before that you had also tried serrapeptase to alleviate your symptoms and didnt work as effectively. May I ask which serrapeptase product you were on? And how much of it you were taking? Apparently the activation dosage for effective relief is different depending on your symptoms, condition and unique personal factors. I had a look at this one particular product and they claim to be more effective than wobenzym.

http://prohealthsolutions.com/productdetails7383.html

Anyways I am looking at one of the two, either wobenzyme or serrapeptase as my next step to treating my symptoms with. Incidently it appears serrapeptase has the added property of lowering liver toxins, which in my case would be most beneficial.
Avatar universal
The link you provided was to Vitalzym, which is also a blend of enzymes, similar to Wobenzym.  
The two products are similar when you compare ingredients, however the claims made on that link are a little enthusiastic.  
That's not to say that it's any better or worse than the Wobenzym, I think you'll just have to try it.
When I tried Serrapeptase, it was as a single ingredient supplement.  

If you're going to use the Vitalzym or the Wobenzym, you should also consider cat's claw.
Stephen Buhner's book, "Healing Lyme," recommends the whole herb capsules from Rain-tree.com.  I used that for quite a while, and am presently using some from Source Naturals.   Look at the review of the book on Amazon.com and consider reading it.
You can find tons of research for cat's claw online, and also for Samento, which is a brand of cat's claw extract.  

Have you had a chance to read at LymeInfo.net and the discussion group at LymeNet.org ?    You need to read about the testing for tick borne infections.
I'm giving you information that took me a long time to figure out, but it won't help unless you are able to read it.

Best,
Carol
Avatar universal
Thankyou Carol, yes I am reading alot of material on the LymeNet.org site, its a terrific source of information. So again I thankyou for your insight and all the years of beating around the bush you have saved me.

I thought the Vitalzym claims were abit lofty too, but nonetheless I have found an outlet in my local area that stocks it, wobenzyme in my neck of the woods is abit harder to come by. I am looking forward to at least getting some relief for the inflammation and pain I feel in my knee as of current. And yes Cats Claw is now on my remedies to find list too now.

Again I cant thankyou enough since I have been posting here, I had come to a standstill beforehand, with my condition. But fortunately I have many more avenues to pursue thanks to the many different alternatives you have provided here.

I'll keep the updates rolling especially the post I really want to put up here, which is the ones I will be sending when my symptoms start getting better. So far the glucosamine tablets seem to have levelled the pain (I dont feel the steady increase in soreness anymore) but its still early days, so fingers crossed.

Cheers.

Marc.
Avatar universal
Well I received my CT scan just the other day and got news that I may have a slightly fatty liver. Reason being that the scan showed my spleen density almost equal to my liver density, and in their words... may suggest mild diffuse hepatic fatty infiltration.

Also as they phrased it, No focal lesion was noted (liver) no evidence of radiodense calculi. No intrahepatic or main bile duct dilation. All remaining upper abdominal organs appear within normal limits. There is no free intraperitoneal fluid or air. No Intraabdominal or pelvic lymphadenopathy (no chronical inflammation? of lymph) And stomachs small and large bowel appear within normal limits.

Conclusion was to suggest an ultrasound in assessing the biliary tree (liver)

All in all my doctor said that it was not a major concern, since my liver function test revealed a halving in enzyme abnormality, in a few months time he will retest me to see what he expects a further reduction. Im also taking some liver tonic to improve my livers health and function. I do admit feeling alot better, my saliva doesnt taste as bitter in the mornings, and my liver is not aching anymore (only if i sit for hrs in front of the pc will it become sore, but it may have to do with posture more than anything else)

Also on a good note, my knee seems to be responding to the 1500mg of glucosamine. I feel quite distinctly like my knee is getting stronger and better supported. It feels rigid and not loose as before. The degrees of angle or torque my knee can swivel has reduced, so I hope it is the cartilage finally rebuilding itself. It feels quite stiff in fact, but the pain has lessened, more importantly to me the knee doesnt feel so weak anymore. In fact it feels quite solid which kind of alarmed me because i wonder if the glucosamine works too strongly and over deposits cartilage ( if that even is possible) I hope it just mends to the point of its original state, and that the pain subsides completely, which would feel like a miracle.

I am also now being bumped up the list to see the ear specialist. Apparently he is so booked that the earliest possible time was early in January. Considering the fact that I have a chronic infection and inflammation over 6months old may go a long way in securing I see him as early as next month, and have this blasted ear infection resolved once and for all. It is not as severe but it just doesnt want to go away completely!

Anyways, Im alittle more optomistic and also am happy to report that the seabuckthorn oil has cleaned up my face alittle since I started using it, and no more itchiness or dryness! However without sounding too vain, how does one go about clearing the blemishes and battle scars of already healed bumps which wont go away!

Cheers.

Marc.
Avatar universal
Marc,
I did a search for "fatty liver" at LymeNet.org and found several people with this problem.  They were told by their doctors that it may have been from their Lyme Disease, or from the antibiotics they were taking.  

In my post to you on 08/31/07 I mentioned how I "cured" my chronic ear infection.
You might want to ask your doctor about it, and see if he thinks it would be appropriate for you.

Carol
Avatar universal
Its been a few weeks and I wanted to report that my condition has gone from okay to alittle odd.

