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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » antibiotic treatment causes new joint problems?

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Author Topic: antibiotic treatment causes new joint problems?
LymeNet Contributor
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My symptoms have been almost entirely neuropsych (chronic insomnia, "bipolar", etc) since 1994 when I first got sick (I was diagnosed in 2006). I have had knee pain that came and went early on during the illness and when I started treatment.

My most significant joint pain is I have severe progressive TMJ. It is really painful and it has gotten worse over the years and it is to the point where botox injections are the only thing that help. Anyway so I do have some joint pain. But since I started treatment I have developed NEW joint problems.

Back in 2003 before I was diagnosed both pinky fingers on my hands started to develop a hard lump around the bigger joint area. This was new for me. The fingers started to turn inwards. I have a lot of trouble writing because of it. But other than that it wasn't causing any problems for me. I went to see a few doctors who didn't really seem to know what to do other than put splints on the fingers at night (to try to stop them from getting worse) which didn't help. I was worried because I have a strong family history of rheumatoid arthritis and frankly because I like being able to use my hands.

Anyway my question is do you think antibiotic treatment causes permanent joint damage? I ask cause now the same problem I had with my pinky finger is starting to happen on both thumbs. I can't print anymore with a pen because my hand is too stiff. It seems like this has gotten worse with my antibiotic treatment and my recent treatment (almost 2.5 months of Rocephin) seems to have really progressed the problem.

My hands are achy and I can feel a hard lump starting to form on both my thumbs. It seems like one problem starts to get better and a whole new problem starts. Yesterday I was so achy and sore all over I took advil. I know I must sound like a big baby to all you people with severe joint pain. I realize it pales in comparison to the joint pain other people experience but I am worried that I am going to develop a whole new set of problems.

Has anyone had this hand stiffness begin since being on antibiotic treatment?


Posts: 255 | From where we don't have Lyme disease | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Visual Afterimage Man
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It's quite common for someone who is beginning treatment with abx to have a herx reaction.

Your herx reaction can be an increased in severity of your current symptoms, or it could bring on entirely new symptoms.

Everyone is different. But I encourage you to look at the evidence. You understand the explaination behind a herx reaction I'm sure.

So, here you are... you added abx and you feel worse. Almost the defintion of herx.

I'm not a doc.. just someone who's been through much of this. I'm not joint affected, I'm CNS effected so I can't give you a similar story.

Ask your LLMD, and voice your concerns.

26 months of treatment. And counting.......

Posts: 298 | From Northeast Kansas | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Has anyone tested you for RA? Lyme can cause RA and I personally think it is the die off that causes it. Afterall, RA (rheumatoid arthritis is just a name for a condition where the immune system attacks itself).

There is a whole world of doctors and researchers who believe RA has an infectious cause. Too much die off could be why you are experiencing more trouble while on the abx. I'm no doctor, but I sure am a fellow lymie with RA.

If I were you, I would reduce or stop the abx while focusing on detox. In my case, my ability to detox had become so poor I was swollen in all my joints except the hip and spine. I could barely move and my hands and feet were useless.

First thing I did that have SIGNIFICANT benefit was to switch my diet to vegan. See and look for "Hope to Heal Arthritis" article. It did wonders for my inflammation.

Next I found an integrative doctor who specialized in Leaky Gut, Yeast, Metal Toxicity, etc.

He gave me IVs of glutathione (detox agent for the liver) and lipostabil (blood thinner) for a year. He brought me from a very high rate of RA to almost dormant.

In April 07, I was bit again and within 48 hrs had high fever, joint pain and swelling and incredible weak muscles.

I knew this new infection should have abx so I went to an LLMD. At first the abx caused a flare in pain so we went slow. After a couple of weeks though I was able to tolerate full dose and within 30 days was clinically in remission. Blood work still shows mild RA activity so not cleared yet.

A year ago, these abx would have sent me over the edge. I was too toxic. Also, in June 06, I had the last of my mercury amalgams removed which eliminated my severe jaw pain. I could barely open my mouth for the dentist to work and since then I have no jaw pain at all.

Toxicity and a poor elimination system may be causing the damage to your joints. Once damaged, the damage is permanent so it is wise to avoid the damage.

