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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » To freak out, or no? Stretch marks, or bart?

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Author Topic: To freak out, or no? Stretch marks, or bart?
Michelle M
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Many of you have heard me speak of my lovely daughter Georgia, now 16. She has had lyme for many years -- off and on, mostly off, thankfully. Lyme only -- at least according to tests. Mostly evil knees. Relapses have appeared in the form of knee pain, and once sudden onset of Bells Palsy. Both relapses have responded fast to treatment and happiness reigned again.

However, in the past month or two she has had problems with swollen lymph nodes in her neck/jaw area. I took her in the doc-in-a-box, against my own better judgment. I mentioned bartonella. (Why, oh why did I bother?) I mentioned her history of lyme. (Again, why?) He diagnosed lymphadenitis, dismissed any mention of lyme or bart. Recommended Advil. I really did not feel "good" about it. No fever, but she vomited a bit. Headache-y and tired lately.

Then last night she busted out some shorts for our first serious nice weather. I seriously freaked out. She claims I'm crazy and these are just some embarassing "stretch" marks she has developed over the winter. Mind you, this is a kid who looks like a bathing suit model and who doesn't have a spare ounce of fat on her 5' 10" body.

She tested negative for bart at IGeneX. However, she has swollen lymph nodes and perhaps some other lyme-ish stuff (tiredness which might be a teenager thing or might not; same with general crankiness).

Do YOUR teenagers have this?

Someone tell me I'm crazy.

I am giving serious consideration to a little Fry Labs testing...

TIA for your thoughts...!

Michelle

I swear - this is not an overweight kid. Also, never go for a walk in the park without your pet boa constrictor:
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stretch marks
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closer view of stretch marks
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sixgoofykids
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I'd take her to the LLMD. As you've said, she's too thin for stretch marks. If you'd have said she gained a bunch of weight over the winter, that would be different.

My bart symptoms are fatigue, GI distress, and cognitive issues. I don't have classic bart symptoms and have tested negative.

As you know, a negative test means nothing. Give her LLMD a call.

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CD57
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First I gotta say, what a KNOCK OUT daughter you have!
Second, those look like bart stretch marks to me.

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Niere
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I know everyone's different but any stretch marks I ever got on my legs were pale and white.

Her legs certainly don't look like she would have stretch marks from fat--though I guess if she had a growth spurt anything is possible.

I'd have her see the LLMD. Better to be on the safe side.

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disturbedme
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You don't have to be big or fat to get stretch marks. Some believe hormone activity plays a part -- pregnancy, natural growth for adolescent boys or girls, rapid weight gain or loss, long term lacking of certain nutrients, depression or extreme unhappiness (unhappy, stressed and depressed people are more likely to get stretch marks), sudden change in physical or environmental factors, and some medication will as well.

But as you said, she's only 16, so she could definitely still be growing and the inside of the thigh/thigh area is a common area to grow/widen for girls.

But, a Fry test could never hurt. I was tested through Fry and got a positive Bart back although my LLMD and I never suspected it.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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adamm
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I've had stretch marks for years without being overweight.

You should probably get in touch with your LLMD just in case,

though. My stretch marks aren't red.

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Michelle M
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Very interesting. I associated stretch marks with excess weight, or working out/steroids / weightlifting or something. She has not had any of that, or been on any medications, or been pregnant, or anything like that. She has never even been on an unsupervised date yet!! No real growth spurt for several years. She has always been extremely tall for her age, to the everlasting sorrow of her would-be boyfriends.

She gets very good grades but recently has been struggling with comprehension; however, all her coursework is college prep advanced work so I know it is really tough.

I might not be so worried about it except for the swollen lymph nodes.

She is very long and lean. These just feel very wrong to me.

Here is another shot from last summer. She has not really changed. She wears a size 10.5 shoe. I really cringe to think she might still be growing at 5' 10" !!!

Michelle

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justag
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I've got these red scratches on and off, but they'd be gone in 2~4 days. We thought it's bart, but haven't done any lab tests.

If they are stretch marks, they would stay longer I assume. Just keep an eye on them...

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Tincup
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Sorry I don't have a scientific answer...

But I can imagine that if you don't have it checked.. and she becomes worse...

You will kick yourself about it for a long time to come.

And/or you will worry continually about it for not checking into it further.

And I can even picture the conversation years down the road that could occur...

"Why mom, if you thought it might be an infection, didn't you take me to the doctor THEN?"

Also note... we have seen a number of kids turn "legal age" and refuse to go to the doctors even when they have had VERY pronounced symptoms.