I have been getting better and my liver pains have almost stopped altogether. Thanks to a balanced diet and constantly monitoring my fat intake. I have also kept with the glucosamine tablets, but my improvement where my sore knee is concerned, has been mild. I still hurt there quite abit when i crouch down and have my knee completely bent and supporting my full weight.

My ear is still inflammed and I am on a long waiting list to have the specialist look at it. Its annoying but the least of my worries for now.

The thing is I have developed a slight chest pain after I eat meals. It feels like trapped air that later gives rise to a tiny bout of burping. I read that high triglyiceride levels contribute to heart problems. I dread that this is the case, I did in fact test 2.9 last time for triglyceride levels which was a shock to me. Especially since in July I was only 1.1 (upto 1.69 is normal)

What astounds me is how casual my GP seemed about it. Stating that it was probably a momentary thing, with my fatty liver correcting itself and all. I dont want to be the alarmist but I have no idea if my levels have dropped at all. Logically I feel that even at 2.9 I shouldnt have any real trouble given my age and the very short length of time that my levels have been this high (presumably since August).

Anyways I wonder if you ever had a fatty liver that gave rise to chest pains.

Cheers,

Marc
Avatar universal
Marc,
I don't have a fatty liver, at least not that I know about.  My cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated.  From what I've read, the Lyme bacteria can reduce the myelin  of the nerve sheaths, and the liver reacts by increasing the body's cholesterol.  This is a protective mechanism.
Your C-reactive protein level is probably a more important indicator of heart disease, as it shows inflammation in the body.  Lyme Disease will increase the body's level of inflammation...there are some things you can take to reduce this.

I have not had chest pains.  I've been taking Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, which is necessary to the heart muscle.
I sometimes do get acid reflux, when the "cardiac sphincter" at the top of the stomach relaxes, and lets the acid stomach contents slosh up into the esophagus.
When this happens, I drink some water to rinse the acid from the esophagus, and take a Tums antacid if it happens again.

Continue the glucosamine several times daily;  you should see some results after about three months.  My knees improved, but I still have pain when I'm crouched and when I do steps.
You can buy an elastic knee brace to use on the days it's particularly bothersome.
Be sure to wear knee pads or use a foam kneeling pad if you're going to be doing work in a kneeling position.

So, which supplements are you presently taking.
And have you posted yet at the discussion group at LymeNet dot org.

Carol
Avatar universal
Today I felt off all morning. I had what I could best describe as a burp that woulndt come out. As the morning wore on I felt queezy and lathargic, the bubble in my chest gave way to a mini cramp that alarmed me abit. ( I have felt this sensation before during the last yr or so, but usually during the night)

Well the sensation didnt go away so in the evening I went to my GP. On the way there I again got a little startle as I felt my breathing become shallow and a jolt come across my right middle. (the heart is on the left middle if memory serves me correctly)

To cut a long story short. My GP didnt think it was anything more than anxiety getting the better of me. He listened to my heart, and said it was ok. Although my blood pressure was alittle off 130/90, (110-120/70 - being within range for my age)

I was still quite uneasy about the whole affair, so he did a electrocardiogram. It at least put my mind at ease that my heart rythmne was in check and normal. Whatever those little episodes of mini palpatations he could only say it was stress for now. I have been put on some meds to bring my pressure down over the next couple of days. So I will be taking those and seeing him within a week.

For now Im taking it easy with managing my stress, and next month I shall find out if my trigliceride levels have dropped or not. For me it would be welcome news knowing that it has indeed dropped.

As for the supplements  Im taking, so far on top of the glucosamine Im taking a type of cats claw supplement, a herbal extract to manage my stress, and a tonic to help with my liver function. I also take linseed for my triglyceride levels.

Marc
Avatar universal
Marc,
You need magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurinate.
http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c=1&pid=1415
This will help the palpitations and anxiety.
Carol
Avatar universal
I have just had another CT scan done. This time it was my nasal and sinuses. I have been getting flu like symptoms and alot of phlem accumulating in my throat. It sometimes feels like Im swallowing my tongue. The problem was at its most problematic when I started developing a wheezing and dry cough. I did have a kind of asthma attack episode that didnt go away completely for 3 days. Thats when I decided to get checked futher.

Anyways my scans revealed the following.

Mucous and mucosal thickening are present in the maxillary antra. The infundibula are clear. Mucous and mucosal thickening in the right frontal sinus inferiorly with thickening in the right frontal recess. The left frontal sinus and frontal recess are clear. The is mucous and musosal thickening in the ethmoid air cells bilaterally and in the right sphenoid sunus. The left sphenoid sinus is clear.

I still get some problems with heart palpatations, dont know if its because of the fatigued breathing or tension, stress. But I still feel very light headed when this occurs, and begin to feel tight around my chest and thats when the palpatations intensify.

I have bought a digital blood pressure monitor. Primarily to avoid goin to the doctors or emergency hospital unless Im absolutely sure my blood pressure is acting up. Also because my father has had 3 bypass operations and suffers diabetes. So its a handy tool to have in case he needs his pressure measured too.

Anyways my GP has prescribed me 2mg of cortizone, as a means to disinflame my sinuses, and lower the mucous buildup. From what I have read, cortizone suppresses the immune system long enough to allow allergic reactions or inflammations caused by such responses to alleviate. I'm not eager to take this as the side effects however small at that dosage are still a concern to me.

Marc.
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