My current LLMD is also a rheumatologist. She is not the rheumy who diagnosed my RA.


When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, there will be Peace.

Posts: 3038 | From america | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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If your symptoms are getting worse due to a herx (and it seems like the most likely explanation), I'd look into inflammation as a cause and consider taking some supplemental anti-inflammatory treatment along with detox.

As it was explained to me, when the bugs die, they cause inflammation in the tissues and other symptoms due to dead bug debri, release of metals and toxins.

You may need something specifically to bind biotoxins. Some people are genetically pre-disposed to have difficulty removing these toxins.

The majority of our symtpoms throughtout infection with lyme are supposedly caused by the toxins when the bugs die. Search here at LN for more info.


Posts: 6282 | From Oregon | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Thanks for replying. I didn't really ask my llmd about the new joint thing. i mentioned it and he didn't say too much. so it sounds like it is permanent damage? i am trying to detox but i think i am a poor detoxer. i am doing coffee enemas, castor oil packs, glutathione IVs twice weekly, nutritional IVs and taking my supplements.

so maybe i should ask my doctor about backing down on the dose? i don't know maybe it is a good idea. i just know my hands weren't this bad before and i used to be able to use my hands more.

no i haven't had my RA factor checked. ok i can't stay on the computer i'll re-read your replies later. thanks for replying.

Posts: 255 | From where we don't have Lyme disease | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Could also be from Candida, or yeast.

Check out your diet. Examine it closely!

I know that when I'm not watching my diet, my joints will swell and hurt more than usual.

DIET, DIET, DIET is the key. Then, be sure to follow the 5 step plan outlined below. It was developed by my naturopath. It works.

Candida diet and elimination:

Lyme symptoms list compared with yeast symptoms

"Successful control and elminiation of a Candida Albicans overgrowth requires a multifaceted program as described below. Failure to follow ALL the steps simultaneously will result in slow progress and will lengthen healing time significantly. The program should be tailored to the individual and must balance the need to eliminate the Candida and deprive it of its food source while insuring proper nutrition for the individual."

Five Steps to Candida Elimination:

1. You must starve it into submission by eliminating its food source.

2. You must kill it with anti-fungal herbs and supplements. [e.g....garlic, onion, caprylic acid, Pau D'Arco capsules or tea, clove, grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, tea tree oil, Echinacea, Goldenseal, black walnut, MSM, barberry root, uva ursi, neem leaf, biotin]

3. You must reestablish the proper balance and quantity of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. [...multi-strain lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus capsules with FOS should be taken between meals to maximize repopulation of the digestive tract by beneficial bacteria.]

4. You must reestablish proper levels of all B vitamins (yeast free) and utilize other immune enhancing supplements to boost immune system function. [e.g ... B complex vitamins (yeast free), biotin, beta 1-3 glucan, colostrum, maitake mushroom, vitamins A, C, E, zinc and selenium]

5. You must cleanse and heal the digestive tract to promote proper elimination of toxins and Candida and assimilation of nutrients. [e.g...chlorophyll, MSM, omega 3 fatty acids found in flax seed and salmon oils, GLA found in borage, evening primrose and black currant oils. Pantothenic acid, digestive enzymes between meals]

Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 95344 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Catwoman -
I have had my problems with my joints. And my fingers were crinkled for over a year and a half I couldn't ever straighten them.

Then as I got better I could. There is NO damage in my joints... I have had lyme symptoms including joint pain off and on for the past 20 years and mostly on for the past 8 years... and still no actual damage...

So please don't assume that there will definetely be joint damage. But having said that everyone is different and I would voice your concerns to your dr.

I use heating pads on my "pain parts" which includes my joints. The moist heat ones are better for me. The ones you plug in or the ones with rice or hard things in them arent any help at all to me.

Hope your hands start to feel better [group hug]

[ 17. January 2008, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: AZURE WISH ]

multiple chemical sensitvity group:

Group for artists. All media welcome:

Posts: 3860 | From nj,usa | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LymeNet Contributor
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thanks azure and lymetoo. i think i am doing fairly well on the candida diet.

i totally forgot to ask this question about the joints to my doctor during my consult.

Posts: 255 | From where we don't have Lyme disease | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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