And at that point you won't be able to "make her" go.

I think you are justified in being concerned. If this were my child.. you'd want me to follow through to be sure.

You have a unique ability to "know" these things.. both as an educated Lyme activist and as a mother.

Go for it mommy!

[Big Grin]

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chamade
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I'd say run to a LLMD. I had the exact same stretch marks pop up when I was 17-18. Now 10 years later I am battling bart and neuro symptoms...after months of bart abx my IGG titer is higher then ever and symptoms have not improved.

--------------------
Why me? Well, why not me???

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bettyg
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michele, wow, is georgia beautiful; just like her MOM we know! wink [Wink]

sorry to read this, but i too would get contact your llmd.

how are you coming after being REBITTEN lately? take care my good friend! [group hug]

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Melanie Reber
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Hey Michelle,

No...you are not overacting at all. They certainly do look like Bart marks to me too. Exactly like what have recently popped up on me.

It took three tries at Bart testing for me to get a positive...so, please know that the Co-infections are just as difficult to diagnose with serology alone.

The good news is...that when I finally did address the Bart- I felt great! [Smile]

My best,
M

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Gabrielle
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Wow - your daughter really is BEAUTIFUL ! Congrats!

I'm certainly no expert in Bart rashes but I don't think that this is a place to get stretch marks. I'd take her to an LLMD. Bart ruined my youth. That shouldn't happen to your daughter.

Good luck,

Gabrielle

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TerryK
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Wow, gorgeous young woman!

Those marks look like bart to me but an LLMD would probably have a pretty good idea by looking at them if they were or not.

I believe the bart marks are inflamed blood vessels or new blood vessel growth so while they may look like stretch marks to us, an LLMD may be able to tell the difference. I'm also wondering about the angle of the marks. I can't really tell but the angle looks odd and might be a clue to a trained eye.

All of these things:
The marks that look like possible bart
Bart like symptoms
you found a tick on your coffee table last winter
you were recently bitten and developed a rash

would make me suspicious. Summer is coming. If she has to go on a trial to determine if she has it, this would be a good time to consider it.

My IgeneX tests were negative but once I started doxy I developed the long marks that look similar to your daughter's. Mine were on my upper torso. My LLMD said there is no doubt but that mine are bart.

According to my fibro doctor, aside from stretch marks caused by weight gain, cushings is the only other reason one would develop striae.

This link mentions causes of diabetes, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, puberty, abnormal collagen formation (we know lyme affects collagen) and a few other things.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003287.htm

I hope it's puberty but I would get it checked out. Please let us know if you find out anything.

Hope you are feeling OK.

Terry

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Michelle M
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Alright.

Thank you all for your opinions. They mean a LOT. I am going to email my LLMD the photos, and the "lymphadenetis" report from the walk-in doc, and see what he thinks.


[Wink]

Michelle

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lymednva
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i agree with others who say to contact her llmd. i have those same marks, just thought they were stretch marks, or veins due to aging.

i haven't tested positive for Bart, but herxed hard when on bart tx. i would suggest you ask about a trial of bart tx to see how she reacts to it.

--------------------
Lymednva

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hshbmom
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Hi Michelle,


Edited Post to be More Clear:


Here's the link to the Bartonella rash photos at the Lyme Disease Association:


http://tinyurl.com/2fmapv


I recently saw the physician who took these photos and he said the peculiar thing about bart stria compared to stretch marks is that bart stria don't follow connective tissue planes...they may be curved or occur at odd angles compared to stretch marks. They can look zig-zag or serpentine, like a curvy snake. Some photos look wormy...see the latest Public Health Alert someone posted about below.


Also, Bartonella causes new blood vessel growth...that's what these rashes are...new blood vessels. I think that's why I have these new veiny-looking patches.


Bart may not be symmetrical like stretch marks. Are these marks on both sides of her thighs? If not, I'd suspect Bartonella.


I'm no physician...but, these look like my bartonella stria.


Does she have other marks she hasn't told you about?


Bart is found in places such as the abdomen, back, hips, upper arms, armpits, breasts, shoulders, or behind the knees.


Bart rashes are bright red to purple on light-skinned people and don't fade to silvery white like stretch marks.


I think a physician would advise her to have a Fry blood smear to look for Bart, and some additional Igenex blood work. A Fry blood smear is $300.00.


Bart can cause digestive and neurological problems. If your daughter is having thinking problems a neuropsychological test is a great assessment tool. It can show how the infection directly effects thinking skills.


Other things can cause bart-looking rashes too. Mycoplasma, Lyme, and H. pylori were also mentioned at the recent appointment, but I might be confused about this statement...maybe the doctor meant all these infections can occur at once...better go back and check my notes from the office visit. Mixed infections can occur and will complicate treatment unless you recognize and treat all the disease-causing factors.


Don't freak out. Attack this problem with knowledge and a plan. You're not a paranoid hypochondriac. You're an observant mother with a legitimate concern.

[ 16. April 2008, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: hshbmom ]

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Michelle M
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Thanks Hshbmom- I will have to do a better check tonight. She's been "hiding" these, as she is convinced (like all teenage girls) that she's pretty hideously fat. Duh.

I had looked at that site. Though I am surprised there aren't tons of photos floating around. Like there are of EM rashes. I am presently waiting to hear back from our LLMD. I'll be surprised if he doesn't want her to come in for an office visit. I will post an update for sure!!

Thanks again.

Michelle

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Alv
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Sorry for your beautiful daughter.The marks are exactly as my daughter had them ( little or nothing knew about back than).They also are same age and they respond the same way .Is that a conincidence ?Check below.

Ok that completly convinces me that that is Bart.

2 1/2 summers ago my daughter had the same stretch marks as she turned 14 the follow summer she had vomiting and Dig track problems and complaint about the belly pain.Passed.( the dr missdiagnoesd her) .

Ok than she start having problems with concetration the next year or so.Now she starting having insomnia and I catch her just saying I am tired.

Well she denied that she has anything last summer when I sent her to Dr J as she did not wanted to be called " labeled with a disease ".

Now her insomnia and second episode of Vomiting and digt track and head aches or agitated came up more and -she had a cramp leg pain on foot and her heels start hurting.

Her test came negative last year.So OK---AGAIN I WAS CRAZY -Watching her closely.This time she took 1 month bartonella homepathic formula that covers 7 strains from another dr -DESERET BIOLOGICAL.

When she had the last episode with Digestive track and -she showed more and more symtoms of bart -after 2 years -I sent her to family dr and esxplained my concern.HE run the test .It came fianlly positive on bartonella HENSELAE.IGG 1:256 as abnormal and IGM normal .

The stretch marks are the same as your daugher.She is 15 and still says I gained weight that is where I got them .But the Dr said yes she got it.

I will remind you as she goes to a friends house that has cats.And this marks look like cat scratch fever -that I was having the doubts for.You can catch it very easy .

Read Dr S last article and see the pictures for bartonella .http://www.publichealthalert.org/

WATCHING is not the option .I have an apointment with LLMD for that as she has a proof that she has it.SO I was right sicne the begining and she was denying.

Ironicly form just 1 symtoms she has more and she might need longer treatment to eradicate it.

So YOU ARE NOT crazy.Knowing about it is a POWER that ironicly our kids do not apreachiate.BUt that is OK .Is our job as parent to educate them as at that age they will not care to read and analazy as we do.

I would sent her to the LLMD.

3 years after now( 3rd summer is comming ) my daughter ends up sleeping at 12 a cloock and has showing more and more symtoms.GY track symtoms , stretch marks are BART!

I have them myself -but did not know anything about it until I found out -too late .

It has been 1 year that my bart is still there.I checked today -I still have bart .From HEAD TO TOE.


My eksperience -when yo pulse something against a bacteria and than a while after you test it it will show that is positive.This theory was proofed for me and for my son when he took artemisin and his IGENEX came high positive for BABESIA microti.

So maybe you should give it a thought!

Do not delay!

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susiecv
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Michelle,
Your daughter, simply gorgeous...the boa, YUK!

I will be especially curious to hear if these marks are Bart. Just a month prior to noticing my bite/rash, (1 1/2 years ago) I had also "busted" out some shorts for the first bit of nice weather-only to find marks JUST like these in the same exact areas.

Since then, the marks have gotten more "veiny" looking & I have many more of them on my legs-They do run in various directions & now a few are a bit curvy looking. Since I am way older than your daughter, thought it was an unpleasant aging thing!

In hindsight, I did also have a lot of aggravating foot pain around that time too. Just kept buying new shoes [Roll Eyes]

I treated for 3 months-400mg/doxy but never actually saw a LLMD (phone consult). Just checked my old lab slips & realize I was not tested for Bart.

Oy vey...does this ride ever end? How are you doing after the last nasty hitchhiker? Those pics were priceless, btw [shake]

Be well & please update
Sue

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Michelle M
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My LLMD's office informed me the doc is out till tomorrow, so I'll need to wait till then for a more definitive answer.

Fry Labs is looking pretty good to me, or he might just decide to treat clinicially to save money. I know Fry takes insurance or at least Blue Cross Arizona insurance, but not so sure about California Blue Cross... anyone?

Alv - my daughter is increasingly that way too -- doesn't want to be diagnosed with anything, blah blah blah...

Sue, thanks for asking. I might be just fine, let's hope! Or that's my story!

I am being careful not to mention your snake comment to Apollo, who is quite a sensitive snake and could be put off eating his sherbet. [Wink]

Michelle
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susiecv
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It's bedtime for me here on the East Coast-THAT visual will surely give me lovely dreams... [sleepy]

Once opened my door to be greeted by a snake slithering in courtesy of my killer cat! It proceeded to hide in the deepest corner of the hall closet. My daughter, then about 8 had to capture it while I stood on a chair screaming!!

...not one of my prouder moments

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bettyg
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michelle, this info came from our own SALTY SUE! NOT sure if it's same as above or not! great photos there...


Hi Betty,
I was just reading your email with the Bartonella pictures. Thought I would send you this site as I thought these pictures were really quite good.

http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/PhotoAlbum_RashBart.html

Sue--
Who knew such a tiny bug could make us so sick!
Ask about our Lyme awareness handout & poster.

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hshbmom
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This link is to a videotaped presentation by the LLMD pediatric gastroenterologist in NJ...the one whose Bartonella rash photos are on the LDA website.


http://tinyurl.com/3r6q2x


This is a blurry video unless you make it smaller by clicking on "view" at the very top of the site, then "zoom", then "original size."

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breezywings
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Michelle, your daughter is beautiful. Model material beautiful!

As for those marks, I would say they sure look like bart to me. Stretch marks don't look like that to me. They are just too symmetrical for me to feel comfortable.

Fry labs for sure.

Sending you good luck and a cage for that snake! [Razz]

--------------------
...~*Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming*~...

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Geneal
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Dear Michelle,

I would lean towards bart too.

As I look at those pictures I think "Wow that is what is all over my legs".

Better safe than sorry for sure.

Your daughter is beautiful. You must be so proud.

I have a few snakes in my area she is welcome to come get. [Big Grin]

Keep us posted.

Hugs,

Geneal

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adamm
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Actually, I just noticed those on myself as well, in the same

places, and I'm B. Henselae +. Well, if she does turn out to

have this, and you get it treated, maybe she won't relapse anymore.


From one TBI teen to another,

[group hug]

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Michelle M
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Well, it sure would be interesting if it turned out it really WAS bart and caused everyone to take a hard look at their own strange markings...!! Thanks for the link Hsbhmom... Geneal, we have some extra snakes around here too but they're rattlesnakes so we give 'em a wide berth!! (Well, except for me grabbin shots of them, of course.) Thanks Betty -- gee there's a lotta Sue's around here!! Those were indeed the same photos as the above link -- though you can't tell cause the other link is hidden in the Tiny URL thingie.

And Adamm -- getouttahere!!! I didn't realize you were a TEENAGER!! Now you're gonna be in for some REAL grief!!! [Big Grin]

Hope to be able to update soon...

Thanks to ALL!! [group hug]

Michelle

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philipmercFLORIDA
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I also have the same marks on my abdomen and under both arms. My sister who recently tested positive for Lyme mentioned to me that this can be bart. I'm very worried because at my last visit to the dermatologist I was told that if all my marks were stretch marks they would have been silver by now. I have had these marks for 2 years now but I did gain 80 pounds. Apparently, stretch marks fade to silver and these marks have been bright red/purple for the entire 2 years. They do get bubbles on them that break open and clear liqued/blood oozes out time to time. I tested my blood and urine through IGENEX last week and my doctor ran all panals and co infections. Ive been very sick for 4 years and was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis but am not getting better. I feel I can have Lyme as well or Lyme was the root of my Sarcoid. Also, my sister 'Joy' is starting her IV antibiotic on Monday please everyone wish her well.
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ForestNymph
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Michelle,
I have an extensive bartonella rash and it looks exactly like the rash in your daughter's photo! I have had the rash for about six months. I think I even have the same kind of markings in the same location. If you want me to show you pictures send me a private message. I am so sorry about your daughter. Good luck with everything.

--------------------
Infected in March '06

Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Babesia

Diagnosed June '07

Remission Since September 2011.

My Story:
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